The 10 most beautiful bike rides in Lyon

La boucle de Saint-Cyr au Mont D'Or

A city that lives with the times, Lyon has been doing its utmost for several years to encourage the use of two-wheelers. With its exceptional location, two rivers and attractive surroundings, there’s plenty to put together a great program of bike rides in Lyon!

Whether you’re a year-round resident of Lyon or just passing through, cycling in Lyon is an excellent way to discover not only the city, but also the beautiful rolling countryside of the Rhône.

That’s why we’ve divided our selection of cycling itineraries into two categories: the most beautiful bike rides starting from Lyon, and the most beautiful outings in the surrounding area.

Lyon’s most beautiful bike rides

1. Bike ride along the banks of the Rhône

Balade vélo Lyon

Photo credit : Alltrails

Let’s start with one of the great classics of cycling in Lyon: the banks of the Rhône. In either direction, this outing works in the same way, linking the Parc de la Tête d’Or and the legendary Gerland stadium in just a few pedal strokes, without ever taking your eyes off the river.

Beware of pedestrians and walkers, of whom there are many, especially at weekends, but apart from that, this walk presents no difficulties, and is easy to navigate, even for families with children. Watering holes, sunbathing spots and some lovely terraces invite you to take a break along the way.

2. Bike ride along the banks of the Saône river

Balade à vélo le long des berges de la Saône

Photo credit : Alltrails

After the Rhône, the Saône, because in Lyon you can’t have one without the other. The starting point is the quayside, not far from Place Bellecour in the heart of the Presqu’île. You’re soon surrounded by the hills of Fourvière and Vieux Lyon on one side, and the urbanized slopes of Croix-Rousse on the other: Lyon’s historic backdrop par excellence.

This pleasant bike ride in Lyon continues along the Saône, before heading back along the opposite bank to Ile Barbe. It’s a pleasant cycling loop with no major difficulties, and easy to extend for those who still have the pedal to the metal.

3. The Voie Verte to the Canal de Jonage

La Voie Verte vers le Canal de Jonage

Photo credit : Alltrails

This bike ride in Lyon is a kind of extension of the first outing along the banks of the Rhône. Departing from the Parc de la Tête d’Or, it’s an easy route that takes you out of Lyon’s urban heartland, while staying as close as possible to the river.

Once you’ve passed the Cité Internationale de Lyon, you enter Villeurbanne via the wooded Parc naturel de la Feyssine, ideal for a break on the grass or a picnic by the water. Afterwards, you’ll return via the same route, so there’s no risk of making a mistake!

4. Parc de la Tête d’Or tour

Le tour du Parc de la Tête d'Or

Photo credit : Alltrails

The Parc de la Tête d’Or is the perfect place to take a bike ride in Lyon if you’re cycling with children, for example. There’s plenty of space to let off steam for a while, with no risk of passing cars or other motorized machines, which cyclists can easily do without, especially with the younger ones.

The tour of the Parc de la Tête d’Or is an easy stroll, accessible to all, but watch out for walkers on the paths! This pretty walk is full of sights: the Tête d’Or lake, the Grande Île, Lyon zoo, the botanical garden, etc., etc….

5. Climbing Fourvière by bike

L'ascension de Fourvière à vélo

Photo credit : Alltrails

Not all bike rides in Lyon are easy, far from it… With the climb up Fourvière hill, make sure your chainrings are working properly, because it’s a serious climb!

This fairly strenuous circuit, with its steep gradients, takes you past several of Lyon’s must-sees: the Place Bellecour to get your bearings, the steep ascent to Fourvière, the view from Notre-Dame Basilica, the ancient Roman theaters, and then the suddenly much faster descent to the Rhône.

The most beautiful bike rides around Lyon

6. The Saint-Cyr au Mont D’Or loop

balade vélo Lyon : La boucle de Saint-Cyr au Mont D'Or

Photo credit : Alltrails

You don’t have to go far to get a change of scenery and get away from the city. The Saint-Cyr au Mont D’Or loop (22 minutes by car) is one of the most beautiful bike rides in Lyon, allowing you to explore the Monts d’Or massif from its most striking village.

Already at a higher level than Lyon’s city walks, expect a fair amount of elevation change in these gentle, low mountain landscapes. Or will you be tempted by the high hills, where you’ll come close to Mont Verdun, the highest point in the area at 626m? A splendid day out, with plenty of stops along the way.

7. Around Lac aux Eaux Bleues

Le tour du Lac aux Eaux Bleues

Photo credit : Alltrails

On the outskirts of Lyon, this family cycling itinerary takes in the Lac des Eaux Bleues, in the Grand Parc de Miribel-Jonage (20 minutes away by car). This large man-made lake has become a veritable nature conservation area, while also providing a great recreational area for the inhabitants of the Lyon metropolitan area.

A pleasant bike ride in Lyon, particularly recommended in fine weather. When the weather’s warm, the Lac des Eaux Bleues offers plenty of opportunities for swimming, perfect for cooling off between pedal strokes… don’t forget your swimsuits!

8. Grand parc de Miribel Jonage

balade vélo Lyon : Le Grand parc de Miribel Jonage

Photo credit : Alltrails

Still in the popular Grand Parc de Miribel Jonage area, north-east of Lyon, we change scale with an outing that’s longer and more demanding than the previous one, but in an almost identical setting: a grand tour across the island of Miribel-Jonage (20 minutes away by car).

A breath of fresh air and greenery are on the agenda for this bike ride in Lyon, which winds its way between lakes, crosses fields and wooded areas, and follows the towpath on the Jonage canal. A beautiful two-wheeled tour, for bike or mountain bike.

9. Saône from Fontaines to Neuville

La Saône de Fontaines à Neuville

Photo credit : Alltrails

This lovely bike ride in Lyon takes us further upstream along the Saône, starting in Fontaines-sur-Saône to be precise (25 minutes by TER or car). Largely wooded, the banks of the river give you a real sense of gradually leaving Lyon’s metropolis, yet the city is never far away.

Be careful in places, though, as the track is not always very wide. At Neuville-sur-Saône, take the bridge over the river to complete the loop.

10. The loop around Orliénas

balade vélo Lyon : La boucle autour de Orliénas

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Off to the south-west this time (26-minute drive), for a bike ride around Lyon to discover several villages and the countryside of the Rhône department. Vourles, Orliénas, Brignais, an alternation of roads and trails, this cycling tour is aimed more at lovers of long and sometimes technical outings.

A mountain bike may be useful in places, so make sure you’re well equipped!