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Cycling along the Velodyssey from La Rochelle to Bordeaux

Les tours du Vieux-Port de La Rochelle 5
La Rochelle Harbor towers Cycling nearby the Gironde Esturary On the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, Velodyssey Cycling along the Atlantic Ocean on the Velodyssey Bordeaux, place de la Bourse
Les tours du Vieux-Port de La Rochelle

Cycling along the Velodyssey from La Rochelle to Bordeaux

  • Level
  • PriceFrom 995 euros
  • DAY6 nights / 7 days

More info: Receive detailed hotel list, bike specs, and route description

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Description

Follow the Velodyssey cycle route (or Eurovélo 1) from the historically rich city of La Rochelle to the chic metropolis of Bordeaux. Along the way experience the changing scenery of the Atlantic coast as you follow the coastline south before riding close to the shores of the Gironde estuary, and eventually crossing by ferry into the Médoc wine producing region to the north of Bordeaux.

Interspersed with terrific views out over the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde Estuary, historic citadels and troglodyte caves, and the chance to spy some interesting local fauna and flora in the natural reserves you will be riding by, there is certainly something for everyone on this bike tour!

En route enjoy tasting freshly caught oysters pulled straight from the ocean and sipping on locally produced wines from the Charente-Maritime and Bordeaux wine producing regions. The perfect way to end a day’s cycling!

Itinerary

D1Day 1: Arrival in La Rochelle

Welcome to La Rochelle! Arrive at your leisure and enjoy exploring this historical city. You may like to take a stroll around the Old Harbour and marvel at the enormous towers which once guarded the entrance to the city. Wander around the charming historic centre where a number of museums tell the tales of the many merchants and explorers who left on voyages from La Rochelle, with many of their spoils now here on display. Make sure to spend some time relaxing in your hotel too ahead of your first day’s riding tomorrow!

D2Optional extra night and loop ride on Ile de Ré

If you would like to spend more time exploring La Rochelle and neighboring Ile de Ré then it is possible to organize an extra night and we can provide loop rides which range from 30 to 60km and take in the Ile de Ré. You would be riding through the fishing village of La Flotte en Ré which dates from the 18th century, along the salt marshes and through L’Illeau des Niges, a natural reserve at the western most tip of the island. The return back to La Rochelle is along the western side of the island, through La Couarde-sur-Mer and Le-Bois-Plage-en-Ré

D3Day 2: La Rochelle - Marennes Mileage: 70 km / 43 miles; Total Climb: 170 m / 560 ft

On today’s ride you will initially be following the coastline, pedalling through Chatelallion, a lively seaside town. Continue following the Velodyssey as it leads you away from the ocean and into the Baie d’Yves natural reserve and on to the 17th century town of Rochefort. Upon leaving Rochefort you will need to take the transporter bridge, the Pont Transbordeur, built in 1900 and still used to this day to ferry pedestrians and cyclists from one side of the river Charente to the other – a real feat of engineering! The route continues on through wetlands, to the citadel of Brouages, which has recently been added to the prestigious list of “France’s most beautiful villages” and is well worth a visit. You will be staying a few kilomtres further on this evening in the town of Marennes, famed for its oyster production.

D4Day 3: Marennes - Royan Mileage: 49 km / 30 miles; Total Climb: 170 m / 560 ft

Rejoin the Atlantic coast this morning and enjoy a refreshing start to the day’s cycling, riding through pine forests. The wonderful fragrance of these pine trees will be the backdrop to today’s ride! You may like to give your legs a rest and visit the zoo at La Palmyre along your way. Continue on, following the coastline and pedalling through the towns of Saint-Palais-sur-Mer and Pontaillac, before reaching your destination for today – Royan. Royan is a relatively modern seaside town, boasting a covered market, the impressive Notre Dame de Royan church and a great seafront.

D5Day 4: Royan – Mortagne Mileage: 35 km / 22 miles; Total Climb: 230 m / 755 ft

Today’s cycling will begin with fantastic views across the estuary from the clifftops above, so make sure to have your camera to hand! Riding on you will come across small hidden port towns and villages, such as the small flower-filled streets of Talmont-sur-Gironde. Further on, in Meschers, take the time to visit the troglodyte caves. Originally natural caves carved into the limestone rock overlooking the estuary, many were enlarged in the 19th century to make them habitable! Ride on through forests to Saint Seurin d’Uzet and on to Mortagne where you will be staying this evening. Perched atop white cliffs, Mortagne is a very pleasant port town with views out over the estuary. The area around Mortagne is famous for its wine production and you can visit some of the local cellars to learn more about Pineau, Cognac and the wines of the Charente region.

D6Day 5: Mortagne – Blaye Mileage: 61 km / 38 miles; Total Climb: 100 m / 330 ft

Continue following the Velodyssey bikeway through marshlands this morning to Vitrezay, the gateway to the Gironde region of France! En route you may like to stop off at the Terres d’Oiseaux, an ornithological park and natural reserve home to over 100 hundred different species of bird! After a spot of birdwatching continue on along the bikeway to the citadel of Blaye. A UNESCO world heritage site since 2008, the citadel has been an important stronghold at various points throughout French history given its strategic location above Bordeaux and on the banks of the estuary.

D7Day 6: Blaye – Bordeaux Mileage: 53 km / 33 miles; Total Climb: 170 m / 550 ft

This morning you will board the ferry from Blaye to cross the estuary. On the Médoc side you will be biking through the heart of some of Bordeaux’s vineyards, riding past Château Margaux amongst others! Perhaps try a glass or two of some of the locally grown and produced, world-renowned wine, though make sure you can still continue on to your final destination, Bordeaux! Finishing in this elegant city, another UNESCO heritage site, is the perfect way to round off a great trip down the Atlantic Coast along the Velodyssey cycle route.

D8Day 7: Departure

After breakfast, depart from Bordeaux at the time of your choosing

Booking & Prices

  • Price Details
  • 6 nights’ accommodation (3-star and 4-star hotels and guesthouses)

  • 995 euros per person in April and October. Single supplement is 355 euros
  • 1,015 euros per person in May, June and September. Single supplement is 370 euros
  • 1,035 euros per person in July and August. Single supplement is 395 euros

These prices include:

  • 6 nights’ accommodation (3-star and 4-star hotels and guesthouses)
  • Daily breakfast
  • 1 dinner (drinks not included)
  • Luggage transfers
  • Marked maps and/or cue sheets and route notes
  • Smart phone app (android and iphone) with downloadable directions/roadbook (no data is necessary) –Cell phone holder not provided (bring your own).
  • Estuary crossing at Blaye
  • Tourist information
  • Assistance if necessary (you will be provided with our local rep’s mobile number)
  • All tax and service charges

These prices do not include:

  • Expenses of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance
  • Bicycle rentals. Hybrid bikes are available at the rate of 120 euros per bike. E-bikes are available at the rate of 225 euros per bike. This price includes the drop-off fee for the bike’s return to La Rochelle.

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