La Vélodyssée – from Nantes to La Rochelle

The Atlantic cycling route - Chapter 2

Highlights

A secured and signpost itinerary, mostly flat
Cycling along the Loire river and the city of Nantes
Beaches in Vendée
Islands of Noirmoutier, Yeu, Ré (optional)
Fishing ports and fresh seafood
La Rochelle, an artistic and historical city

Carte de l'itinéraire vélo Nantes LA Rochelle

From one port to the next, discover the ones which made France’s naval power in modern times.

La Vélodyssée along the Atlantic coast

After the English and Brittany part of the Vélodyssée here you are for the Atlantic section.  Only a few dozen kilometers by bike along the Loire and you reach the Atlantic beaches which you will follow for 6 days!

For those who had the chance to go to the sea in your early years this trip will remind you of your childhood holidays. The smell of warm sand, salty air, sea breeze and pine tree forests surround you on this recent greenway.

You cycle through authentic and unique landscapes, like the Breton marshlands in Vendée. You also stop in some colorful ports enlightened by their houses and fishing boats. Oyster and mussel farming are important activities and their products have earned a solid reputation.

The “Côte de Lumière”, named Coast of Light for its long beaches lined with dunes, offers infinite possibilities during the day for cycling and a swim in the ocean. In the evening enjoy a seafood platter or potatoes from Noirmoutier to name only a few local delicacies.

la Vélodyssée is a 80% flat and fully signpost route, mostly on secured greenways. You can cycle it from top to bottom or in small portions, from 2 days to 3 weeks. Share your project with us. We can tailor a cycling trip on this great itinerary.

 

Get a sneak peak of the Vélodyssée :

Moderate: you regularly ride and/or practice a sport. You are accustomed to traveling by bike or wish to try it out. Your physical condition allows you to cover a minimum of 40 to 55 km per day with a little bit of steep routes.
Carte de l'itinéraire vélo Nantes LA Rochelle
Day 1 - NANTES

Arrival in Nantes. You meet with our guide at 6PM at your hotel for an orientation meeting.


Day 2 - FROM NANTES TO SAINT BREVIN - 70km

You leave Nantes by its island in the middle of the Loire. After crossing the second arm of the river, you reach the old neighborhood of Trentemoult. We recommend a first halt to explore the maze of alleys that allow you to enjoy beautiful colorful houses which is uncommon in the north west of France. You then cycle along the Loire river and reach Paimbœuf through the Canal de la Martinière. Flat roads make it easy to cycle to the ocean. You reach Saint- Brevin -les-Pins and the South Loire beaches. Breathe in the sea breeze!


Day 3 - FROM SAINT BREVIN TO BOUIN - 58km

Your route finally takes you on the Atlantic coast. You can opt for a ride to the Pointe Saint-Gildas, an alternative to the official Vélodyssée route we recommend.


Day 4 - FROM BOUIN TO NOIRMOUTIER - 46km

Between marshlands and the ocean your route passes by oyster farms and through charming ports. The opportunity to discover the oyster trade and maybe ask for a tasting! When tides are low you can reach the island of Noirmoutier by the Passage du Gois.If not continue further and take the bridge.


Day 5 - FROM NOIRMOUTIER TO SAINT GILLES CROIX DE VIE - 58km

You continue your journey south ! Sea resorts succeed themselves, each time with the opportunity for a good swim! You can reach the more secluded beaches easily by bike.


Day 6 - FROM SAINT GILLES CROIX DE VIE LES SABLES D'OLONNE - 38km

Along the Vendée beaches you will ride to the Sables d'Olonne on beautiful green paths in the middle of the pines.


Day 7 - FROM LES SABLES-D'OLONNE TO LA-TRANCHE-SUR-MER - 43km

Closer to the sea, between beaches and rocky coves, you ride on a pleasant bike path to the Guittière port where you can enjoy fresh oysters. You reach La-Tranche-sur-Mer through the Longeville forest.


Day 8 - FROM LA-TRANCHE-SUR-MER TO LA ROCHELLE - 69km

In the Marin Poitevin, you cycle around l'Anse de l'Aiguillon, a beautiful natural reserve, made infamous by the storm Xynthia which passed through in 2009. At the Brault bridge you start on the Canal Maritime of the Sevre Niortaise river that takes you up to Marans. La Rochelle is only a few kilometers away. there you have an easy ride along the "Marans La Rochelle" canal which presents no difficulty. The city of la Rochelle deserves a large tour.


Day 9 - LA ROCHELLE, LOOP TO L'ILE DE RE - 55km

End of stay after breakfast. The charm of the island is worth the extra effort at the end of this trip! With more than 120km of cycling paths, this island a cycling paradise. Beautiful beaches await and some villages labeled as "most beautiful in France".
You can also continue your journey on the Velodyssée heading South.


Chambre gamme confort Abicyclette

Confort Range

Our quality standard at Abicyclette. This type of accommodation includes 2 and 3 stars hotels. Depending on the itinerary, you might spend some nights in approved guesthouses. You enjoy a double bedroom with private bathroom and toilet and adapted welcome for you and your bikes.


Available on this tour starting from : 1150€

Prices

Price for self-guided tour
  • 1150€ / person with Confort Range

Optionnal

Bike rental

  • Bike rental : 120€ / person
  • Electric bike rental : 240€ / person

Insurance

  • Cancellation Insurance : 19€ / person
  • Multi Risk Insurance : 24€ / person

High season supplement

  • High season supplement : 70€ / person

Other options

The price includes :

Self Guided Tour :
– Accommodation: 8 nights in a double room
– 8 breakfasts
– 1 diner
– Luggage transfer between each hotel
– Loan of GPS with full itinerary
– French topo map (IGN 1/100 000e)
– Cycling practical guide with recommended restaurants for lunch & diner
– Orientation meeting with one of our guides upon arrival
– Taxes
– Emergency assistance 24/7
– Application fees

The price doesn't include :

Self Guided Tour :
– Lunches, breakfast on the first day and diners (except if mentionned above)
– Bike rental
– Repairs, spare part and corresponding mileage allowance
– Drinks
– Visits
– Parking fee

Homemade and fully tested itineraries
  • Routes selected for their cycling and touristic interest entirely tested and away from traffic
  • Accomodations selected for their hospitality, atmosphere, services and quality meals
  • A flexible organisation to suit you needs and wishes: You choose the date you want to you leave on! We check the availability of each accomodation to make sure it is possible.

Close assistance
  • One of our guides greets you on your first day. He will hand out all the needed documents for the trip (hotel vouchers, maps of the area,GPS, practical guide), get you settled on your bikes (for rental bikes).
  • Phone assistance 24H/7 you can reach the Abicyclette team whenever you need
  • A Luggage transfer service which respects your hours of rest (we pick them up after 10:00 and deliver them before 16:00)

Follow your itinerary anyway you like – modern, practical, traditionalguide

  • We loan you a GPS so that you can easily follow your itinerary without having to look for your way around (bike support included)/ Twonav Anima hiking GPS /
  • A practical cycling guide with all the useful information (addresses, highlights for the day and touristic information)
  • French topo maps of the area (IGN 1/100 000e) to have a global view of your itinerary

You can also

photo_guide

On our guided tours (for groups on demand), we accompany you every step of the way
  • One of our state qualified instructor and professional cycling guide accompanies you every step of the way
  • Full board (all meals covered unless asked otherwise)
  • A picnic buffet set up for lunch with a wide choice of fresh and local produce

Getting here ?

Meeting point

Nantes, Loire Atlantique (44)

Coming to Nantes by car

From Rennes by the national road N137 (110km 1h30)
From Paris by the A11 highway (380km 3h40)
From Lyon by the A71 and A85 highways (700km 6h10)
From Bordeaux by the A10 highway (350km 3h20)

Coming to Nantes by train

TGV train station in Nantes

TGV train station in La Rochelle

Check schedules and book your train at           en.voyages-sncf.com/en 

Coming to Nantes by plane

Airport in Nantes

* Transportation to your starting point can be included as an option.

 

Recommended cycling gear

Bike
  • Bike for all types of roads, trekking or hybrid
  • 21 speeds, 26 inches or 700 wheels
  • we recommend for optimal comfort:
    • 28 to 35 tires
    • crank set 48-36-26, cassette 11/34
    • for children, avoid single-speed bikes

Clothing and equipment
  • 1 helmet
  • suitable clothing for cycling
  • 1 warm jacket (e.g. fleece jacket)
  • 1 rainproof jacket
  • 1 pair of sunglasses
  • 1 pair of cycling shoes
  • 1 small backpack or trunkbag
  • 1 or 2 water flasks
  • 1 security padlock
  • we recommend for optimal comfort:
    • 1 pair of gloves
    • 1 special pair of pants (shammy leather)
    • 1 night see fluorescent vest


Bike maintenance
  • Emergency repair kit:
    • 2 or 3 patches, pump, tire levers, multi-tools
  • Daily use kit:
    • cloth, oil, brakepads

Other
  • 1 suitcase (for belongings in luggage transfer)
  • 1 pair of evening shoes
  • 1 set of toiletries
  • 1 mobile phone and charger
  • 1 bathing suit and towel