La Vélodyssée - From Nantes to La Rochelle

The Atlantic cycling route

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

La Vélodyssée route along the Atlantic coast

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

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 La Vélodyssée :

Carte itinéraires vacances à vélo Atlantique de Nantes à la Rochelle
Niveau LeisureLeisure or Niveau FitFit
Day 1

NANTES

Free arrival in Nantes.

Meeting with our guide in the evening.

Meeting with our local guide

Before your first ride, we invite you to meet one of our guides, at your place of departure. A time of exchange, a privileged moment to give you our last practical tips, must-see places and experiences, to answer all your questions, take care of your bike fitting to begin your trip.

Day 2

From NANTES to SAINT-BREVIN-LES-PINS 68km 229m Niveau Forme

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-LES-PINS to BOUIN 61km 161m Niveau Loisir

Your route finally takes you on the Atlantic coast and offers you beautiful views on the ocean. You cross the charming port of Pornic and continue south cycling between swamps and sea landscapes. In the heart of Breton swamp, you stop at and sleep in a 18th Century building in Bouin.

  • For a few more km 70km 200m Niveau Forme

    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 EN L'ILE 34km 12m Niveau Loisir

Between the marshes and the sea your route passes by the oyster beds and crosses some charming ports. It’s the opportunity to discover the oyster crafts and taste the fruit of their work! In the afternoon, you discover the shores of the island of Noirmoutier. A beautiful bike path makes the center of the island easy to reach by bike.

VIGILANCE: works on the cycle track of the Noirmoutier bridge. 3 solutions to make the crossing:

– ride on the shared lane limited to 50km/h ;

– push your bike on the pavement;

– go through the Gois passage if the tide allows it.

If the sea is low, take advantage of it to go through the flood plain called passage du Gois.

  • For a few more km 51km 46m Niveau Forme

    If the sea is high, you will continue your cycling trip on the bridge that connects the island to the mainland since 1971.

Day 5

From NOIRMOUTIER EN L'ILE to SAINT-GILLES-CROIX-DE-VIE 64km 137m Niveau Forme

There are a number of seaside resorts, all of which offer the possibility of swimming! By bike it is often easier to find secluded bays for swimming away from the crowds. You will reach the charming town of Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie. The harbor offers a relaxing and lively stopover.

VIGILANCE : Work on the bike lane of the Pont de Noirmoutier. 2 solutions to allow the crossing:

  1. The speed is limited to 50km/h;
  2. Accelerate your vehicle on the sidewalk

Day 6

From SAINT-GILLES-CROIX-DE-VIE to LES SABLES D'OLONNE 38km 104m Niveau Forme

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 45km 90m Niveau Forme

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 74km 53m Niveau Forme

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, Ile de Ré Loop 54km 102m Niveau Loisir

A day on the island of Ré. More than 120km of bikepaths make this island a paradise for cycling. Beautiful beaches await you, but also some of the most beautiful villages in France.

  • For a few more km 66km 156m Niveau Forme

    Cross the Loix salt marshes and see the oyster beds at low tide

Comfort 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.

Accommodation example
Hôtel Spa du Béryl Hôtel Domaine le Martinet Façade de l’hôtel les roches noires aux SABLES D’OLONNE Façade côté rue Hotel des dunes à La Tranche Sur Mer Hôtel François 1er

Starting from 1175€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Essential Range

You want to enjoy your itinerary without anything fancy. Our ”essential” range offers a simple accommodation for a good night’s rest in a simple hotel, guesthouse, rest house or hostel.


Quote on request | Contact us

Privilege Range

Opt for total comfort in charming 3 and 4 star hotels which offer all the services you need and a special welcome for you and your bikes.


Quote on request | Contact us

Price includes

  • Accommodation: 8 nights in a Double room
  • 8 breakfasts
  • Luggage transfer
  • Phone assistance 24/7
  • Access to our exclusive travel application to follow your route, inform you about places of interest, restaurants, facilitate your assistance in case of emergency, find all your travel documents and our practical advice.
  • Application fee
  • Taxes
  • The itinerary trackable on the following supports:
    • Loan of a Bicycle GPS uploaded with full itinerary of the trip
    • Topoguide of La Vélodyssée
    • Cycling practical guide including restaurant recommendations for lunch & dinner
  • Additional services included:
    • Day 1 : A personalized greeting with our team at the beginning of the trip to receive your travel documents
  • Price does not include

    • bike rental (see option)
    • Breakfast on day 1
    • Lunches
    • Dinners not included in "Price includes"
    • Drinks, visits & other personal expenses

    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, you can reach the Abicyclette team 7 days a week
    • A Luggage transfer service from 09:00 and with a delivery before 18:00 (one luggage and one bagback per person maximum)

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

    GPS for cycling trips

    • We loan you a GPS so that you can easily follow your itinerary without having to look for your way around (bike support included)
    • A practical cycling guide with all the useful information (addresses, highlights for the day, topo maps, and touristic information)

     


    You can also

     

    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

    We offer a high-end bike rental service. Our bikes are suited for road and gravel road long-distance cycling. Fully equipped and highly reliable, they are faithful travel companions.


    Trekking bike

    A layed out and dynamic position

    Mixed aluminum frame, telescopic fork. Straight handlebars. Disc brakes. Transmission Shimano 24 to 30 speeds.

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 back bag 20L (waterproof)
    • 1 front bag 4L with plastic map holder (waterproof)
    • 1 lock
    • 1 repair kit (patches, tube, tire lever)
    • 1 multi tools box
    • 1 pump
    • 1 bike computer
    • 1 bike water bottle
    Vélo Abicyclette Voyages

    Touring bike

    An upright and easy going position

    Mixed aluminum frame, telescopic fork. Straight handlebars. Disc brakes. Transmission Shimano 24 to 30 speeds.

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 back bag 20L (waterproof)
    • 1 front bag 4L with plastic map holder (waterproof)
    • 1 lock
    • 1 repair kit (patches, tube, tire lever)
    • 1 multi tools box
    • 1 pump
    • 1 bike computer
    • 1 bike water bottle
    Vélo Rando Abicyclette Voyages

    Ebike

    With an autonomy of almost 120km, cycling has never been so easy!

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 back bag 20L (waterproof)
    • 1 front bag 4L with plastic map holder (waterproof)
    • 1 lock
    • 1 repair kit (patches, tube, tire lever)
    • 1 multi tools box
    • 1 pump
    • 1 bike computer
    • 1 bike water bottle
    EBIKE VELO DE VILLE

    Children Bike

    Recommended bike size (to be confirmed when booking) :

    • 16 inches from 105cm to 120cm (or 6 to 7 years old)
    • 20 inches from 120cm to 135cm (or 7 to 10 years old)
    • 24 inches from 135cm to 145cm (or 10 to 12 years old)
    • SPORT XS bike (adult frame) from 145cm to 155cm (from age 10)

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 inner tube
    • 1 bike water bottle
    Vélo enfant 24 pouces pour vacances à vélo

    Bike trailer

    Thule Chariot Cross 2
    Children’s trailers can only be rented for installation on one of our bikes.
    We do not provide this service on any other bike. There is too much risk of incompatibility and breakage.
    Por one or 2 children.
    Max child trailer load: 45kg.

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet (or 2 if 2 kids)
    • 1 inner tube
    • 1 bike water bottle (or 2)
    • Accessories on request: baby hammock. A padded hammock that supports baby’s sides and offers maximum stability (1 to 10 months). Use only the newborn hammock for walking.

    Getting here

    Departure city : NANTES

    Coming by car

    • at 3h45 from PARIS
    • at 3h30 from BORDEAUX
    • at 6h from LYON

    Parking*

    • Parking gare de Nantes Sud 1 – EFFIA – NANTES

    Coming by train

    • Nantes train station - 2h15 from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Nantes airport

    Arrival city : LA ROCHELLE

    Coming by car

    • at 4h45 from PARIS
    • at 2h from BORDEAUX
    • at 6h from LYON

    Coming by train

    • La Rochelle train station - 3h15 from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • La Rochelle airport

    *Parking: Since many of our clients travel by train or plane, we do not include parking in our packages. In addition, many accommodations don’t have the capacity to park a vehicle for the duration of your cycling vacation. So if you’re planning to arrive by car, we suggest you check parking options when you make your reservation. If you reserve a parking space at the first or last accommodation of your stay, you must pay the accommodation provider on site.

    * Abicyclette Voyages accompanies you on demand, including transportation solutions.

    How to get back to the starting point

    • By train from La Rochelle to Nantes in 2h30 (hotline)
    • Return by car in 1h45 to your starting point
    • Private shuttle: see detailed fares or contact us

    Recommended equipment

    Bike

    • All-Terrain Bike (ATB) or Touring Bike or Gravel Bike
    • 18 to 30-speed transmission
    • 26- to 29-inch wheels
    • Tires: 35 to 42 section, reinforced against punctures
    • Disc brakes recommended
    • 2 bottle cages
    • Bell
    • Front and rear lighting

    Clothing and equipment

    • Helmet (supplied with bike rental unless otherwise specified locally)
    • 1 bike mount for smartphone to use the mobile route planner application
    • Suitable cycling clothing:
      • bib, shorts or tights: elastic and breathable, to facilitate movement and wick away perspiration
      • Breathable T-shirts, synthetic or merino wool
      • Breathable windbreaker
    • Thermal or fleece jacket
    • Waterproof jacket
    • 1 pair of sunglasses
    • 1 pair of cycling shoes
    • 1 backpack or 1 or 2 carrier bags
    • 1 or 2 water bottles (supplied with bike rental in France)
    • 1 lock (supplied with bike rental)
    • Technical details, recommended by the team for optimum comfort:
      • 1 pair of gloves or mittens, depending on season and destination
      • Padded bib (chamois)
      • High-visibility vest or fluorescent belt
      • Neck warmer and cap

    Bike maintenance

    • Emergency repair kit: 2 or 3 inner tubes, patches, pump, tire levers, multi-tools
    • Maintenance kit: rag, oil, brake pads

    Other

    • A suitcase for your belongings carried in the vehicle (limited to one per person)
    • Street clothes
    • 1 pair of evening shoes
    • Fleece jacket for the evening
    • Toiletry bag
    • Telephone and charger

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