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La Rochelle and coast

A cycling holiday in France through Ré and Oléron islands

The cycling tour starts in La Rochelle and winds from an island to the other passing through Rochefort-sur-mer and Marennes.

Reviews (4) :
4.00 / 5
Reference PC0701
  • Loop trip
  • 8 days
  • Very easy
  • From April to November
  • Minimum age 9 years
799€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • If you crave for a deep breath of sea air, a mild climate and the natural quiet life of the seashore, this cycling holiday is for you. “Ile de Ré” and “Ile d’Oléron” welcome you on their paths edged with hollyhocks, across exceptional natural reserves or on the coastline. The cycling tour starts in La Rochelle and winds from an island to the other passing through Rochefort-sur-mer and Marennes. The very last stretch is on a boat to let you admire from a completely different perspective the coast and the 2 medieval towers protecting the old harbor of La Rochelle.

    DAY 1

     
     
    La Rochelle prosperous past can be easily noticed thanks to its nice architecture from which the old fortified harbor is remarkable.

    The city offers a wide range of cultural and touristic activities. Do not miss La Rochelle aquarium. The city is very well equipped with cycling paths, which makes it perfect for discovering it on a bicycle.
       

    Visit of the Towers of the Old Port of La Rochelle 2h

    8,50 € / adult

    DAY 2

     
     
    Facing La Rochelle, Ile de Ré is just a few pedal strokes away. You ride on the cycling paths along the coast to the bridge of Ile de Ré. You continue along the coast to La Flotte then through the vineyards to Le Bois-Plage-en-Ré.

    DAY 3

     
     
    You start by riding through Saint-Martin-de-Ré where you can admire the Vauban citadel. Then, you continue along the coast to the delightful fishing village of Loix before riding back to Bois-Plage-en-Ré.

    You can extend the day trip to Ars-en-Ré, listed among the most beautiful villages of France.
     
    This day trip for the most courageous leads first to Saint-Martin-de-Ré and then to the end of the island: the Portes-en-Ré. Then, you ride through the pine forest to the famous lighthouse of Ile de Ré: the lighthouse of whales before riding back to Le Bois-Plage.

    DAY 4

     
     
    You discover the coast with the fine-sand beaches and the delightful village of Sainte-Marie-de-Ré before taking back the bridge to La Rochelle.

    DAY 5

     
     
    Ride on the cycling path along the coastline through small seaside villages like Les Boucholeurs or Châtelaillon-Plage and through the marshes to Rochefort. Admire the variety of birds such as storks and herons.

    Rochefort, this "new city" desired by Louis XIV to build his dockyard, still exudes an atmosphere of the 17th century.
    You can visit the Corderie Royale, the rope factory where all the ropes for the military sailboats were made and the construction site of the Hermione, a three-masted ship rebuilt with the same techniques as in the 17th century.

    DAY 6

     
     
    Cross the Charente River on France’s last transporter bridge, now dedicated to pedestrians and bicycles.

    Meander along the bike paths of the marsh. Originally the marsh was covered by water so Brouage was built in the 16th century as a fortified port for the salt trade. The sea receded but Brouage with its over 2 kilometers long ramparts, its oyster port and its many buildings still tower over the marsh like a mirage.
    You will surely meet herons, ducks and shorebirds like the spotted redshank, but also white storks.

    Your cycle tour leads you through the marshes of the estuary to the island of Oleron.

    From the bridge, you will see Fort Boyard’s magnificent silhouette near the horizon. A splendid dish of Marennes’ oysters could close your day perfectly.

    DAY 7

     
     
    Take a day rest at the beach. Do not miss the huge and beautiful beach Gatseau hidden behind a pine forest. It is only accessible walking, biking or taking a small train.

    You can also leave for a day ride and discover the island Ile d’Oléron with its small villages, oyster ports and of course its beaches and pine forests.

    DAY 8

     
     
    A short bike ride will lead you to Boyardville through oyster farms where you will embark a boat to go back to La Rochelle.

    This small cruise lets you admire the coastside. On clear days, you can also admire the Fort Boyard.
  • Accommodation
  • Category A

    You stay in hotels with **/*** standards offering all the necessary comfort after a day outdoors. These family hotels welcome you warmly. Breakfast is included.
    * Example of the type of accommodation

    Category B

    You stay in hotels with *** standards or bed & breakfasts selected for their style and quality. Breakfast is included.
    * Example of the type of accommodation
  • Bikes, luggage and documents
  • Bikes

    On your arrival day, we provide you with:

    • a touring bike adjusted to your size or a tandem
    • equipped : front rack pack with an integrated file compartment, saddlebag, helmet (on demand), reflective vest, repairing toolkit with patches etc.

    We also provide you with the appropriate equipment for your children : baby seat, bike trailer or trailer bike depending on their age and size.

    Electric bikes are also available for adults.


    Luggage

    Our services include luggage transport in order to let you enjoy your trip comfortably and without stress :
    • We transport your luggage from one accommodation to the next using a private vehicle.
    • Your luggage is directly delivered in your accommodation before you arrive.
    • We provide a saddlebag for the things you shall need during the day.

    Our word of advice : as we know from experience, we strongly recommend you to avoid wearing a backpack during your cycling trip.

    GPS tracks


    For this trip, we also provide the GPS tracks on demand in the .gpx format at no extra cost.



    Travel documents

    A cycling holiday is the best way to explore a region and discover its culture, landscapes and local traditions.

    Your tour is self-guided to give you the freedom to ride at your own pace. You will be provided all the information you need to enjoy peacefully the itinerary and its interesting sites.
    You will have in your travel documents :
    • a detailed map (A4 format) of the itinerary that we drew at the easiest scale to follow for a bicycle rider
    • a step-by-step description of the itinerary (bound A5 format) giving the direction to follow at each intersection
    • a tourist leaflet containing a brief presentation and useful practical information (opening time, price, contact) about the points of interest along the way

    Example of a map and a step-by-step description

  • Practical information
  • To get to departure point:

    • By plane: flight to Paris or Nantes or La Rochelle.

    • By train: TGV (fast trains) from Paris Montparnasse (direct or with a connection in Poitiers). The duration of the trip is estimated between 3h15 and 3h45. Inter-regional trains from Bordeaux and Nantes. To plan your trip, www.raileurope.com.


    Parking

    If you drive to La Rochelle, you can park your car in a secure car park located in the city center, near your accommodation. The weekly rate is 50€. You can also park for free in the streets in the neighborhood of the university and the boat landing where you end your tour. All details will be given in your travel documents.


    Meeting time:


    The first day is an arrival day without cycling. You arrive whenever you want depending on from where you come. Please note that rooms are usually available in the middle of the afternoon depending on your accommodation. We thank you to advise us if you plan to arrive late.


  • Reviews
  •   Memory of the trip  

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    4 bike travelers reviews 4.00 / 5

    “ Judith ”

    On the 2015-08-09 by Judith
    Overall a lovely experience for our family of 2 adults and 2 teenagers and the varied itinerary pleased us all.

    “ Excellente expérience ”

    On the 2014-06-01 by jiheles
    Première expérience de ce type d'organisation . Nous sommes prêt à renouveller

    “ ? ”

    On the 2013-09-16 by Christian
    Très chouette circuit mais très mal décrit !

    “ Belle expérience! ”

    On the 2013-09-06 by Geraldine
    Bonjour, Mon ami et moi avons passé un séjour super et vraiment dépaysant alors que nous sommes restés en France. Nous avons adoré voyager à vélo et les nombreuses rencontres que cela nous a permis de faire. Loueur de vélos super sympa, hôteliers accueillant et organisation au top! Nous avons vraiment hâte de pouvoir recommencer cette superbe expérience. Géraldine & Fred
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