Cycling in the Var – Where to go and Where to Rent
The Var region is undoubtedly a beautiful area to holiday in, with numerous activities to keep visitors of all ages interested. Many of our South France villa rental guests have asked us about cycling in the local area and where they can rent bikes. As a cycling destination, it is a fantastic area to discover for tourists of all levels, from beginners, to those who might fancy a shot at the Tour de France. Having spent the past month being inspired and awed by the impressive feats managed in the Tour, we have looked into a few of the best cycle paths in our local area and at the bottom of the article we have outlined a few places from which bikes are available for hire.
Cycling in the Var is fairly easily accessible. In total there are 22 paths to follow, ranging from by the coast to further north near the Gorges du Verdon. Those staying in one of our coastal villas might like to take the coastal cycle path, which runs along the old railway line from Six-Fours-les-Plages west of Toulon to Saint Raphael. There is also a small natural park behind the beach at Fréjus which is a marshy area. You can follow the natural park around and take a closer look at the swamp by bike – don’t worry, it is on a good concrete path!
Further into the beautiful hinterland of the Var, a perched village tour by bike is possible, though it does involve more climbing than the coastal paths. Perhaps one of the best cycle routes is to finish at the Lac St Cassien, where you can immediately cool off with a dip in the lake. Whilst involving a stretch on the main road, a cycle from Montauroux or Fayence down to the lake is very feasible. The way back may be slightly more difficult with hills, and again you will have to pay attention around corners. However, from the centre of Montauroux to the lake is around a 4-5km ride and can be done taking either the D37 or the back roads. Once at the lake, it is possible to do a tour around it as well following the main road or a variety of back roads.
Finally, to amalgamate a cycle tour with a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of the mainland, you can rent a bike on the Ile de Porquerolles and discover forest paths away from any cars. On the island you can rent the bikes either for the full day or half day depending on how long you are looking to stay. While the path is rocky and with the occasional climb, you can go at a slow pace if necessary. The island is around 6km long, so a bike will help you discover a lot more than you could on foot. The best beach on the island is around 2km from the port, which, again, is a much more manageable distance on two wheels compared to two feet. On the Ile de Porquerolles, you will find the bike rental shops in the main town, just once you disembark from the ferry. There is a tourist office on the quay for any further guidance.
We must finish with a bit of a warning. Be careful out on the roads as there are many windy roads, so do be careful around corners where drivers tend to go fast. Cycling is certainly one activity for which we would recommend going as a group, as you are much more easily spotted by other road users.
If you are looking to rent a bike for a week or any specific length of time, below are some of the bike rental agencies in the region.
Hyères (This website is in French) Prices start from 12 Euro per day for an adult and 59 Euro for a week’s rental.
Montauroux – New Bike is open from Tuesday to Saturday (9am – 12:30am/14:30 – 19:00) and on Monday from 14:30 – 19:00. They are located in the Centre Sirius, 562 Route Départmentale, 834440, Montauroux.
Fréjus (Also in French) Prices start from 15 Euro per day for an adult.