Private bike tours outside Paris
Don't miss the chance to bike with Bruce!
"After a week of Paris sights, my daughter and I longed for the countryside. How fortunate we were to find Bruce McAleer and his bike tour company, French Mystique Tours. Here we discovered Paris off the beaten track, devoid of tourists and replete with history, romance and, thanks to Bruce, humor. Bruce, a Boston native, skillfully guided us along the Marne River just outside of Paris. It was a beautiful fall day. The sycamore trees, splendid in gold and orange, lined the Marne River as it wound its way through a rich and fascinating history.
After taking us to pick out tasty sandwiches and pastries from an exquisite patisserie, Bruce started us on our bike ride through the countryside. Bruce loves his adopted country of France and shared a wealth of information with us about the area. We rode up to Eglise Saint Nicolas, a medieval church where pilgrimages were made to see the still existing statue of the Virgin Mary. We visited one of the oldest abbeys in France and a Neolithic menhir. Bruce has a teacher’s keen awareness of his audience and delighted my 13 year old daughter with tales of 1900’s era gangsters and a visit to a small horseback riding academy. Along the shores of the Marne, the Impressionists painted en plein air, and Madam Pompadour went all out with chateau decorating and formal garden landscaping. On a small knoll above the Marne, she created a mini Versailles, without the tourists! Our tour ended with a visit to a gem of the industrial age, the Menier Chocolate Factory, currently short-listed to become a UNESCO World Heritage site. We finished the four hour ride, happily full of the beauty and history of France with the added benefit of exercise.
Bruce was a gentleman from start to finish. He made sure our bikes were adjusted correctly, gave us ample opportunity for picture taking and let us know exactly what to expect every step of the way. Because of Bruce’s generosity of knowledge, we were able to put into a broader context all we had learned while in Paris. He managed to find the perfect balance between guiding and giving us time to just relax and appreciate the beauty. French Mystique Tours is a new business for Bruce. He offers a variety of tours to a multitude of sights. Catch him now! In a few months when word gets out, I predict he will be fully booked. For a precious memory, I strongly encourage you to discover France by bike with Bruce."
- Visited October 2011
Sharon W. - Nevada City, CA, USA
Awesome Day Trip!
"People are always asking "What is a great day trip outside of Paris." Well, a bike trip with French Mystique Tours is the answer! I was in Paris solo for the month of September and wanted an authentic experience outside the city and off the beaten path. I contacted Bruce and he arranged several day trips for me. We biked all around the Bois de Boulogne, Bois de Vincennes and twice along the Marne River. Bruce is an expert on many areas outside the city. Besides great biking, I got some history and interesting stories about the places we visited.He is very professional and I felt it was a great value for the cost. It was perfect for a solo traveler because I was on my own and wanted to meet other like minded travelers. It would also be perfect for couples or parents looking for a fun day for their kids outside the city. I will definitely be biking with Bruce again on my next visit and would highly recommend his tours!"
- Visited September 2011
Jane - Cincinnati, OH, USA
A Magical Day Cycling along the Marne River with French Mystique Tours!
"When I moved to Paris from Switzerland about 6 months ago, I almost didn't bring my bicycle because I thought that there wouldn't be anywhere for me to ride it. That was before I found out about French Mystique Tours and spent a magical day cycling along the Marne River with Bruce. Now I'm hooked and am sure that my bike (and me!) will get a good workout during the time that I'm in Paris.
Since I didn't feel comfortable riding my bike in the city on my own or taking it on the metro, Bruce suggested that we meet at the bike rental store. Bruce helped our group select and adjust our bikes and helmets before taking our bikes on the RER train to the charming village of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés.
After picking up some tasty sandwiches and pastries from a local bakery, we cycled along the Marne River. The blue water, swans, river boats and weeping willows lining the banks of the river were a welcome sight after months of seeing only the cityscapes of Paris. Along the way, Bruce pointed out points of interest and told us about the local history.
With a casual attitude yet an eye for detail, it was a real pleasure to cycle with Bruce. I'm going to recommend French Mystique Bike Tours to my friends and family when they visit, especially the ones who are looking for something a bit unique or different to do while they're on vacation. In the meantime, I've got my eye on the "French Mystique Bike Tour to Paris's Royal and Impressionist Era Suburbs".
- Visited September 2011
Mary Kay - Paris, France
One word - WOW!!!
"At the tail end of a month-long stay in Paris last June, a friend and I joined Bruce on a lovely day-long bike ride out of Paris along the Seine to the Marne. After a week of unseasonable hot weather, the day was gorgeous, with crystal clear skies and perfect temperatures. My friend and I spent some time that Sunday morning at the Bastille market choosing the right items for our picnic lunch. Bruce met us right on time and carefully guided around the huge Bastille round-about and down the Bassin de la Bastille to the river.
What a glorious day! The path along the Seine was easy and not well-traveled. The huge red Asian pagoda-like building at the split where we picked up the Marne was interesting. Along the Marne, as the day went on, we encountered more traffic, but Bruce kept the pace easy and we stopped as needed to get water, take pictures and make it a perfect ride. We went past the guinguettes of Joinville (which were extremely crowded), stopped on the grounds of an old abbey that is in ruins now. This was in St. Maur, where we also visited a lovely church (I am a sucker for a good church!). At the abbey, we enjoyed out lunch and a climb up to a monolith that was erected there quite some time ago.
Once we felt we had gone out far enough, Bruce turned us around and after a short time, took us off the river path and through some small towns and ultimately through the Bois de Vincennes back into Paris. It was nice not to travel along the same path on the way back. We were expertly guided the entire day at a pace that was really just right. The company was superb and it really was one of the highlights of my trip.
I have friends now just outside of Paris that I hope to visit again and again. You need to visit them, too. It is well worth it!!"
- Visited June 2011
Katharine - Louisville, KY, USA
Châteaux by vélo, what a great mix!
"I have been living in Paris for over 20 years, but like most Parisians I’m familiar with Paris « intra muros » but rarely venture outside the city limits. So, when a friend of mine, knowing my passion for bike riding, suggested I try French Mystique Tours and one of Bruce’s tours, I jumped on the occasion. We made arrangements to go for a tour on a nice, sunny Sunday in June.From the beginning (meeting in Gare de Lyon) to the end of the trip (coming back via Gare de l’Est) everything was perfectly planned and executed. Bruce seemed to have given thought to every little detail : the train ride, the difficulty of the cycling, the estimated times….Even down to THE place to go to, to get the best baguette in Melun, to a nice cold beer on the way back, everything seemed to unfold nicely and smoothly. One of the highlights of the tour was riding by the Château Vaux le Vicomte. There, to my great surprise, Bruce knew more about the history of the place than I ever did ! He told me some great anecdotes which I will remember longer than I would have if I had read them in a history book. This was a wonderful day of culture combined with exercise. In my opinion, touring in an intelligent and healthy fashion like this is the way to go !"
- Visited June 2011
Stéphanie - Paris, France
Great Tour with Awesome Guide!
"What a wonderful day my husband, daughter and I spent in May with Bruce biking in the french country side from Fontainebleau. We appreciated the knowledge he provided on the towns and sites we visited.
Everything was so well organized when it came time to book and make our deposit arrangements. His communications with us before we arrived were excellent giving us tips and ideas to make our ride a success.
Thank you so much Bruce. French Mystique Tour was the highlight of our trip and my husband and I will definatly be coming back to Paris and will be making arrangements to book another bike tour with you."
- Visited May 2011
Daniele - Alberta, Canada
The PERFECT off the beaten path excursion.
"Had a dream day cycling along the Marne river with some girlfriends yesterday. It was glorious!
Started off in a quaint village, passed the remains of an ancient abbey, then along the river and all the barges. There was a bridge designed by Eiffel, a chateau with classic gardens and the world's first automated chocolate factory. Had a delicious picnic on the river banks, watching herons, loons and swans with their ugly ducklings. It was the perfect blend of man and nature, sports and history.
Bruce, our guide, had lots of history to share about everything from the beginnings of industrialization in France to the model for the first night clubs, from the king's mistress to the first gangsters using get away cars. Really great fun.
I live here, but this is the kind of trip I just wouldn't be able to do on my own. I LOVED it and can't wait to try the next one."
- Visited September 2011
Sylvia - Paris, France
A great day, highly recommended.
"It was a great bike tour I took when I was in Paris earlier this year. It really was the highlight of my trip, it’s the only way to see and experience the real France – no tour buses or tourists, just pedalling through villages and the countryside in perfect weather.
From the start when I made my initial query Bruce was most helpful and informative and tailored the day tour to meet my specific needs and I appreciated that. His helpful and detailed information on which metro and the RER to use were appreciated as well.
And it was a great way to burn off some of those extra calories!"
Will definitely be back again on my next visit.
- Visited May 2011
Kathy - Western Australia
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