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Cycle the Atlantic from Nantes to La Rochelle

Take this self-guided trip on the Velodyssey cycle route, from Nantes to La Rochelle, to enjoy like never before the Atlantic coast of France.

Reference VO0805
  • Itinerant trip
  • 8 days
  • Moderate
  • From March 1 to Oct 31, 2019
  • Minimum age 14 years old
795€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • Cycle along the Atlantic coast from Nantes to La Rochelle. You will see on this trip on the Velodyssey cycle route the wide variety of landscapes of the Atlantic, sandy beaches and rocky coastline, marshland and pine forests, charming villages and trendy seaside resorts. On the first stretch of the itinerary till Pornic, you may have the feeling to ride through the Breton country, because of the historic heritage and the architecture. You proceed further into the Vendee country in a different atmosphere. The land is more open, you ride through agricultural polders, oyster farming land and forests. The cycle path is most of the time close to the seashore, offering the best viewpoint on the ocean. You stay each night in one of the welcoming seaside towns scattered along the Vendee coast and end your bike trip in La Rochelle and its old harbour.

    Day 1

     
     

    Arrival in Nantes

    Nantes is very dynamic and innovative city with a rich past. Take a stroll to visit the landmarks of the city, Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul’s cathedral, the castle of the Dukes of Brittany, the Graslin shopping district and the magnificent passage de la Pommeraye or the Lieu Unique, a culturel center built on the premisses of a former biscuit factory.

    Day 2

     
     

    Nantes - Saint-Brévin

    Bike
    70km
    This stage takes the South bank of the Loire estuary. You cycle out of Nantes passing on the island and its artistic site, Les Machines de l’Ile. You ride further to the colourful neighborhood of Trentemoult, then through the shopping and residential areas before going through typical villages of the estuary hills. After Le Pellerin, you cycle along the canal de la Martinière and at the end, arrive in the port of Paimboeuf. You can already feel the fresh sea air. You finish the day with a breathtaking view on the bridge of Saint-Nazaire, at the entrance of Saint-Brévin.

    Day 3

     
     

    Saint-Brévin - Bouin

    Bike
    55/70km
    Cycle along the wide beaches of Saint-Brévin before going through the residential area of Saint-Michel-Chef-Chef. You ride further through the countryside to Pornic harbour, or choose a longer route along the coast passing by the Saint-Gildas headland (+15km). Wander in the lively streets of Pornic before riding the corniche where you can admire villas from the beginning of the 20th century facing the sea. After Les Moutiers, you proceed into the Breton marshland and enjoy nice views on the Bay of Bourgneuf. You end your ride in the peaceful village of Bouin.

    Day 4

     
     

    Bouin - Saint-Jean-de-Monts

    Bike
    50/79km
    You keep cycling through marshland. Make the detour to the "passage du Gois", a unique submergible road connecting mainland and the island of Noirmoutier. If you are there at low tide, you will be able to cycle across the bay on the passage and ride a bit on Noirmoutier. Strong riders can even make a longer itinerary to Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile (+29km). At high tide, you have to ride another route on mainland passing by the Daviaud ecomuseum and Fromentine harbour. The end of the route for both options is going through the forest of Pays de Monts. You cycle up and down the dunes through pine trees to Saint-Jean-de-Monts.

    Day 5

     
     

    Saint-Jean-de-Monts - Les Sables d’Olonne

    Bike
    55km
    Not long after Saint-Jean-de-Monts, sandy beaches are followed by a spectacular rocky coastline called "corniche vendéenne". You’ll be fascinated by the movement of waves crashing into the shore. You ride further through Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, which is well-known for sardines fishing. Your route continues along the coast and then meanders between marshland and forests in the Olonne country. View the nice panorama on "La Chaume" old village entering Les Sables and admire the famous bay.

    Day 6

     
     

    Les Sables d’Olonne - La Tranche-sur-Mer

    Bike
    50km
    After the bay of Les Sables, you ride along a rocky coastline punctuated by small coves such as the bay of Cayola. Don’t miss the detour to the beach of Le Veillon located on a mouth between marsh and ocean. Have a break a little further in the oyster port of La Guitière if you are amateurs! The itinerary continues towards Saint-Vincent-sur-Jard where you can visit the last house of WW1 French leader, Georges Clémenceau. You cycle through the pine forest of Longeville before arriving in La Tranche-sur-Mer.

    Day 7

     
     

    La Tranche-sur-Mer - La Rochelle

    Bike
    73km
    This stage is longer but easy to cycle with some prolonged straight lines. You cycle through the Aiguillon bay to Marans. You will see many natural sites, such as the lagoon of Belle Henriette, the headland of L’Aiguillon, the limestone plateau of the Dive island, or the locks of Brault. Marans is a pleasant stop, with nice terraces looking at the river. Last, you ride along a canal which goes almost all the way to the Old Port of La Rochelle.

    Day 8

     
     

    Departure from La Rochelle

    You can decide to extend your stay or start your return travel.
  • Accommodation
  • Category A

    You stay in 2* or 3* hotels where you will be hosted with a warm welcome. Some of the accommodations have a swimming pool. Breakfast is included.
    * Example of the type of accommodation

    Category B

    You stay in superior rooms in 2* hotels or in 3* hotels with more comfort. Some of the accommodations have a swimming pool. 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 (+1m55).



    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.


    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 maps of the itinerary (A4 format) that we drew at the easiest scale to follow for a bicycle rider.

    Example of a map



    GPS tracks


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

  • Practical information
  • To get to departure point:

    • By plane: flight to Nantes-Atlantique airport. A bus shuttle takes you to the city center in about 20mn depending on traffic. To return, you can take a flight in La Rochelle-Ile de Ré airport if your destination is served.

    Parking:

    If you drive to Nantes, you can park in a secured car park located next to Nantes train station.

    All details will be given in your travel documents.


    To return to the departure point:

    You can take the regional trains back to Nantes. If you travel with your own bikes, please note that bike spots are limited and need to be reserved in advance. The rate is €5/bike. The travel will take between 2.30 and 2.45 hours. You buy your ticket yourself. You will find the timetable of the day 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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    the trip description
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