This year's Tour de France will be a northern treat, with the first three stages in the Manche department in Normandy. Here is the full 2016 Tour de France route.
The Grand Départ
The 2016 Tour de France peloton will start rolling on Saturday July 2, setting off from the foot of Mont St-Michel – just three years since its last showcase appearance on the 100th Tour de France route – and take in three days of riding through Normandy.
The Grand Départ starts ar one iconic place and ends at another: Utah Beach, one of the historic D-Day Landing Beaches, with the riders arriving having navigated the Bay of Mont St Michel and crossing the beautiful Cotentin Peninsula.
Stage 1: Mont-Saint Michel to Utah Beach
Here, the riders will be exposed to winds off the Channel, but it will be a relatively flat route nicely set up for a sprint finish.
Stage 2: Saint-Lô to Cherbourg
Stage 2 leaves Saint-Lô and heads towards Coutances before heading back to the coast. On the way to La Hague, the peloton will climb La Glacerie (in part 14% gradient) on their way from Cherbourg to Octeville.
Stage 3 on July 4 starts from the seaside resort of Granville and end in Angers, in the Loire Valley.
“The Manche is a very beautiful department with breath taking scenery," said Tour de France director, Christian Prudhomme. "It offers varied terrain that will favour the sprinters at Utah Beach, and allow the punchers their chance to standout in the hills above Cherbourg-Octeville. Let us not forget the Mont-Saint-Michel that will majestically enhance the very first pedal strokes of the riders of the peloton."
The president of the Manche General Council, Jean-François Le Grand, promised the Tour de France a "warm and passionate welcome".
“It was written that the history of cycling, the Tour de France and the Manche would one day converge," he said. "The coming together of the three during the 2016 start will be magic.”
Cycling in Normandy
We have this super advice on cycling in Normandy, plus a page of cycling links. We also have pages dedicated to the London-Paris Avenue Verte – which is bound to be a busy route come June and July 2016. See here for a Cherbourg bike route idea, and here for an excellent guidebook for cycling in the north of France.
We also have an overview of the Tour de Manche bike route, a guide to seeing the D-Day Beaches by bike, and this page on cycling from Mont St Michel to the D-Day Beaches (your very own Stage 1). Or would you prefer cycling Caen to Honfleur or taking the Véloroute du Littoral de la Côte d'Albâtre? There's a Caen loop ride suggestion here too.
Full 2016 Tour de France route
Stage 1: Saturday July 2: Mont-Saint-Michel - Utah Beach Sainte-Marie-du-Mont
Stage 2: Sunday, July 3: Saint Lô - Cherbourg-Octeville
Stage 3: Monday, July 4: Granville > Angers
Stage 4: Tuesday, July 5: Saumur > Limoges
Stage 5: Wednesday, July 6: Limoges > Le Lioran
Stage 6: Thursday, July 7: Arpajon-sur-Cère to Montauban
Stage 7: Friday, July 8: L'Isle-Jourdain to Lac de Payolle
Stage 8, Saturday, July 9: Pau to Bagnères-de-Luchon
Stage 9, Sunday, July 10: Vielha Val d'Aran to Andorre Arcalis
Rest day, Monday, July 11: Andorra
Stage 10, Tuesday, July 12: Escaldes-Engordany to Revel
Stage 11, Wednesday, July 13: Carcassonne to Montpellier
Stage 12, Thursday, July 14: Montpellier to Mont Ventoux
Stage 13, Friday, July 15: Bourg-Saint-Andéol to La Caverne du Pont-d'Arc
Stage 14, Saturday, July 16: Montélimar to Villars-les-Dombes Parc des Oiseaux
Stage 15, Sunday, July 17: Bourg-en-Bresse to Culoz
Stage 16, Monday, July 18: Moirans-en-Montagne to Bern
Rest day, Tuesday, July 19: Bern (Switzerland)
Stage 17, Wednesday, July 20: Bern to Finhaut-Emosson (Switzerland)
Stage 18, Thursday, July 21: Sallanches to Megève
Stage 19, Friday, July 22: Albertville to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc
Stage 20, Saturday, July 23: Megève to Morzine
Stage 21, Sunday, July 24: Chantilly to Paris Champs-Élysées
Tour de France accommodation
Following the Tour de France
See our dedicated Tour de France section for lots of advice and information, including info on watching the Tour de France in person, and our beginner's guide. We'll post more info as it comes to hand on the 2016 Tour, including full route info and accommodation options. See here for ferry info if you're crossing the Channel from the UK with your bike (see here for info on the Caen voie verte from the port to the town centre).