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La Vélo Francette: Normandy / Atlantic by bike

Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
650 Km
9 PHOTOS
Ouistreham
La Rochelle
Guiding you from the Channel to the Atlantic, the cycle route La Vélo Francette® allows you to savour sweet, gentle, traditional corners of western France as you cross the regions of Normandy, Pays de la Loire and Poitou-Charentes. Discover unsuspected gems along the way and fall for the charms of French country towns and villages as you get to know them by bike!

Signposting and state of the itinerary

"La Vélo Francette" is entirely signposted from Normandy to Charente Maritime. The logo of the itinerary is accompanied with its national ID V43 on signs .

From Ouistreham to Angers, the route is mainly developped on securised lanes, most of the time on greenways or designated lanes. Then, from Angers down to La Rochelle, there are few more roads shared with cars.

Services and accomodations "Accueil Vélo" ("Cyclists Welcome") on "La Vélo Francette"

Nearly 220 accomodations (campings, hotels, lodges, guest houses) "Accueil Vélo" ("Cyclists Welcome") are located at less than 5km away from the itinerary and they guarantee quality services for cyclists such as a closed garage for example. We strongly advise to book your accomodations in advance (including campings), especially in touristic areas.

Trains and public transports alongside La Vélo Francette

The main train stations of the itinerary :

  • Caen
  • Flers
  • Laval (TGV)
  • Angers (TGV)
  • Saumur (TGV)
  • Montreuil Bellay
  • Thouars, Niort (TGV)
  • La Rochelle (TGV)

Reach the itinerary by boat :

You can take a boat with Brittany Ferries between Portsmouth and Ouistreham. The crossing lasts approximatively 6 hours.

Long-time parkings on La Vélo Francette

The best cycling holiday breaks

to make the most of this
15,03 Km
Ouistreham / Caen
Seaside
I begin / Family

Ouistreham / Caen

Start at Ouistreham, the Normandy ferry port north of Caen, its strand renowned as Sword Beach, its codename during the [...]

28,16 Km
Caen / Thury-Harcourt
Nature & small heritage
I cycle often

Caen / Thury-Harcourt

Once you’ve gone round Caen’s marina, explore the city via its ‘green lungs’, notably the racecourse and a [...]

23,18 Km
Thury-Harcourt / Pont d'Ouilly
Ancienne voie ferrée, Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
I cycle often

Thury-Harcourt / Pont d'Ouilly

La Vélo Francette’s stage through the heart of La Suisse Normande’s hills is very nature-friendly. Cyclists follow [...]

33,45 Km
Caen / Thury-Harcourt
Nature & small heritage
I cycle often

Caen / Thury-Harcourt

Connecting Pont-d'Ouilly to Flers, this bucolic stage through the Suisse Normande area takes you beside the Noireau [...]

31,35 Km
Pont d'Ouilly / La Roche d'Oëtre / Flers
Nature & small heritage
I cycle a lot

Pont d'Ouilly / La Roche d'Oëtre / Flers

This demanding but grandiose alternative stage is worth the effort involved in cycling up La Roche d’Oëtre. From its [...]

22,74 Km
Flers / Domfront
Ancienne voie ferrée, Nature & small heritage
I begin / Family

Flers / Domfront

You change cycle track after Flers station. Crossing the outskirts of town, near La Selle-la-Forge, at the place named [...]

50,15 Km
Domfront / Mayenne
Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
I cycle often

Domfront / Mayenne

The route leaves the southern Norman hilltop town of Domfront, taking you on a long stage going via roads and greenways [...]

35,53 Km
Mayenne / Laval
Canals & intimate rivers, Castles & Monuments
I begin / Family

Mayenne / Laval

After visiting the historic town of Mayenne, with its castle dating back in part to Carolingian times, head south via [...]

34,75 Km
Laval / Château-Gontier
Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
I begin / Family

Laval / Château-Gontier

The start of this stage affords fine views of the town of Laval and its two châteaux. The nine-arched railway viaduct [...]

34,39 Km
Château-Gontier / Le Lion-d'Angers
Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
I begin / Family

Château-Gontier / Le Lion-d'Angers

Travelling along the Mayenne Valley, each meander reveals new delights to spur you on, with a château here and a mill [...]

29,13 Km
Le Lion-d'Angers / Angers
In the vineyards, Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
I cycle often

Le Lion-d'Angers / Angers

After the picture-postcard equestrian grounds at L’Isle Briand, with its château and national stud farm, plus the [...]

36,52 Km
Angers / Bouchemaine / St-Mathurin
Canals & intimate rivers, French rivers, Nature & small heritage
I begin / Family

Angers / Bouchemaine / St-Mathurin

La Vélo Francette shares the way with the Loire à Vélo cycle route for some way from Angers eastwards, leading you [...]

28,40 Km
Angers / Trélazé /St-Mathurin
Canals & intimate rivers, French rivers, Nature & small heritage
I begin / Family

Angers / Trélazé /St-Mathurin

This alternative stage for leaving Angers goes via the dark blue slate mines southeast of the city centre on to the [...]

30,27 Km
St-Mathurin / Saumur
French rivers, Nature & small heritage
I cycle often

St-Mathurin / Saumur

This stage is shared by La Vélo Francette and the Loire à Vélo. Two options: either follow the route from Gennes [...]

20,60 Km
Saumur / Montreuil-Bellay
In the vineyards, Castles & Monuments, Nature & small heritage
I cycle often

Saumur / Montreuil-Bellay

La Vélo Francette leaves Saumur via a pretty greenway beside the Thouet River. Then the route adopts farm tracks and [...]

26,39 Km
Montreuil-Bellay / Thouars
Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
I cycle often

Montreuil-Bellay / Thouars

From Montreuil-Bellay, you descend back down to the Thouet River, heading for Thouars. The véloroute runs peacefully [...]

29,31 Km
Thouars / Airvault
Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
I cycle often

Thouars / Airvault

After visiting the historic heart of Thouars, take in the Imbert Floral Park, with its lovely terraces above the River [...]

37,07 Km
La Vélo Francette from Airvault to Parthenay
Canals & intimate rivers, Castles & Monuments, Nature & small heritage
I cycle often

La Vélo Francette from Airvault to Parthenay

An unforgettable stage, along quiet roads. The village of Airvault, with its abbey church, covered market and [...]

28,61 Km
Parthenay / Champdeniers-St-Denis
Nature & small heritage
I cycle often

Parthenay / Champdeniers-St-Denis

From Parthenay, the Thouet à Vélo cycle route branches west via Secondigny towards the Thouet’s source, heading [...]

25,71 Km
Champdeniers-St-Denis / Niort
I cycle often

Champdeniers-St-Denis / Niort

Champdeniers-St-Denis makes for a surprising stop, with its amenities and its remarkably rich local heritage. The route [...]

18,85 Km
Niort / Coulon
Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
I begin / Family

Niort / Coulon

You stick close to the water’s edge, following the meanders of the Sèvre Niortaise River, alternating between the [...]

18,06 Km
Coulon / Damvix / Bazoin
Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
I begin / Family

Coulon / Damvix / Bazoin

Coulon, located at the heart of the wet marshes of the Marais Poitevin and set so prettily beside the Sèvre Niortaise [...]

27,89 Km
Damvix / Bazoin / Marans
Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
I begin / Family

Damvix / Bazoin / Marans

The Sèvre Niortaise remains your guide on this stage, except on two stretches, one where you follow the Canal du [...]

25,54 Km
Marans / La Rochelle
Seaside, Canals & intimate rivers, Nature & small heritage
I begin / Family

Marans / La Rochelle

This final stage of La Vélo Francette shares the way with the longer La Vélodyssée cycle route. You follow the Canal [...]

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