The Velo Francette from Caen to Angers

From the sea to Val de Loire, by Normandy

Highlights

A secure route mostly on reserved lanes
Domfront and its medieval walled city
Norman Switzerland and its hilly landscapes
Caen, Laval and Angers, cities full of history

La Vélo Francette from Caen to Angers

8 days to discover the landscapes of Normandy to the Loire

Awarded the best cycling route in 2018, the Vélo Francette is an adventure off the beaten path to discover unknown, wild and bucolic lands far from the major urban areas, with an exceptionally dense network of greenways, this stretch of the Vélo Francette allows you to discover Normandy and the Loire Valley.

In six stages, you link Caen, in Normandy, to Angers, a town at the junction of the Loire and Maine. Caen and Angers, cities with a rowdy history, have a lot to offer on from a historical point of view and make you travel in time: from the Middle Ages to the World War 2 landing. During your wandering on the Vélo Francette, you discover other historical curiosities like the village of Domfront, famous for its medieval fortress and the charming cities of Mayenne, Laval and Chateau-Gontier.

During your escape on the Vélo Francette, you cross natural and varied landscapes that make up the charm of this route. The rugged landscapes of the Norman Switzerland are certainly the most impressive of the trip. From the top of the belvedere of Roche d’Oëtre you overlook a grandiose panorama. Peaceful and relaxing, the journey is also closely linked to the water. On the banks of the Orne and Mayenne, you cross picturesque villages that deserve a stop. In Angers, the completion of your epic journey, you join Maine and of course the Loire, the royal river flowing just south of the city.

Away from the tourist motorways, on the tracks and the cross roads, you find another France of unsuspected charm. From one village to another, along the rivers or through the meadows, the Vélo Francette allows you to discover it.

Niveau LeisureLeisure
Day 1

CAEN

Arrive on your own to Caen, easily accessible by train. Caen, city of William the Conqueror, offers a concentrate of medieval heritage between the ducal castle, the abbey to Men and the Abbey to the Ladies. Learn more about 20th century history with the Memorial for Peace.

Briefing Orientation

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 CAEN to PONT D’OUILLY 52km 520m Niveau Forme

From Caen, discover the spectacular landscapes of the Suisse Normande. Cliffs, gorges, green reliefs, drawn by the Orne, accompany you throughout the day. The predominance of green everywhere is the charm of the Suisse Normande. Your journey ends in the charming town of Pont-d’Ouilly.

Day 3

From PONT D’OUILLY to DOMFRONT 50km 335m Niveau Loisir

You leave Pont-d’Ouilly and head south. Let yourself be guided by the meanders of the Orne, Noireau or Varenne. At Domfront, take the time to enjoy the heart of the walled city, an example of urban architecture of the Middle Ages.

Day 4

From DOMFRONT to MAYENNE 45km 104m Niveau Facile

The route leaves the hilltop town of Domfront for a pleasant stage alternating between greenways and roads before arriving in Mayenne. By Torchamp, the mill of Varenne, the bridge of the Planches, the mill of Ambloux propose 3 remarkable glimpses of Varenne, then Ambrières-les-Vallées offers a last view of this river …
At the end of the stage a more rolling route runs along the banks of the Mayenne to reach the city of Mayenne.

Day 5

From MAYENNE to LAVAL 35km 70m Niveau Loisir

After visiting Mayenne and its Carolingian castle, head south through the Mayenne valley. A family friendly stage on the Vélo Francette on the towpath of the river to discover an exceptional natural heritage, its lock houses, and its beautiful mansions. Laval will delight travellers.

Day 6

From LAVAL to CHATEAU-GONTIER 35km 400m Niveau Loisir

Today you continue along the Mayenne to Château-Gontier, millennial city with winding streets.
Upon leaving Laval, travellers can admire the famous Port Salut abbey before discovering the wild beauty of the Mayenne river. A very natural stage with a little elevation.

Day 7

From CHATEAU-GONTIER to ANGERS 58km Niveau Forme

During this stage, the hillsides of Mayenne unveil, with each meander, charming treasures. Here a castle, there a mill or on the opposite bank a village and its river port, proposing to the tourist cyclists pleasant escape points that stimulate their journey.
After the countryside postcard that is Isle Briand with its castle, stud farm and the confluence of the Oudon and Mayenne, a landscape of low valleys, among the most exceptional wet meadows of Europe, accompanies the traveller to the doors of the city of King René of Anjou. With its rich architectural heritage, Angers has the qualities to seduce you. A walk in the city gives you a nice overview.

Day 8

ANGERS

End of stay after breakfast in Angers. The opportunity for one last stroll in the city’s streets and the castle halls, open to visitors. Enjoy an optional bike ride to discover the Angevin country: the shores of Maine and Louet Lakes and the Angevin countryside still showing scars of the Vendée or WWII wars.

chambre gamme essentielle

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.

Accommodation example
Façade de l’hôtel du château côté rue

Starting from 835€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Chambre confort Hôtel Londres

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 Logis Parc Hôtel Hôtel Le Continental

Starting from 955€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Chambre avec parquet et cheminée La Maison Jules Chambre d'hôte à Tours

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

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 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

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

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 bottle
Présentation de notre parc de vélo Scott Sub Cross 20

Touring bike

A straight and easy going position

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 bottle
Vélo de voyage, position à l'hollandaise pour vacances à vélo

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 bottle
Présentation de nos vélos électriques

Children Bike

20″ or 24″ bike

Vélo enfant 24 pouces pour vacances à vélo

Bike trailer

Abicyclette remorque enfant voyage à vélo

Getting here

Meeting point

Caen, Calvados (14)

Caen by car

  • From Paris by the A13 (240 km 2H45)
  • From Lyon by the A6/A13 (700 km 7H)
  • From Bordeaux by the A10/A28/A88 (615 km 5H45)

Caen by train*

  • Train Station in Caen (from Paris : 2H aprox.)

Caen by plane*

  • Airport in Caen

*Transport to your meeting point can be included as an option.

Recommended equipment

Bike

  • 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

Bike maintenance

  • Emergency repair kit: 2 or 3 tubes, patches, pump, tire levers, multi-tools
  • Daily use kit: cloth, brake pads, oil

Other

  • 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

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