Before we go on let me make an important point - Cyclecamping isn't the poor relation of the hotel holidays. The experience is quite different and for many people cyclecamping is the 'real thing' when it comes to cycling holidays and can easily become addictive:-)
Cycle camping is our first love and our own holidays are spent in the saddle (along with three children!) cycling in France - this plus our 24 years running Breton Bikes mean we probably know as much about cycle camping in France as anyone else alive. We believe that France is the finest country in the world for cycle camping as the network of high quality campsites is immense, even in areas rarely visited by tourists there is usually a campsite every 10 miles or so. This mixture of fine infrastructure, quiet roads and of course the wonderful Breton scenery is the basis of our business. Of course cyclecamping is also a wonderful holiday if you have children...
First you have to get to our base in Gouarec but once there you are in our hands. With our experience and local knowledge we are able to give you a route plan of the "turn left at the third bar in the village" variety, which will take you from campsite to campsite. The sites we use are generally the smaller quiet ones, but all will have hot showers and decent toilets. They are also almost always near a village or town, with a restaurant/hotel within easy walking range. And of course we supply everything you need. One thing to remember is that if you do fancy a night of luxury, all you need do is call us 'en route' and ask us to book you a night in a hotel, then you just pay the hotel directly when you leave - simple...
They say a picture paints a thousand words, but a film does even more and to be honest I can't do better than this film from 1998 (yes that long ago). That year the famous BBC 'Holiday Programme' decided to try one of our camping holidays and so sent Kate Humble over to Brittany find out what it was all about. Below you'll see that recording from Youtube, of course it's old, but it still gives a really good idea of what we offer so is worth watching as a general overview. Since 1998 there have been a few changes - we no longer automatically book the ferry as there's far more choice now, the bikes and tents are better, but otherwise the holidays are unchanged - if it 'aint bust...
We offer two sorts of camping - the moving on tours as described by Kate Humble, or fixed-centre but both start at our base at Gouarec in central Brittany - you can also click here to see what happens when you arrive
Because the network of campsites in Brittany is so huge we can offer a route to every corner of the region. They vary from a week spent at our local campsite, with circular routes around the area, to a two week dash taking in the north and south coast, and a lot of the centre. In-between the two are more than ten tours through Brittany each with its own charm. We do not book or pay for the campsites in advance, so in fact if you wish we can simply supply you with a map, campsite guide and say "see you in two weeks!"
You pay for the campsites when you arrive at each one, the cost varies between about 3-10 Euro a night (coastal sites being more expensive). In total you need to allocate between 20 and 50 Euro per adult per week for campsite fees - this varies depending on route and make-up of your party, families with children generally paying less per person. This flexibility means that you don't need to book a particular route in advance, merely turn up and choose the one you fancy most and we'll print out a copy. If you want a complete list of all routes in Brittany then please have a look at the "routes" page. As for what you need to bring, we will send you advice on this, but read the article on 'The Rule of Three' to show you how little you need to carry.
What Tom Moriarty thought of French cyclecamping...
A brief extract..."Campgrounds were absolutely spotless. I have never seen anything like them for cleanliness in Canada or the States. I would be embarassed to bring any of the group over here for camping."
For 2013 we've bought large 5m canvas bell-tents for a real taste of old-fashioned camping - go here to read all about it!
1997's "Special" route in Normandy - please feel free to use it if you're DIYing a tour
Our usual tours are self-led and only in Brittany, but in September we run a very special led trip to other parts of France. Recent trips have taken us to the Loire, Auvergne, French Alps, Dordogne and French Pyrenees. These tours are very popular and usually have a fair number of regular Breton Bikers, some come every year. If you are interested please go to the Led Trips for 2013 for details.
Camping and rain.
The idea of camping in gorgeous weather is lovely - doing it in the rain seems a nightmare. The truth is that camping in the wet needs a bit of care in keeping dry (your tent won't leak and everything should be dry) and treating it as part of the adventure. Once out on the road it's mild so you don't get cold, and to be honest 'shower dodging' and diving into bars and restaurants is all part of the fun. But we understand that in the unlikely event of having two or three days non-stop rain you might have lost your sense of humour... Fear not - all you need do is give us a call and ask us to book you in for a night to dry out in a hotel - we book you in (there's always one en-route) and you just pay the hotel direct. We don't charge for this - it's just part of the service. The most important thing (especially for fixed centre people), is NOT to sit in a tent waiting for the rain to stop. Just ignore it and get out in it and you'll find that in the end you will have just as much fun as if it were sunny. Honest - as our own cyclecamping holidays have to be taken out of season in April and October we frequently face the problem and just get on with it.
See Breton Bikes new venture! For those wanting a place to drive their sportscar...!