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Tour de France Tips: Best Views, Activities & More

Tour de France Tips: Best Views, Activities & More Photo

Photo by haslo04

Posted on June 25, 2010 in Travel Tips

Between the World Cup and Wimbledon, fans of international sports have already been spoiled for choice this summer, and July 3 brings the start of the Tour de France. Want to watch this one in person? IgoUgo members who have cheered the race in France share tips for how to make the most of this summer-travel tradition. Hint: Despite the hype, the Arc de Triomphe may not be the best place for viewing. Our travelers explain--but be sure to see their full reviews for even more tips and tricks.

“Race roads close the day before the cyclists arrive, so in order to see the bikers up close, one needs to find a small town in the middle of nowhere that has an alternative access road. Pick a town that is too big or too close to the finish and you will stand in a crowd of Americans. Pick right and you will get in the middle of the local French spirit and have the bikers pass several feet from your nose. We chose a small Pyrenees village as our base for the day and drove there in our rented car.”
--haslo04 from Tour de France

“Le Tour is an amazing spectacle, but plan ahead: Using a local road map, have a good look for an accessible place to view. If you can view on the upward part of a hill then you get to see the cyclists for longer. If you stand near a corner it can be exciting but there is a danger of crashes, so ensure you don’t stand in the firing line. Long, straight roads give you a great feeling of speed--so really the choice is yours.”
--Meggysmum from Le Tour de France

“A trip up Mont Ventoux is a must and the sensationally clear air at the summit offers its own reward. We were particularly interested in the marble memorial built to commemorate the death of the English rider Tom Simpson, who collapsed with heat exhaustion and died on the ascent of Mont Ventoux in the 1967 Tour de France. At the time he was challenging for the yellow jersey on this particularly grueling mountain climb.”
--MichaelJM from Mount Ventoux

Le Tour skips Alsace this year, but cycling-fan foodies shouldn’t: Roger Hassenforder Restaurant in Kaysersberg is full of cycling memorabilia and good Alsatian food. “Roger Hassenforder was a legendary cyclist in the 1950s who wore a yellow jersey in the Tour de France in 1953. And the restaurant is pretty, with old wooden beams and lights made out of old wagon wheels in a typical regional style.”
--UK Flower Girl in Roger Hassenforder Restaurant and Hotel

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