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An Odyssey On Two Wheels

Your chance to cycle the Atlantic Coast cycle route – La Vélodyssée – with two new cycle holidays for 2017

La Vélodyssée – or the Atlantic Coast cycle route, starts at Roscoff on the Brittany coast and heads south through France for over 1,200km, passing through the Pays de la Loire, Poitou and Aquitaine regions right through to the Spanish border. It’s France’s longest waymarked cycle trail, and takes in some of France’s famous natural, historical and cultural sights.

The greatest cycling holiday on Earth?

Our Bordeaux-to-Biarritz holiday was named as one of the '10 greatest cycling holidays on Earth' by ex-professional cyclist David Millar.

"Oddly, Biarritz isn’t a destination much thought of when it comes to cycling, being primarily associated with surfing, yet it has lots to offer. I should know, as I lived and trained there for seven years. Much of the best riding is to be had along the French-Spanish border which lies atop the nearby foothills of the Pyrenees. The Col d’Ibardin and Col d’Ispéguy are favourites and lead you into Basque country proper. As for Biarritz itself, there are few places better for après-velo."

A huge majority of the route (over 80%) has dedicated cycleways making it easier to get around and also to make detours to visit various sights. Not only that, the whole cycle route is waymarked, and has been designated with the French ‘Acceuil Velo’ accreditation which means that the needs of the cyclist are front of mind.

This means that all accommodation needs to caters for bikes and cyclists with storage and luggage transfer on offer, as well as plenty of bike repair and bike hire shops near to the route. Tourist information is readily available and places to visit and other activities are all easily accessible from the route. You can be confident that you’ll be able to get everything you need as a cyclist.

Which is why we’ve extended our range of holidays that follow this route, not only do we know from personal experience how great it is, but our customers have been asking us to design some more itineraries, as they’ve loved our existing holiday so much! So here’s a reminder of the route we currently have available, as well as the two brand new routes on offer for the first time in 2017! We’ve assessed and cycled them ourselves, and we can’t wait to share them with you!

NEW - Nantes to La Rochelle

A moderate route, this is an 8 day cycling tour which begins in Nantes, before cycling along the river to the ocean.

Once you reach the coast, the route winds through ports and other seaside towns, and you will find yourself sandwiched between the coastline on one side and marshland on the other. You will be cycling through oyster farms, and then to the Noirmoutier Island via causeway or bridge dependent on the tide.

Then again through charming seaside towns, your route will combine coastline and pine forests, wonderful peaceful rides where the only sounds you will hear are the trees and the ocean lapping at coves and sandy beaches. The final part of the route will take you round the nature reserve of Anse de L’Aiguillon, before joining the canal at Marans and cycling into your final destination of La Rochelle.

Nantes to La Rochelle - Vélodyssée

NEW - La Rochelle to Bordeaux

Setting out from the historic city of La Rochelle, you’ll start your 8 day holiday cycling along the coastline, through pretty seaside villages before visiting wetlands where you will keep company with a large variety of storks and herons.

A bit of variety for the next part of the trip as you cross the Charente river on France’s last transporter bridges to cycle along canals and marshes, before returning to the coast and cycling past oyster farms before staying at La Tremblade.

La Rochelle

Then you’ll start off the day in a forest before cycling past the Baie des Anses where the coastline becomes rockier with lots of coves to discover. We’ve also squeezed in a ferry trip to the Medoc peninsular, then away from the coast to cycle through prestigious vineyards in the heart of the Medoc region. Finally, you’ll end your tour on the banks of the Garonne river in the dynamic city of Bordeaux.

La Rochelle to Bordeaux - Vélodyssée

UPDATED FOR 2017 - Bordeaux to Biarritz

One of our most popular cycling holidays, and it’s not hard to see why.

Starting in the heart of the UNESCO World Heritage city of Bordeaux, there’s 6 days of cycling, taking you along a former railway track through a pine forest, past beaches of the Aquitaine coast, a wonderful mixture of ocean and woodland.


The route then takes you slightly away from the coast past Lake Cazaux before returning to coastline where you travel through the seaside towns of Hossegor and Capbreton. Then entering the Basque Country, you will ride through Bayonne and before reaching your final destination of Biarritz. With delicious local cuisine available at all stops, you will experience a wonderful part of France with this route.

Bordeaux to Biarritz - Vélodyssée

As with all our Belle France cycling holidays, these three routes all include accommodation at hand-picked hotels, luggage transfers between hotels, comprehensive route notes and marked maps, fully serviced hybrid bikes with bike map cases and panniers, and station transfers where relevant. You’ll have a local agent on the ground you can contact, as well as support from the Belle France team in the UK.

We’re really excited about these new routes, and hope you are too! If you would like to get in touch with us to book your place for 2017, then we’d love to arrange it for you, knowing what a fabulous experience you’ll have! 

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