Rural France is renowned for its slow pace of life, but if you go at the right time, you'll enjoy some of the fastest action on two wheels. The Tour de France, the world's most prestigious bicycle race, takes place every July over about three weeks. It's a different route every year, but some features never change: the riders take on the gruelling slopes of the Alps and Pyrénées, and cross the finish line on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, having pedalled through about 3500 kilometres of great French countryside.
If you're not racing, you can always stand by the road and cheer on your favourite team. To see riders performing under some truly testing conditions, take a spot on Mont Ventoux. To find a home nearby, just use our map to search for "Mont Ventoux".
Photo: Christopher Voitus