Whether you’re looking for a challenge or a leisurely cycle ride, La Vélodyssée has something for everyone. Get on your bike and experience the wild beauty of a cycle route covering more than 1,200 kilometres from Brittany down the Atlantic coast to the border with Spain. The sea is never very far away as you discover the best each region has to offer along France’s longest waymarked cycle trail. We have picked the
section from Nantes to Bordeaux, we can offer the full route as a bespoke option for a minimum of 6 guests.
As with all our cycling tours you are fully supported, your hotels are carefully chosen to be comfortable and clean and with Cycle hire included, all you need to do each day is enjoy the cycling and decide which restaurant you eat at.
Nantes to Bordeaux as a 14 day Tour appx 720km
Nantes - La Rochelle as a 7 day Tour appx 345km
La Rochelle - Bordeaux as a 7 day Tour appx 365km
Day 1 Arrive in Nantes
Day 2 Nantes - St Brevin 66km
La Vélodyssée and La Loire à Vélo share the route to the sea from Nantes. The majestic Loire estuary reveals oxbow lakes, wetlands, channels, a maritime canal, ports and an open-air art gallery with a Contemporary Estuary Exhibition. At Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, the air is filled with the aromatic scent of conifers, dunes and soft sandy beaches
Day 3 St Brevin - Les Moutiers-en-Retz 45km
This stage of La Vélodyssée starts by crossing St-Brevin between the sea, dunes, pine trees and villas. It continues into the countryside of the Pays de Retz towards St-Michel-Chef-Chef and the charming tourist seaside resort of Pornic.
passing the Bay of Bourgneuf, brushing past the Breton Marshes in the search for out-of-the-ordinary landscapes in an area rich in birds local to the region. Human activity makes itself felt in the form of the fisheries and the small working ports which dot the coastline.
Day 4 Les Moutiers-en-Retz - Fromentine 55km
We find ourselves in oyster country, encountering numerous little oyster ports and pits used to cultivate the oysters. (your pedals keeping time with the sweeping circles of its wind turbines!) before arriving at the very lively Port-du-Bec in Epoids. The highlight of the day will be crossing the famous Gois causeway to the Island of Noirmoutier, tides permitting!
Day 5 Fromentine - Les Sables 71km
This stage of La Vélodyssée focuses entirely on the sea, the beach, the forest and the dunes. There are 18 kms of cycle paths winding through the national forest of Pays de Monts, after which you come to the very lively seaside resort of St-Jean-de-Monts.
Before reaching the Vendéenne Cove and its famous boulders at Sion-sur-l’Océan, La Vélodyssée heads towards an old fishing village St-Hilaire-de-Riez, adjoining St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie.
The route stretches along the coast and snakes through the Avocettes road between the Olonne forest and the ancient salt marshes which extend between Brem, the Isle of Olonne, Olonne-sur-Mer and Les Sables-d’Olonne.
Day 6 Les Sables- St Michel-en l'Herm 65km
close to the sea, beaches and rocky coves. A beautiful trail and a real pleasure to cycle along whilst breathing in the fresh sea air before turning back inland. La Vélodyssée winds its way into the large national forest of Longeville, drawing close to the sea on two occasions from where beautiful beaches can easily be accessed, such as Les Conches. A quick dip is a must on this stage! The route then heads into St-Michel-en-l’Herm through the dried marshes of Marais Poitevin.
Day 7 St Michel- La Rochelle 60km
This stage takes you through the heart of the dried out marshes of Marais Poitevin, a great expanse of marshes and cultivated land dotted with farms and sheds. The crossing of the Pont du Brault takes us into Charente-Maritime in the ancient district of Aunis. Marans, the capital of the dried Marais marshes, was once a very important look-out point.
you cycle past the water that flows through the charming canals which join the Poitevin marshes. We pass Marans, the ancient watchtower on the estuary of the Niort Sèvre which looks out over the marshes, and follow the canal that leads us to La Rochelle and onto the ocean.
Day 8 Depart for home or continue on the 14 day tour
Arrive in La Rochelle or explore the town on the 2 week Tour
Day 9 La Rochelle- Marennes 80km
As the famous towers which defend the port of La Rochelle hove into view, a cycle path section takes us to the Port of Minimes, then onto the Cove of Godechaud, right next to the sea.
After the Bay of Châtelaillon comes a pretty seaside section before heading back inland towards the ‘royal city’ of Rochefort which is well worth exploring
We take the former steam-train tracks – now the greenway – and La Vélodyssée meets the marshes, criss-crossed with little channels, before heading onto the oyster centre of Marennes
Day 10 Marennes-Royan 45km
This part of La Vélodyssée is fit for a king, with splendid sea views. Following cycle lanes throughout, it weaves through the coastal forest and array of pretty beaches, one of which is the charming St-Palais, along the coast road to reach the striking cliffs and sandy beaches either side of the beautiful streets of Royan
Day 11 Royan-Lacanau 81km
Upon entering the Gironde, a new world reveals itself to travellers on La Vélodyssée. La pointe de Grave also marks the end of the Médoc, a landscape of great variety, depending on whether you cross the west coast or the estuary and the vineyards. Pleasant cycle lanes wind their way from Verdon to Soulac.
Soulac-sur-Mer, with its lively streets and pretty seaside villas, we take the trail towards Montalivet. breathe in the scent of the pine trees – in the Flamand national forest. Still in the forest and still on cycle paths. The natural reserves encountered throughout the route demonstrate that these large spaces are populated, rich in wildlife
Day 12 Lacanau- Arcachon
You’re never too far from the water as La Vélodyssée follows the coastline, constantly discovering new horizons in the direction of Bassin d’Arcachon Bay. A hugely different atmosphere with a return to the land of oysters. Here we can take a splendid alternative route down the tracks leading to Cap Ferret
La Vélodyssée now follows the former steam-train tracks. We pass stations and you’ll need to “go off the rails” to truly enjoy Arcachon Bay and surrounding villages. leaving the forests behind we now ride around the Bay of Arachon.
Today you have the choice to ride to Bordeaux 71km or give your legs a rest and hop in our Minibus for the transfer to Bordeaux which will enable you to spend a day exploring this wondeful city of wine
Day 14 depart
Getting there, we can help organise your flights or Train from the UK note your arrival airport or station in France will be different to your departure point.
Details to follow soon for 2018 holidays