France Maps- Guides and Books


General Maps and Books

Michelin and IGN (Institut Geographique National) are the key suppliers of paper maps in France.
  • IGN 1:100k map catalogue "Tourisme et Decouverte" also called the "100" , is about the right scale, often fits to your ride better than Michelin and the topographic features are very useful.  We use these a lot. Follow the catalogue to get the map's number and then put the number in where X is when you search Amazon for "IGN Maps Top 100 X".
  • IGN 1:25k scale, the Blue series, also called "25" is probably just a bit too large a scale to make sense for bike riders but you do get great detail, and if you are going off main roads, they can be worth the money.
  • Michelin "Local maps" catalogue 1:150k and 1:200k, sometimes these are the perfect fit for a self guided tour and the scale is about as small as you can get and still be very useful.  We suggest you use this link to a catalogue-map to find the serial number=X then search Amazon for "Michelin local maps France X".
  • Charity shops; if you are close to one just check what they have as you may be lucky and find what you are looking for, most roads do not change that much over time and a quick check on Google Maps will let see if someone has built a motorway or dismantled a bridge since the map was published.
  • Basic GPS; used on phones, tablets and GPS units all over the place, useful when things go wrong.   Take care when buying that you understand the total cost of the SD-maps you may need, that you have the right sort of chargers and that you can use them easily on the ride.
  • Tablet PC maps; with added GPS, now getting very attractive.  For example available at Georando.
  • Geo Portail ; which is a serious competitor to Google Maps & Google Earth in France.
  • Google Maps ; 2D mapping, plus terrain, plus pictures, plus plus.
  • Google Earth ; 3D version of Google maps, very good if you want to understand the terrain.


  • We are great believers in the Rough Guide range.  At the moment for France you can get the France Guide, Lyon, Paris and many regions of France.
  • The Michelin Green Guide range is very different as it provides a wealth of destination idetails including historical background, art and architecture, cultural insights as well as restaurant and hotel information focusing geographically which may be your thing, follow the link to the catalogue and then check prices at Amazon.
  • And of course there is Lonely Planet's Cycling France book.
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