The weather is beautiful. The sun is out, flowers are in full bloom and conditions are perfect for bicycling. As it happens, one of the great cycle routes in Europe, EuroVelo 6, runs right through Besançon and the surrounding countryside.
EuroVelo is an extensive network of 15 bicycling routes that criss-cross Europe. The section that runs through Besançon begins at the Atlantic in Nantes, and ends at the Black Sea, passing through 10 countries along the way. In Besançon, it follows the meandering river Doubs through rural villages and farm country. Montbéliearde cattle graze in the green fields here, producing milk that will be used to make the local specialty, Comté cheese.
The Doubs, which is the name of the river, as well as the river’s valley and this department of Franche-Comté, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Besides cycling, it’s a great area for runners, kayakers, rowers, anglers and birders. The forested hills that line the valley are home to hundreds of bird species, and you’ll often spot falcons flying overhead, and herons fishing at the river’s edge.
Our summery weather has just begun, and I’ve got a feeling I’ll be spending lots of time along this path in the months to come.