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Where to buy a French property if you love cycling

PUBLISHED: 13:29 25 July 2018 | UPDATED: 14:07 25 July 2018

Find a home in France where you can cycle from your door - like on the Canal du Midi in Toulouse ©therry - iStock/GettyImagesPlus

Find a home in France where you can cycle from your door - like on the Canal du Midi in Toulouse ©therry - iStock/GettyImagesPlus

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Are you a keen cyclist looking for a house in France? Make sure you add these areas to your househunting list if you want to be able to get on your bike and enjoy a beautiful ride straight from home

Cycle through and around Saumur in the Loire Valley ©fotoluk1983 - Getty Images/iStockphotoCycle through and around Saumur in the Loire Valley ©fotoluk1983 - Getty Images/iStockphoto

BEST FOR GENTLE CYCLING

The Loire Valley, Centre-Val-de-Loire

The Valley of Kings and their former châteaux has lovely cycling routes through gently undulating vineyards and along the river. You can cycle parts of the great Loire à Vélo from your doorstep and explore the châteaux too.

Average house prices :

Loiret : €148,000

Loir-et-Cher : €110,000

Indre-et-Loire : €165,000

Maine-et-Loire : €140,000

The Canal du Midi towpaths are perfect for relaxed and gently cycling ©jazzpote - Getty Images/iStockphotoThe Canal du Midi towpaths are perfect for relaxed and gently cycling ©jazzpote - Getty Images/iStockphoto

The Canal du Midi, Occitanie

Cycling from village to village by following the historic Canal du Midi on its well-maintained tow paths shaded by centuries-old plan trees has to be one of the best every day commutes there is.

Average house prices:

Hérault : €214,700

Aude: €131,000

Haute-Garonne: €231,000

The Gironde à Vélo cycling route goes through the Landes forest ©Sophie Gardner-RobertsThe Gironde à Vélo cycling route goes through the Landes forest ©Sophie Gardner-Roberts

Gironde, Nouvelle-Aquitaine

The newly created Gironde à Vélo loop that takes in the varied landscapes of the department and the Bordelais area further afield has brought along several new cycling paths making it easy to hop on your bike from home. The paths are flat, easy and go through the stunning Landes forest, Bordeaux vineyards and along the Atlantic coast.

Average house prices:

Gironde: €235,000

Cycle through the vineyards near Beaune in Burgundy ©Alain Doire-BFC TourismeCycle through the vineyards near Beaune in Burgundy ©Alain Doire-BFC Tourisme

Northern Burgundy, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

The vineyards and gently rolling hills of Burgundy make for fantastic cycling on small, quiet roads that pass through old and typically French wine-making villages.

Average house prices:

Yonne: €115,000

Côte d’Or: €165,000

The Mercantour park and its breathtaking landscapes are perfect for cycling in the Hautes-Alpes ©RCerruti - Getty Images/iStockphotoThe Mercantour park and its breathtaking landscapes are perfect for cycling in the Hautes-Alpes ©RCerruti - Getty Images/iStockphoto

BEST FOR ROAD CYCLING

Hautes-Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur

Featuring regularly in the Tour de France route, the mountains passes in the Hautes-Alpes are challenging but excellent road cycling routes. The views along the way make the effort worthwhile and, in the summer, the ‘Cols Réservés’ events shuts the routes to cars as the passes are given over to cyclists.

Average house price:

Hautes-Alpes: €198,000

Defeat the mighty Tourmalet pass on your bike from your home in the Pyrenean mountains ©Tourisme Grand TourmaletDefeat the mighty Tourmalet pass on your bike from your home in the Pyrenean mountains ©Tourisme Grand Tourmalet

Pyrénées mountains, Occitanie

The Pyrenean routes are legend in the cycling world and many of the ascents also feature every year in the Tour de France. If you buy a house in the area, you could train almost every day to reach the top of the many iconic mountain passes.

Average house price:

Hautes-Pyrénées: €135,300

Pyrénées-Atlantiques: €207,000

Road cycling routes in Isère include the famous Alpe d'Huez ascent ©Laurent Salino-Alpe d'Huez TourismeRoad cycling routes in Isère include the famous Alpe d'Huez ascent ©Laurent Salino-Alpe d'Huez Tourisme

Isère, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

This mountainous department is famed for its excellent ski resorts and tough passes favoured by cyclists – you’ll have heard of the iconic Alpe d’Huez ascent with its 21 hairpin turns. Encompassing the southern tip of the Alps and the Vercors Massif, the area is great cycling country on twisting mountain roads

Average house price:

Isère: €213,900

A cycling day out in the Luberon hills in Vaucluse ©Clotilde Arnaud-Colombe ProductionA cycling day out in the Luberon hills in Vaucluse ©Clotilde Arnaud-Colombe Production

Petit Lubéron, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur

This stunning area of Vaucluse in Provence has some great cycling routes on offer through the Petit Lubéron valley with short sections of steep climbing and great downhill sections too. The recently created Via Rhôna is also in the area.

Average house price:

Vaucluse: €215,000

Mountain biking in the Livradois-Forez park in Auvergne ©J. Damase- Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes TourismeMountain biking in the Livradois-Forez park in Auvergne ©J. Damase- Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes Tourisme

BEST FOR MOUNTAIN BIKING

Auvergne, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

The dormant volcanoes and mountain ranges of Auvergne make for fantastic mountain biking for all levels, particularly in the green forests of the Livradois-Forez regional park.

Average house price:

Puy-de-Dôme: €156,000

Haute-Loire: €105,500

Cantal : €81,300

Go mountain biking in the Jura mountains, here at the Col de Charbemènes in the Jura ©will_cyclistGo mountain biking in the Jura mountains, here at the Col de Charbemènes in the Jura ©will_cyclist

Jura mountains, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

The Jura mountains, lower than the Alps but not less exciting, have plenty of thrilling mountain biking trails that take you on the banks of the area’s many lakes. Or you could tackle the Grande Traversée du Jura which takes you through forests, meadows and along high crest.

Average house price:

Doubs: €165,000

Jura: €128,900

Ain: €196,000

Mountain biking around Tartonne in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence ©Eric Olive-flickrMountain biking around Tartonne in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence ©Eric Olive-flickr

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur

This lesser-known area squeezed between the Alps and Provence has some hair-raising trails that require quite a bit of technique. The Vallée de l’Ubaye is particularly breathtaking but there are a number of Grandes Traversées you can do too.

Average house price:

Alpes-de-Haute-Provence: €185,000

Coastal and mountain mountain bike paths abound in Pyrénées-Orientales ©Damocean - Getty Images/iStockphotoCoastal and mountain mountain bike paths abound in Pyrénées-Orientales ©Damocean - Getty Images/iStockphoto

Pyrénées-Orientales, Occitanie

Mountain biking trails can be found in the Pyrenean ski resorts such as Font Romeu but tracks here are a little more accessible to all levels of mountain bikers with hundreds of kilometres of wide valley paths as well as great coastal paths to mountain bike on.

Average house price:

Pyrénées-Orientales: €168,500

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