6 tips for crossing the Massif Central by mountain bike

good advice and a route on my desired list of things to do ….


The Massif Central region of France is quite literally, massif massive, stretching from virtually the centre of France right down to the Mediterranean, and covering some largely remote 36,000 square miles (93,000 square km) of mountain, high plateaux, forests and heathland.

As the Rough Guide states… “Thickly forested and sliced by numerous rivers and lakes, the once volcanic uplands of the Massif Central are geologically the oldest part of France and culturally one of the most firmly rooted in the past. Industry and tourism have made few inroads here, and the people remain rural and somewhat taciturn, with an enduring sense of regional identity“.


The Grand Traversee du Massif Central (GTMC) mountain bike route crosses this region, running for some 446 miles (718 km) from Clermont-Ferrand in the north, to Sète, just south of Montpellier on the Mediterranean Sea. This was the first long-distance mountain bike route to…

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