Crédit : © La Vélo Francette

La Vélo Francette bike tours

From the Channel to the Atlantic by bike

The Vélo Francette is an emblematic cycle route that crosses France from east to west, offering cyclists total immersion in the beauty and diversity of the French countryside. The 617 kilometer route links the English Channel to the Atlantic, crossing five French regions and offering a unique experience to all who ride it.

Logo Velo Francette

Map Velo Francette

La Vélo Francette

Going from one village to another, along the rivers or through the meadows, the Vélo Francette® cycling trip allows you to discover France away from the tourism highways.

Vélo Francette bike route key figures

  • 617 km / 383 mi
  • 3 Regions: Normandy, Pays de la Loire & Poitou-Charentes
  • 7 départements to discover along the route
  • 3 protected regional natural parks
  • 25 towns and villages noted for their historical and cultural riches

With its 617 km of marked trails, the Vélo Francette® bike route takes you from Normandy to the Atlantic. 

Picturesque villages follow one another along the water like Orne, Mayenne, Loire, Thouet and Sèvre Niortaise. From the rocky valleys of the Suisse Normande  to the wetlands of the Marais Poitevin through the groves of Mayenne, you admire varied landscapes.  You alternate between towpaths and shared lanes.

These regions also have a rich and varied heritage. One can admire beautiful medieval cities, ride between castles, vineyards and the mighty untamed river, the Loire. Immerse yourself in history travelling from medieval ages to the landing beaches of the World War II.

Along the way there are many opportunities to enjoy the culinary specialties of each region. On the menu: cheeses from Normandy, cider from the Pays d’Auge, quernons from Ardoise, AOC wines from the Loire Valley, or oysters from Marennes d’Oléron.

In short, the Vélo Francette® is above all a good dose of nature, history and gourmet getaway!

Cities to visit on the bike itinerary Vélo Francette

  • Caen: from the Middle Ages to the Second World War
  • The medieval fortified town of Domfront
  • Laval: the Mayenne capital between Normandy and Anjou
  • Château-Gontier, a remarquable heritage
  • Angers, a city at the confluence of the Maine and the Loire
  • Thouars and the Château of the Dukes of La Trémoille
  • Niort and its twin keep
  • La Rochelle, maritime city

Sites to visit on the Vélo Francette

  • Sword Beach D-Day landings
  • Orne Estuary and Sallenelles Bay at Ouistreham
  • Normandie-Maine Regional Natural Park
  • The Suisse Normande and its hills
  • La Roche d’Oëtre Belvedere
  • The Mayenne River by boat
  • Saint-Aubin Island and its House of Environment
  • The Marais Abbey at Maillezais
  • Aquarium La Rochelle