Riding the Tour de France Course

Exercise Science Studies in France

The Tour de France is the iconic, 21-day bicycle race held most years since 1903. But while the multi-million dollar extravaganza draws millions of viewers, there are still plenty of people in France living below the poverty line. Add an impact by volunteering at a food bank or homeless shelter on your trip.

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Sojourn – Gain a better understanding of the community you’re visiting. Learn about different religions or spiritual practices. How do these impact the communities? How does religion or spirituality influence local traditions?

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Savor – Will you choose sweet or savory? Take the time to visit local markets and discover unique local ingredients. Learn how to prepare traditional meals & local favorites.

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Tip of the Tongue – Each morning, take the time to learn a few basic greetings and phrases in the local language. Learn how to write greetings & your name in the local script.

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A Wrinkle in Time – History influences our present. Discover the history of the country you visit. Hear the stories of your guides & their family history. Where do they come from?

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Journal Journeys – Take some time to reflect on the day’s events and document your journey. Spend a moment journaling about the day had & day ahead. These are memories for a lifetime!

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Culture – From local dances, festivals, or simple gestures to communicate – all of these make up a country’s culture. Learn and practice cultural norms & how to show respect in the culture you visit.

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Today you’ll arrive in Paris, but you won’t have long to relax. The group will meet at the Champs-Elysee, the traditional starting point of the Tour de France, to set off on its tour of just a few of the most scenic routes along the traditional course. Today you will travel on bike from Paris to Rambouillet. The ride should take just under 4 hours. Along the way, the group will cycle past Versailles, the most famous French royal palace. You’ll stop in Rambouillet for the night. 

You will get a rest from cycling today. The group will board a bus headed for Lyon, another customary stop along the race route. The leg of the race in this area typically travels from Reims to Nancy. The bus ride will be about 5 hours before the group arrives in Lyon. You’ll have the afternoon to explore this lovely French city. Take in the sights, observe the people, or shop and browse through local galleries. The group will dine together this evening.

You’ll hop back on your bike for today’s adventure. The group will start bright and early on its trek east to Colmar. The ride should take about 5 hours today, and you’re in for a treat of stunning scenery. Along the way, you’ll be able to see the Swiss Alps off in the distance. You’ll travel through several charming towns. Your destination for the evening, Colmar, is sometimes called “Little Venice.” Colmar Old Town is a sight to behold with its colorful provincial homes and narrow canals. You’ll have the evening here to relax and unwind from your full day of cycling.

The group will board a train today near Colmar for its journey to Bordeaux in the west. Bordeaux is one of the most famous cities that hosts the Tour de France. It is considered the French wine capital with an estimated 700 million bottles of wine produced here annually. Part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once the train arrives, you’ll have the entire afternoon to explore the city at your leisure before meeting up with your group for dinner. 

A train will take the group from Bordeaux this morning, four hours north to Nantes, another stop along the Tour de France route. Once there, you’ll explore a medieval castle – the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne, which was built in the 1400s and even features a moat. You’ll spend the afternoon exploring the Jardin des Plantes and the Les Machines de L’lle before touring the 400-year-old Nantes Cathedral. The group will spend the night in Nantes.

The group will travel by bus today from Nantes to Alencon in the Normandy region. The trip will take about 3 hours. Once in Normandy, you’ll visit the Tour de France Cycle Museum. Here you’ll discover many fascinating stories from the tour, and enjoy exhibits of bikes, jerseys and other memorabilia from the some of the race’s greatest athletes. You’ll spend the night here in the Normandy region and enjoy one final French dinner with the group before heading home tomorrow. 

Your day of travel begins early with a 2-hour train ride from Alencon to Paris. Once in Paris, your guide will navigate the streets to deliver you to the airport in time for your departure later that afternoon. Spend your final hours in the City of Lights picking up a couple of souvenirs or enjoying one last croissant before your flight. 

To study exercise science along the Tour de France course is undoubtedly spectacular. There is so much to see in this European country that’s it’s hard to pick which items make it on the list. This trip focuses on the famous race, held throughout the country since 1903. Your stops will include just a few of the traditional waypoints along the race route.


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