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.

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 CAEN to PONT D’OUILLY 52km 323m 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 408m Niveau Loisir

Let yourself be guided by the meanders of the Orne, Noireau or Varenne. Arrived at Domfront, take the time to enjoy the heart of the fortified city, an example of urban architecture from the Middle Ages.

Day 4

From DOMFRONT to MAYENNE 50km 240m Niveau Loisir

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 160m 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 202m 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 263m 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.

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
Hôtel la Fontaine CAEN

Starting from 1055€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

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
Chambre d'hôtes Clos Saint-Martin Hôtel Logis Parc Hôtel Hôtel Le Continental

Starting from 1255€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

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: 7 nights in a Double room
  • 7 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
    • Topo maps
    • 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 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

    appareil GPS TwoNav Cross

    • 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 : CAEN

    Coming by car

    • at 2h45 from PARIS
    • at 5h45 from BORDEAUX
    • at 6h from LYON

    Parking*

    • Parking Hôtel de Ville – CAEN
    • Parking Indigo Caen République – CAEN

    Coming by train

    • Caen train station - 2h from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Caen airport

    Arrival city : ANGERS

    Coming by car

    • at 2h from PARIS
    • at 3h45 from BORDEAUX
    • at 5h30 from LYON

    Coming by train

    • Angers train station - 1h45 from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Angers airport
    • Nantes 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 Angers to Caen in 3h40
    • Return by car in 2h30 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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