Travel News: The race is on;

The best deals, the latest hot spots and what's new in travel


The race is on

Travellers to Alsace this weekend will find themselves at the centre of the sporting world. Many World Cup spectators have based themselves in the French city of Strasbourg, which is well placed for access to several match venues in Germany - as well as the England training base in Baden-Baden.

Even though the World Cup has reached a critical stage, sporting interest is shifting west across the Rhine this weekend for the start of the Tour de France. This cycling road race, which began in 1903, is the world's largest annual professional sporting event measured in terms of the number of spectators. It is due to start this morning in Strasbourg, with events in the city today and tomorrow; short-notice flights are available from Gatwick on Air France (0870 142 4343; www.airfrance.com/uk). But if you can't reach Strasbourg, over the next 22 days visitors to many parts of France will get a chance to see the Tour de France circus. The itinerary looks geared to appeal to British travellers.

On 6 July, the Tour finishes for the day at Caen, which is served by Brittany Ferries (08705 360360; www.brittanyferries.co.uk) from Portsmouth. This Normandy city is a good gateway for the next few days; on 8 July, the Breton capital of Rennes is the finishing point of the individual time trials. This city, with half-timbered houses, is easy to reach on Eurostar (08705 186 186, www.eurostar.com) from London Waterloo via Paris.

On 10 July, the Tour moves south-west, with a rest day in Bordeaux. This is followed by a stage from there to Dax, then from the Basque thermal spa of Cambo-les-Bains to Pau - a town with a spectacular panorama of the Pyrenees. Bordeaux is accessible from several UK airports, while Pau has a connection from Stansted on Ryanair (0871 246 0000; www.ryanair.com).

Le Creusot in Burgundy sees the tour depart on 22 July to Montceau-les-Mines for the last individual time trial; Eurostar is the obvious choice, since Le Creusot has its own TGV station. And the last stage to Paris takes place on 23 July, when the cyclists race along the Champs-Elysées.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine