Follow the Atlantic Ocean coast, between the towns Nantes and La Rochelle: an entertaining/amazing part of the ‘Vélodyssée’.
During this relaxed coastal road you can enjoy the woods, dunes, salt sea air and the sparkling light. Take a break now and then for a refreshing dive into the sea or a nice lunch in this Eldorado for ‘seafood’ lovers
Arrival in Nantes, the biggest and maybe the most attractive town on the Loire. Take a walk through the charming town centre: Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul’s cathedral, the castle of the Dukes of Brittany, the magnificent passage de la Pommeraye, …
Surprising works of art at unusual places enliven the start of this trip along the mouth of the Loire. After Le Pellerin, the Martinière canal is your guide. You cycle via small, quiet roads on the cycling route of “La Loire à Vélo” through landscapes belonging to the mouth of a big river: broad swampy areas and vast forelands. From Paimboeuf, your itinerary on the coastal route “Velodysée” starts and you more and more notice the strong influence of tides and currents on the Loire. The end of the day is in St-Brevin, a lively seaside resort on the Atlantic.
Challenge: 58km, flat
South of the Loire, “La Vélodyssée” has a maritime feel: sandy coves, jagged coastline and small seaside resorts. Here you find Pornic, the gem of La Côte de Jade, nestling in an inlet. The Marais Breton Marshlands bridge the Loire-Atlantique and Vendée.
Challenge: 57km, 110m ascent, 106m descent
Today, your ride focuses entirely on the sea, the beach, the forest and the dunes. There are 18 km of cycle paths winding through the national forest of Pays de Monts, after which you come to the very lively seaside resort of St-Jean-de-Monts. The highlight of the day will be crossing the famous Gois causeway to the Island of Noirmoutier, tides permitting!
Challenge: 42km, flat
Before reaching the Vendéenne Cove and its famous boulders at Sion-sur-l’Océan, “La Vélodyssée” heads towards an old fishing village in the commune of St-Hilaire-de-Riez, adjoining St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, working port, well-known seaside resort, significantly located on a river whose name means “life” (la vie)… all this and the Grande Plage… altogether an unmissable location! Take time to stroll around before continuing the route which gets closer to the coast towards Brétignolles-sur-Mer, Brem-sur-Mer and finally Les Sables-d’Olonne via the Port de Plaisance. A superb cycling day, this is an idyllic location for family seaside holidays.
Challenge: 55km, 112m ascent, 1113m descent
A dream ride for this part of “La Vélodyssée” - close to the sea, beaches and rocky coves. A beautiful trail and a real pleasure to cycle along whilst breathing in the fresh sea air before turning back inland. A little way after St-Vincent, the itinerary winds its way into the large national forest of Longeville, drawing close to the sea on two occasions from where beautiful beaches can easily be accessed, such as Les Conches. A quick dip is a must on this stage!
Challenge: 46km, 102m ascent, 115m descent
La Belle-Henriette Lagoon, separated from the sea by a narrow band of sand, and then your arrival into La Faute-sur-Mer which stretches endlessly towards the point of Arçay, mark this stage of “La Vélodyssée”. The route then heads into St-Michel-en-l’Herm through the dried marshes of Marais Poitevin, a great expanse of marshes and cultivated land dotted with farms and sheds. The crossing of the Pont du Brault takes us into Charente-Maritime in the ancient district of Aunis. Marans, the capital of the dried Marais marshes, was once a very important look-out point. Enjoy the end of the day to the vibrant town of La Rochelle with its old towers, remains from the old defensive walls.
Challenge: 73km, flat
This stage will be the longest, you can split this days and stay in Marans, then the route will be La Tranche-sur-Mer / Marans (47 km) and Marans / La Rochelle (26 km)
After breakfast, end of your cycling trip. Some time left? We advise you to extend your stay in order to take the time to visit the beautiful Île de Ré.
All accommodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services.
We choose comfortable 2*/3* hotels or B&Bs where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom and every morning breakfast are included.
For more comfort, when it's possible we can upgrade the hotels with 3*/4 * category (supplement applied).
The bike rental includes the drop-off fee for the bike’s return
7 Nights included
2/3 Star Hotels or 3/4 Star Hotels (supplement applied)
Tourist tax included
Breakfast included, Halfboard optional on request
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)
Parking informations on request
GPS tracks are available on request
The closest airport is Nantes Airport
Also possibility of arrival in Paris airports Charles de Gaulle in the North and Orly in the South are served by a large number of scheduled and low cost airlines.They are connected with Paris by metro and bus services. From Paris you can take a train to Nantes, see below.
From Paris to Nantes (approx. 3h50 - 385 km/240 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.
It was so nice to get away and have everything arranged for us, fantastic communication with the organisers too. The entire trip was stress free and the hotels were just amazing. We had the pleasure of riding through some of the most scenic areas of France. From start to finish it was simply beautiful!