La Vélodyssée - from Nantes to La Rochelle

The Atlantic cycling route - Chapter 2

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

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

La Vélodyssée along the Atlantic coast

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 the Vélodyssée :

Niveau FitFit
Day 1

NANTES

Welcome to Nantes.

  • Meeting with our guide between 9:00 to 19:00

Day 2

From NANTES to SAINT-BREVIN-LES-PINS 70km 350m 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 58km 100m Niveau Forme

Your route finally takes you on the Atlantic coast. 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 32km 60m 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 will discover the shores of the island of Noirmoutier. A beautiful bike path makes the center of the island easy to reach by bike.

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

  • For a few more km 46km 50m 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 58km 55m Niveau Forme

You continue your journey south ! Sea resorts succeed themselves, each time with the opportunity for a good swim! You can reach the more secluded beaches easily by bike.

Day 6

From SAINT-GILLES-CROIX-DE-VIE to LES SABLES D'OLONNE 38km 90m 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 43km 70m 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 69km 50m 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

FROM LA ROCHELLE, ILE DE RE LOOP 55km 100m Niveau Forme

  • For your last day. You have a last optional morning loop :

Ride a loop to l’Ile de Ré. The charm of the island is worth the extra effort at the end of this trip! With more than 120km of cycling paths, this island a cycling paradise. Beautiful beaches await and some

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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

Starting from 1070€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

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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

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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, traditionalguide

  • We loan you a GPS so that you can easily follow your itinerary without having to look for your way around (bike support included)/ Twonav Anima hiking GPS /
  • A practical cycling guide with all the useful information (addresses, highlights for the day and touristic information)
  • French topo maps of the area (IGN 1/100 000e) to have a global view of your itinerary

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

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

Vélo enfant 24 pouces

Bike trailer

Abicyclette remorque enfant voyage à vélo

Getting here

Meeting point

Nantes, Loire Atlantique (44)

Coming to Nantes by car

From Rennes by the national road N137 (110km 1h30)
From Paris by the A11 highway (380km 3h40)
From Lyon by the A71 and A85 highways (700km 6h10)
From Bordeaux by the A10 highway (350km 3h20)

Coming to Nantes by train

TGV train station in Nantes

TGV train station in La Rochelle

Coming to Nantes by plane

Airport in Nantes

* Transportation to your starting 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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