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The Atlantic cycle route from Pornic to La Rochelle

Go for a self-guided cycle holiday on the Atlantic between Pornic and La Rochelle. This tour on the Velodyssey cycle route includes a stopover to cycle Noirmoutier island, one of the pearls of the French coast.

Reference VO0806
  • Itinerant trip
  • 8 days
  • Moderate
  • From March 1 to Oct 31, 2019
  • Minimum age 14 years old
799€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • Discover the beautiful landscapes of the Atlantic coast on this cycle holiday along the Velodyssey. You start your trip in the charming little town of Pornic. You cycle first along the Bourgneuf bay. Your first stop is the cute village of Bouin nested in the marshland, and the next one is the delightful island of Noirmoutier. The ones who want to explore the island can choose to spend one more day there, which we strongly advise. After Noirmoutier, your cycle route keeps running along the Vendee coast of the Atlantic. You alternatively pass sandy beaches and rocky coastline, osyter farming land and pine forests. You will be warmly welcomed on the way in the sea resorts of Saint-Jean-de-Monts, Les Sables d’Olonne or La-Tranche-sur-Mer. Your tour ends in La Rochelle after riding through the Aiguillon bay. Enjoy the taste of the local products, fresh oysters, mussels or sardines and plenty of savory bakery products like the "brioche vendéenne".

    Day 1

     
     

    Arrival in Pornic

    Pornic is a charming port with a flair from Brittany. The town center is spreading on the hills surrounding the moorage, where boats are lying protected from the winds. Take time to stroll around the old town.

    Day 2

     
     

    Pornic - Bouin

    Bike
    32km
    You cycle from the Loire Atlantique region to the Vendee country. The Velodyssey route is going on the corniche and provides nice views on early 20th century houses on the sea front. You meander through residential neighborhoods and after Les Moutiers-en-Retz, cycle an open landscape named "Marais breton", literally Breton marshland. On one side, you will see the pastureland and on the other side, the shore dotted with fishing nets or osyter ports. You overnight in Bouin, a village in the middle of marshland which was formerly an island!

    Day 3

     
     

    Bouin - Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile

    Bike
    37/60km
    Cycle the polders to the "passage du Gois", a submersible road which connects the island of Noirmoutier to mainland. At low tide, you can cycle across the bay on this road and get directly to Barbâtre. If you arrive there at high tide, you need to ride a longer route on mainland to take the bridge more South. The route is then going all the way through marshland to the Northern part of the island, to the village of Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile.
     

    Extra day (optional): tour on Noirmoutier island

    Bike
    21km
    We are suggesting to stay one more day on Noirmoutier to discover the treasures of the island! You ride the Northern coast to the Port de L’Herbaudière and come back to Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile through picturesque salt marshes. Take time to visit the castle of Noirmoutier and stop on one of the beautiful beaches to chill and jump in the sea.

    Day 4

     
     

    Noirmoutier-en-l’Ile - Saint-Jean-de-Monts

    Bike
    41km
    Today’s route is along the West coast of Noirmoutier island, facing the ocean. You cycle through salt marshes to L’Epine and follow the route of the ancient mills along the beaches. Enjoy the view on the long beaches and pine forests before crossing the bridge. You ride afterwards into the forest of Pays de Monts. The cycle path goes up and down along the dunes and takes you peacefully to the sea resort of 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. To get to Pornic, the easiest is to take a taxi (about 45min ride). To return, you can take a flight in La Rochelle-Ile de Ré airport if your destination is served.

    Parking:

    If you drive to Pornic, you can park for free in the parking of Pornic train station, using the white painted spots located at the back of the car park. Spots cannot be booked in advance. It is an outdoor parking with no surveillance system.

    All details will be given in your travel documents.


    To return to the departure point:

    You can take the regional trains back to Pornic, with a connection in Nantes. If you travel with your own bikes, please note that bike spots are limited and need to be reserved on Intercités trains between La Rochelle and Nantes. The rate is €5/bike. You can take the bikes for free on TER trains between Nantes and Pornic. The travel will take between 4 and 5.30 hours depending on the duration of the connection in Nantes. 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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