EVC03 Atlantic coast: From La Rochelle to Bordeaux centre
8 days-7 nights or 9 days-8 nights
April to October
From « la Rochelle » your cycling tour takes you along the Atlantic coast to discover the Charente-Maritime area. You will ride along the Velodyssey to discover many islands as Ile de Ré or Ile d’Aix but also wide sandy beaches, marshes, oyster farms... You will ride onto little roads going through the Haute-Saintonge and Haute Gironde. You will meet the wine-makers of the famous “Cognac” and “Pineau” of Charentes. You will also cycle by superb Romanic churches, caves and some unique Gallo-Romanic sites. You will discover small ports on the estuary, will stroll in city and charming villages. This journey with various landscapes alternates bicycle paths through forests and flat roads alongside streams of vineyards and cliffs, will allow you to discover the exceptional natural surrounding which will fulfil yourself with its diversity. At the end, you will cross the Gironde estuary and reach Bordeaux via the famous Margaux Vineyards. You will be warmly welcomed every evening in 3 or 4 star hotels and charming guest houses.
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 harbour and its towers which kept it the entrance from 13th to 15th century.
You can also enjoy the city centre and its arches as well as the town hall from the 15th century.
Overnight in a 4 star hotel. Breakfast included.
Day 2: Optional Loop around the « Ré » Island 30 to 60 km
Loop tour to the island of “Ré”, passing through the villages of “Flotte en Ré” (dating from the 18th 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 “Lilleau des 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 to70 km
Today’s cycle takes you alongside the coast and through the lively cities of “Châtelaillon-Plage” and “Fouras”. Your itinerary then continues by the nature reserve of the Baie d’Yves. In Fouras, possibility to take the ferry to Aix Island and visit this small island and the Musée Napoleon. Before arriving in “Marennes” the path takes you through “Rochefort”. This city founded in the 17th century around shipbuilding shares with you the original and unique Eiffel passerelle. The the bike path continue 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 wonderful smell of maritime pines.
Royan is a modern resort city that hides belle époque villas and modern, post-war architecture, an original covered market and a festive and lively waterfront.
Overnight in a 3-star hotel. Breakfast included.
Day 4 or 5: The cliffs’ trail 35 km
You will leave Royan by taking the “boulevard Garnier” and its beautiful villas from the 19th century. You will continue at the top of the cliffs with a super view over the estuary. Here are hidden charming little wide ports. Discover Talmont-sur-Gironde, its church and blooming streets, the artisanal village of cave dweller dug in the limestone cliffs of Meshers-sur-Gironde. You will stop at the Park of the estuary, “pole nature” de la Charente Maritime, you will cross a forest overlooking the ocean and the estuary of the Gironde, but also you will cross Saint-Seurin-d’Uzet, the old capital of Caviar, with its port almost located in the centre of the village. More south, you will visit the wine-maker of Mortagne to discover all about the Pineau, Cognac and Charente’s wine. Mortagne-sur-Gironde, lays on the white cliffs, its fishing and sailing port make it a unique site in the area.
Overnight in a charming guesthouse. Dinner and Breakfast included.
Day 5 or 6: Charente « land of cultivation » - Pineau and Cognac 35 to 45 km
You will move away from the banks of the estuary and circulate then inside the land to discover the chateaux wine-making of Cognac and Pineau similar to St-Dizant-du-Gua.
The tortuous roads will lead you past old windmills, sunflower fields, fountains, posh houses and sumptuous chateaux. The small roads in the marsh will make you join the banks of the estuary, where you will be able to feel the wildness and immensity of the area before reaching the vineyards of the Bordelais. First you will approach Cotes de Blaye then Cotes de Bourg by following the hills covered with wheat and vineyards.
Overnight in a charming guesthouse in the Maisons de maître or Manoirs with a park in the heart of the vineyard.
Dinner and Breakfast included.
Day 6 or 7: Back to the estuary towards Blaye 40 to 50 km
You will keep going along the banks of the estuary and discover Blaye and its famous citadel built by Vauban. Massive and majestic, the citadel dominates the estuary with 13 ha in the heart of the city, then offering a magnificent view on the Gironde.
Overnight in a 3 star hotel or charming guesthouse. Breakfast included.
Day 7 or 8: Towards Bordeaux 50 km
Discover Blaye and its famous citadel built by Vauban and take the ferry! Your cycling day continue on the Médoc side in the heart of the Margaux and Haut Médoc vineyards. The Garonne River and the estuary of the Gironde mark profoundly the landscapes, through swamps, banks and small ports. There are so many spaces of discovery of the fauna and flora, the islands and the plaices. Through little roads continue towards Bordeaux, Unesco World Heritage.
Overnight in a 3 star hotel. Breakfast included.
Day 8 or 9: Departure
After your breakfast.
8 Day/ 7 Night
9 Day/ 8 Night
Extra charge Electric bike: $32.30 per cycling day
Accommodation with breakfast in 3 or 4 star hotels and charming guest houses.
2 dinners (drinks not included)).
Bicycle (VTC) & Equipment, 1 rear bags, helmet, bar bag, lock
Transfer of the luggage at every step.
Dinner in La Rochelle, Marennes, Royan, Blaye and Bordeaux.
Entrance fees for visits and wine tasting
Crossing (optional) of the Charente River by shuttle (1.60 euros)