Highlights of the route
La Véloscénie begins at Notre-Dame Cathedral, on the Ile de la Cité, the island at the heart of historic Paris.
Paris's Left Bank is famed for its Latin Quarter, Saint-Germain and Montparnasse, areas closely associated with intellectuals, students and artists.
The splendid Parc de Sceaux was designed in the 17th century by the great landscaper, Le Nôtre, for Louis XIV's great minister, Colbert.
The Aérotrain, an inspired if shortlived method of transport, was created by engineer Jean Bertin in 1964.
The Vallée de Chevreuse is in fact the valley of the Yvette River, a small tributary of the Orge.
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 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.
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 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).
Nogent-le-Rotrou is dominated by an impressive rectangular medieval keep, 30m in height. Ramparts with seven towers add to the defences.
Courboyer Manor is an imposing 15th-century lordly dwelling, typical of those built at the centre of the Perche's big farming estates.
Magnificent Carrouges Castle was built from 14th to 16th centuries.
The warm springs of the spa town of Bagnoles-de-l'Orne were said to rejuvenate those who drank them.
Les Andaines Forest is made up of pine, oak and beech woods and includes many remarkable sights.
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.
However many images you've seen of the Mont St-Michel rising majestically from its massive bay, coming in person is a moving experience.