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France Tours 2024 Cruises

  • Start Date Select Month June 2024 July 2024 August 2024 September 2024 October 2024 November 2024 December 2024 January 2025 February 2025 March 2025 April 2025 May 2025 June 2025 July 2025 August 2025 September 2025 October 2025 November 2025 December 2025 January 2026 February 2026 March 2026 April 2026 May 2026 June 2026 OR, More specific start
  • Challenging
  • Barge Cruising
  • Food & Wine
  • Most Popular
  • Private Yacht Charter
  • River Cruises
  • Wildlife & Safari Exploration
  • Adventure Options
  • Archaeological Site Visits
  • Christmas Market Visits
  • Cooking Classes
  • Festival Visits
  • Land & Sea Exploration
  • Local Market Visits
  • Northern Lights
  • Scuba Diving
  • Small Ship Cruises
  • Small Ship Sailing
  • Spa Relaxation
  • Urban Exploration
  • Village Visits
  • Wilderness Lodge Exploration
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Wine Tasting
  • Avalon Expression
  • Avalon Imagery II
  • Avalon Panorama
  • Avalon Poetry II
  • Avalon Tapestry II
  • Avalon Tranquility II
  • Avalon Vista
  • Emerald Dawn
  • Emerald Liberté
  • Emerald Sky
  • Emerald Sun
  • L'Art de Vivre
  • L’Impressionniste
  • La Belle Epoque
  • Le Bougainville
  • Le Commandant Charcot
  • Le Dumont-d'Urville
  • MS Amacello
  • MS Amacerto
  • MS Amadante
  • MS Amadolce
  • MS Amakristina
  • MS Amalucia
  • MS Amaprima
  • MS Amaserena
  • MS AmaSiena
  • MS Beethoven
  • MS Botticelli
  • MS Gérard Schmitter
  • MS L'Europe
  • MS La Boheme
  • MS Lafayette
  • MS Leonard De Vinci
  • MS Loire Princesse
  • MS Rhone Princess
  • MS Seine Princess
  • MS Symphonie
  • MS Victor Hugo
  • MV La Belle des Océans
  • Renaissance
  • River Empress
  • River Queen
  • Royal Clipper
  • S.S. Antoinette
  • S.S. Bon Voyage
  • S.S. Catherine
  • S.S. Joie de Vivre
  • S.S. Victoria
  • Scenic Crystal
  • Scenic Diamond
  • Scenic Opal
  • Scenic Sapphire
  • Viking River Cruises
  • World Navigator
  • World Traveller

The Enchanting Rhine - From Zurich to Amsterdam

  • Enjoy panoramic views of Zürich
  • Walk along Lucerne's famous streets
  • Visit the iconic Heidelberg Castle
  • Admire Amsterdam's beauty

Mount Blanc Hiking Adventure

  • Enjoy the view of Chamonix
  • Hike the Mont Blanc
  • Admire the Bioniassay glacier
  • Explore Courmayeur Alpine resort
  • Hike the old trail valley in Trient

Colors of Provence - Cruise Only

  • Tour the highlights of Lyon, France
  • Stop at the home of a local vintner
  • Learn about olive farming tradition
  • Take the Artist Experience tour

Taste of Bordeaux - Cruise Only

  • Explore Bordeaux, a UNESCO Site
  • Taste distinguished French wine
  • Tour the Château Latour wine estate
  • Visit Libourne's colorful market

European Canal Cruises

  • Visit Chateaus
  • Experience locally-produced wine
  • Visit Leonardo Da Vinci's home

Highlights of Normandy & The Seine

  • Be amazed with the town of Conflans
  • Explore the Rouen Cathedral
  • Visit Normandy Cemetery
  • Enjoy Giverny and Monet’s garden

Paris & Normandy

  • Visit the Château de La Roche-Guyon
  • Walk through the city of Rouen
  • Experience Honfleur by foot
  • Tour Paris with expert guides

Get Away From It All: An Emotional Journey from Saone-et-Loire to the Cote d'Or

  • Discover Santenay
  • Enjoy Chalon-sur-Saône wines
  • Explore Petit-Ouges
  • Visit Burgundy vineyards

Southern Burgundy Cruise

  • Visit Clos de Vougeot
  • Private wine tastings & Tours
  • Tour Dijon and its markets
  • Explore Château de Bussy-Rabutin
  • Visit to Beaune
  • Lunch at Château de Beaune
  • Visit Châteauneuf-en-Auxois
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Towpath for walking and cycling

Corsican Cruise

  • Discover Corsica
  • Cruise the coast of Gulf of Porto
  • Visit Calanques de Piana
  • Explore the Balagne Region

Classic Cruise - Canal du Midi

  • Tour the medieval city Carcassonne
  • Wine tasting at a local château
  • Visit Pezenas
  • Pass through the Fonserannes locks
  • Visit Narbonne
  • Cross the Orb canal bridge
  • Walking and cycling

European Classic Cruise - Gascony, France

  • Cruise Pont Canal du Cacor
  • Visit to Château de Goudourville
  • Tour the castle of Nerac
  • Taste the wines of the region

European Classic Cruise - Bordeaux

  • Tour Saint Emilion
  • Visit Château de Duras
  • Visit the Bastide village
  • Taste the local wines of Bordeaux
  • Cruise across the Agen aqueduct

Burgundy & Provence

  • Enjoy a visit to ruins in Tarascon
  • Tour the Rue de Doux old city
  • Learn about silk weaving at Lyon
  • Tour of the historic city of Dijon
  • Visit Château de Germolles
  • Tour Château de Chamirey
  • Eat lunch at a Michelin restaurant
  • Tour of ancient Autun
  • Walk and bike to explore

European Classic Cruise - Upper Loire & Western Burgundy

  • Visit Château de la Bussière
  • Cruise the aqueduct at River Loire
  • Enjoy wine tasting

European Classic Cruise - Alsace & Lorraine

  • Tour Strasbourg
  • Explore Route des Vins d'Alsace
  • Visit the Meteor Brewery
  • Tour Sarrebourg

Paris to Normandy

  • See the Astronomical Clock
  • Visit the gothic Rouen Cathedral
  • Stroll through the heart of Paris

Top France Travel Destinations

  • French Riviera
  • Mediterranean
  • Moselle River
  • Rhine River
  • Rhone River
  • Seine River

France Trips by Departure Date

  • 2024 France trips (131)
  • 2025 France trips (81)
  • July 2024 (80)
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  • September 2024 (81)
  • October 2024 (75)
  • May 2025 (45)
  • June 2025 (41)
  • August 2025 (44)
  • September 2025 (41)
  • October 2025 (43)

Top Experiences in France

  • France Cruises (158)
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  • France Luxury (52)
  • France Cultural (46)
  • France Food & Wine (37)
  • France Barge Cruising (21)
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  • France Active (5)
  • France Family (3)
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France Trips by Duration

  • 5 day trips (11)
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  • 11 day trips (13)
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  • 16 day trips (4)

France Trips by Activity

  • France wine tasting (73)
  • France village visits (70)
  • France biking (66)
  • France small ship cruises (53)
  • France urban exploration (44)
  • France local market visits (40)
  • France hiking (39)
  • France archaeological site visits (18)
  • France small ship sailing (15)
  • France christmas market visits (15)
  • France cooking classes (8)
  • France wildlife viewing (7)
  • France land & sea exploration (6)
  • France spa relaxation (4)

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France tours

Discovering the icons in Paris, soaking up the sun on the French Riviera, visiting the châteaux of the Loire Valley—see every side of this France on one of our escorted tours.

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What travelers say about their trips to France

Travel tips for france trips.

While it's a relatively temperate country, France's weather ranges significantly from region to region. Many consider the best times to travel to France to be spring and fall, when temperatures are more moderate. In Paris for example, spring and fall temperatures are in the 50s, 60s, and 70s F, perfect for walking around sites like the Tuileries, Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and Versailles. The comfortable weather paired with smaller crowds, more relaxed locals, and seasonal festivals and flavors make these in-between seasons particularly lovely times for a trip to France.

In the warmer summer months, parks, picnics, farmers markets, and outdoor festivals are especially lively. In winter, the weather gets colder and wetter (though there's not much snow in major cities like Paris), but there's still lots to do! You'll find festive holiday decorations, great museums, and more.

France is a diverse country, from the historic beaches in Normandy and Brittany on the northern coast, to the foodie-favored wine regions of Champagne and Burgundy, to the lavish châteaux of the Loire Valley. Plus, as you travel east, the influence of Switzerland and Germany can be felt in the food, architecture, and history in Alsace.

When picking which of our France guided tours is right for you, let your interests help drive your destination selection.

  • Want to experience art, romance, and culture? Paris should be on your itinerary, so you can take in the icons like Notre-Dame, the Eiffel Tower, Luxembourg Gardens, and more.
  • If you’re a foodie who counts food and wine as a top traveling priority, check out our guided tours that visit Burgundy, Lyon, or Bordeaux.
  • History buffs, your must-visits include Normandy and Paris.
  • For those who love to be outdoors soaking in the scenery, be sure to check out Provence in the south, where medieval towns and artistic cities are sandwiched between the mountains of the Alps and the sea breeze of the Mediterranean.

In France, eating is an art form. Meals are meant to savored—shared among friends, enjoyed with local wines, and made up of fresh, seasonal ingredients. While the cuisine ranges throughout the country, you’ll always find a focus on local, in-season ingredients. Here are a couple of things to know when sitting down for a meal during your trip to France.

  • Breakfast, called le petit déjeuner, is generally light, like a croissant or bread with jam and coffee.
  • Lunch, or le déjeuner, was traditionally a two-hour, several-course affair where people took time to relax and unwind with friends. In today’s society, something quicker and more casual—like soup, salad, or sandwiches at a cafe—is very commonplace.
  • Dinner, or le diner, is served around eight or later and can be made up of several courses. Typically, it starts with the appetizer, or l ’entrée , followed by the main course, or l e plat principal , followed by a cheese course and dessert. And remember, be sure to ask for your check when you're done—it's considered rude for wait staff to bring it to your table unrequested. Bon appétit!

The French are famous for their style, so deciding what to pack for a trip to France requires some consideration. Our escorted tours to France incorporate a fair amount of walking as local guides take you around their hometowns, so comfortable walking shoes are a must.

For the building blocks of your France vacation wardrobe, pack easy-to-layer pieces that can be mixed and matched in various ways—neutrals or a cohesive color palette helps a lot! Add in a versatile scarf—perfect for staying warm on flights and afternoon walks, as well as adding a pop of color to simple outfits. Beyond that, we’d recommend your camera, a notebook to jot down any fun facts or book recommendations your Tour Director might share, and a sense of adventure. Once you book one of our France guided tours, you can find a packing list for that specific trip in our easy Tour Companion App.

Need help narrowing down our France tours?

See the latest from our travelers @goaheadtours.

tours of france 2024

The Good Life France

Everything You Want to Know About France and More...

Best Tours of France 2024

  • Janine Marsh
  • Tours in France

tours of france 2024

If you’re planning a visit to France – we’ve handpicked the best tours of France for 2024 with the most scrumptious food and wine, tours that let you experience France like a local and that will give you cherished memories to last a lifetime…

We’ve picked the best and most fabulous tours in France where the experience is built around the things YOU want to see and do.

Small Group tours of France

Each and every private tour is unique and for small groups and enable you to tour at a relaxed pace whilst packing plenty into the itinerary so that you enjoy the trip of a lifetime.

Unlike tours that rush you around like herds of sheep without time to relish the sights and wonderful food and wines for which France is famous and you’ve travelled so far to experience – these tours are designed to ensure you fully savour your time in France. Whether you’re a lover of chateaux, culture, gourmet cuisine, wonderful wines, gorgeous countryside, the prettiest villages, history, culture, want to learn the language and more – these tours of France are the best.

tours of france 2024

Tours for those who love the authentic

Discover southern France – from captivating Carcassonne to magical Montpellier and the postcard-pretty blooming lovely lavender fields of Provence, as well as Normandy, Bordeaux and Dordogne.  On these luxury, small group tours you’ll get to experience France like a local, indulge in the best gastronomy and wine, and discover the beauty and culture of France… www.tripusafrance.com

Day trips and tour packages all over France, plus brilliant shore excursions

Ophorus Tours are a French family run business with a huge choice of tours from fun and informative guided walking city tours to very carefully crafted multi regional packages, wine tasting, cycling and themed tours all over France as well as day trips from Paris. Their aim is to show you France as they believe it should be shown – authentic, colourful and friendly. www.ophorus.com

Tailor-made tours

Osprey Boutique Travel create unique, exclusive and authentic travel experiences. Their handcrafted, tailor-made itineraries are meticulously customized to each client’s preferences, based on personally tested experiences and native French expertise. They specialize in offering white-glove service with managing every detail from bookings, arrangements, and care. With Osprey, expect access to unparalleled experiences at prestigious wineries and Michelin-starred restaurants, creating a lifetime journey. Find out more: ospreybt.com

Tours of France by train

Authentic Europe’s independent and partly escorted package tours by train are a superb way to explore France. From Paris to the sunny Mediterranean, the vineyards of Burgundy, the chateaux of the Loire Valley, Normandy and more incredible places – the extensive French train network makes it easy to explore every corner of France. Authentic Europe organise accommodation, book your train tickets and provide you with a comprehensive itinerary. All tours are customisable to suit you. Some tours include guided visits, and they always include a great list of recommended visits for self-guided tours so you get to see what you want. Find out more and book your tour of France at: authentic-europe.com

Battlefield tours and historical travel experiences

tours of france 2024

Tailor-made historical travel experiences by a family-run specialist tour operator creates exceptional WWI and WWII battlefields tours across France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Sophie’s Great War Tours will research the history and background of soldiers so that each battlefield tour is a personal historical experience. Add on experiences to suit you, such as chateau visits in the Loire, Champagne tastings in Champagne or a classic car tour in Provence. Every itinerary is designed to be perfect – for you. sophiesgreatwartours.com

CroisiEurope – the very best cruises in France

CroisiEurope are the largest cruise operator in France, and their tours are unbeatable. Sail France’s rivers and canals and the Mediterranean Sea. Discover the culture, gastronomy and cultural wealth of France. Enjoy all-inclusive life onboard with the finest food and wines and fabulous excursions that transport you to the heart of France. There’s no worrying about having to drive, make a train connection or travel delays. There’s no queuing for tickets to major sites. All you have to do is relax, enjoy the wonderful gastronomy, and get to see the best of France – in style.

There are a fabulous range of cruises in France by barge and boat (even a paddle ship on the Loire), including Paris, (from 2 days to 7 days, departure point near the Eiffel Tower) that take in the city sights. Also starting from Paris are several cruises including to Normandy – Honfleur, Rouen and Giverny where you’ll visit Claude Monet’s house and garden; a romantic sites cruise, taking in castles, authentic medieval villages, historic sites and fabulous museums; French Impressionism cruise taking in the artists’ favourite haunts; and Oise Valley cruise. Utterly irresistible…   croisieurope.co.uk

Culture & cookery tours in Provence

tours of france 2024

Cooking classes with chefs in their homes where you’ll cook authentic French dishes. Shop at enchanting street markets with chefs, and dine at the most scrumptious restaurants in beautiful towns of Provence on this fully escorted, small group delicious and cultural trip of a lifetime. goutetvoyage.com

Immersion courses in the most beautiful places in France

SL Immersion offer French immersion courses in several areas. There are tailor-made lessons to suit each guest, you’ll stay in the home of a fully qualified and experienced tutor, and learn real French the way it’s spoken in France. You’ll quickly improve your French, and you’ll also have an unforgettable cultural experience with activities, cooking classes, sightseeing, wine tasting etc. slimmersion-france.com

Loire Valley Bike Tours – the very best way to travel

One of the best ways to visit the castles, vineyards, pretty little villages, historic towns and gorgeous gardens of the Loire Valley is on two wheels… Loire Brakes guided tours are relaxing (e-bikes provided), you’ll stay in a fabulously renovated comfortable and cosy farmhouse and visit the very best of the Loire Valley with local guides Denise and Kevin. A superb slow travel experience for those who like to discover real France and enjoy the most fabulous food and wine. loirebrakes.com

‘Real’ South of France Tours

tours of france 2024

Occitanie – formerly Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrenees – is to many the real south of France. It’s a land of hidden gems, postcard-pretty villages, historic giants like Carcassonne, and of lush vineyards where some of the very best wines in France are produced (tastings are included on the tours!). Take a 7-day, fully inclusive, small group guided tour, stay in an award-winning B&B, dine at hand-picked restaurants and discover the heart of this area and its innermost, delicious and fascinating secrets. Discover real France with ‘Real’ South of France Tours. realsouthoffrancetours.fr

Immersive French courses in Burgundy

10-day French immersion stays in Burgundy that will have you learning French in a fabulous and fun way. Stay in a gorgeous luxury chateau, experience the real French way of life, culture and gastronomy. Cooking lessons, wine tasting and guided tours by experts alongside lessons tailored to your level with friendly, qualified teachers make this a truly outstanding experience. lapont.com

Year round themed and bespoke small group tours of Provence

Small group tours and customized travelling to give you memories to last a lifetime. Discover the best of Provence: Lavender tours (there’s still room on the lavender and culture tour), truffle, grape harvest, and bespoke tours as well as chauffeur services for day trips or a lot longer. Emily Durand’s Private Provence tours are unique, exclusive and truly fabulous. yourprivateprovence.com

Luxury tours of Gascony, the Basque country, Provence and southern France

Nourish your soul and unleash your spirit of adventure on tours that feature the famous food, wine and Armagnac of Gascony, and discover where to find the best antique shops and flea markets, the most beautiful villages and magnificent chateaux. From one day to week-long tours that are customised for you. Plus tours of Provence, southern France and the Basque country. frenchcountryadventures.com

Luxury Holidays Cottages**** and Classic Car Tours, SW France

Cottages & Classics offer a range of options for holidays in a former 19 th  century Cognac Domaine in SW France. Choose from luxury self-catering holiday cottages, B&B mini breaks or bespoke, escorted fully catered tours for small groups of 4-12 guests. The “Cottages & Classics Experience” also includes the use of a 4 seater Morgan, perfect for touring the beautiful Charente & Charente Maritime regions through rolling vineyards, the historic towns of Cognac & Angouleme, the Atlantic beaches, La Rochelle and beautiful Ile de Ré. cottagesandclassics.com

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Refined culture and deep history

A rendezvous with a magnifique experience awaits! As cliché as it sounds, France truly has something for everyone. With over two dozen cities, each with their own nuances of the French culture and contributions to its history, architecture, art and last but not least, the gastronomical delights that the French are famous for throughout the world are yours to explore, experience and fall in love with during your stay. Coast to coast, border to border, there are seemingly endless variations on your French experience to be had. Rolling hills and scenic valleys lined with the fruit of the gods; seaside towns, along sandy beaches with views you just might be sharing with royalty; or maybe snowcapped mountain ranges providing some of the best skiing in the world and an adrenaline rush to match is what you seek. Whatever you decide, France easily makes you feel as if you have stepped out of reality and into the art you learned about and loved since you were a child.

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Destination Must-Sees

France ms1

This French capital is one of the world's greatest cities and certainly one of its most beautiful. The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre and Orsay Museums, the Champs Elysees, Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur, and many others are all iconic symbols of the "City of Light." Renowned for fabulous dining, high fashion and the French savoir faire, one can keep returning to Paris over a lifetime and still not see everything it has to offer.

Grasse France2022

Sitting on the French Riviera, north of Cannes, is a town that is an olfactory oasis. Set in the hills, Grasse is considered the perfume capital of the world. The town’s fields of jasmine, lavender, and other fragrant flowers are harvested to create essential oils for perfume production. Perfumers (known as a nez, or nose) in Grasse can teach you how to recognize different scents and how top notes, mid notes and the lingering base of a fragrance come together to create a magical aroma.

France ms3

At 370 acres or three-quarters of a square mile, the Principality of Monaco is the world's second smallest sovereign state. It sits in a scenic cliff-side location on the Mediterranean completely surrounded by French territory. This fairy tale of a country is headed by the Prince Sovereign, currently, Albert II, son of Rainier III and American actress Grace Kelly. Discover a place that is just as you imagined with opulent architecture, stunning coastal panoramas, chic boutiques and ritzy cars. Highlights of a visit include the Oceanographic Museum and the Prince's Palace as well as the Cathedral, the final resting place of the Principality's monarchs.

France ms4

A perfectly preserved medieval enclave of Roman origins, Avignon is set in the heart of France's Provence region on the banks of the Rhone River. For 68 years in the 14th century, Avignon was the capital of Christianity, the seat of 10 Popes before the papacy was brought back to Rome in 1377. Avignon has always been a center for art and culture, a designation that continues with its annual Arts Festival, hosting numerous stage productions, film showings, exhibitions, poetry readings, concerts, mime performances, ballets, and more.

Destination Must-Dos

France md1

Small-town touring:

Take a break from the City of Light and get a taste of old world France when spending time in countryside villages that look like they are plucked from a storybook. With many unique villages, each region has its own special qualities for you to experience. Travel through hilltops, rocky coasts and remarkable views while learning about the locals and their lifestyles.

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Omaha Beach:

This was one of the beach sectors assigned to the American landing forces during the invasion of June 6, 1944. It was here that the U.S. First Division fought the bloodiest engagement on D-Day. Go through the towns that make up the sector: St-Laurent, Colleville and Vierville. Set foot on the beach and reflect on that fateful day and cherish the present peace. The American Military Cemetery stands up on the bluff as a testament to the greatest sacrifice that these Americans have made in the name of freedom.

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Dinner at Eiffel Tower:

Put yourself in a scene from a movie; the lights of Paris glitter beneath you as you dine inside one of the world’s most iconic landmarks – the Eiffel Tower. Built in 1889 as part of the World's Fair by the architecture team of Gustave Eiffel, the Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris today. Located on the first level is 58 Tour Eiffel, a gourmet restaurant with stunning panoramic views of Paris. Since food is another big part of Parisian culture, the meal is several courses, beautifully displayed and accompanied with wine, coffee and tea.

France md4

Cabaret Theatre performance:

Immerse yourself in the nostalgic side of Parisian culture when taking your seat at a traditional cabaret show. Colorful, crazy, glamourous and intriguing are all used when describing the excitement that is Parisian cabarets. Enjoy your meal while being entertained with a show or play in this festive atmosphere.

Expert Advice

diana

In many places in France, wine costs less than water. Stay hydrated of course but this is also an affordable chance to try many different varieties of the best wine in the world.

France e2

Dinner at the Paradis Latin requires business casual attire; shorts are not allowed. This is your chance to get into the spirit of this exciting night.

France e3

The French eat lunch between noon and 2:30p.m. and dinner between 8-11p.m. Many restaurants close after lunch and do not open again until dinner time.

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tours of france 2024

France Tours & Holidays

Senanque Abbey with blooming lavender field in Provence on a sunny day with blue skies

There’s a reason France is the most visited country in the world. Actually, there are several.

The Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. The Pyrenees and Chamonix. Escargot and ratatouille. Champagne and croissants and berets and baguettes. Napoleon and Simone de Beauvoir and the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Jazz bars and vineyards and lavender fields as far as the eye can see. ‘Un petit peu’ of this, ‘un petit peu’ of that. A balmy evening on the French Riviera, a morning frost on the fields of the Somme. French flags flying after the FIFA World Cup. Guillotines falling after the French Revolution. Chanel and Chandon and Versailles and Vuitton. Forget the museums; this country is a work of art.

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France at a glance

Capital city.

Paris (population approximately 2.1 million)

Approximately 67 million

(GMT+01:00) Brussels, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris

CALLING CODE

Electricity.

Type C (European 2-pin) Type E (French 2-pin, female earth)

Learn more about France

Culture and customs.

What makes the French so, well, French? Is it the food? The wine? How about the art, the philosophy, the history, or the fierce passion often caricatured as arrogance? Whatever it is, it’s seduced Francophiles around the world for countless years and there’s no sign of it slowing down.

The French are lovers of life. They celebrate the ‘joie de vivre’, or joy of living, in every aspect of their day. Conversation should be meaningful; food should be rich and sumptuous; music should move you; art should change you.

Sure, there are the stereotypes of the French being rude, but you could be forgiven for your reluctance to speak English when you’re the most-visited country in the world. There are, after all, only so many times one can give directions to the Eiffel Tower. But sit down for dinner at a French person’s house and you’ll discover the opposite. France is a very liberal country and every topic is up for debate – dinner is just an entree for the conversation.

Much of France’s reputation rests on romanticised images of Paris. Sitting at a cafe on the Ile-St-Louis with a piping-hot croissant and cafe au lait, for example, or watching sunset from the steps of Sacre Coeur. But travel through France and you’ll find an incredibly diverse and multicultural country that changes so much between regions, from Marseille’s cultural melting pot to Biarritz’s surfers to the hardy mountain folk of the Pyrenees and Alps. 

Every region and valley, every coastline and ridgeline and three-hour line for the Louvre, will offer up something different. But remember, there’s one thing that doesn’t change no matter where you go: the unwavering belief that there’s nothing better than being French.

History and government

After the conquest of the Gauls and the fall of Rome, the area we know as France was dominated by a tribe known as the Franks. They were headed up by a brutal man named Charlemagne, whose mission was to convert all of   Europe  to Christianity. After Charlemagne’s death his empire was split into three, with West Francia corresponding to the modern territory of France.

The Hundred Years’ War

West Francia, which was really a patchwork of territories run by the dukes, had institutional power more or less centralised in the 12th century. As time went on the tension between France and England grew until the outbreak of the Hundred Years’ War, which actually lasted 116 years. Though France’s population was decimated during this period, thanks to both war and plague, it was also a formative time for the country’s national identity.

One of the key figures to come out of this long period of fighting was Joan of Arc, who is still a national hero in France. She was born in 1412, just after the Battle of Agincourt, during which the French were dominated by the English. As a young girl she heard the voices and saw visions of multiple saints, all of whom told her to go fight for Charles, the rightful king of France. At the age of 16 she travelled to his court to convince him of her mission and somehow did exactly that. She turned the tide of the war and in doing so was captured by the English and sentenced to death as a witch. Her ashes were scattered in the River Seine, but her story was never forgotten.

The French Revolution

Bad harvests, taxation, abject poverty and an unrestrained aristocracy sowed the seeds of the French Revolution in the 18th century. The Renaissance began in   Italy   and spread across Europe, ushering in the Age of Enlightenment, which spread the ideas of individual liberty, tolerance and the separation of church and state. In France, King Louis XVI had inherited a country in dire trouble but was still living it up at the Palace of Versailles. The peasants revolted and stormed the Bastille Prison – hence the national celebration of Bastille Day – and King Louis, along with Marie Antoinette, his queen, were captured and executed by guillotine. A decade of chaos ensued.

It was Napoleon, a military general, that took control of France following the revolution and established the Napoleonic Code, which has become the foundation for the development of most modern democracies. He embarked on military campaigns throughout Europe and was eventually defeated and exiled by the combined forces of   Russia   and Prussia, a northern state that would rise to power as a united Germany during the 19th and 20th centuries.

The World Wars

The 20th century was a horrific time for France with   Germany   invading the country twice. France suffered huge casualties during both WWI and WW2, and by 1945 it was on its knees. Further conflicts followed in colonial territories across Africa and Asia, which led to an influx of migration to France. In Europe, governments were dealing with the fallout from WWII and making agreements to avoid another conflict, from which the European Union was born.

France is now a leading power both in Europe and globally after a huge post-war effort to rebuild the country. It has the third-largest economy in the EU and is one of the most modern countries in the world, continuing to value liberty, fraternity and equality. Recent years have seen issues arise with the Islamic extremism and the European refugee crisis, but the country continues to grow and remains a thriving destination for tourism.

Eating and drinking

The gastronomic pleasures of France are world-renowned, so travellers won’t be worried about going hungry. There’s something to suit every budget here, from Michelin-star restaurants to market stalls and everything in between, and it’s not just frog legs and snails that are on the menu.

There’s simply no better buy than a fresh, crusty baguette. Buy one for less than a euro from the nearest bakery and take it down to the nearest park or river. Apply butter liberally, fill with whatever you like and bite into France – c’est magnifique!

Pastries, cakes and tarts

French chefs set the global quality benchmark for pastries so there’s no feeling guilty when you sample the croissants, eclairs, crepes, macaroons and whatever else you can get your hands on. Find them at your local patisserie and don’t forget to say merci (or mercy, depending on how many you eat).

If you’re going to indulge in a little wine, there’s no better place than France. It is, after all, home to some of the most famous wine regions in the world: Bordeaux, Burgundy, the Loire, Provence, Champagne. Whether you’re at the cellar door or on the restaurant floor (please, drink responsibly), there’s tasty tipple with your name on it.

When in France, right? From soft cheeses like brie and camembert to a hard, sharp Beaufort, it’s all on offer in France’s bountiful cheese shops and markets.

Beef Bourguignon

This beefy stew originates in Burgundy and is an example of a peasant dish now considered high-end cuisine. It’s prepared with beef braised in red wine and broth, flavoured with garlic, onions and mushrooms, and it’s absolutely perfect on a winter’s evening.

Geography and environment

Bordered by Spain,   Andorra , Luxembourg, Monaco, Switzerland, Italy, Germany and Belgium, France’s geography is as varied as its neighbours.  

In the south, the Pyrenees form a natural border with a   Spain . This mountain range rises over 3400 metres and stretches from the west coast to the east. It’s a hiker’s paradise in summer, with thousands of kilometres of hiking trails, and a haven for snow sports in the winter thanks to a huge number of ski resorts.

To the south-east, France borders the Mediterranean Sea all the way up to the Italian border. A large stretch of this area is what’s known as the French Riviera, which has long been a popular tourist destination thanks to its warm weather, calm water and golden beaches.

Continue north along the Italian border and you’ll reach the French Alps, France’s other predominant mountain range. The Alps are home to Mont Blanc – France’s highest point – and form another natural border, this time with both Italy and Switzerland.

France’s central region is mostly rolling hills and fields, perfect for farming and producing wine. There are two main rivers, the Loire and the Rhone, with the Rhone running south from   Switzerland   through to the Mediterranean and the Loire running north and west to the Atlantic.

The west coast is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and sees a cooler climate than the east. The large Atlantic swells have brought surfers to the area for years with several international surfing competitions being held throughout the year.

Northern France, which is bordered by   Belgium , Luxembourg and Germany, remains relatively flat with grasslands, fields, forests and, of course, the capital of Paris. These northern areas suffered most during the wars, both because of their proximity to Germany and the landscape itself. This is where trench warfare was first employed, only possible because of the huge swathes of flat land.

Chanel. Louis Vuitton. Dior. Lacroix. Hermes. You want luxury? You got it. Paris has long been considered the fashion capital of the world and if that’s your bag, well, you’ll need some room in your bag after a stroll down the famous Champs-Elysees. France isn’t all high fashion though. Yes, the French are notoriously fashionable, but there’s plenty of shopping to be done for those that aren’t quite ready to step out on the catwalk.

Remember, it's a good idea to check with your local customs officials to ensure that you are able to bring certain items back into your home country. Australia and New Zealand generally have strict quarantine laws.

And you thought Paris was just about fashion? It also happens to be the fragrance capital of the world. There’s no better place to pick up a sensational scent than in one of the city’s many perfumeries, some of which have been trading for more than a century. It’s the perfect gift – or a subtle suggestion – for your friends and family back home.

Flea Markets

Parisian flea markets are a top spot to pick up a vintage bargain. From jewellery and purses to paintings and old-school electronics, you’re bound to find something unique or, at the very least, enjoy trying. Make Porte de Vanves and Porte de Saint-Ouen in Paris your first stops.

Village Markets

Regional French markets just ooze with charm and can be found all over the country. Peruse fresh produce, home-made jams, pickled vegetables, rich cheeses and summer flowers, or just soak up the provincial atmosphere and try your hand at having a chat with one of the locals.

France has been at the forefront of winemaking forever and there are plenty of high quality wines to be found at very decent prices. Just remember that French wines are named for their geographic origin rather than the grape. Take a Burgundy, for example: if it’s red it’s pinot noir, if it’s white it’s chardonnay. Do some research and reap the rewards.

Festivals and events

There are festivals happening all over France throughout the year. Whether you’re in the city or a small town, you can expect a lot of food, some phenomenal wine and plenty of music.

Bastille Day

The French National Day is celebrated on July 14 and commemorates the storming of the Bastille Prison during the French Revolution. It’s celebrated all over the country, but Paris is the place to be, with the city hosting parades, fireworks and the famous Firemen’s Balls, where the main station in each Parisian district throws open its doors for a huge ball lasting until 4 am. It’s a tradition that’s been happening for over 100 years.

Avignon Festival

Performers and art lovers from around the world descend on Avignon for this three-week celebration of performance art. Dance, theatre, comedy and musical performances feature on the bill, with everything from open-air classical concerts and sweeping operatic epics to spoken word poetry.

Tour de France

This is the world’s most iconic cycling competition. It lasts three weeks and was first held in 1903. Things are a little more high-tech now—back then, the cyclists didn’t have support vehicles, and they carried baguettes, wine and cheese for sustenance. They also had some phenomenal moustaches.

Nice Jazz Fest

The Nice Jazz Festival dates back to 1948 and is one of the oldest jazz festivals in   Europe . The first headliner was Louis Armstrong, and since then, a glut of phenomenal musicians have performed, including Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Erykah Badu.

Roland Garros

Also known as the French Open, Roland Garros is one of tennis’s grand slams and the premier clay-court competition in the world. The biggest tennis stars in the world converge on the courts to slug it out, but Rafael Nadal will forever be the king.

Public holidays that may impact travel include:

Victory Day 1945

Ascension Day

Whit Monday

Assumption Day

All Saint's Day

Armistice Day

Please note that the dates of  France's public holidays  may vary.

Similar destinations

Thinking about a trip to France but still browsing other destinations? Check out tours to neighbouring locations:

  • Switzerland

Or maybe you need help comparing countries? Check out our blog:

  • France or Italy?

Further reading

For inspiring stories to prepare you for your France adventure, check out these books:

  • The Three Musketeers   – Alexandre Dumas
  • Chocolat   – Joanne Harris
  • The Hunchback of Notre-Dame   ­– Victor Hugo
  • Dangerous Liaisons   – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  • Suite Francaise   – Irene Nemirovsky
  • A Year in Provence   – Peter Mayle
  • How to be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style and Bad Habits   – Caroline de Maigret, Anne Berest, Sophie Mas, Audrey Diwan
  • The House in France: A Memoir   – Gully Wells
  • Marie Antoinette: The Journey –   Antonia Fraser
  • Les Miserables   – Victor Hugo
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day   – David Sedaris

France travel FAQs

Do i need a covid-19 vaccine to join an intrepid trip.

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).

However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

When is the best time to visit France?

The best time to visit France depends on where you are planning to travel to.

The best time to visit Paris, in terms of sunshine and weather, is early summer and early autumn as the late summer can get quite hot. That said, the winter months are a dark albeit beautiful time to visit, like many European cities. The same applies for most of inland France.

If you’re heading to the east coast and the Mediterranean Sea, the best months are July and August as the sea breeze tends to keep the coast a little cooler than inland. There will, however, be more tourists than in the early summer or spring and autumn.

The mountains are best for skiing in February and March as the days are longer than in December and January, while the late spring, summer and early autumn are perfect for hiking.

The Atlantic areas of Brittany and Normandy are best experienced from June through August as they can get quite wet and cold outside of summer.

Is it safe to visit France?

Yes, it is still safe to visit France, though parts of the country have been affected by various issues of late.

Over the past 5–10 years France has been targeted by extremist groups. These attacks have received widespread global coverage and while they are shocking and saddening, they are also very infrequent. France is at no more risk of extremist violence than any other Western country, but travellers should exercise caution nevertheless and keep up-to-date with local news sources.

Much has also been made of the Yellow Vests Movement, which has spread around the country. These protests began in 2018 after an increase in fuel taxes and have morphed into a movement demanding economic reform and the resignation of President Emmanuel Macron. Though the protests have turned violent on several occasions, particularly in Paris, they are also easily avoided. The protests occur on Saturdays and the streets are shut down by police – travellers should check local news sources and avoid any trouble areas on Saturdays.

Do I need a visa to travel to France?

France is a member of the Schengen Convention, which means that if you travel to an EU member country or countries, like France, for a total of less than 90 days, a visa is not required. Citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, the UK and other member countries of the EU and Schengen area are included under this arrangement.

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your country of origin. Check the Essential Trip Information section of your tour itinerary for more information.

Is tipping customary in France?

Most restaurants in France will include a service fee within the bill; however, tipping extra (while not absolutely necessary) is customary and will be appreciated by wait staff. Usually rounding up the bill or leaving spare change is sufficient. Feel free to tip more if the service has been exemplary or if you’re feeling generous.

What is the internet access like in France?

The internet access is great in France. All cities and major towns should have internet cafes and wi-fi hotspots, while most of the country aside from very remote areas will have phone reception should you wish to use your mobile/cell phone.

Can I use my mobile phone while in France?

Travellers can use their phones throughout France, though remote and isolated areas in the Pyrenees or Alps may have limited service.

You’re able to purchase a local SIM on arriving in France, which will generally be cheaper than using international roaming. If you do wish to use international roaming, ensure it’s activated before leaving your home country and ask your provider what charges apply. Data use can be particularly expensive while overseas.

What are the toilets like in France?

Flushable, Western-style toilets are the standard across France.

Can I drink the water in France?

Drinking water from taps is considered safe in France unless otherwise marked. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottle water and fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water instead.

Are credit cards widely accepted in France?

Major credit cards are widely accepted across France. Some smaller cafes and shops may not accept credit cards, especially in more rural areas, so be sure to carry enough cash to cover small purchases.

What is ATM access like in France?

ATMs are common across France in both cities and towns so there shouldn't be a problem finding one.

What is the weather like in France?

France’s weather varies depending where you are.

Paris tends to be quite cool with temperatures averaging 15–25°C (59–77°F) even in the height of summer. The winter average is 2–7°C (36–45°F), though it’s worth keeping in mind that the city can experience more extreme heat in the summer or snow in the winter.

The French Riviera, including Nice, has a sunnier climate and averages 20–27°C (68–81°F) in the summer and 5–13°C (41–55°F) in winter. This area is quite sheltered compared to the rest of the south-east coast, which will much hotter and dryer in the summer.

The mountainous regions, like Chamonix in the Alps, will vary depending on altitude. Chamonix experiences an average temperature of 9–24°C (48–75°F) in the summertime and -7–3°C (19–37°F) in the winter. The summer also sees afternoon thunderstorms and more precipitation than other times of year.

The climate on the Atlantic coast tends to be quite cool and wet, with rain and wind all year round, particularly around the English Channel. Bordeaux, which is much further south, enjoys a warmer climate though it’s prone to both the cold Atlantic fronts as well as cold winds from the north-east. Its average temperature in summer is 16–27°C (61–81°F), while winter averages 3–10°C (37–50°F).

Is France safe for LGBTQIA+ travellers?

France is a safe destination for LGBTQIA+ travellers and has always been celebrated for its liberal attitudes towards sexuality. Paris was the first European capital to vote in an openly gay mayor in 2001 and France was the first country in the world, back in 1791, to decriminalise same-sex sexual acts between consenting adults. Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2013 and attitudes towards LGBTQIA+ identifying people are generally positive across the country.

Paris has had a thriving queer scene for years which revolves around Le Marais, a district just north of Notre-Dame, though the city is so open that it can be difficult to pin down its epicentre. Active queer scenes can be found in most major cities across the country including Bordeaux and Lyon.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting  Equaldex  or  ILGA  before you travel.

If you are travelling solo on an Intrepid group tour, you will share accommodation with a passenger of the same gender as per your passport information. If you don’t identify with the gender assigned on your passport, please let us know at time of booking and we’ll arrange the rooming configuration accordingly. A single supplement is available on some tours for travellers who do not wish to share a room.

Is France accessible for travellers with disabilities?

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and, where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

France is a relatively accessible destination for travellers with disabilities, particularly for those visiting Paris. All buses and trams in the Paris metro area are equipped for wheelchairs and most, though not all, metro stations have been equipped to make travelling with a disability as hassle-free as possible. The city’s official visitor website has a section dedicated to   visiting Paris with a disability   in both French and English.

Elsewhere, as in much of Europe, travellers may find that the older city buildings and infrastructure in smaller towns may present them with some difficulty, depending on their disability. If you do live with a visual, hearing or other impairment, let your booking agent or group leader know early on so they’re aware and suitable arrangements can be made.

As a general rule, knowing some common words in the local language, carrying a written itinerary with you and taking to the streets in a group, rather than solo, can help make your travel experience the best it can be.

What to wear in France

France is a very liberal country and travellers should not feel compelled to dress particularly conservatively unless visiting a religious site. After all, Paris is the fashion capital of the world – go hard or go home. That being said, Intrepid encourages all travellers to respect the locals in the places we visit. If they wouldn’t wear something, we don’t suggest that you do. 

Remember that the weather in the mountains can change extremely quickly, even in summer, so your best bet is dress in layers. If you do plan on visiting the Alps or Pyrenees, be sure to take a raincoat, sturdy walking shoes and a wind breaker or warm jacket.

Do I need to purchase travel insurance before travelling?

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

How do I stay safe and healthy while travelling?

Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:

From Australia?

Go to: Smart Traveller

From Canada?

Go to:  Canada Travel Information

From the UK?

Go to:  UK Foreign Travel Advice

From New Zealand?

Go to:  Safe Travel

From the US?

Go to:  US Department of State

The World Health Organisation also provides useful health information.

Does my trip support The Intrepid Foundation?

Yes, all Intrepid trips support the Intrepid Foundation. Trips to this country directly support our global Intrepid Foundation partners Eden Reforestation Projects and World Bicycle Relief. Intrepid will double the impact by dollar-matching all post-trip donations made to The Intrepid Foundation.

Eden Reforestation Projects

Eden Reforestation Projects are helping to mitigate climate change by restoring forests worldwide; they also hire locally and create job opportunities within vulnerable communities. Donations from our trips support restoration across planting sites in 10 countries around the globe. Find out more or make a donation World Bicycle Relief

World Bicycle Relief provides people in low-income communities with bicycles to mobilise school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas – giving them access to vital education, healthcare, and income. Donations help provide Buffalo Bicycles – specifically designed to withstand the rugged terrain and harsh environment of rural regions – to those who need them most. Find out more or make a donation

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Tour de France 2024: Dates, times, routes stage details and where to watch

The Tour de France is one of the three grand tours – the others being the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España – that form the backbone around which the cycling season is structured.

This is the biggest and most important bike race in the world, with an estimated 80 per cent of most WorldTour team’s sponsorship income being based around the Tour.

Founded in 1903 by Henri Desgrange, editor of L’Auto newspaper, the Tour may not be the favourite stage race of the cycling cognoscenti but it is one that captures the imagination of the wider sporting public. As a result, the race is the biggest annual sporting event in the world with more live spectators than even the Olympics or football World Cup. Read the latest news before the race starts here .

How many stages are there in the Tour de France?

The second grand tour of the season comprises 21 stages and will be contested over 3,498 kilometres (2,173 miles). This year’s Tour consists of eight flat stages, four hilly stages, seven mountain stages with four summit finishes, two individual time trials and two rest days.

What time does the 2024 Tour de France start?

This year’s race gets under way with the 206km opening stage from Florence to Rimini on Saturday June 29, 2024. Racing starts at 11.40am.

How long does the Tour de France last?

The Tour de France last three weeks. After setting off from Florence on June 29, the race concludes with a 33.7km individual time trial from Moncao to Nice. Eschewing to traditional stage into Paris as a knock-on effect of the Olympic Games, this will be the first time since 1989 when the race has ended with a time trial.

Will the 2024 Tour de France be shown on TV?

Every stage of the race can be watched live on Eurosport, while terrestrial channels ITV4 and S4C will also be broadcasting the action. Live shows and highlights programmes will be shown at different times each day.

Alternatively, if you are stuck at work then you can follow the action, as it unfolds, right here with Telegraph Sport . Almost every stage will be live blogged by our team while selected race details and standings in the main classifications will also be published.

How many teams are there in the Tour de France?

Twenty-two teams will take part in the race. As with all WorldTour races, each team from the top-flight of professional cycling received an invitation and in the case of the Tour de France, all 18 of them are contracted to compete in the grand tour. In addition they will be joined by four UCI ProTeams – the two highest placed UCI ProTeams in 2023 (Lotto Dstny and TotalEnergies), along with Uno-X and Israel-Premier Tech who were selected by Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the organisers of the Tour.

How many people compete at the Tour de France?

Twenty-two teams comprising eight riders will start. In total 176 riders will be on the start line in Florence.

Alpecin-Deceuninck (Bel)

Silvan Dillier (Swi), Robbe Ghys (Bel), Soren Kragh Andersen (Den), Axel Laurance (Fra), Jonas Rickaert (Bel), Mathieu van der Poel (Ned), Gianni Vermeersch (Bel), Jasper Philipsen (Bel)

Arkéa-B&B Hotels (Fra)

Amaury Capiot (Bel), Clément Champoussin (Fra), Arnaud Démare (Fra), Raúl García Pierna (Spa), Daniel McLay (GB), Luca Mozzato (Ita), Cristián Rodríguez (Spa), Kévin Vauquelin (Fra)

Astana Qazaqstan (Kaz)

Davide Ballerini (Ita), Cees Bol (Ned), Mark Cavendish (GB), Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kaz), Michele Gazzoli (Ita), Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz), Michael Morkov (Den), Harold Tejada (Col)

Bahrain Victorious (Brn)

Nikias Arndt (Ger), Phil Bauhaus (Ger), Pello Bilbao (Spa), Santiago Buitrago (Col), Jack Haig (Aus), Wout Poels (Ned), Fred Wright (GB), Matej Mohoric (Slo)

Bora-Hansgrohe (Ger)

Nico Denz (Ger), Marco Haller (Aut), Jai Hindley (Aus), Bob Jungels (Lux), Primoz Roglic (Slo), Matteo Sobrero (Ita), Danny van Poppel (Ned), Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus)

Cofidis (Fra)

Piet Allegaert (Bel), Bryan Coquard (Fra), Simon Geschke (Ger), Jesús Herrada (Spa), Ion Izagirre (Spa), Guillaume Martin (Fra), Alexis Renard (Fra), Axel Zingle (Fra)

Decathlon-Ag2R La Mondiale (Fra)

Bruno Armirail (Fra), Sam Bennett (Ire), Felix Gall (Aut), Dorian Godon (Fra), Paul Lapeira (Fra), Oliver Naesen (Bel), Nans Peters (Fra), Nicolas Prodhomme (Fra)

DSM-Firmenich PostNL (Ned)

Romain Bardet (Fra), Warren Barguil (Fra), John Degtenkolb (Ger), Nils Eekhoff (Ned), Fabio Jakobsen (Ned), Oscar Onley (GB), Frank Van Den Broek (Ned), Bram Welten (Ned)

EF Education-EasyPost (US)

Alberto Bettigol (Ita), Stefan Bissegger (Swi), Richard Carapaz (Ecu), Rui Costa (Por), Ben Healy (Ire), Neilson Powless (US), Sean Quinn (US), Marijn Van Den Berg (Ned)

Groupama-FDJ (Fra)

David Gaugu (Fra), Kevin Geniets (Lux), Romain Grégoire (Fra), Stefan Kung (Swi), Valentin Madouas (Fra), Lenny Martinez (Fra), Quentin Pacher (Fra), Clément Russo (Fra)

Ineos Grenadiers (GB)

Egan Bernal (Col), Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa), Laurens De Plus (Bel) Michal Kwiatkowsi (Pol), Tom Pidcock (GB), Carlos Rodríguez (Spa), Geraint Thomas (GB), Ben Turner (GB)

Intermarché-Wanty (Bel)

Biniam Girmay (Eri), Kobe Goossens (Bel), Louis Meintjes (SA), Hugo Page (Fra), Laurenz Rex (Bel), Mike Teunissen (Ned), Gerben Thijssen (Bel), Georg Zimmermann (Ger)

Jayco-AlUla (Aus)

Luke Durbridge (Aus), Dylan Groenewegen (Ned), Chris Harper (Aus), Christopher Juul-Jensen (Den), Michael Matthews (Aus), Luka Mezgec (Slo), Elmar Reinders (Ned), Simon Yates (GB)

Lidl-Trek (US)

Julien Bernard (Fra), Giuluo Ciccone (Ita), Tim Declercq (Bel), Ryan Gibbons (SA), Mads Pedersen (Den), Toms Skujins (Lat), Jasper Stuyven (Bel), Carlos Verona (Spa)

Movistar (Spa)

Alex Aranburu (Spa), Davide Formolo (Ita), Fernando Gaviria (Col), Oier Lazanko (Spa), Enric Mas (Spa), Gregor Mühlberger (Aut), Nelson Oliveira (Por), Javier Romo (Spa)

Soudal-Quick Step (Bel)

Remco Evenepoel (Bel), Jan Hirt (Cze), Yves Lampaert (Bel), Mikel Landa (Spa), Gianni Moscon (Ita), Casper Pedersen (Den), Ilan Van Wilder (Bel), Louis Vervaeke (Bel)

UAE Team Emirates (UAE)

Joao ALmeida (Por),l Juan Ayuso (Spa), Tadej Pogacar (Slo), Nils Politt (Ger), Pavel Sivakov (Fra), Marc Soler (Spa), Tim Wellens (Bel), Adam Yates (GB)

Visma-Lease a Bike (Ned)

Tiesj Benoot (Bel), Matteo Jorgenson (US), Wilco Kelderman (Ned), Christophe Laporte (Fra), Bart Lemmem (Ned), Jan Tratnik (Slo), Wout van Aert (Bel), Jonas Vingegaard (Den)

Israel-Premier Tech (Isr)

Pascal Ackermann (Ger), Guillaume Boivin (Can), Jakob Fuglsand (Den), Derek Gee (Can), Hugo Houle (Can), Krists Neilands (Lat), Jake Stewart (GB), Stephen Williams (GB)

Lotto Dstny (Bel)

Cedric Beullens (Bel), Victor Campenaerts (Bel), Arnaud De Lie (Bel), Jarrad Drizners (Aus), Sébastien Grignard (Bel), Maxim Van Gils (Bel), Brent Van Moer (Bel), Harm Vanhoucke (Bel)

TotalEnergies (Fra)

Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra), Steff Cras (Bel), Sandy Duijardin (Fra), Thomas Gachingard (Fra), Fabien Grellier (Fra), Jordan Jegeat (Fra), Anthony Turgis (Fra), Mattéo Vercher (Fra)

Uno-X Mobility (Nor)

Jonas Abrahamsen (Nor), Magnus Cort (Den), Odd Christian Eiking (Nor), Tobias Halland Johannessen (Nor), Alexander Kristoff (Nor), Johannes Kulset (Nor), Rasmus Tiller (Nor), Soren Waerenskjold (Nor)

Latest news in the countdown to the Tour de France

Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard has been dealt a blow after team-mate Sepp Kuss was ruled out of this year’s Tour de France after the American failed to recover from Covid ahead of this weekend’s grand départ.

Kuss was lined up to compete in a support role for Visma-Lease a Bike leader Vingegaard but fell ill during this month’s Critérium du Dauphiné. The winner of last year’s Vuelta a España has been replaced in the eight-man team by Bart Lemmen.

“This is, of course, very hard for Sepp in the first place. His contribution is always very important in the team, but then of course he has to be completely fit,” sporting director Merijn Zeeman said. “Unfortunately, we had to conclude together that this is insufficient.”

What does each stage profile at the Tour de France look like?

Saturday june 29, stage one: florence to rimini, 206km, sunday june 30, stage two: cesenatico to bologna, 199.2km, monday july 1, stage three: piacenza to turin, 230.8km, tuesday july 2, stage four: pinerolo to valloire, 139.6km, wednesday july 3, stage five: saint-jean-de-maurienne to saint vulbas, 177.4km, thursday july 4, stage six: mâcon to dijon, 163.5km, friday july 5, stage seven: nuits-saint-georges to gevrey-chambertin (individual time trial), 25.3km, saturday july 6, stage eight: semur-en-auxois to colombey-les-deux-eglises, 183.4km, sunday july 7, stage nine: troyes to troyes, 199km, tuesday july 9, stage 10: orléans to saint-amand-montrond, 187,3km, wednesday july 10, stage 11: évaux-les-bains to le lioran, 211km, thursday july 11, stage 12: aurillac to villeneuve-sur-lot, 203.6km, friday july 12, stage 13: agen to pau, 165.3km, saturday july 13, stage 14: pau to saint-lary-soulan pla d’adet, 151.9km, sunday july 14, stage 15: loudenvielle to plateau de beille, 197.7km, tuesday july 16, stage 16: gruissan to nîmes, 188.6km, wednesday july 17, stage 17: saint-paul-trois-châteaux to superdévoluy, 177.8km, thursday july 18, stage 18: gap to barcelonnette, 179.5km, friday july 19, stage 19: embrun to isola 2000, 144.6km, saturday july 20, stage 20: nice to col de la couillole, 132.8km, sunday july 21, stage 21: monaco to nice (individual time trial), 33.7km.

All maps and stage profiles supplied by race organisers ASO

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tours of france 2024

Tour de France 2024 route: Your complete guide

The Tour de France 2024 route includes five summit finishes, 59km of individual time trialling, and gravel sectors on stage nine.

It begins on the 29 June, and finishes on the 21 July, three weeks later. 

T he race will begin in Italy for the first time , with stages from Florence to Rimini, Cesenatico to Bologna and Piacenza to Turin. It will mark 100 years since the first Italian winner of the Tour, Ottavio Bottecchia.

Another first is that the Tour will not conclude in Paris for the first time ever, due to the 2024 Paris Olympics, with the final stage coming in Nice. It also means that for the first time since 1989, the final stage will be contested, in a time trial. 

On the way, the race tackles the Alps, the Massif Central and the Pyrenees, including four summit finishes at Pla d'Adet, the Plateau de Beille, Superdévoluy, Isola 2000 and the Col de la Couillole, and 59 kilometres of time trialling across stages seven and 21.

There are 14 gravel sectors on stage nine from Troyes to Troyes, totalling 32km, with six packed into the final 35km in what could be a decisive point of the race. The longest is 4km.

With the final day a hilly time trial in Nice and not the usual procession in to Paris, it is hoped that the race will be alive right to the end of the race. The whole final week, in fact, will be crucial for general classification, with four of the six days potentially decisive.

According to the race organisers, there are eight sprint opportunities along the way, although some are not as straightforward as others, with a breakaway sure to contest some of them. Mark Cavendish will be looking forward to Saint-Amand-Montrond on stage 13, where he won in 2013, and Nîmes on stage 16 especially, where he won in 2008.

Last year, the race was dominated by Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), who crushed all of his competition, including Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates), on the stage 16 time trial to Combloux and stage 17's summit finish in Courchevel .

Tour de France 2024 route: stage summary

Full tour de france 2024 route map, tour de france 2024 route week one.

The 2024 Tour de France begins how it means to go on, with a lot of climbing. Stage one begins in Florence, and includes 3,800km over 205km, the most ever in an opening stage, according to race director Christian Prudhomme.

The second stage is also hilly, starting from Marco Pantani's hometown of Cesenatico, finishing in Bologna through Emilia-Romagna. It copies the route of the Giro dell'Emilia, including the final climb of San Luca - 1.9km at 10.6 per cent - which is tackled twice.

There is a chance for the fast men on stage three, which covers 225km from Piacenza to Turin. 

Stage four sees the race finally reach France, via the Alps. The Sestriere, the Col de Montgenèvre and the Col du Galiber are all tackled before a descent to Valloire.

Stages five and six, to Saint-Vulbas and Dijon, should be sprint opportunities, but the fast men could be ambushed.

The race's first individual time trial comes on stage seven, but it will be a technical affair as opposed to a pure rouleur 's course, before stage eight should be another chance for the sprinters.

Stage nine could be the highlight of the opening week, and is certainly something new, using the gravel roads of the Champagne region to mix things up. The 32km of gravel across 14 sectors is inspired from the Tour de France Femmes 2022, which used two of the same tracks; it is the biggest use of gravel at the Tour to date.

Tour de France 2024 route week two

After a rest day in Orléans, the closest to Paris the race gets in 2024, there are four stages which head south towards the Pyrenees.

Stage ten will surely be a sprint stage, but the winds could blow, as they did in 2013, when Cavendish won, while stage 11 is a return to medium mountains. The stage to Le Lioran is similar to the one which Greg Van Avermaet triumphed on in 2016, taking the yellow jersey in the process. 4,500m of climbing will make this a tough test for everyone.

It's back to sprinting or breakaways on stages 12 and 13 to Villeneuve-sur-Lot and Pau, respectively, with the latter looking more nailed on for a bunch finish.

Stage 14 is the first Pyrenean test, finishing atop the Pla d'Adet, which marks Raymond Poulidor's victory up there 50 years ago; it follows the Col du Tourmalet and the Hourquette d’Ancizan in just 152 km.

After that, the climbing does not stop. On Bastille Day, Catorze Juillet , the race heads from Loudenvielle to Plateau de Beille, in a stage that covers 198 km, with 4,850 metres of climbing. The Peyresourde is tackled first, followed by the Col de Menté, the Col de Portet d’Aspet, the Col de la Core, and Col d’Agnès, before the final test to Plateau de Beille. It will surely help decide the direction of the race.

Tour de France 2024 route week three

A classic transition stage follows the second rest day from Gruissan to Nîmes, which is planned as a sprint stage, but if the winds blow, mayhem could ensue.

Stage 17 is a return to the mountains with a finish in the ski resort of Superdévoluy on the fringes of the Alps, before stage 18 looks set to be a breakaway day as the race travels from Gap to Barcelonnette.

It is the final three days where the 2024 champion will be crowned, however, with two back-to-back summit finishes in southeast France. Stage 19 finishes atop Isola 2000, with the Col de Vars, at 2,120m, before the Col de la Bonnette, at 2,802m, marks the high point of the race, and then there's Isola 2000.

Stage 20 feels like a Paris-Nice penultimate stage, and kind of is, with some of the favourite climbs from the race tackled consecutively. The Col de Braus is first, 10.2km at 6.3 per cent, before the Col de Turini, 20.6km at 5.6 per cent, and then the Col de La Colimiane, 7.6km at 6.8 per cent, and then, finally the Col de la Couillole, 15.7km at 7.1 per cent. That's 4,500m of elevation in just 132km.

However, that is not the end of the race. This year, there is a final day time trial around Nice, not a procession in Paris. The 35km course includes La Turbie, 8.1km at 5.6 per cent, and the Col d’Eze, 1.6km at 8.1%, before concluding on the Promenade des Anglais.

Stage one: Florence > Rimini (206km)

Today’s route Starting in Florence, the birthplace of legendary Italian cyclist Gino Bartali as well as Renaissance art and architecture, the first stage is a lumpy route travelling east to Rimini on the Adriatic coast. 

There are seven categorised climbs on the menu and the first, the 11km Col de Valico Tre Faggi, will top out after just one hour of racing. Then comes a succession of short but difficult climbs, with the final ascent denoting the entrance to the principality of San Marino. From there, it’s a 26km fast downhill race back to the Italian coast. 

What to expect  

The teams with general classification ambitions might be happy to let a rider who isn’t thinking about Paris take the race’s first yellow jersey – and with it all the attention and obligations – and the sprinters’ teams won’t be working either. But with a yellow jersey up for grabs, there is little chance an excited peloton will let a break go the distance. 

It’s a difficult enough day and some outside contenders might have their dreams dashed on day one, but don’t expect any full-gas attacks from the bigger GC riders – there’s no need to fire too many bullets on the opening weekend, however tempting it might be.

Stage two: Cesenatico > Bologna (199.2km)

It’s a seaside start in the spa resort of Cesenatico, home to the late Marco Pantani, the last rider to achieve the Giro d’Italia-Tour de France double in 1998. Ironically, a stage that harks back to 'Il Pirata' is mostly flat. There are two little bumps in the first 140km as well as a spin around the Imola racing circuit, the venue of the 2020 World Championships. 

Then come two short back-to-back climbs before the peloton arrives in Bologna for two circuits that take in the San Luca climb (1.9km at 10.6%), used as a summit finish in the autumn-held Giro dell'Emilia. Today, however, the riders have 12km over the top of the final climb to get organised for the finale in Bologna. 

What to expect 

Despite those bumps in the profile, this should be a fairly straightforward stage for a peloton with fresh legs. A group will no doubt go clear but with lots of riders fancying their chances, and with GC riders being wary of losing time through inattention, speed will be high and the break won’t be given much time. The two climbs of San Luca are a perfect launchpad for a Classics rider who thinks they can hold off the bunch, while a sprinter in great form will also think the stage is up for grabs.

Stage three: Plaisance > Turin (230.8km)

At 230km, it is the longest stage of this year’s Tour, with the whole Tour caravan heading west to Turin. Before it gets to Italy’s fourth most populous city, there’s a passage through Tortona, the town where the iconic Fausto Coppi, a winner of two Tours and five Giri d’Italia, died in 1960 due to misdiagnosed malaria. 

Two fourth-category climbs have to be tackled ahead of what will be a fast and largely arrow-straight run-in to Turin for the finale. 

A doomed breakaway, possibly with just two or three riders, will go clear, but they will know their fate from the moment the peloton lets them loose. Expect one of the lowerranked teams, such as Uno-X Mobility, to be present. 

The bunch will make the catch in plenty of time in anticipation of the first mass sprint of the race. A sprint without hiccups is not a foregone conclusion, though, with all the sprint trains fighting for position and the usual first-week nerves and tension often causing crashes at decisive moments.

Stage four: Pinerolo > Valloire (139.6km)

Not since stage two of the 1979 Tour, a time trial to the Pyrenean ski resort of Superbagnères, has the Tour climbed above 1,800m so early in the race. 

Given that stage four – which starts in Italy – exceeds 2,000m after only 50km with a passage through Sestrières, and then another taxing test (the Col de Montgenèvre) precedes the mighty Col du Galibier, it’s little wonder this is being labelled as the most difficult start to a Tour on record.

Race organisers have at least resisted the temptation of a summit finish on top of the Galibier, with riders having to descend 19km into the town of Valloire before they catch sight of the finish line. 

What to expect A short stage that goes straight up a mountain is the stuff of nightmares for sprinters. Contesting a fast finish yesterday, today they’ll be terrified of a fast start, getting dropped and the broomwagon looming large behind them. The break will form on the first climb to Sestrières and only once that has formed will the bunch sit up and take a collective breath. 

The action will hot up again for the GC riders in the thin air over the top of the fabled Galibier, but with a long, and in the most part not too technical, descent to Valloire there is time for mountain domestiques to chase back to their leaders and help close any gaps.

Stage five: Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne > Saint-Valbus (177.4km)

Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, a frequent staging post of the Tour, is the start town for the peloton’s speedy exit towards central France. The unclassified, long but shallow Col de Couz comes just before the midway point, and then there’s the climb of the Côte de Lhuis (4.4km at 4.2%) 34km before the finish. 

The river Ain is crossed inside the final few kilometres, with the sprinters expecting their glory in the sleepy, tiny village of Saint-Vulbas. 

It’s only day five, but already fatigue will be creeping into riders’ legs, especially after the efforts of the previous day in the Alps. The GC teams will therefore be more than content to let the sprinters control the day, and thus the breakaway riders will have to fight hard to resist the collective pull of the fast men and their brothers in arms. 

The climb of the Côte de l’Huis does at least offer something for the escapees to launch a move on, but they would have to put in an almighty time trial effort to hold the charging peloton at bay. 

All the sprinters should make it over the final categorised climb, although don’t be surprised to see one or two sprint teams pushing hard on the ascent in an effort to distance some rivals.

Stage six: Mâcon > Dijon (163.5km)

From Mâcon, a frequent host town of the Critérium du Dauphiné, the race goes north through the Burgundy wine region, and specifically embarks on its own Route des Grands Crus. The most famed red wine from this area is produced from pinot noir grapes and is known for its dry texture, while the best white wines are made from chardonnay grapes. 

The journey through the vineyards is a flat one before an 800-metre straight finale in Dijon, hosting its first Tour finish since 1997. Whoever is victorious might just get to experience one of the region’s famous wines. Just don’t tell Visma-Lease a Bike’s boss Richard Plugge, who criticised Groupama-FDJ for drinking alcohol on a rest day last year. 

The race might be heading towards Paris, but this is no stage 20 last-chance saloon for a big breakaway group. Instead, the sprinters’ teams will only let a break go - probably a small one - once they’re happy they can control it. That means sitting on the front of the bunch and keeping them at a comfortable distance before reeling them in towards the end. 

The race’s first time trial is tomorrow so the GC contenders will be taking it easy, and no doubt warming down on their TT bikes as soon as they’re safely back at their buses.

Stage seven: Nuits-Saint-Georges > Gevrey-Chambertin ITT (25.3km)

The race remains firmly nestled among the vineyards in the east of the country, with a 25km time trial between two wine-making villages. The route’s general direction is set to north, although it will deviate west to take in the Côte de Curtil-Vergy. However, coming at the halfway point of the stage, and being relatively tame at just 6.5% for 1.5km, riders won’t be ditching their road bikes to tackle the ascent. 

Usually, the differences between the main general classification riders aren't huge on flat courses of less than 20 miles, but TT world champ Remco Evenepoel, the strongest TTer of the GC riders, has made a habit of gaining between 30 and 60 seconds on rivals on courses like this. GC riders on top of their game with good aero packages are hard to beat, even by TT specialists, so the gaps won’t be huge.

Do expect Giro’s Aerohead TT helmet to once again cause a stir, as millions of people across the world tune into a cycling race for the first time this year and shout, "What’s that on their heads?!" at the television.

Stage eight: Semur-en-Auxois > Colombey-Les-Deux-Églises (183.4km)

We’re just a stone’s throw from Dijon – teams will no doubt be enjoying the limited travel times before and after these stages. Today the race departs from Semur-en- Auxois, which has a population of just 4,200. 

The stage begins with a flurry of three categorised climbs in the first 40km, then three more just after the halfway point. The undulating parcours continues late into the stage with a final small climb 17km from the end, before a finishing kilometre that averages 3%. The average speed over such terrain will help shape the result. If it’s a steady day, all the sprinters will fancy their chances; if it’s fast, it will favour the fastmen in good form. 

None of the climbs are long or hard enough to affect the order of the GC, but if a big breakaway goes clear, controlling the stage will be a challenging task for the sprint-focused teams. If this stage were later in the race the odds would be stacked in favour of a big break. But there will still be plenty of fastmen in the bunch, thus ensuring their teams take charge. So expect a small break brought back within 15km of the finish.

Stage nine: Troyes > Troyes (199km)

The origins of this route can be traced back to 2022, the year the Tour de France Femmes was reborn. On stage four of the race, the women’s peloton rode across four lots of white roads, with Marlen Reusser eventually taking the win. 

For the men this year the challenge is even greater, with 14 gravel sections totalling 32km to be tackled over the course of today's circular route – albeit with different start and finish locations in the city of Troyes. The first half of the stage is a little hillier, but the four fourth-category climbs will be inconsequential compared to the gravel sectors and the fight for position that will inevitably happen before each one. The final half-a-dozen gravel sectors are all grouped together in just 24km and it’s a day for constant attentiveness and high tension. 

When the route was announced, Visma-Lease a Bike’s boss, Richard Plugge, said, “Gravel, for me, is not necessary in a race such as this,” and Soudal-Quick Step’s always outspoken boss Patrick Lefevere simply said: “I’m not a fan of it.” 

The reason for their disdain is clear: a stage like this – ditto when the Tour traverses the Paris-Roubaix cobbles – can severely dent a rider’s overall ambitions, with a badly timed mechanical or slip on the uneven surface often proving more damaging than a bad day in the mountains.

What to expect

When the TdF Femmes undertook a varied version of this stage two years ago, the differences between the overall contenders were minimal, and on a similar-looking course at the Giro d’Italia this May, time gaps were nil. 

But today is a unique opportunity for GC riders confident of their abilities to put their team-mates on the front and their rivals under pressure. Splits are likely to occur, and as soon as they do those at the front will seize the opportunity to push on and open up the gaps. Speed will be high not only over the gravel but in the approach to each section as the stronger teams get their leader to the front and maintain a high pace to keep them there. A break is still likely to go clear, and perhaps a large one. That group, as well as the peloton, will then fragment later in the stage. 

Keep an eye on the weather forecast, as wind and rain will only heighten the risk and therefore the tension in the bunch. When that happens, time gaps can be significant.

Stage 10: Orléans > Saint-Amand-Montrond (187.3km)

Beginning in the city of Orléans – yesterday's rest-day location – riders head due south, with not a single categorised climb on today’s parcours. 

But with three changes of direction in the final 30 kilometres taking riders onto exposed roads in a region famed for its wind, a bunch sprint in Saint- Amand-Montrond, the hometown of Soudal-Quick Step’s non-competing Julian Alaphilippe, could be in doubt. 

The lack of any elevation makes it an unappealing stage for a break, so today might turn into one of those long days where one rider from a smaller team – step forwards TotalEnergies and Arkéa-B&B Hotels – spends several hours off the front with only the TV moto for company. 

If wind is forecast – expect teams to be analysing the weather intently in advance – you’ll see the pace increase as teams of the GC riders and the sprinters are all told to get to the front at the same time. This not only increases speed, but nerves too. If the wind is blowing, expect Classics riders hitting the front to line it out and create the echelons. The sprinters will be alert, and are used to fighting for position, it’s the GC riders with no big burly team-mates you need to worry about. If this happens, the break's lead will drop like a stone and they’ll be caught and dropped before they know it.

Stage 11: Évaux-Les-Bains > Le Lioran (211km)

It’s a relatively benign opening 150km as the peloton crosses through the majestic Massif Central. But the calmness will almost definitely precede a storm with four categorised climbs jammed into the final hourand- a-bit of racing that features a gradual rise in elevation to the finish line at 1,242 metres above sea level. 

The Col de Néronne (3.8km at 9.1%) is a mere warm-up to the volcanic first-category Puy Mary where the final two kilometres average 12%. A fast descent is followed by the Col de Pertus (4.4km at 7.9%) with some bonus seconds over the top, then the final climb of the Col de Font de Cère (3.3km at 5.8%). The finish line is 2.8km further on from the summit although not categorised as a climb in its own right. 

It’s likely there will be a big battle to get into the day’s break, but  not until after the intermediate sprint at 56km. As soon as the categorised climbs begin, so will the attacks. 

With 4,350m of elevation gain, it’s one of the most climb-laden stages of the entire race, and the roads of the Massif Central are not as wide, straight or smooth as the rest of France. All of which means the GC riders and their hard-working team-mates need to be switched on all day. Tadej Pogačar’s UAE Emirates team-mates are most likely to be on the front today.

Stage 12: Aurillac > Villeneuve-sur-Lot (203.6km)

Crossing west across central France, there are just three classified climbs on today’s route, but all are fourth-cat climbs and are likely to pass without the slightest shift of rear mechs for anyone safely tucked away in the peloton. The second climb of Côte de Rocamadour was used in the penultimate stage of the 2022 Tour, a time trial won by Wout van Aert. This year, however, the race passes over the summit from the opposite side. 

The latter half of the stage profile sees it gradually smooth itself out, and even the presence of a slight rise inside the final 10 kilometres won’t be enough to deny the sprinters. 

With more than 2,300m of elevation gain throughout the stage, there’ll be many riders hoping that the undulating nature favours the break. That said, the climbs themselves are relatively insignificant; from start to finish, there is an overall loss of 537m, meaning there will be plenty of freewheeling in the bunch and therefore effort saved. It’s difficult to see how an escapee could triumph, unless there is a botched or incohesive chase from the peloton. 

With sprint opportunities diminishing – there are only two left after this one – the sprint teams will be at the head of the peloton as soon as the flag drops, keeping the break in check and then preparing for a showdown. Curiously, though, on the race’s only two previous finishes in Villeneuve-sur- Lot, it has been a sole rider from the breakaway that has prevailed.

Stage 13: Agen > Pau (165.3km)

Beginning from Agen, a small city that last featured in the race in 2000, the Pyrenees in the distant background will gradually get closer throughout the day. 

It’s an undulating route south with a pair of fourth-category climbs in the final quarter, but their gradients are tame and a descent precedes the fast finish in Pau, the third most-visited city in the history of the Tour. 

The hilly terrain throughout, with just under 2,000m of climbing in total, is helpful to the breakaway, as is the size of the roads. This is no sweeping route on wide, straight roads, but a more winding route on narrower roads. This can favour the break if the peloton can’t sweep along at 54kph when they need to reel them in. The two climbs, the Côte de Blachon and the Côte de Simacourbe, may also disrupt proceedings if they tempt riders into attacking or see a key sprinter momentarily dropped. It’s not out of the question that a break could spoil the sprinters’ plans. 

Look out for the intermediate sprint at 88km. If the sprinters’ teams want to keep things together in order to contest the points, expect a frantic hour-and-ahalf of racing as every attempt at an escape gets chased down.

Stage 14: Pau > Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d'Adet

As with most Pyrenean stages, today starts outside the big mountains with their valley roads, in a city on the periphery. For the 75th time, Pau is where the stage begins, resulting in a gradual incline for the first 70km until the foot of the Col du Tourmalet, site of the intermediate sprint. 

Ascending the most-climbed mountain in Tour history from its west side (the longer of the two), the peloton then have two climbs to come: Hourquette d’Ancizan (8.2km at 5.1%) – a modern-day regular first used in 2011 and now featuring for the sixth time – follows the Tourmalet, before a summit finish at Pla d’Adet. At just over 10km, the opening stretches regularly exceed 10%, but the severity lessens towards the top. The climb was last visited a decade ago when a young Rafał Majka triumphed.

Being the first mountain summit finish of the race, riders on the hunt for the maillot jaune don’t need to be reminded how crucial stage 14 is to the overall result of the race. Lose contact with the lead group on one of the three cols, and a rider will be waving au revoir to their chances. 

A big breakaway group will form after the intermediate sprint, with riders from the big GC teams among them, ready to drop back later in the stage to assist their appointed leaders. 

The peloton will take a breather on the Tourmalet - relatively speaking - with the team of the highest-placed GC rider (the yellow might be on the shoulders of a breakaway rider) asserting control. Speed will be increased on the Hourquette d’Ancizan and a few big-name riders will be gapped. They will no doubt chase back on, but in doing so will know that they’re going to be dropped again on the final climb when UAE, Visma or Ineos sit on the front and ride at an uncomfortably high pace. The question we’re all asking is: when will the likes of Tadej Pogačar or Primož Roglic make their move? Early or late on the climb?

Stage 15: Loudenvielle > Plateau de Beille

Imitating a portion of the Raid Pyrénéen route, stage 15 crisscrosses five of the region’s peaks from west to east, starting with an ascent of the Col de Peyresourde as soon as the flag drops. 

The Col de Menté (9.3km at 9.1%) and Col de Portet-d’Aspet (4.3km at 9.6%) are next, but there’s a 60km lull before the riders reach the Col d’Agnes (10km at 8.2%). The following short climb of the Port de Lers is not classified but could catch riders unaware. However, after that there’s a 35km descent for any dropped riders to regroup before the formidable Plateau de Beille, a 15.5km slog that averages 7.9%.

Riders will be warming up on their turbos today, getting themselves ready to react to the immediate attacks from those wanting to be in the break. Expect plenty of French faces in the large break that will form, each of them hoping to become the first French stage winner on Bastille Day since Warren Barguil in 2017. 

With a lot of nothingness separating the third and fourth climb, the race will no doubt enjoy some calm in that middle section before stirring back to life on the penultimate col. If there’s no GC threat nestled among the escapees, they have a good chance of going all the way, albeit in ones and twos up the final climb. 

The yellow jersey group is likely to bide its time, but attacks are guaranteed on the Plateau de Beille. There’s also another contest to keep an eye out for: this is a huge day in the King of the Mountains competition with 10 points for the first rider over the cat-one climbs and 20 on the finish line.

Stage 16: Gruissan > Nîmes (188.6km)

Gruissan, a beautiful circular coastal town built around a castle, makes its debut as a Tour host. From the departure, it’s mostly northeast towards Nîmes, a city that features for the 36th time. 

Aside from the Côte du Mas de Cornon (7km at 3.4%) at the halfway mark, and a few slight rises early on, it’s a fairly flat journey towards what should be a sprint finish. The one thing that could disrupt proceedings, though, is the Mistral, a strong northwesterly wind that comes down the Rhône river and through southern France. If that’s blowing hard enough, echelons could form. 

The sprinting teams will not let the breakaway have any sizeable advantage, knowing full well that this is their last chance to experience glory. Expect the break to be caught with plenty of time, and then the fastmen's domestiques to all gather at the front of the peloton in preparation for the final face-off between the sprinters. 

If crosswinds are a possibility, the team defending the yellow jersey will be manning things up ahead, cautious that echelons can produce time gaps of several minutes – more than a key mountain stage.

Stage 17: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux > Superdévoluy

There is the feel of a typical Pyrenean stage to this test, one that starts gentle and snoozy until the mountains are reached. But we’re back in the Alps, and after 130km of warming the legs, three climbs come in the space of just 50km. 

The Col Bayard (6.8km at 7.3%) will get the party started, but it’s the much tougher first-category Col du Noyer (7.5km at 8.4%) that will do the damage. It is crested 12km before the finish at the small ski station of SuperDévoluy (3.8km at 5.9%), used in the Tour for the first time. 

With the points classification more than likely sewn up, and the intermediate sprint 114km away, the peloton will let the breakaway form from the get-go, and it’s likely to be stacked full of teams who are still looking for their first win. The day’s winner is almost guaranteed to come from the break. 

The GC riders, meanwhile, will be looking to the penultimate climb of the Col du Noyer to attack, the final two kilometres having sustained ramps of double-digit gradients. Anyone who does go clear will need a healthy cushion to stay away on the descent, ahead of a final climb that isn’t too strenuous.

Stage 18: Gap > Barcelonnette (179.5km)

Gap, making its 50th appearance as a Tour host, is the starting point of a stage that doesn’t touch the bigger peaks of the Alps, but does cross many smaller ones, adding up to an accumulated total of over 3,000m of elevation gain. 

First heading west, then north, before south-east to the finish in Barcelonnette, the biggest climb is first up, the Col du Festre, taking the riders to 1,442m, while the most difficult is the penultimate, the Côte de Saint-Apollinaire (3.6km at 5.4%). Following the final KoM and taking the riders to the finish line is a gradual ascent that is better described as a false flat. 

With the hardest stage of the race just 24 hours away, and any sprinters left having little to ride for, the peloton will be happy to let the breakaway take the win. 

Expect a big group to go clear early on and for it to split into smaller groups as the afternoon wears on. There could be a decisive attack on one of the two final climbs, but it’s more likely to end in a sprint from a reduced group. At this stage, the GC battle depends on whether or not the yellow jersey has minutes in hand, or just seconds.

Stage 19: Embrun > Isola 2000

It’s a gentle opening 20 kilometres for the peloton from the start in Embrun, but after that comes several hours of suffering. The 2,109m Col de Vars (18.8km at 5.7%) is the first col to be crested, and then it’s onto the monstrous Cime de la Bonette, a mythical 2,802m climb last used in the 2008 Tour.

It's 22.9km long, averages 6.9%, but has gradients that are considerably tougher for the most part and rear up to above 10% in the final kilometre. Windswept, barren and devoid of almost all vegetation, the road encircles the peak’s summit before it reaches the race's highest point. 

A lengthy descent of 40km is followed by the day’s final challenge: the 16.1km climb to the ski resort of Isola 2000. Sections of its road feature gradients with double-digit ramps at the beginning and an overall average of 7.1%.

A breakaway, probably a big one and definitely containing those with eyes on the King of the Mountains jersey, will clip off the front on the first climb, but a short stage might see one of the GC teams setting a fast pace from the off in order to inflict maximum damage. 

There’s too long between the Bonette and Isola 2000 for a maillot jaune contender to attack on the barbaric climb, so expect them instead to make their move when the ski lifts at Isola come into view. Keep an eye out for any sprinters that fall behind the autobus today. They’ll be hoping it forms on the lower slopes of the Col de Vars, but if a sprinter is left out on his own, the threat of the time cut will be hovering over them all day.

Stage 20: Nice > Col de la Couillole (132.8km)

Using climbs that Paris-Nice visits most years, and are therefore familiar to the peloton, the stage is a short one at just over 130km, but there’s even more elevation gain than stage 19’s arduous route, with almost 4,800 metres – that's half an Everesting. 

The Col de Braus, the first col, is summited after 25km, and the longest, the Col de Turini at 20.7km in length, is reached after 60km. Then it’s to the shorter Col de la Colmiane (7.5km at 7.1%) and deeper into the Alpes- Maritimes with a summit finish at Col de la Couillole (16.7km at 7.1%). 

If the fight for the polka-dot jersey is still raging and one of the GC men isn’t expected to claim it, those involved will be shooting out of the peloton straight away in an effort to nab as many points as possible. 

There’ll be a high pace set on the front of the peloton all day, but such is the difficulty of the final climb – there is no let-up in the consistent gradients – the race for yellow will not ignite until they turn onto the Col de la Couillole.

Stage 21: Monaco > Nice ITT (33.7km)

Not since 1905 has the Tour finished outside of Paris, and it’s also the first time since 1989 that the race ends with an individual time trial. Beginning in the principality of Monaco – home to several Tour winners such as Tadej Pogačar, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas – this is not an easy time trial: after only 1,500m, the road turns skyward with the 8.1km ascent of La Turbie that averages 5.6%. 

A short descent precedes the short, sharp climb of Col d’Eze, used almost every year in Paris-Nice, before a final 17km downhill, then flat, stretch onto the Promenade des Anglais on the Mediterranean coast. The winner’s podium celebration will also be held on the famous seafront.

Most talk pre-stage will be whether or not the overall contenders will tackle the first half and the 700 metres of elevation on their road bikes before switching to their time trial machines for the remainder. Some might judge La Turbie as a power climb that doesn’t require a more agile and lighter road bike, but others will not want to risk using their time trial machine for the entire duration of what is essentially a mountain TT. 

Even if one rider already has what looks like a firm grip on yellow, it was only four years ago that Tadej Pogačar famously overturned a 57-second deficit to Primož Roglič on the penultimate day’s time trial to win the race by 59 seconds. Anything is therefore possible.

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Experience France differently. Enjoy one-of-a-kind experiences and uncover local secrets when our friends across the country open their doors to you. Here’s just a sample of the rich experiences you can expect.

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"I like to take my guests behind the curtains of my country, sharing family stories from what my Grand Dad recalled of Dunkirk, my Parents of 1968 students uprising to what my children experience at school today. It's a bit like inviting my group to the sunday family lunch table, and of course, there will also be some food recipe talking, because it is in our blood!"

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Visit the wine capital of Bordeaux

While the city of Bordeaux offers a high-class collection of wines, it is also well-known for its decadent food. We visit local restaurants that highlight Bordeaux’s fresh local produce, from wild oysters and mushrooms to juicy raspberries and freshly plucked figs. Absorb the best of Bordeaux with a wine-tasting tour and a visit to the gothic Cathédrale St-André.

Be amazed by Mont St. Michel on the Normandy coast

Early in the 8th century, a soaring church was built on the island of Mont St. Michel found along France’s Normandy Coast. With monasteries and fortifications added during medieval times, Mont St. Michel is a highlight of our tour to France.

Enjoy Moulin Rouge Cabaret show in Paris

Founded in 1889, Moulin Rouge is known as the birthplace of modern can-can dancing. Easily recognizable by the red windmill that adorns its roof, you will uncover the layers of romance and bohemia in the city of Paris during a night out at Moulin Rouge.

Visit France’s famous perfume house, Fragonard Parfumerie

The perfume house of Fragonard Parfumerie is located in Grasse, a striking town on the French Riviera applauded as the perfume capital of the world. Take a free guided tour of the facilities, learn about perfume production and purchase enchanting fragrances to take home and cherish long after your tour to France.

Visit the magnificent Palace of Versailles

Once the main home of King Louis XIV, the Palace of Versailles is a celebration of lavish French design. With its manicured gardens taking forty years to complete and a grand hall offering 357 mirrors to take in, you could spend a whole day revelling in this important piece of French royal history.

Our top 5 things to do in France

From a lavish French palace to the rolling grape vines of Bordeaux. Trafalgar ticks off all the best things to do in France, allowing time to immerse in the decadence of this incredible country.

Many visitors travel to the Louvre to glimpse the alluring Mona Lisa. But Leonardo Da Vinci’s artwork is just one page in the story of this opulent museum. Here you will uncover many precious artefacts, including the classical Greek statue Venus de Milo, Egyptian mummies and paintings from King Louis XIV’s personal collection.

Musée d'Orsay

Built inside a railway station as glamourous as a palace, Musée d'Orsay inspires awe with its enchanting art collection. Admire impressionist art, modern sculptures, furniture and photography spread across four levels. Finish with a rest by the enormous clock windows, taking in the views of the Paris streets below.

Centre Pompidou

Constructed to resemble a building turned inside out, this museum's exterior is as experimental as the art it houses. Soak up performances by entertainers in the building’s front piazza before discovering a panoramic view of Parisian landmarks from the top floor. You’ll want to savour every moment of our visit to Centre Pompidou.

Best museums in France

As the birthplace of some of the world’s most famous artists, it isn’t surprising that France has an impressive list of museums to uncover. From the Mona Lisa to the Musée d'Orsay, our trips soak up the authentic artistic culture of France.

Baked Camembert

First made in France, camembert is a creamy cheese with a rind exterior produced from cow’s milk. The unique baking process creates a cheese that is best appreciated with fresh, crusty bread. A perfect accompaniment to a good bottle of French red wine.

One of France’s most famous recipes, Coq au Vin features wine-braised chicken served alongside ingredients like mushrooms and bacon. Across the country you will try many regional versions of this comforting dish, which translates fittingly to “rooster/cock with wine”.

French cuisine celebrates both savory and sweet ingredients, not just in the form of croissants. Find true street-food joy in the popular dessert of crêpes, with strawberries, Nutella, bananas and lemon curd just some of the toppings loved by locals and travelers alike. Or, try the national specialty crêpes Suzette with orange zest and caramelised butter.

Best food in France

Food is an integral part of French culture, with leisurely two-hour lunch breaks considered a normal part of everyday life. With Trafalgar, you'll sample the country’s culinary highlights for a deeper understanding of how life and food connect here.

What to pack for France

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Comfortable shoes

While France is one of the fashion capitals of the world, style comes secondary to comfort when choosing shoes for your visit. With days of exploring paired with cobblestone streets, practical walking shoes will trump elegant high-heeled styles.

French/English phrasebook

The French take great pride in their language. Pack a French phrasebook and you will find yourself connecting better with local culture, even if you start with a few broken words before swapping to English.

Weather-appropriate clothing

Packing items like a waterproof jacket, umbrella and scarf will see you prepared for unexpected weather changes. With many micro-climates found across the country of France, geographic temperature changes are a certainty.

Mini binoculars

Take your sightseeing to a microscopic level with a compact pair of binoculars or a magnifying glass. These will enhance views from tall buildings and mountainous settings, and allow you to enjoy finely detailed artworks.

Security items

Though safety is high in most parts of France, it always pays to be protected from pickpockets with items like anti-theft bags. That way you can relax and feel assured during chance encounters with strangers.

Pack for sustainable travel

Consider your environmental impact when you next take a trip and go single-use-plastic-free by packing a reusable water bottle, a steel straw, your own shopping bags and toiletry bottles.

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I was very pleased with all aspects of my trip ie. hotel, tour guides and transportation provides for the excursions as well as my driver to the airport on my date of departure. My only compliant is with the transportation from the airport on the date of my arrival since he left because I wasn’t able to make it to the arrival lounge within an hour for meetup because of the time it took from departing the plane, going through customs and waiting on my baggage. The driver did try to contact me but it was over WhatsApp and do t receive notifications since I rarely if ever use that app and Eskapas didn’t let me know to expect communications through that app. Other than the initial dissatisfaction with that and having to get other transportation as well as an added expense for an Uber I was very satisfied with the rest of the experience.
We loved the itinerary and the extra sites we visited, also. Our CEO Alexiane did well. We would have like to hear more history of the places we saw. Alexiane took care to provide for the needs of individuals on our tour. That was especially helpful for me. Our bus driver, Frederick, was excellent and caring, too.
Wonderful guided hikes, all different and amazing views. Tourradar really surpassed all my expectations. From a wonderful hotel - stayed at Richemond Hotel, in the centre of town to the amazing prepared lunches and restaurant dinners to our wonderful and knowledgeable guide Nichole. Thank you Nicole for your energy, patience, calmness, and expertise both up and down each mountain adventure. You made our trip a wonderful
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Explore Avignon’s Palace of the Popes and savor Lyon’s culinary heritage. Toast centuries-old vineyards and luxuriate in Paris’s sophistication. Walk in Joan of Arc’s footsteps at Rouen. Pay your respects at Normandy’s World War II beaches. Art, cuisine, style, joie de vivre —if you love everything français , this is for you: a 15-day journey that combines our popular Lyon & Provence and Paris & the Heart of Normandy cruises into one tour de force.

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2024 Tour de France: How to watch, schedule, odds for cycling's top race

tours of france 2024

The biggest cycling event of the year - the 111th Tour de France -- kicks off Saturday from Florence, Italy. The 2024 Tour de France's unusual route starts in Italy for the first time ever to honor 100 years since the first Italian victory in the Tour by Ottavio Bottecchia in 1924. Also, due to the 2024 Summer Olympics, the Tour de France will not finish in Paris for the first time in event history.

The 21 stages will cover more than 2,000 miles from Saturday through July 21. Two-time defending winner Jonas Vingegaard looks to become just the ninth cyclist to win at least three Tour de France races. Last year's runner-up, Tadej Pogačar, is looking to do the same. He won in 2020 and 2021 before finishing second to Vingegaard in 2022 and 2023.

Here's what you need to know about this year's race:

How to watch the 2024 Tour de France

NBC Sports will broadcast the 2024 Tour de France in the U.S. All stages will be available via streaming on Peacock and fuboTV with three stages - 8, 14, and 20 - broadcast on NBC as well.

How to watch: Catch the 2024 Tour de France with a fuboTV subscription

2024 Tour de France stage schedule, distance, characteristics

  • Coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. ET
  • Coverage begins at 6:05 a.m. ET
  • Coverage begins at 6:50 a.m. ET
  • Coverage begins at 7 a.m. ET
  • Coverage begins at 6:55 a.m. ET
  • Coverage begins at 7:10 a.m. ET
  • Coverage begins at 6 a.m. ET
  • Coverage begins at 7:05 a.m. ET
  • Coverage begins at 7:30 a.m. ET
  • Coverage begins at 7:35 a.m. ET
  • Coverage begins at 10:10 a.m. ET

2024 Tour de France odds

Pogačar holds a slight edge as the favorite for victory in the 2024 Tour de France, per BetMGM's latest cycling odds . Here's how the field looks:

Odds as of Tuesday afternoon.

  • Tadej Pogačar (-165)
  • Jonas Vingegaard (+200)
  • Primož Roglič (+800)
  • Remco Evenepoel (+1400)
  • Juan Ayuso (+3300)
  • Carlos Rodríguez (+3300)
  • Adam Yates (+3300)
  • João Almeida (+3300)
  • Matteo Jorgenson (+3300)
  • Egan Bernal (+6600)
  • Simon Yates (+6600)
  • Enric Mas (+10000)
  • Tom Pidcock (+10000)
  • Felix Gall (+10000)
  • Richard Carapaz (+10000)
  • Mikel Landa (+10000)
  • Geraint Thomas (+10000)
  • David Gaudu (+30000)
  • Oscar Onley (+30000)
  • Wout van Aert (+30000)
  • Romain Bardet (+50000)
  • Giulio Ciccone (+50000)
  • Mathieu van der Poel (+100000)
  • Mark Cavendish (+500000)

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IMAGES

  1. Tour de France 2024 : carte détaillée et parcours complet des étapes

    tours of france 2024

  2. Tour De France 2024: A Comprehensive Guide to the Race Route

    tours of france 2024

  3. Calendrier Des Etapes Tour De France 2024

    tours of france 2024

  4. Les étapes du Tour de France 2024

    tours of france 2024

  5. Tour De France 2024 Stage Maps

    tours of france 2024

  6. 2024 Tour De France Dates

    tours of france 2024

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    Bike & barge tour Provence and Camargue: from Avignon to Aigues-Mortes. 5.0 (1 traveler review) "The rooms, while small, were comfortable. I would love to do another bike/barge tour." Debbie, traveled in May 2024. Destinations. Avignon, Villeneuve-les-Avignon, Aramon, Pont du Gard, +5 more.

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    The 2024 Tour de France's unusual route starts in Italy for the first time ever to honor 100 years since the first Italian victory in the Tour by Ottavio Bottecchia in 1924. Also, due to the 2024 ...

  27. List of teams and cyclists in the 2024 Tour de France

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  28. How to watch Tour de France 2024: Daily TV schedule & live stream

    June 25, 2024 12:14 pm ET If you're a cycling enthusiast, then you don't want to miss the Tour de France, which you can watch from Saturday, June 29 through Sunday, July 21, on Fubo and Peacock.