The Velo Francette from Caen to Angers
From the sea to Val de Loire, by Normandy
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.
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.
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 CAEN to PONT D’OUILLY 52km 323m
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.
From PONT D’OUILLY to DOMFRONT 58km 408m
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.
From DOMFRONT to MAYENNE 45km 165m
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.
From MAYENNE to LAVAL 35km 160m
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.
From LAVAL to CHATEAU-GONTIER 35km 202m
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.
From CHATEAU-GONTIER to ANGERS 58km 295m
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.
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.
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 925€/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 1070€/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.
Quote on request | Contact us
- Accommodation: 7 nights in a double ou twin room
- 7 breakfasts
- Luggage transfer
- Phone assistance
- Application fee
- Day 1 : Meeting with our guide in Normandy
- 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
- Topo maps
- Cycling practical guide including restaurant recommendations for lunch & dinner
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
Departure city : CAEN
Coming by car
- at 2h45 from PARIS
- at 5h45 from BORDEAUX
- at 6h from LYON
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
* 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
- 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 (limited to one per person when possible)
- Change of clothes for the evening
- Warm jacket for the evenings
- Set of toiletries
- Mobile phone and charger