Hotel barge operator European Waterways has introduced a variety of e-bike rental opportunities on most of its itineraries in France for 2020.

European Waterways' e-bike rentals

Cycling alongside one of European Waterway’s boats in France.

The company has also upgraded its tailored biking maps to provide more detailed and easier-to-follow route information, that includes historical context for self-guided bike tours through the towns and attractions along the barge routes.

The maps are available in printed form and can also be downloaded to mobile phones, with the e-bikes adding a modern twist on the regular biking options provided by the company.

Among the hotel barges offering this option in France are La Belle Époque, L’Art de Vivre, and L’Impressionniste in Burgundy, Renaissance in the Upper Loire and Western Burgundy, Anjodi in the Canal du Midi, and Panache in Alsace.

Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways, said: “E-bikes are an absolute pleasure to ride. Technology allows them to offer riders just the right amount of assistance to handle slopes on surrounding terrain with greater ease.

“Riders can concentrate on the view and soak in the natural beauty of the French countryside, rather than tackling that ‘daunting’ little hill, or the final mile on extended treks.”

A bike for everyone

Each vessel in European Waterways’ fleet carries bicycles and helmets as part of the amenities available free to guests.

“Barging and Biking” charters are available for the keen cyclists and biking groups that may want more upgraded bikes and the opportunity to roam longer distances.

They can include guided, half-day itineraries with a picnic in the countryside and are customised to meet every level of interest and experience, from rugged Highland routes that will test the endurance, to level towpath circuits that can be taken at a leisurely pace.

“Biking Plus” options allow guests to follow carefully researched bike routes on their own during the cruise and return to the barge where they left it, or further up the canal.

Itineraries are arranged around guests’ biking schedules so groups don’t miss any planned activities, or organised excursions.

Derek, added: “With more flexible biking options, our guests are free to roam near and far, whether on the gentle towpaths alongside our barges, or the moderate and sometimes challenging slopes of the charming French countryside.”

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