A cycling holiday for families and birdwatchers through an extraordinary nature reserve! This tour in northern France is a trip for nature lovers. You start in the medieval town of Saint-Valéry-sur-Somme and cycle rather short stages through peaceful landscapes between marshes and forests and through the Marquenterre bird sanctuary. This area has one of the largest expanses of sand dunes in northern Europe and is home to numerous species of bird, and the origin of the Henson horse breed. With a little luck you can also observe the seals.
Day 1: Arrival in Saint Valéry sur Somme
Visit the beautiful medieval town with its port.
Day 2: Roundtrip Saint Valéry-sur-Somme, ~29 km/18 miles
You make your way between land and sea, discovering the dunes of Brighton, the pebble strands of the Picardy coast, and the polder of the seaside resort of Cayeux sur Mer. Just near Hourdel you go past the seal colony's favorite place. The Maison de la Baie de Somme (info, exhibitions, and events) is not to be missed.
Day 3: Saint Valéry sur Somme - Favières, ~24 km/15 miles
Following the curve of the Bay. You come to the other side at Le Crotoy. Then you cycle alongside the dyke lined with lime trees, arriving in the center of St Valery. On the way out of the marina, a cycle path takes you to Le Crotoy across the salt meadows and bocage (farmland with hedges). You go through the historical center of Le Crotoy and join the beach again. Then there is a short incursion inland, and you arrive at your hotel.
Day 4: Roundtrip Favières, ~23 km/14 miles
A short ride which takes you away for a time from the ocean. This is peaceful countryside with marshes, flowered-bedecked villages and traditional farming. You are soon in the Forest of Crécy. The air is cooler, the atmosphere mysterious. The trees here are remarkable: oak and beech, some of them up to 400 years old. This is a place of history and legend which casts new light on the Bay of Somme.
Day 5: Favières - Saint Quentin, ~14 km/9 miles
First you go along the so-called heron circuit which brings you close to Le Crotoy. From there you follow the cycle path which takes you through surprising marshes where a vast variety of birds live in apparent tranquility: swans, ducks, migrating birds but also cows and horses of the Henson breed. Today's stage, deliberately short, leaves you time to enjoy a visit to the bird Park of the Marquenterre.
Day 6: Roundtrip Saint Quentin, ~29 km/18 miles
Today, you discover the hamlets of Marquenterre, a remarkable area between the Bay of Authie and the Bay of Somme. In fact, it's the largest range of sand dunes in the north of Europe. You will go to the beaches of Fort-Mahon, which resembles somewhat the back of beyond! Fine cycle paths take you across the countryside and through woods to your residence.
Day 7: Saint Quentin - Saint Valéry-sur-Somme, ~15 km/10 miles
You have to go back across the Bay to return to Cap Hornu. Lovely moments along the marshes surrounded by birds and broad stretches of sand. Enjoy breathing the sea air as you approach Le Crotoy. There the little train awaits you to continue your journey from Le Crotoy to St Valéry sur Somme.
6 nights in 2** und 3*** hotels
6x tourist tax
luggage transport (1 bag per person)
train ticket Le Crotoy - Saint Valéry
bird park entry
self-guided tour - 8 days / 7 nights
arrival every day
season I (860 €/person in double)
season II (+30 €/person)
route (1): ~134 km/84 miles
on flat roads and ideal for families and bird watchers
how to get there
by car: motorway to Saint Valery sur Somme
by train / by plane / by boat: The Bay of the Somme is also reachable by rail, air and even by boat.
free parking at the first hotel
some of our bike tour suggestions