Discover the alternative Tour de France with Expedia.co.uk

July 2016: Every Tour route juggles logistics, history and the need for enthralling racing. If these tick your holiday wishlist but you’re looking to steer clear of the tourist traps and avoid breaking the bank, Expedia.co.uk has put together its top unusual French towns to explore by bike. Experience something different and take advantage of the amazing summer deals Expedia has to offer over the next few weeks!

  • 1.Nantes in the department of Loire–Atlantique: 200 miles of cycle paths

Travel back in time with a visit to the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. Housed within a formidable fortress, the castle stands right in the heart of the city. If history doesn’t take your fancy, why not check out some of the stunning 18th and 19th-century architecture the Graslin neighbourhood has to offer with a bike ride to Place Royal, cours Cambronne and the unmissable passage Pommeraye. Afterwards, take a much needed rest bite at the Hangar à Bananes!

The beautiful Charente-Maritime is nestled in the heart of the Atlantic coast with a maritime tradition that can be seen everywhere. With a fishing port, marina, Old Port, aquarium and maritime museum, the whole city revolves around the sea. Cyclists will be able to enjoy the iodine tang up to the central market, whilst La Rochelle is also a famous seaside resort: golden sand, water sports, seaside promenades and no fewer than three beaches, where you can leave the bike behind and enjoy a relaxed walk across the warm sand.

Why not explore the beautiful little town of Tarn-et-Garonne which is renowned for using organic farming methods to produce authentic wine. Not far from Beaumont-de-Lomagne, Castelsarrasin offers cycle paths so you can stretch your legs a little after a few tastings of the good stuff.

Perpignan is full of delicious,southern-flavoured treats. This ‘land of plenty’ is home to a whole host of culinary delightsthat recall both the Pays d’Oc and Catalonia On where you can cycle and sample tasty morsels from the markets.

The former city of the popes, Avignon offers a rich heritage where visitors can lose themselves in the maze of picturesque streets and discover the charming buildings that add to the city’s cultural attraction. The Papal palace, the famous Pont Saint-Bénezet and the city’s many churches and museums will delight history buffs, art lovers and those who like to step back in time.

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