Since 2012, you can enjoy a new cycling adventure across northwest France. The Veloscenic is a well-signposted route from Paris via Chartres and Normandy, to the Mont St-Michel.
This exceptional trail crosses such gorgeous areas as the Chevreuse Valley, the Perche, French Maine and the Bocage Normand.
The route is accessible to different levels of cyclist. Long stretches are along greenways, linked by quiet roads. The Ile-de-France section from Massy to Epernon is provisional.
Interactive map - click on the sections
However many images you've seen of the Mont St-Michel rising majestically from its massive bay, coming in person is a moving experience.
The village of Ducey, with the River Sélune flowing by, looks over the Bay of the Mont St-Michel and acts as a gateway to its memorable plains.
Les Andaines Forest is made up of pine, oak and beech woods and includes many remarkable sights.
The warm springs of the spa town of Bagnoles-de-l'Orne were said to rejuvenate those who drank them.
Courboyer Manor is an imposing 15th-century lordly dwelling, typical of those built at the centre of the Perche's big farming estates.
Nogent-le-Rotrou is dominated by an impressive rectangular medieval keep, 30m in height. Ramparts with seven towers add to the defences.
The great novelist Marcel Proust (1871-1922) made the little town of Illiers famous, describing it in fascinating detail under the name of Combray in his great work, A la Recherche du temps perdu (In Search of Lost Time).
Your first vision of Chartres Cathedral, a Unesco World Heritage Site, will be of its soaring towers rising out of the immense, flat Beauce Plain.
The famed watergardens at Louis XIV's Château de Versailles required vast amounts of water. The springs nearby proved insufficient, so engineers hatched the idea to transport water from the River Eure beside the Château de Maintenon.
Rambouillet Forest, with its great oak woods, its lakes, its sandy zones and its secretive little valleys, attracts over 10 million visitors a year.
The Vallée de Chevreuse is in fact the valley of the Yvette River, a small tributary of the Orge.
The Aérotrain, an inspired if shortlived method of transport, was created by engineer Jean Bertin in 1964.
The splendid Parc de Sceaux was designed in the 17th century by the great landscaper, Le Nôtre, for Louis XIV's great minister, Colbert.
Paris's Left Bank is famed for its Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain and Montparnasse, areas closely associated with intellectuals, students and artists.
Two English women cycling the stage "Orne" of the Veloscenic