Starting point: Nantes Tourisme, opposite the Château de Nantes.
- La Petite Boucle (The Little Circuit): Nantes > Indre > Cross the Loire via the bac (or little ferry) to reach the south bank > Indret > Nantes. You follow the Loire à Vélo along the north bank and both the Loire à Vélo and Vélodyssée along the south bank. We’ve chosen to describe the circuit in anti-clockwise direction.
- La Grande Boucle (The Big Circuit): Nantes > Couëron > cross the Loire via the bac (or little ferry) to reach the south bank > Le Pellerin > La Montagne > Nantes.
No difficulties to point out on this cycling outing, except along the track you need to go down at St-Jean de Boiseau to reach the Indret bac, or little ferry.
Places at which to take special care
- At La Montagne, there are some climbs and descents to deal with
- Between Port-Lavigne and La Roche-Ballue, there’s a stretch with loose surfacing
- In the zone of Cheviré’s timber port, watch out for the lorry traffic
- The access barriers to the zone of Cheviré’s timber port are closed at weekends, making it difficult to get panniers, tandems or trailers through. New provisions are in the planning.
- Nantes Tourisme: 0892 464 044
SNCF train services
- Train stations at Nantes, Chantenay and Couëron: regional TER Nantes <> Le Croisic and Interloire services accept bikes on board.
- Nantes: Les Machines de l’île (outsized mechanical machines, some of which you can book a ride on); the Mémorial de l’Abolition de l’Esclavage (recalling the city’s links with slavery); Lunar Tree (a contemporary art installation, part of the Estuaire trail); le Jardin extraordinaire (another Estuaire art installation); the Quai des Antilles (a lively renovated quay in the former shipbuilding quarter); and Les Anneaux de Buren (a row of startling waterside rings, also part of Estuaire’s contemporary art installations)
- Indre: the Sunday morning organic market; Serpentine Rouge by Jimmie Durham (an Estuaire contemporary art installation)
- Rezé: Trentemoult with its former fishermen’s villas beside the Loire; Le Pendule by Roman Signer (an Estuaire contemporary art installation) on the south bank
- Bouguenais: Port-Lavigne; La Roche-Ballue (with its bathing spot); The Settlers by Sarah Sze (an Estuaire contemporary art installation)