Graham Watson’s Tour de France Travel Guide

The Complete Insider's Guide to the Tour!


Graham Watson’s Tour de France Travel Guide provides the ultimate insider’s access to the world’s greatest bike race.

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Each July hundreds of thousands of fans head to France to watch its great annual bike race. But unless they’ve planned carefully, they’ll arrive to find full hotels, blocked routes, overpriced food, chaotic roads, and endless frustration as they try to get close to the race they’ve come to see.

Graham Watson’s Tour de France Travel Guide provides the ultimate insider’s access from one of the Tour’s most experienced old hands. In his 31 years of following and photographing the race, Watson has mastered the Tour’s daily challenges—where to eat, where to sleep, how to get around, how to see and photograph the race, and most of all, how to enjoy the greatest show on two wheels.

Now Graham shares it all in his beautifully illustrated guidebook. Featuring hundreds of Graham’s award-winning photographs along with full-color maps, travel tips, checklists, and travel resources, this book presents a fresh and unique strategy for getting around the Tour’s many daily obstacles to find a front-row seat for all the action.

Presented in a durable Flexibound binding, Graham’s guide also includes a clever menu decoder for quick reference when the waiter is tapping his pad, tips on how to meet the riders, a glossary of French cycling terms, historical perspective on each region of France visited by the Tour, and a special chapter on how to photograph the Tour like a pro. For the Tour’s legion of fans, Graham Watson’s Tour de France Travel Guide contains everything they need to watch, follow, and enjoy the Tour de France in style.

Paperback. Color photographs, maps, charts, and tables throughout.
5 5/8″ x 7 7/8″, 304 pp., $24.95, 9781934030387

Graham Watson’s Tour de France Travel Guide: The Complete Insider's Guide to the Tour!

Shipping Dimensions: 6.10in x 8.14in x 0.95in pp $24.95, Inventory 9781934030387, Shipping 1.50lbs


Planning Your Tour of the Tour
Organized Trips to See the Tour
Going Solo
On to Paris
Computer and Phone
Legends of the Modern Tour

Mountain Stages
Driving Tips
Watching the Race Develop
Getting Around
At the Roadside
Legends of the Modern Tour

The People
The Language
Food and Drink
Legends of the Modern Tour

Pays de la Loire
Haute-Normandie, Basse-Normandie
Pas-de-Calais, Picardie, Champagne, Lorraine
Bourgogne, Centre
Midi-Pyrénées, Limousin
Auvergne, Languedoc-Roussillon
Provence–Alpes–Côte d’Azur
Paris, Île de France
Legends of the Modern Tour

The Glory of the Mountains
The Massif Central
The Alps
The Pyrenees
And What of the Others?
Legends of the Modern Tour

A Photo History
The Modern Circus
Framing the Tour
The Prologue
The Sprinting Stages
The Time Trial
Flat Stages
The Sunflower Stages
The Mountain Stages

After the Tour
Legends of the Modern Tour
Menu Decoder
French Cycling Terms
About the Author

Preview book.

“If you’re heading to the Tour, or simply a cycling holiday in France, veteran cycling photographer Graham Watson’s guide will prove to be a huge help, and entertaining too…Beyond its roots as a travel guide, Graham’s book reveals photographic tips, includes 200 of his historic images, and provides the historical context that also makes this a great supplement for following the race at home, on TV or online.” — VeloNews magazine

”Surprisingly fresh and immediate, even funny at times. Graham really captures the reality of following the race. A book of random details could easily miss the bigger picture, the enormity of the event. His in-between-the-lines insights are what make this book a gem.”

”Finally there is a practical guide for the traveller wishing to experience the Tour de France close up and personal. Graham Watson’s Tour de France Travel Guide distills his 31 years of experience following la Grande Boucle into a compact but comprehensive volume that no fan of the Tour will want to be without. The final chapter is the pièce de résistance as Graham Watson, the celebrated photographer, reveals how you too can photograph the Tour de France. I suspect that this book will be the most expensive one you will ever buy since I defy anyone after reading Graham Watson’s joyful-fan-prose to not want to book a flight to France.”

Graham Watson’s Tour de France Travel Guide is engagingly and accessibly written and conveys the writer’s evident enthusiasm for the delights of French cuisine, landscape, and winemaking even as it explains how to get along with recalcitrant French waiters or choose wine in a way that will impress them. This book is not just a guide to the Tour de France, it is worth reading as a guide to France itself, with a bunch of cycle racing thrown in for good measure.”

”Engaging and informative. Watson’s intimate knowledge of France is equal to his impressive creative talent and skills in photographing the Tour.” —

”After 31 years on the job, cycling photographer Graham Watson knows a few things: how to photograph a bike race, how to get around France, and how to track down a nice meal.” —

”Even if you are not planning to visit the Tour next year, Graham Watson’s Tour de France Travel Guide should prove to be an incredible travel resource for years to come. This book will leave you saying “some day, some day” and dreaming of the time that you will travel to see the grandest of the Grand Tours.”

”More than just a another traveler’s guide book, Graham Watson’s Tour de France Travel Guide is an intimate, all-encompassing guide to both the country and le Tour. Whether or not your trip actually materializes, devotees of the Tour will appreciate an escape from the dreary woes of the world (including cycling’s doping issues) with this colorful and nostalgic journey through summertime France.”

”Graham Watson is the only photographer ever pointed out by the commentary team while a race is in progress. This is a gem of a book and reveals a side to Watson that most of us probably didn’t know existed—he’s a very impressive and accomplished writer.” —

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