Follow the Velodyssey Cycle Path from La Rochelle through the Charente Maritime, discovering idyllic islands, wide sandy beaches marshes, oyster farms and famous vineyards. Then cycle beside the Gironde Estuary into the Bordelais wine region, finishing your journey in the beautiful and vibrant city of Bordeaux.
If you like a diverse cycling holiday with a bit of everything then this lovely route from La Rochelle to Bordeaux will make an excellent choice. From La Rochelle you’ll enjoy a circular ride around the sand dunes, pine forests and exquisite villages of the sublime Ile de Ré, a small island, just offshore that could have been made with leisure cycling in mind.
Cycling on ILe de Ré
You then follow a cycle path south along the the Atlantic coast, passing through charming little ports and villages along the way. Stunning beaches are never far away on the first 4 days of this route so it’s a good idea to pack your swim things in the pannier in case you fancy a dip. The historic naval base at Rochefort, with it’s fascinating rope-works museum, makes for an interesting break and sea-food lovers will surely relish the overnight stay in Marennes, a town famous for its oyster farms.
The route then follows the wide Gironde estuary into wine country. Cognac can only be called Cognac if it is produced here using the double-distilled method and a little further on you’ll find yourself in the Cotes du Blaye and Premier Cotes du Blaye region. A patchwork of neat vineyards covers the undulating countryside, interrupted only by gorgeous limestone villages and ornate chateaux.
Finally, you cross the estuary to the celebrated Haut Médoc wine region and follow the cycle path into the centre of bustling and vibrant Bordeaux.
This is a leisurely route that can be enjoyed by anyone with an average level of fitness. Much of it is cycle path with the remainder on quiet country lanes.