Start off at the Loire River in southern Brittany and enjoy a bike tour following ‘La Vélodyssée’ cycle path from Nantes to La Rochelle southwards. Along the French Atlantic coast you experience the wild beauty of seaside landscapes with huge beaches, giant dunes, large salt marshlands and pine forests ... always with the Ocean as a backdrop. And some charming fishing ports and sweet seaside resorts will punctuate your journey. People’s life here is characterized by fishing and oyster farming and the eternal running of the tides. And also tourism is an important part of that area. Charming seaside resorts as Pornic and the beaches of ‘Côte de Jade’ and ‘Côte de Lumière’ will enchant you. So get on your bike and let’s go. But don’t forget your swimming trunks.
Day 1: Arrival in Nantes
Discover the charms and secrets of this Art & History city settled on the Loire river banks: its magnificent houses in the old districts, its cathedral and its Ducs de Bretagne chateau.
Day 2: Nantes - Saint-Brévin les Pins, ~58 km
This first bike stage will allow you to reach the Loire river estuary with its calm and wild landscapes, between marshlands and countryside... before breathing salty and fresh sea air in Saint Brévin les Pins. Enjoy the beautiful beaches.
Day 3: Saint-Brévin les Pins - Bouin, ~53 km
Discover the ‘oyster capital’ of the Vendée area, a former island now protected by dikes and polders, and unique in France. Observe the salt marshland workers and don't forget to taste some oysters at Port du Bec, enjoying the view over Noirmoutier Island.
Day 4: Bouin - Saint Jean de Monts, ~55 km
Follow the cycling paths through dunes and forests, and admire the 20th century villas all along the way. After the small loop on the Noirmoutier Island, a beautiful fine white sand beach is waiting for you at Saint Jean de Monts.
Day 5: Saint Jean de Monts - Les Sables d’Olonne, ~54 km
Between Sion and St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, ride along the picturesque rocks of 'Cinq-Pinteaux' and 'Trou du Diable'. Discover the old fishing port of St-Hilaire-de-Riez before reaching the famous 'Vendée Globe' race departure town: Les Sables d’Olonne. There you can taste seafood products such as the well-known 'sablaise' sardine.
Day 6: Les Sables d’Olonne - La Tranche sur Mer, ~47 km
On the first part of this stage, you will ride close to the sea, from beaches to rocky creeks... before riding along the Payré estuary with its astonishing and contrasting colors. Leave your bike for a while to have a swim on one of the nice beaches such as Conche beach, before reaching La Tranche sur Mer, a famous seaside resort dedicated to board sports.
Day 7: La Tranche sur Mer - La Rochelle, ~73 km
Cycle through the dry part of the 'Marais Poitevin' and follow the ‘voies vertes’ cycling paths to enter the village of Marans. Have a look at the church and its surprising bell tower made of glass and metal. Continue to La Rochelle with its old towers, remains from the old defensive walls. You will enjoy the charms of the old city bathed with warm and sweet lights.
Day 8: Unfortunately departure or extra nights
7 nights in 3*** and 4**** hotels in cat. A
7 nights in 2** and 3*** hotels in cat. B
travel documents with maps
8 days / 7 nights
arrival every day
route (2): ~340 km
flat but also hilly in the dunes, most of the time on Europe's longest cycle path
how to get there
by car: to Nantes
by train: train station Nantes, direct from Paris by TGV
by plane: airport Paris
back to Nantes after the tour by van possible on request
can be booked in Nantes and La Rochelle in both categories in double and single
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