Discover the secrets of the Charente-Maritime per bike
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Discover the secrets of the Charente-Maritime per bike
Discover the secrets of the Charente-Maritime per bike
hybrid :
e-bike :
Duration :
8 days
Comfort :
period:
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Code:
FRSB215
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Discover the secrets of the Charente-Maritime per bike
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Bike Tour: Discover the secrets of the Charente-Maritime per bike - 8 days

We propose an 8-day cycling trip, during which you will cycle along the Vélodyssée cycle route, then along the Flow Vélo. An unusual itinerary that will allow you to discover the secrets of the Charente-Maritime by bike. During 8 days, you will cycle along rivers and discover breathtaking tides and river ports. Your itinerary will continue along the Vélodyssée, where you will have splendid views of the sea. Along the cycle paths you will pass through the coastal forests and past beautiful beaches, including the charming beach of St-Palais. You will follow the coastal road to reach the impressive cliffs and sandy beaches of Royan. You will then cycle along the La Flow Vélo cycle route. On this bucolic stretch, you will encounter several tributaries of the Charente on the way to the town of Saintes. 

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FRSB215
Route
Day 1: Arrival in Saintes
Day 2: Roundtrip around Saintes
Day 3: Saintes to Royan
Day 4: Roundtrip around Royan
Day 5: Royan to Pons
Day 6: Roundtrip around Pons via Jonzac
Day 7: Pons - Cognac - Saintes
Day 8: End in Saintes

Day 1:    Arrival in Saintes

You travel independently to Saintes. Check in at your accommodation. If you have arrived early, take a stroll through this historic city of Charente-Maritime.

The evening meal is included for the first night! 

 

Day 2:    Roundtrip around Saintes
48 km

As you approach the sea the river becomes tidal and there are regular river ports along the way, great places to halt at. This stage, though, mainly takes you through countryside away from the Charente River. However, Port d’Envaux and the châteaux of Panloy and Crazannes will stop you in your tracks. Then you arrive at Saint-Savinien-sur-Charente, nestled in its meander. Take a break here and savour the charm of this village, one of the most picturesque in the county of Charente, labeled Petite Cité de Caractère. Imagine how beautifully-cut stone from the surrounding quarries was once shipped out from here to Ghent, Antwerp and even London. 

Challenge: 48.1km, 491m ascent, 589m descent

 

Day 3:    Saintes to Royan
49 km

After Saintes, you start to feel the pull of the ocean !

On the way to Royan, stop at the distillery “Domaine & Distillerie Brillouet” for an interesting visit and pass in front of the “Tour de Pirelonge”, A curiosity that for a long time remained a mystery. 

Before reaching Royan, cycling through Saujon, renowned for its thermal baths, a town full of charm in the heart of the La Seudre basin. Not far from the beaches now, aspire to the calm and tranquility of the Saintonge countryside. 

Challenge: 49km, 315m ascent, 415m descent

 

Day 4:    Roundtrip around Royan
57 km

This morning, departure by bike to discover the authentic village of Mornac-sur-Seudre, labeled one of the most beautiful villages in France!

Here cycle paths are numerous and a truly memorable part of the route takes you through the forest of Coubre as La Vélodyssée reaches La Palmyre. This part is fit for a king, with splendid sea views. Following cycle lanes throughout, it weaves through the coastal forest and past an 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. 

Challenge: 56.9km, 366m ascent, 369m descent

 

Day 5:    Royan to Pons
68 km

Past Royan’s port, this stage begins at Royan’s Grande Conche Beach. Head along the seafront on a lovely shaded cycle path. The cycle route then threads along tracks and quiet roads to Meschers-sur-Gironde before reaching Talmont-sur-Gironde (labeled one of the most beautiful villages in France), an astonishing look-out post onto the estuary. Caillaud Cliff and the square fishing nets suspended above the waters add to the atmosphere. The stage continues via quiet, sometimes steep roads and tracks to Mortagne-sur-Gironde, a port well protected from the temperamental Gironde. 

The rest of your journey will be on small country roads to Pons, located on a rocky promontory overlooking the Seugne, this medieval town, with its picturesque alleys, testifies to a rich past.

Challenge: 68km, 1506m ascent, 1396m descent

 

Day 6:    Roundtrip around Pons via Jonzac
55 km

On the program today, the discovery of Jonzac with a circular route from Pons. Jonzac is a city where well-being, beauty and relaxation mingle. This medieval city, with a millennial history, has forged an extraordinary destiny for itself, come and discover it... 

Challenge: 55.1km, 621m ascent, 662m descent

 

Day 7:    Pons - Cognac - Saintes
68 km

Riding off along the town of Cognac’s quays makes for a fine start to the next stage of La Flow Vélo. Along this bucolic stretch, you’ll encounter several tributaries of the Charente River heading for the town of Saintes. Little chain-operated ferries enable you to cross the waters at Rouffiac and Chaniers in a fun way, plus there are simple riverside inns (guinguettes) to enjoy. The cycle route continues on through riverside flood meadows to Saintes, a place boasting 2,000 years of history for you to explore. Wandering around the streets on foot is the best way to take in the many sights of this deeply historic town going back to Gallo-Roman times.

Challenge: 68.2km, 1489m ascent, 1601m descent

 

Day 8:    End in Saintes

After breakfast, end of your cycling trip!

Accommodation

All accommodations are carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services.  

We choose comfortable 2*/3* hotels or B&Bs where all rooms have private en-suite bathrooms and each morning breakfast is included.  

For this trip you can choose between Comfort and Comfort +. The accommodations for a Comfort+ trip, will be in 3*/4 * hotels wherever possible (supplement applied).

B&B Domaine des Cuves - Saintes
B&B Domaine des Cuves - Saintes
Family Golf Hotel*** (Royan)
Family Golf Hotel*** (Royan)
B&B Saint James House - Pons
B&B Saint James House - Pons
Bike rental

If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle (hybrid or ebike) from us. You will find your rental bikes waiting for you at your first hotel. The hotel reception staff will give you the keys for your bikes and direct you to the bicycle shed. All bikes are provided with chain locks.  The frame and saddle height are set to your height, although you might want to adjust your saddle to be in the most comfortable position. We also recommend doing a first small test drive of couple of hundred meters to be comfortable with gears, brakes etc. If you have an issue with your bike, you can contact the service provider (name of bike rental in your reservation) directly. Or you can always call us on our emergency phone number.  

Our hybrid touring bikes are at least 21-speed gear. You can find all the information regarding our rental bikes below.

Experience the advantages of an electric bike on your cycling holiday, particularly when there's a significant gap in ability and experience among cyclists. An e-bike provides a gentle boost up hills, allowing you to easily keep pace with your companions. With a small electric motor and battery, e-bikes make bike trips more achievable, and their batteries can be conveniently charged at hotels. While you still need to pedal, the e-bike significantly reduces the effort required. Familiarity with e-bikes is advised due to their quicker acceleration and heavier build compared to regular bikes, attributed to the electric motor.

Instruction video hybrid bike and e-bike

Please note: Depending on the trip, different models apply

 

Our hybrid bikes have at least 21-gears with hand brakes. 

The hybrid bikes are very good quality. Depending the trip, different model apply: Scott, Giant, Trek, Koga, ...

 

Whenever there is a big difference in level of ability, experience the many benefits of an electric bike on your cycling holiday. An e-bike will help you keep up with your fellow cyclists and give you a gentle boost up hills. An e-bike makes a bike trip more achievable. The e-bikes have a small electric motor and battery, which can be charged at the hotels. You still have to pedal: it just makes pedaling much easier. Some experience with e-bikes is recommended, as the bikes accelerate faster and are heavier than regular bikes because of the electric motor.

The E-bikes are very good quality. Depending on the trip, different models apply: Scott, Giant, Trek, Koga, ...

 

For some trips, we can give you the possibility to rent a Racing bike, more details on request.

For some trips, we can give you the possibility to rent a Tandem bike, suitable for two adults only. More details on request.

For children who are at least 125 cm, we can also arrange bikes (these are 24”or 26” for children that are bigger than 140 cm). The child bikes come with at least 7-gears and hand brakes. The maximum body height for a child’s bike is 155 cm. 

Please note: for some tours, different models apply.

A tag-along bike is a good option for children between approx. 100 cm and 125 cm, as they can pedal themselves and at their own pace but don’t have to worry about other traffic.

The tag-along bikes cannot be rented for all our tours

Please note: depending the trip, different models apply.

Child trailers can be rented for a maximum of two children who are up to 100 cm (max. 35 KG in total).

Please note: for some tours, different models apply.

 

 

Bell

All our rental bikes come with a bell.


Brakes

All our adult bikes come with hand brakes. 


Childseat

For children older than 30 months (max. 22 kg) it is possible to rent a rear child seat. This is also possible with e-bikes.


GPS

For some tours, it is possible to rent a GPS device, more details on request.


Helmet

Helmets are not mandatory in France (if the cyclist is over 12 years old) but strongly recommended. The helmet is mandatory for children under 12 years. If you rent a bike with us, helmets are included. Please advise us, if you bring along your own.


Lights

All our rental bikes come with lights.


Locks

All our rental bikes come with a lock.


Pannier

All our rental bikes come with at least a rear pannier and a front card holder to put the roadbook/maps.


Pedals

The rental bikes come with regular pedals, so no click-in/SPD pedals. On request we are able to supply these pedals on certain trips. 
If you wish to bring your own click-in/SPD pedals, please let us know prior to booking too.


Quickrelease

All our bikes come with a quick release system, which makes it very easy to adjust the height of the saddle and the handle bars. 


Repairkit

There is one small puncture kit included, which can be found in the pannier. If a rental bike has another problem, we always advise you to go to a bike repair shop.


Saddle

Saddles can be adjusted in height.
Our saddles don’t come with a gel cover. If you usually cycle with this, we recommend you bring them with you.


Water bottles

French Bike Tours does not provide water bottles. We can also not guarantee that there are bottle holders on the bikes. You will always receive at least 1x pannier, so you can always store your water bottle in your pannier.


Article 1 Bike Rental Price

The bike rental price is determined by the rates mentioned on the French Bike Tours website at the time of the booking; or as subsequently agreed.

Article 2 Payment

a. The rental price and any other due sums regarding the rental agreement must be paid before the bike is handed over to you.

b. If, for whatever reason, you cannot make use of the bike(s) you have rented, French Bike Tours will not be held responsible for any resulting expenses or damage.

c. In the case of the article 2b, the client remains obliged to pay the full rental price and any other amounts mentioned in the invoice, in accordance with our General Terms and Conditions of Booking, unless the client can prove that his not being able to use the bike was the consequence of a defect that was already present at the beginning of the rental period.

Article 3 Rental Period

a. The rental period runs from the morning of the first cycling day (day 2) to the end of the holiday (last cycling day), as stated in the booking confirmation.

b. Extension of the rental period is possible only after approval by us and according to the (extension) rates as mentioned in article 1.

c. No refunds are possible after the rental period begins. If you return the bike(s) to us before the end of your holiday, the rental agreement will automatically be terminated and you will not get any of your money back.

d. At the end of the last cycling day of your holiday, the bike(s) must be returned to the hotel from where it was/they were issued, no later than the time stated in the booking confirmation.
If you book a one way tour tour you can leave the bike at the last hotel of the trip. 

e. If the bike(s) is /are not returned by the return time stated in the booking confirmation, we will continue to charge you rent until such time as the bike(s) is/are returned to us or is/are received by us. In the event of late return, the rates as mentioned in article 1 will continue to apply, plus a fine of €25 per day. We also reserve the right to demand payment for any costs and/or damages suffered by us due to late return of our rental bike(s).

f. Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, in the event of late return of our rental bikes, we reserve the right to dissolve the rental agreement without judicial intervention and immediately claim back our bicycles where ever they may be and from whomever has them. French Bike Tours also holds this right in the event that the client does not comply with any of the other conditions stated in this rental agreement.

Article 4 Improper Use

a. The bicycle(s) may only be used for its/their intended purpose and only by the cyclists listed in the rental agreement.

b. The bike(s) must be returned to us in the same (clean!) state in which you received it/them.

c. You must take excellent care of the bicycle(s), as if it/they were your own. You must take every precaution against damage, loss or theft.

d. The bicycle may not be used on the beach; or on sandy paths in the dunes unless a paved path is unavailable.

Article 5 Damage, Loss and Theft

The renter will be held responsible for damages to or loss of the bicycle(s) or parts of it, as well as bicycle keys and chains and locks, for such an amount as is determined by us according to standard market prices. You must understand that you are not insured for damage to the bicycle(s) or for any damages to third parties.

Article 6 Costs During the Rental Period

Any charges and taxes regarding the rental bicycle(s), such as fines and ferry tickets, are to be paid by you. You will also be required to pay all costs ensuing from the use of the bicycle(s) such as parking fees, maintenance and repairs. 

Practical info

7 Nights included
 

2/3 Star Hotels or 3/4 Star Hotels (supplement applied)
 

Tourist tax included

Breakfast included, 1 dinner included for the first night
 

Maps and tourist information on all the places of interest

24/7 Bilingual Emergency hotline

Luggage transport to your next accommodations. Luggage accepted per person: 1 suitcase or travel bag (20 kg maximum)
 

For time tables and further information check the website of SNCF or rome2rio for all French National trains (SNCF).

We strongly advise you to download the sncf mobile app prior to departure. If you want to travel on a train with your bike, you can find more information via this link.

Parking informations on request

We will supply the directions of this trip with a personalized code which gives you access to our travel App.

Arrival info

The closest airports for this trip are La Rochelle (LRH) and Bordeaux (BOD).
 

From La Rochelle, you can take a train (TER) to Saintes (50 min). From Bordeaux, you can take a shuttle from the airport to the station, then a train to Saintes (1h50). 

For timetables and further information, you can consult the SNCF website or rome2rio for all French national trains (SNCF).

From Paris to Saintes (approx. 4h45 - 474 km). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.

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