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La Rochelle and coast

Cycling the Atlantic coast from La Rochelle to Biarritz

From La Rochelle to Biarritz, you will follow the Atlantic cycle route "Velodyssey" along the beaches of the Atlantic coast. You will appreciate the great diversity of landscapes alternatively through the marshes, the pine forests or along the dunes.

Reference VO1401
  • Itinerant trip
  • 14 days
  • Easy
  • From April to October
  • Minimum age 12 years
GPSGPS application available
1499€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • **Bike tour not available from 07.30 to 08.15, except with your own bikes (we no longer have rental bikes available)**

    Take the time to discover the many gems of the Atlantic coast thanks to this 14-day bike tour from La Rochelle to Biarritz. You cycle along the Atlantic cycle route "Velodyssey" through rich and varied landscapes. The route starts in Charente region where you discover La Rochelle and its ancient fortified harbor, Rochefort and its "Corderie Royale", Brouage citadel built by the French engineer Vauban, the marshes of Marennes and the seaside town of Royan. Then, you cross the Gironde Estuary by ferry and cycle through the pine forests to Cap Ferret where you take a boat to cross the basin and reach Arcachon and the Dune of Pilat.
    The second part of your journey takes you through the Landes region and its large beaches. Cross the seaside towns of Biscarrosse, Mimizan and Capbreton, very popular with surfers! You finish by cycling along the Basque coast from Bayonne in Biarritz. A varied and complete bike trip to discover the Atlantic coast!

    Day 1

     
     

    La Rochelle

    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.

    Day 2

     
     

    La Rochelle – Rochefort-sur-mer

    Bike
    42km
    Begin by riding on the seaside cycling path through small villages such as Les Boucholeurs or Chatelaillon-Plage. As you pedal along the marshes, try and spy the birds, herons and storks in the area.

    When you reach Rochefort, notice the distinct naval architecture. The city was an active naval base from the time of Louis XIV until 1926. You might want to tour the Corderie Royal, an interesting rope factory where all the ropes for military sailboats were made. Enjoy flowers? The Conservatoire du Begonia houses the world’s largest collection of begonias!

    Day 3

     
     

    Rochefort - La Tremblade

    Bike
    40km
    Admire France’s last transporter bridge, classified as Historic Monument and dedicated to pedestrians and bicycles. It is currently under construction, so you will take a ferry boat to cross.

    Continue biking along the canals then through the marshes populated by storks. Discover Brouage citadel built by the French engineer Vauban and bike along the oyster farms until the coast of Marennes beaches.

    You cross over the Seudre River and end your day in La Tremblade.

    Day 4

     
     

    La Tremblade - Royan

    Bike
    39km
    You bike through La Tremblade forest till the lighthouse "Phare de la Coubre". You ride on along the superb bay "Baie des Anses" and reach La Palmyre. You keep along the seaside which gradually becomes rockier and offers beautiful little coves before getting to Royan and the Gironde Estuary.

    Day 5

     
     

    Royan - Hourtin

    Bike
    64km
    For logistical reasons, you take the ferry with your bikes and your luggage, you drop them off at the exit of the boat.
    You take the ferry to cross the estuary of the Gironde to reach the wine region Medoc. Cycle through the pin forest along the until Hourtin, stopping at leisure in one of the natural lakes or on a long sand beach.
       

    Ferry from Royan to Le Verdon 0h

    You take the ferry with your bike to cross the Gironde Estuary from Royan to Le Verdon
    Included

    Day 6

     
     

    Hourtin – Lacanau

    Bike
    55km
    You are on the bike trail called Vélodyssée. On this leg, between ocean, forests and lakes, you will cross the pine forest to reach Lacanau. This part is hilly because you follow the dunes but you can take an easier route along the largest natural lake in France, Hourtin’s lake. If you’re in the mood for some seaspray, ride to Carcans Ocean. Then ride on the Vélodyssée to reach the sea resort Maubuisson where you will find all kind of restaurants. The way to Lacanau is a wonderful green path, but take the time to stop at the nature reserve at Cousseau Lake. You’ll finish your trip using on the cycle path joining Bordeaux to Lacanau.

    Day 7

     
     

    Lacanau-Arcachon

    Bike
    44km
    Ride alors the coastline on the designated bicycle path. Here’s your chance for a unique ride as you get up close to the tallest sand dune in France, the Dne of Pyla. At the end of the ride, Cap-Ferret gives you amazing views of the Great Dune of Pyla. This giant dune is sometimes called "The Sahara of France" because of its four different sand formations. There’s time to sun bathe or swim while experiencing the fresh salt air. Take the boat to Arcachon and enjoy the view of the coastline from a different perspective.
    Boat trip from Cap Ferret to Arcachon. Approximately 1 hour, included in tour
       

    Boat trip from Cap Ferret to Arcachon 1h

    Included

    Day 8

     
     

    Suggested day trip : oyster-farming villages and the Leyre delta

    Bike
    41km
    Learn about oyster farming from dedicated oyster farmers in Gujan Mestras and sample the freshest oysters you’ll ever taste! The Leyre Delta is where fresh waters of the river and the salty waters of the ocean meet. You can go bird watching or rent a canoe or kayak and explore the area or water.

    Oyster museum (Maison de l’huître) Approximately 1 hour, included in tour. The museum visit is partly guided.
       

    Oyster museum (Maison de l’huître) 1h

    The visit is partly guided.
    Included

    Day 9

     
     

    Arcachon-Biscarrosse beach

    Bike
    33km
    Ride along Arcachon Bay to reach the highest dune of Europe: the Dune of Pilat. Leave your bike in order to climb the dune and enjoy the wonderful view over the blue sea and the golden sand. Take your bikes again and follow the cycling itinerary of the Velodyssey in the heart of the forest and all along the beaches of the area.

    Day 10

     
     

    Biscarrosse beach-Mimizan beach

    Bike
    57km
    The stage of today will take you to Mimizan beach. You start your ride on the soft hills of the forest dunes to reach the beach of Magide on the Cazaux lake, where you can swin in calm waters.
    You finish the day riding along the shores of Aureilhan lake then at Mimizan beach, a lively seaside resort.

    Day 11

     
     

    Mimizan beach-Léon area

    Bike
    46/54km
    Enjoy a relaxing panorama on the cycle path in the shade of the pine forest. You keep on riding through the forest and along the beaches. You can enjoy a swim at the beach (Cap de l’Homy). You finish your day in the area of Léon lake.

    Day 12

     
     

    Léon area-Capbreton

    Bike
    33/25km
    We advise a short detour to the village center of Moliets et Maa where you can admire the typical architecture of the area. You bike further on the Velodyssey cycle route which leads you to Vieux-Boucau and its nice maritime lake. You enter in the South of the Landes country which is the surfers’ paradise. You end up in the port of Capbreton. Do not miss to have a walk on the jetty at sunset and pick up a nice terrace with a view on the port for dinner.

    Day 13

     
     

    Capbreton-Biarritz

    Bike
    40km
    You leave the Landes country and bike on a cycle path through the pine and oaks forest before riding on shared small roads for the first time of the trip before reaching Bayonne. From the Adour river banks at the entrance of Bayonne, you enjoy a nice view on the cathedral towers. Take your time to discover this beautiful town, which is very proud of its identity.
    In the afternoon, you bike along the coast and its sandy beaches to arrive in the famous town of Biarritz.

    Day 14

     
     

    Departure from Biarritz

    After breakfast, take a last stroll in the streets of Biarritz before leaving.
  • Accommodation
  • Category A

    You’ll enjoy staying in these clean and cozy 2 and 3-Star hotels that give you a pleasant rest after your day of biking. Breakfast is included when you spend the night in these friendly and family-run hotels.
    * Example of the type of accommodation

    Category B

    You’ll be very comfortable staying in these mostly 3-Star hotels with clean and cozy accommodations. Enjoy the swimming pool before sleeping in your comfortable bed. A tasty breakfast is waiting for you each morning.
    * 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 (+1m55).

    You can of course also bring your own bikes, in this case a reduction will be applied (see the Tariff tab)


    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


    Le Vélo Voyageur App

    Like a sat nav, the route and directions to follow will be both viewable on the screen of your phone and announced aloud. Discover and enjoy every moment of your trip by following the directions and listening to the descriptions of the point of interest on your way.

    Following the itineray becomes easy as a child's play and you can enjoy the trip instead of concentrating on the maps.
    Your cycling holiday also includes practical information from our partners and all the latest news.

    -> You need to have a smartphone and download the Le Vélo Voyageur app on your Apple or Android store before the trip. During the trip, once the app dowmnloaded, your phone can be off-line
  • 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. All details will be given in your travel documents.


    To get back to starting point:

    Regional trains take you back to your starting point if you wish (around 5h). Change in Bordeaux. Biarritz station is located 3km from the city center, you will need to take a bus to the station "La Négresse". Trains are accessible without booking in advance and bicycles are free. You have to buy your ticket on spot. There are several trains per day. You will find the timetable 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.


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