holiday cycling, France

Monday, April 27, 2015

There's something rather satisfying about hiring a bike and heading off at a 'lightning fast speed' (in comparison to walking) to explore a new town, city or... coastline!

TOUCH: refreshing cool sea air against my face - tousling my hair as it whips against my neck, stiff hands and fingers grip my handle bars tight with excitement, legs ache but I push on just the same, salt stings my eyes, my lips.

The Côte d'Azur, also known as the French Riviera is the perfect European destination to get in a spot of good old fashioned cycling. The coastline literally goes on and on for hundreds of miles and this area of the world is also famous for having 300 days of sunshine a year.




If you're keen on biking (like some of my friends) you can plan a whole holiday cycling from one end of the French Riviera to the other. Start in France and end in Italy - stopping at as many or few of the gorgeous little sea towns and cities along the way that take your fancy.

Or if you're like me you probably just want to hire a bike for a day and see how far along the coast you can get. Of course snacks along the way are very important...

Delicious Café Gourmand, French Riviera
One of my favourite treats in France is an indulgent Café Gourmand. Served at many restaurants and cafés - Café Gourmand is an espresso served with three small desserts. Perfect for an afternoon 'pick me up'. 

TASTE: bitter espresso, almonds and custard, sweet and silky milk chocolate sauce and rich gooey dark chocolate cake with a sprinkle of icing sugar. Cycling snacks don't get much better than this.

By the end of the day we were pretty tired and decided it was time to take a quick nap. We deserved it with all that exercise.

The important stuff:
  • Bike hire is actually pretty cheap in Nice. I paid just 14 euros for 24 hours.
  • The cycle paths are really amateur friendly in and around Nice. Clearly signposted, off the actual road and with lots of room.
  • Depending on your level of fitness and ambition you can go quite far in one day. Hubby and I cycled from Central Nice all the way to Antibes and back in just an afternoon going at quite a leisurely pace, and stopping for a three-course meal along the way.

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14 comments

  1. Oh yes, that café gourmand :-) ! Yummy !!!
    The french riviera is indeed nice for cycling - beautiful landscape - it's just not everywhere very safe for cyclists... The french tend to ride like madmen... I always am a little scared cycling over there..

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    1. I think maybe you just need to embrace your inner madman too? ;) I really enjoyed the cycling. It felt great to get some exercise while on holiday!

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  2. Sounds like the perfect way to explore and lovely photos, as always!
    Have a great week. :)

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  3. That actually sounds like a fantastic idea! I walked from one end of La Promenade des Anglaises to the other but I think it would be really nice on a bike. I'll have to try next time I'm there :)
    www.looking-glass.ca

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    1. Yay! Glad I inspired someone. Let me know how you get on Maria.

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  4. Can I skip biking and move to dessert? ;)

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  5. This sounds delicious, if only I could cycle for more than around 20minutes... I love how you've written up the experience!

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    1. Thanks Emma. Hope all is good with you :)

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  6. That cafe gourmand looks amazing - why have I never heard of this?! Sweets and coffee - I bet I could even be convinced to bike ride for it...

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    1. Next time your in France make sure you try it out!! :)

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  7. Hi Claire! New follower here. I've just been catching up with your latests posts & this one really brings back some memories! I spent a couple of days in Nice last year during the summer & we ended up cycling pretty much everywhere. Riding along the seafront in the summer was just perfect & we actually ended up in Cafe Gourmand one afternoon, the one not far from the port, on the recommendation of a friend. It was a wonderful trip. Thanks so much for reminding me off it! :) x

    http://ablogbyrobert.com

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    1. Hi Robert!! Thanks for your comments and yay for new followers! Hope you are enjoying my blog and feel free to come back and share some of your own travel experiences with me. Isn't Nice just beautiful!

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