Vouvant / La Châtaigneraie Vendée Vélo Tour

Nature & small heritage
45,86 Km
4 h 00 min
I begin / Family
La Châtaigneraie

45,86 km cycling route from Vouvant to La Châtaigneraie

Leaving from Vouvant, this Vendée Vélo Tour stage transports you from the bowels of the earth to the stars! First, head for Faymoreau, a village classified as a Petite Cité de Caractère that bears the traces of its mining past, still easily visible in the miners’ chapel and the miners’ terraced houses and allotments, not forgetting the Centre Minier, a mining museum. Next, the cycle route meanders through countryside to La Chapelle-aux-Lys, for a stop to focus on the stars. Once comfortably seated in the planetarium here, enjoy a journey among the stars. Returning to earth, get back in the saddle to ride on to the end of the stage along a former railway line transporting you to La Châtaigneraie.

Elevation of the stage

285 m 339 m

Waytypes of the stage

Cycle path: 10,40 km By road: 35,46 km

Surface of the stage

Lisse: 1,13 km Rugueux: 38,56 km Accidenté: 5,51 km Inconnu: 0,65 km

The route

Along this stage, you ride along a mix of small parish roads and greenways. Follow signposting indicating Vendée Vélo. Take care crossing the D65 road at Vouvant, at the level of the place called Epagne, then when you cross the RD67 road at Puy de Serre, at the level of the village of Les Mouillères, and also at Saint Hilaire de Voust, when crossing the RD49 road, at the level of the village of La Vigne. 
At Breuil Barret (Terval), it’s possible to reach the town of Bressuire in the neighbouring département (county) of Deux Sèvres via a greenway. To reach the town centre of La Châtaigneraie from the Vendée Vélo Tour cycle route, go as far as La Maquinière, then follow the cycle track alongside the D949 road to the left in the direction of the town centre.

Don't miss

  • Faymoreau, a village designated a Petite Cité de Caractère, remembering its coal-mining past with: miners’ terraced houses (corons); the Centre Minier, a major museum recognized as a Musée de France (and an Accueil Vélo accredited site); the miners’ chapel; the Baludik treasure hunt here. The village’s mining history is impossible to ignore, the miners’ houses still inhabited, their allotments still cultivated, themed stained glass by artist Carmelo Zagari honouring the miners’ lives in the
  • Chapelle des Mineurs, while the museum, located in the former dormitory of the glass-making factory created to make use of low-grade coal to produce wine bottles, recalls in detail almost 150 years of coal-mining history in the Faymoreau area.
  • Chevalement d'Epagne at Saint-Maurice-des-Noues: this unique piece of industrial engineering, a pit-head frame built in 1943, was never used, but acts as a kind of memorial to coal-mining in the area.
  • Planetarium at La Chapelle-aux-Lys (in the parish of Terval): the Vendée’s only fixed planetarium enables you to admire the stars via its 360° show. Comfortably installed, learn about the constellations, planets and stars across the universe. 
  • Chemin aux Etoiles at La Chapelle-aux-Lys (Terval): a surprising 6.6km hike along the Chemin aux Etoiles (or Path to the Stars), dotted with panels via which you can discover more on the history and dimensions of the universe! 
  • Plan d'eau de l'Etruyère at La Tardière (Terval): an artificial, 4.5-hectare lake where you can go hiking or fishing, or out on the waters on a pedalo or a paddleboard. This place, set in the countryside, has a campsite and a restaurant. There’s also a Parcours Baludik treasure hunt to follow here.

SNCF train stations

  • SNCF coach services for Fontenay-le-Comte, lines 15, 16 and 17 going to and from La Roche-sur-Yon, Niort and La Rochelle

Accommodation on the stage

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