Bike tour around the Arcachon Bay – Velodyssee

Trip Code : Cyclo 11

Trip activity

Self-guided cycling holiday

Location

Arcachon Bay - France

Duration

6 to 7 days

Trip grading  difficulte-un

20 to 40 km per day

Departures

Daily from April to October

Capacity

Minimum 2 people

Price per person

  • 6 days  : 573 €    July & August : 645 €
  • 7 days  : 645 €    July & August : 730 €

Including services

  • 5 to 6 overnights with breakfast in Hotel 3* and charmin 2*  (in double / twin room)
  • Route notes & maps, regional inforrmation
  • GPS App for smartphone with vocal guiding as well
  • Luggage transfer hotel to hotel
  • 1 bay boat crossing
  • Emergency phone call support 7/7

Extra charges

  • Touring bike : 80 to 90 €
  • Family price (same room)
  • --> Any extra person :  from 205 to 260 €
Tour description

Cycling holidays around the famous bay of « Arcachon » in France, a bay of the Atlantic Ocean situated between the Côte d’Argent and the Côte des Landes. Ride 100 kilometers using a part of the velodyssee track and discover beautiful landscapes, the fauna and flora of the Bassin : an authentic experience by bike in a well-preserved natural environment ! Go Cycling through small ports with coloured cabins, along the large beaches surrounded by pine trees, the vast Bird Park and the salt meadow nature reserve. The « Arcachon 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. The area is known for its Oysters farm. As you may know the French tradition is to enjoy Oysters with French wine! « Arcachon » also has Europe’s longest and highest dune of sand: The Great Dune of Pyla which reaches 105 meters in height. At the top of the dune there is a stunning view of all « Arcachon Bay », it is the best place you could think of to enjoy a picnic. Enjoy beautiful beaches and relax in the calm waters of the bay ! There’s so much to enjoy in « Arcachon », an original and special place, unique on the French coast!

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrival in France in Bordeaux area in Arcachon, late afternoon

Only 60 km from the city of Bordeaux UNESCO,« Arcachon » is an international well-known seaside town of South West France. This town was born during the 19th century, from the imagination of daring pioneers who bet on the popularity of sea bathing.

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 in « Arcachon » citywhere you will find the road book and bikes waiting for you. Breakfast included.

Day 2 or 6 (flexible or depending on availability) : Arcachon – La Dune Du Pyla – Arcachon

Warning – This step is not included in the 7 days trip.

After breakfast, start your cycling day to the Great Dune of Pyla, the highest dune in Europe: 105 meters high, 2700 meters long and 500 meters wide. The dune was shaped recently (only 35 meters high in 1855) and is still not stable and moves towards the forest at a rate of 3 to 4 meters a year. You can climb to the top using steps or a marked path. Follow the beach on a track to reach « Pyla sur Mer » then « Le Moulleau », a suburb to the west of « Arcachon », a very lively place in summer with its luxury shops and fashion cafés. You will be amazed by the « Notre dame des Passes » church, of byzantine style, built at the top of a sand dune by the Dominicans. It houses the “Vierge de l’Avent”, one of the 3 statues in France representing the pregnancy of the Virgin Mary. Back to the port of « Arcachon » and your hotel.

Overnight in a 3-star hotel, breakfast included. Evening Free.

Day 3 : Arcachon – Biganos – Andernos 25 to 30 km

Take the train from « Arcachon » to « Biganos » with your bike.

From the train station of « Biganos », cycle towards the Port of « Biganos » and Port « des Tuiles », in the forest!  Follow the track as far as « Audenge » and reach the water’s edge (next to the port). Here, former basins are used as swimming pools! The town, an oyster-farming centre, is also known for its fish reservoirs (a system of locks which encloses the catch at low tide).

Follow the dyke of the « Domaine Graveyron » and observe its fish reservoir to reach the castle.

Enjoy extensive views over the lagoon and observe the many species of migrating bird. Then come back inland towards the port of « Cassy » using a large shady path following the « Domaine de Certes ».

End you journey following the cycle track to « Andernos Les Bains », a very pleasant seaside town. (You are halfway here!) Today the town is one of the major local resorts, very popular in summer, with beaches stretching for over 4km/2 mi and a casino.

In the evening you can enjoy many activities…have a drink in a bar overlooking the sea, a walk on the pier or the beach, or go for a walk alongside « Andernos » to rejoin the small church of « St Eloi » and go to « St Brice » port. The jetty offers extensive views over the lagoon, the town’s oyster port, the beaches and the marina.

Overnight in a 2-star hotel or in a guesthouse. Breakfast included. Evening Free.

Day 4 : Andernos – Le Grand Crohot – Andernos 37 km

A nice day cycling in the big forest of « Cap-Ferret » towards the ocean beaches: the pleasure to pedal in the heat, accompanied by the “cigales” song and the pine odours.

You will leave « Andernos » and will pursue your itinerary between ocean and forest, along the fine sand beaches where the ocean comes to smash in magnificent rollers. After a well deserved bathing, you will leave the beach and will take back your road through the national forest to join « Lège-Cap-Ferret », then « Ares », and finally « Andernos ». The vegetation is there different and replace the forest of pines which was along the ocean. You can make a stopping place for the hut of the résinier, a space of animation and discovery which you should not miss. You will cross the Oyster-farming port of « Ares » and will pursue then your trip towards the « Saint Brice »'s magnificent site, which mixes forest and natural bank of the « Bassin d’Arcachon ».

You can take advantage of a last stopping place in this peaceful place before taking back your road for « Andernos ».

Night and breakfast in a 2-star hotel, in « Andernos ». Free dinner and evening.

Day 5 : Andernos-Les-Bains – Le Cap Ferret– Arcachon 30 km

Today explore the « Cap Ferret », the place to be! Everyone wants to stop here and discover the richness of this area. Its original geographic situation allows to enjoy the diversity of landscapes around it. Enjoy the view over the « Arcachon bay », the Great Dune of Pyla  and the « Banc D’arguin » and on the other side observe the wild Atlantic coast “the Côté d’Argent”, a paradise for holidays !

Leaving « Andernos » and going through the hamlet of « Jane de Boy », take a track to discover the picturesque oyster-breeding villages of « Herbe » and « Canon ».This part of the peninsula is enchantress…the panoramic view on leaving the fishing village takes your breath away!

Take the time to explore everything including the « île aux Oiseaux » (bird island) !

Do not forget to discover the Algerian Herbe village chapel... (Moorish style, a religious building destined for Christian worship, with Mary, Christ’s cross and the Islamic crescent).

Leave the « Cap Ferret » and cross the Bassin to go back to « Arcachon » and your hotel.

Overnight in a 3-Star hotel in « Arcachon », breakfast included.

Dinner and evening free.

Day 6 : (Or Day 2): Arcachon – Le Teich – Arcachon 40 km

Leave « Arcachon » and take the cycling track via the Port of « La Teste ». Leave the track and take the “7 oyster ports” of « Gujan Mestras » small road that runs around the bay alongside the railway station.

Arrive at the oyster port of « La Teste » and the port of « Rocher » passing by the “Salt fields”, vast expanses uncovered by the sea and only covered up during Spring Tides. It’s home to a special vegetation, refuge to a variety of fauna: crabs, shellfish and crustaceans, which are adored by all sorts of birds! Enter « Gujan- Mestras », capital of oyster fishing which has 7 ports dedicated to oyster farming. Discover its ports and wood cabins lined up along the channel where flat-bottomed boats are moored and a few “pinasses”… typical boats of the bay.  Explore a few marshes with curious dug-out shelters one after the other for hunting the water game. Reach the Teich bird park.

This natural reserve is set up to attract wild birds. It offers various landscapes, from forests to meadows and lagoons. Discover many different sorts of birds including swans, grey herons, little egrets as well as mating pairs of storks.

Return in your hotel at the end of the day.

Overnight in a 3-Star hotel in « Arcachon ». Breakfast included. Dinner and evening free.

Day 7 : Arcachon

End of your cycle holidays. Before you go, have a look in the winter town, a splendid neighborhood! And discover the Parc Mauresque offering an excellent view of the town and the « Arcachon Bay ».

Departure by train from the train station of « Arcachon » or with your car.

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