Thursday 21 June 2012

Cycle Touring Costs in France

 “One bike for two people.  Are you poor?” came the smart alec comment from a Dutchman lounging in a café chair in the square in Chalon-sur-Saone, in Burgundy. 
Campground fees were averaging just over E12.00 per night.
Compared to the legions of Dutch pouring across France in their oversized mobile homes and caravans, I’m sure we are. But we enjoy the way we travel – the fresh air, the smells and the constant contact with people as we pass by on our tandem.  Even if we had more money, it’s doubtful whether we would want to travel any other way.
So what is it costing?
Here’s a list of our expenses over exactly four weeks (28 days) from mid May to mid June 2012.
Prices are in Euros and for a couple travelling together.  See link below to convert to the currency of your choice.
Food*                                                                      E 516.81
Evening meals out (4x2 people=8 meals)            181.50
Campground Fees**                                                340.77
Four gas (Primus) cylinders for stove***               25.40
Entrance Fees***                                                       61.00
Bike maintenance – inner tube & patches    8.90
Other****                                                                    64.39
Total                                                                         1,198.77
Daily Average                                                               42.82
Currency Converter
Entrance fees can chew up money, but fortunately we
both suffer from what we call "museum feet" and limit
our visits.
Bananas - the cyclists' staple - from exotic places like
Martinique and Cameroon. E1.19 per kilo.
*Excluding evening meals out, but includes coffee at bars/tabac on about two out of every three days,  and supermarket wine most nights.
**Campground fees averaged E12.17 per night, but survey period is outside the summer peak, so expect to pay more in late June, July and August.  Municipal campgrounds tend to have fewer facilities and are much cheaper than those run by private enterprise.  Sometimes we get discounts of E3.00 or more because we are cycling or have a Camping Carnet (from the Automobile Association in New Zealand).

*** Primus cylinders are expensive and difficult to find in France. Camping Gaz is much more popular.  

**** Even outside the summer peak, entrance fees for some of the chateaux on the Loire can top E13.00 per person.
**** Other includes washing powder and tokens in campgrounds, maps, postage, postcards, Voltarin, internet use etc. 
Other points to note:
No costs for air travel, medical/travel insurance etc.
Expect to pay considerably more in the big cities and tourist centres.
It’s usually cheaper halving costs with someone than travelling alone.


  1. YUM that food looks great guys! Good to hear from you too and that you are going well. Just booked accommodation in Rome and a train trip to Paris - just over two months to go now!! xxx

  2. I'm having flash backs to that castle! I love the Loire valley it is just amazlingly beautiful! Glad to see that you're still enjoying your trip.

  3. Ok that's weird. You're anonymous comment is from Fi. I don't know how to work this site!! xx

    1. Hi Fi, In the "Reply as" Box, click on down arrow then choose "Name/URL" and type in your name in the box then hit "Continue" then "Publish" I had the same problem at first, Cheers Mark


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