Brittany from port to port 6 - from Vannes to La Baule
From the Gulf of Morbihan to the Côte d'Amour and the Loire estuary by bike
Vannes, city of Art and History
La Roche Bernard, Piriac-sur-mer, Le Croisic, 3 small towns of character
The Vilaine Valley
The Marshes of the Brière Regional Nature Park
Guérande, rampart city and its salt evaporation ponds
The long and beautiful sandy beaches
The Côte d'Amour, untamed and intimate
The Loire estuary and the Saint-Nazaire shipyards
The story behind the trip
This last chapter between Vannes and La Baule – Saint-Nazaire, the sixth one, concludes a great journey started from Saint-Malo and Cancale in 2010.
Fabien’s historical land, founder of Abicyclette Voyages, he had to move away from it for a few years to better see and appreciate how exceptional and enchanting these places and landscapes in southern Brittany are. Also we try to make you benefit from his knowledge of several years of cycling and bicycle-touring explorations, visits and meetings, to share with you the places he loves for their uniqueness and authenticity.
We appreciate the density and variety at the same time:
- places of tourist interest and its activities: beaches, seaside resorts, villages of character, associated services …
- natural spaces: Vilaine and Loire valley, salt evaporation ponds and Briere, wild coast, peninsulas, longest bay in Europe!
- human economic activities (excluding tourism): fishing, salt, market gardening, shipyards, aeronautics …
A wealth that was important to us to make you discover and enjoy by bike.
Chapter 6: From port to port by the Vélocéan paths and the most beautiful coastal roads
From the shores of the Gulf of Morbihan, you follow the southern coast of Brittany, cross the Vilaine and reach the Guérande peninsula. A getaway between the most charming waters!
Welcome to South Brittany. Do not be surprised if, upon your arrival, if you hear talk about a microclimate, sunshine and 2 to 4 degrees more … We are in the south of Brittany and standing out from the humid clichés of the eastern region is important!
This bike trip from port to port allows you to reach:
- The port of Vannes, city of Art and History, anchored at the bottom of the Gulf of Morbihan. It allows you an excursion to the island of Arz on the first day. Small haven of peace, 30 minutes by boat is enough to reach one of the 2 most important Gulf islands that you can travel along by bike.
- The marina of La Roche-Bernard, located on the banks of Vilaine, proudly dominating the valley, historically protecting any invasion of Breton land by this major river axis. It offers you a pleasant stopover before reaching the Guérande peninsula.
- The port of Bréca and its barges, opening onto the marshes of Grande Brière. The opportunity to venture into a Regional Natural Park of great ornithological richness.
- The ports of Piriac and Le Croisic, classified as small cities of character, have a well preserved historical heritage. The charm of granite houses and colorful half-timbering.
- The ports of La Turballe, Saint-Nazaire and Le Croisic, again, have a heart that beats to the rhythm of the activity of the fishermen. Sardines, sea bream, bass, pollack, fresh mackerel line the market stalls. And your plates if you so desire!
- The marinas of Pouliguen – La Baule, Pornichet are an opportunity to appreciate beautiful sailboats.
- The port of Saint-Nazaire and its famous shipyard which saw the construction of the France, the Normandy or more recently the Queen Mary 2. Several thousand workers work on today’s liners, giant monsters of the seas, that come out every year.
By bicycle, you ride on small wooded roads and large white paths whose network is quite developed here. On the Guérande peninsula, the signposted cycle route of the Vélocéan is also an opportunity for secondary routes to find yourself in the middle of the countryside in peace. The coast is dynamic, touristy in high season (July – August), so the side roads are very valuable!
The cuisine here is turned to the sea and well seasoned thanks to the work of the salt workers who, thanks to the favorable natural spaces, were able to develop the white gold mines, otherwise called the salt evaporation ponds. Guérande fleur de sel is renowned worldwide, used in particular in the kitchens of great starred chefs. The opportunity to slip a small salt bag into your belongings that you bought on the side of the road, directly from the producer.
The large bay and beach of La Baule – the longest in Europe – is a few dozen meters from your hotel. 4 nights in one of the oldest seaside resorts in France allow you to easily travel around by bike between all the ports of the Guérande peninsula.
- Chapter 1 (7 days): Breton ports and their life from Saint-Malo to Paimpol
- Chapter 2 (7 days): The Pink Granite Coast from Paimpol to Morlaix
- Chapter 3 (7 days): The Lighthouse Circuit from Morlaix to Brest
- Chapter 4 (8 days) : reach the world’s end from Brest to Quimper
- Chapter 5 (7 days) : southern Brittany from Quimper to Vannes
Arrival on your own and check in to your hotel. Orientation with our guide today. Take time to explore Vannes and the banks of the Loire river.
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.
From VANNES to LA ROCHE-BERNARD 54km 350m
From Vannes, you ride along its port and reach the Séné peninsula. Surrounded by birds, via small picturesque roads you follow the inland sea that forms the Gulf of Morbihan.
It is then a wooded and hilly countryside that allows you to reach the Vilaine valley. A short distance from the river estuary the small town of character of La Roche-Bernard stands proudly on its rocky outcrop. The cannons still posted on the heights of the city testify to the strategic importance of this place. Today, it is a lively and popular marina to spend a musical and/or gastronomic evening in one of the concert cafes or good restaurant in the city.
From LA ROCHE-BERNARD to LA BAULE 46km 250m
From the edges of Vilaine, you join the Loire estuary. Water surrounds you everywhere, rivers, sea, marshes of the Brière Regional Natural Park, salt evaporation ponds of the Guérandaise peninsula. A unique, flat and picturesque landscape. The large white paths and small secondary roads allow you to avoid the main tourist routes in the summer. They lead you to Kerhinet, a village restored to better understand life and Briéronne architecture with large houses which are distinguished by thatched roofs. Your itinerary then takes you to Breca for an overview of this unspoiled area of the Grande Brière marshes. For the more curious, you can embark on a barge, a traditional flat-bottomed boat. Silent, the barge is maneuvered with a pole on the canals and allows you to enjoy wilderness and a the dance of birds.
A few more pedal strokes on beautiful white paths through the Gulf of La Baule and you reach the seafront and the longest beach in Europe which stretches here for 9 km. The latter is waiting for you for a well-deserved swim!
- For a few more km 68km 300m
From La Roche Bernard, you follow the Vilaine to its Estuary and the pretty port of Tréhiguier, the last before the sea. In Pénestin, you have the chance to ride along the beach of the Gold Mine, the first opportunity to swim in the sea. You then join the Marais de Grande Brière.
LA BAULE, GUERANDE LOOP 32km 70m
This loop takes you to the discovery of Guérande and its famous salt evaporation ponds, a magnificent landscape, shaped by the hand of man for centuries. Admire the work of the salt workers! The city proudly overlooks the salt evaporation ponds which produce “white gold”: the very famous Guérande Salt.
You go up to Guérande. Take the time to discover this pretty medieval city, its ramparts and its pleasant cobbled streets. You will meet many artisans and be able to enjoy a salted caramel crêpe. Thanks to the fleur de sel, this stage is certainly well seasoned!
- For a few more km 42km 100m You then reach La Turballe and its fishing port. Sardine fishing was the sailors’ specialty, an entire fleet was dedicated to it! Return by the salt evaporation ponds.
- For a few more km 58km 150m
Before reaching La Turballe, you are invited to a detour through the pretty village of Mesquer. At the port of Kercabellec, some oyster farmers offer oysters fresh from their oyster farms. The route is extended by a beautiful coastal road, where overhanging the cliffs you benefit from deep blue panoramas. Piriac-sur-Mer is finally seen. One of the charming harbors of the southernmost of the Breton peninsulas
LA BAULE, LE CROISIC LOOP 36km 100m
This loop on the Guérande peninsula allows you to discover the coast of the Côte d’Amour. By the salt evaporation ponds you quickly reach Batz sur Mer where we advise you to climb to the top of the Saint-Guénolé Tower. The view of the entire peninsula is unique and fascinating. You pass the Barrière Isthmus to reach the charming port of Le Croisic. A small town with character, Le Croisic lives to the rhythm of fishermen and the tides. The colorful trawlers are positioned all around the big fish markets, the modern one on one side, and more interesting, the old one, transformed into an exhibition hall.
Your route then continues along the wild coast, dotted with cliffs and small coves that invite you to swim. A beautiful cycle path allows you to take advantage of this beautiful coastal road. The ride takes you to the port of Pouliguen and La Baule where this stage ends.
LA BAULE, SAINT-NAZAIRE LOOP 44km 100m
This day offers you the discovery of the port of Saint-Nazaire. Situated on the mouth of the Loire, the working-class city has been able to give itself a makeover over the past decade thanks to the development of a rich industrial heritage around historic and flourishing shipbuilding. It is also an important witness to the 2 world wars of the 20th century. Its port, to which the city seemed to have turned its back, is now part of a major commercial and tourist axis. Trendy brasseries and cafes have opened on a refurbished seafront giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists.
From La Baule, you sail along the sea to the Saint-Nazaire shipyard to discover the latest ocean liners under construction. Along your route, there are many opportunities to stop to enjoy a beach, a panorama of the Loire estuary and the coasts of the Pays de Retz just opposite.
- For a few more km 58km 200m
Before returning to La Baule, we invite you to reach the Grande Brière marshes, in the town of Saint-André-des-Eaux. Beautiful white paths and small carriage roads offer you joyful kilometers of cycling in peace and in nature. On the port of Chaussée Neuve, you have the opportunity to embark on a barge, the flat-bottomed boat typical of the region. The pole guide, through the canals, and in the reeds, tells you the geological, botanical and ornithological stories of this exceptional Regional Natural Park.
End of your stay after breakfast.
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.
Starting from 690€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices
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.
Starting from 755€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices
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.
Starting from 970€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices
- Accommodation: 6 nights in a double room
- 6 breakfasts
- Luggage transfer
- Phone assistance
- Application fee
- Day 1 : Meeting with our guide in Brittany
- A personalized greeting with our team at the beginning of the trip to receive your travel documents
- The itinerary trackable on the following supports:
- Loan of a Bicycle GPS uploaded with full itinerary of the trip
- Cycling practical guide including restaurant recommendations for lunch & dinner with french topo maps
Price does not include
- bike rental (see option)
- Breakfast on day 1
- 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.
- 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 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, traditional
- 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
- Rent a high end quality bike for real comfort, cycling pleasure and reliability a long trip requires.
- Suscribe to a Cancelation or Multi Risk insurance policy which cover you in case something unexpected comes up.
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.
A layed out and dynamic position
Supplied equipment per bike
A straight and easy going position
Supplied equipment per bike
With an autonomy of almost 120km, cycling has never been so easy!
Supplied equipment per bike
20″ or 24″ bike
Vannes, Golfe du Morbihan
Vannes by car
From Rennes N24/N166 (120 km 1H20)
From Paris by the A11 then A81 (470 km 4H30)
Vannes by train*
TGV station in Vannes (from Paris : 3H20)
Return: TGV station in La Baule (to Paris 3h30)
Vannes by airplane*
Rennes Airport and Nantes Airport
*Transport to your meeting point can be included as an option.
- Trekking or hybrid bike
- 21 to 30 speeds
- 26 or 28 inch (700) wheels
Clothing and equipment
- Helmet (included with the rental)
- Clothing suitable for cycling
- Warm jacket (eg fleece)
- Rain proof jacket
- 1 pair of sunglasses
- 1 pair of cycling shoes
- 1 small backpack or panniers
- 1 or 2 water flasks (included with the rental)
- 1 lock (included with the rental)
- Our reccomendation for optimal comfort:
- 1 pair of gloves
- 1 special pair of pants (shammy leather)
- 1 night see fluorescent vest
- Emergency repair kit: 2 or 3 tubes, patches, pump, tire levers, multi-tools
- Daily use kit: cloth, brake pads, oil
- Suitcase (for transporting personal effects in luggage transfers)
- Change of clothes for the evening
- Warm jacket for the evenings
- Set of toiletries
- Mobile phone and charger