EuroVelo 6 crosses Europe from the Atlantic to the Black Sea. It’s subtitled the ‘Rivers Route’, and in France that means that it includes the classic Loire cycleway from the coast to Paray le Monial. Our separate Loire guide has everything you need to know.
The route continues via a few country lanes and a short stretch beside the Saône. But the main draw is the traffic-free towpath along the Saône’s tributary, the Doubs.
France has many riverside cycle routes, but scenically this is in the premier league. The rocky valley sides and steep wooded slopes, particularly upstream of Besançon, are nothing short of breathtaking. Besançon is a destination in itself for its 17th century citadel and the preserved buildings of its city centre. Remarkably, neither Besançon nor the greater Doubs valley seem to have ever registered on the tourist trail.
After Montbéliard, the route heads for Mulhouse along a paved canal towpath which speeds you to the Rhine and the border with Germany.