Cycling enthusiasts, take a trip across France and discover the country’s cultural and natural treasures along the Scandibérique cycle route. The Scandibérique is the French part of EuroVelo 3, a 5,400 km European cycle route linking Trondheim (in Norway) to Santiago de Compostela (in Spain). The section that runs through the French capital and its surroundings is a highlight of the cycle route.
This section totalling around 55 km links the town of Bondy in Seine-Saint-Denis to Corbeil-Essonnes in the Essonne, passing through Paris. You cycle into Paris via the Parc de la Villette (Philharmonie de Paris, Musée de la musique, the Zénith, Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie…) along the Canal de l’Ourcq. Along the way into the capital, look out for two striking buildings, the Grands Moulins building and the Magasins généraux building, close to Pantin.
The Canal de l’Ourcq then takes you towards the La Villette canal basin and the start of the Canal Saint-Martin, alongside which you’ll enjoy a delightful typically Parisian cycle ride. Don’t hesitate to take a mini detour to see the former Récollets convent or the superb quadrangle courtyard of the hospital Saint-Louis.
Next, cycle on to rejoin the Seine – a short distance from the Louvre Museum – and cross the Île de la Cité where you can admire the facades of the Sainte-Chapelle and the Conciergerie as well as the chevet of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral. Continue along the Seine riverbanks (on the right bank), reserved for non-motorized traffic.
You arrive in Val-de-Marne where the rivers Seine and Marne meet. Between Charenton-le-Pont and Alfortville is the complex Huatian Chinagora - reminiscent of the Forbidden City in Pekin. Cross over to the other bank of the Seine to continue in a southerly direction through a succession of converted industrial wasteland and green areas.
A section of around 4 hours that reveals a huge diversity of the landscape and atmosphere of the Paris region - a mix of urban areas, industrial heritage, cultural heritage, and bucolic natural landscapes.
From Paris, if you head north-east on the Scandibérique towards Belgium, you will cycle through the Parc Naturel Régional Oise - Pays de France, where you’ll find the Château de Chantilly, Parc Astérix theme park, the city of Senlis and, farther on, the splendid town of Compiègne. The Scandibérique finishes at the Belgian border, but experienced cyclists can continue towards Aix-la-Chapelle, Cologne, Hamburg or even Oslo.
From Paris, in the direction of the south-west of France, the cycle route first passes through the Forest of Fontainebleau and its famous chateau, once home to Francois I and Napoleon I. From here, a grand tour of France awaits you: Orléans, Blois, Tours and Angoulême though part of the Loire Valley, then Charentes, before arriving at Bordeaux and its vineyards, and the pine forests of Gascogny. The Scandibérique cycle route finishes in the Pyrénées, at Saint Jean-Pied-de-Port. And you can always cross the border into Spain and continue pedalling as far as Santiago de Compostella!
Most of the cycle route is signposted. However, there are a few sections where signs have yet to be put in place. The Scandibérique is suitable for families.
You will find, accommodation providers (Yves Robert Youth Hostel in the 18th arrondissement of Paris and the hotel Holiday Inn Express Paris - Canal de La Villette in the 19th arrondissement of Paris), restaurants, places to visit, tourist offices and bike-hire and bike-repair service providers (Paulette and Paris à Vélo) accredited with the quality mark ‘Accueil Vélo’, which guarantees a quality welcome and a high standard of services for cyclists, within close proximity to the Scandibérique cycle route.
More info on the Scandibérique
More info on the cycling route and the sections of the Scandibérique
More info on reaching the Scandibérique via Belgium
More info on reaching the Scandibérique via Spain
More info on the EuroVélo 3
The Scandibérique on social networks:
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