From La Rochelle to the Arcachon bay along the Atlantic coast – Vélodyssée

Trip code : Cyclo 13

Trip activity

Self guided cycling holiday

Location

La Rochelle - Royan - Arcachon - France

Duration

7 to 9 days

Trip grading  difficulte-un

35 to 60 km per day

Departures

Daily from April to October

Capacity

Minimum 2 people

Price per person

  • 7 days - 6 nights : 925 €
  • 8 days - 7 nights (with île de Ré or Arcachon bay tour)  :1005 €
  • 9 days - 8 nights : 1095 €

Included services

  • 6 to 8 nights in hotels 3* et 4* & 2* (1 night) with breakfast (in double / twin room)
  • Route notes & maps, regional inforrmation
  • GPS App for Smartphone with vocal guiding as well.
  • Luggage transfer hotel to hotel
  • Gironde estuary crossing
  • Emergency phone call support 7/7

Extra charges

  • Touring bike : 90 to 110 €
  • Electric bike : 140 to 165 €
Tour description

Starting from La Rochelle, come and discover the Vélodyssé, Atlantic coastal cycling route, elected best cycling route in 2017! Cycle in the Charente Maritime to discover  the island of Ré, long sandy beaches, marshes, oyster basins … Cross the Gironde estuary by boat in Royan and continue your bike trip in Gironde between the Atlantic ocean and large lakes of Lacanau or Hourtin! You will wander in the most beautiful seaside resorts of Aquitaine: Soulac-sur-Mer, Montalivet-les-Bains or Carcans … to reach the salty meadows, oyster ports and ports typical of the Bay of Arcachon basin! Add an extra day in Arcachon to climb the 110 meters high sand dune of Pyla.

You will be warmly welcomed every night in 3 sand 4 tar hotels and charming bed and breakfast.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to “La Rochelle”

Arrive at your 4-star hotel in La Rochelle, where you will find the road book and bikes waiting for you. “La Rochelle” is a tourist and lively city, remarkable for its history. You can appreciate the old harbor and its towers which kept it the entrance from XIIIth century to XVth century. You can also enjoy the city centre and its arches as well as the town hall from the XVh century.

Overnight in a 4-star hotel. Breakfast included.

(Day 2 : Optional Loop around the « Ré » Island - 30 à 60 km)

Loop tour to the island of “Ré”, passing through the villages of “Flotte en Ré” (dating from the XVIIIth century) and its fishing boats, “Saint-Martin” with its fortifications and its fortress. You will walk along the oyster beds, salt marshes and the nature reserve of the “illeau Niges”. Back by “La Couarde” and “Bois plage”.

Overnight in a 4-star hotel. Breakfast included.

Day 2 (or 3) : From La Rochelle to Marennes. 59-70 km

Today’s cycle takes you alongside the coast and through the lively cities of “Chatelaillon” and “Fouras”. Your itinerary then continues by the nature reserve of the Yve’s Bay. In Fouras, possibility to take the ferry to the Island Aix and to visit this small island which welcomed the last pension of Napoleon 1st. Before arriving in “Marennes” the path takes you through “Rochefort”. This city founded in the seventeenth century around shipbuilding shares with you the original and unique transporter bridge “Eiffel”. The route continues on the bike paths of the most beautiful coast of western France.

Overnight in a 4-star hotel. Breakfast included

Day 3 (or 4) : From Marennes to Royan - 48 km

You itinerary takes you on the cycle path to go through the pine forest of the wild coast, the “Palmyre” where you can visit the zoo. It is easy to observe the animals. You will arrive to “Royan” by “Saint Palais”, the beaches of “Vaux sur Mer”, “Pontaillac”, and the marina. It is a stage marked by the intoxicating smell of maritime pines.

Royan is a modern resort city that hides some beautiful villas of time, an original covered market and a festive and lively waterfront.

Overnight in a 3-star hotel. Breakfast included.

Day 4 (or 5) : From Royan to Montalivet – 35 to 45 km

From Royan come and sail with your bike on the estuary and join the Medoc coast! From the tip of the Verdon you cycle on pleasant bike paths to meet the charming seaside resort of Soulac. Under your eyes explore beaches and ocean as far as the eye can see. Under the smell of the pinewoods you continue until Montalivet, small peaceful sea side resort between forest of the Landes, ocean and marshes. Depending on the availability of accommodation, you can make a stopover at Vendayes or Hourtin.

Overnight in a 2-star hotel. Breakfast included

Day 5 (or 6) : From Montalivet to Lacanau Océan  - 35 to 40 km

Ride your bike and continue your journey south towards Lacanau Ocean!
Here the Velodyssée continues on a cycle path in the middle of the pines, between lakes and oceans. In the vicinity take a break in Hourtin, where is the biggest lake in France. « Lacanau-Ocean » in the Médoc Ocean region, where cycling is a way of life, is much appreciated for its long ocean beaches sheltered by dunes and forests, its lakes and its unspoilt natural areas. The seaside resort is also famous for its surfing spots. Its early 20th century villas bear witness to a rich past.

Overnight in a 3-star hotel with breakfast included

Day 6 (or 7) : 2 options

  • Option 1 : From Lacanau Ocean to Arcachon in 1 direct step via the Cap Ferret : ~ 47 Km

Day 6 : From Lacanau Océan to Arcachon ~ 40 Km

This stage of the Velodyssey continues its itinerary from « Lacanau-Océan » between dunes and forests. Ride only on cycle path and discover the widest wild beaches of the Aquitaine coast; «The Porge Ocean » has a wide beach of 13 km without any building. To enjoy it leave from time to time the track of the cycle path. Never far away from the shore line, continue your cycling tour through a beautiful itinerary towards the « Cap Ferret » or the « Bay of Arcachon »*.

Enjoy and finish your cycling day through typical oyster villages of the « Bay of Arcachon » and rejoin by ferry the renowned seaside town of «Arcachon ».

Overnight in a 3-star hotel. Breakfast included

 

  • Option 2 : From Lacanau Océan à Arcachon in 2 steps via Andernos

Day 6 (or 7) : From Lacanau Océan to Andernos ~ 40 Km

*For those who wish to enjoy plenty the « Bay of Arcachon » and its typical ports it is possible to spend an extra night around « Andernos » and to continue your cycling tour the next day around the Bay to the iconic city of « Arcachon ».

Overnight in a 2-star hotel. Breakfast included

The «Arcachon Bay », is since the middle of the last century the world of the oyster! With its 84 km of beaches surrounded by pine trees it is an original and special place, unique on the French coast! Situated between the « Côte d’Argent » and the «  Côtes des Landes », the Bay has an enjoyable climate with a perfect sunshine all year long. Breath the sea air, the perfume of the pine trees, mimosa and brooms.

Day 7 (or 8) : From Andernos to Arcachon ~ 30 à 40 Km

Today’s cycle takes you around the Arcachon Bay, what a pleasant stage. Follow the vélodyssey which runs along an old railway line and little roads to explore the Bay of Arcachon. Discover the surrounding towns and small ports, enjoy the splendid views over the bay and observe the many species of birds. Come and discover the «Arcachon Bay », the winter town and its sumptuous villas from the second empire, its churches, its walks alongside the Bay and its ports. « Arcachon » will no longer be a secret for you!

Overnight in a 3-star hotel. Breakfast included

Day 7 (or 8 or 9) : Departure from Arcachon

After breakfast

 

Additionnal cycling day towards the ‘Dune du Pyla’ - 24 km

You can choose to follow the cycle track along the coast up to the Dune

du Pyla and climb the 110 meters of sand dune, highest dune in Europe. Exceptional scenic view from the top o the ocean and the pine forestLoop tour.

Overnight in a 3-star hotel. Breakfast included

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