From La Rochelle, a city with an important cultural, architectural and historical inheritance, you will discover the Atlantic coast. Whilst travelling next to the sea, you will see many oyster beds and have the chance to taste fresh oysters direct from the farmers themselves. You will cross the Charente river on the last active “transbordeur” (suspended transport bridge) in France, before crossing the Gironde, and continuing your journey across the forest of the ‘Landes de Gascogne’. This will lead you to Lacanau, where you will leave the coast and head inland to Bordeaux, where you can enjoy the wine and experience the second largest town in France.
Your day by day program
Arrive at La Rochelle in the afternoon. The hotel is situated in the old port, not far from the station to facilitate your arrival and also at the heart of the city. Spend your time looking around the picturesque centre which has much to offer, including many seafood restaurants.
Night in a 3 star hotel.
For this first day of riding, you will leave the centre of La Rochelle and cycle to the picturesque Ile de Ré. You will cycle across the bridge and then ride a loop alongside the sea, cycling along typical small lanes, through small wild forests, and all the time being guided by the lighthouses. You will return via La Rochelle to arrive in a small seaside resort with incredible charm. You will see many old houses belonging to oyster farmers, preserved since the 19th century. The village is an important place for fishing. This is an opportunity for you to dine out on clams and other shellfish in particular. Distance of roughly 50km.
Night in a charming two star hotel.
Leave Châtelaillon after breakfast and follow the cycle track which will take you to Marennes. You will cross many small typical villages, following in the tracks of Vauban (a Marshall and military engineer in the 1600s), who built many fortresses in the area. You will also have the chance to cross the Charente river by the bizarre looking “transbordeur”, the last in its kind in operation in France. Dive into the heart of the Charente region with oysters, pineau (special wine from the region), and indulge in the good life! Distance of roughly 52km.
Night in a comfortable chambre d'hôte.
Today's ride will lead you through the oyster farms and past the fishermen’s huts as you continue along the wild coast. Cycling between the Atlantic and the forests of maritime pine, you will make your way to Royan, a seaside resort with white sandy beaches that lies at the mouth of the Garonne river. Distance of roughly 45km.
Night in a three star hotel.
You will begin your day by crossing the Gironde river on the ferry, which will leave you at the ‘Pointe de la Grave’. A cycle path will take you alongside the Atlantic and next to the sandy forest known as the ‘Landes de Gascogne’. You will enter the area known as the Médoc where the scenery is mindblowing. You will shortly arrive at Hourtin, where you will be able to refresh yourself with a swim in the hotel pool. Distance of roughly 55km.
Today you will continue with your ride through the heart of the pine forest, making the transition from oyster farms to an Atlantic coast of waves, surfers and long fine sandy beaches. For the whole day you can profit from the Médoc coastline. You will arrive at Lacanau Plage, a small paradise dominated by sun, sea and surf. Distance of roughly 40km.
Night in a two star hotel.
Leave Lacanau, the mecca for surfers, and rejoin the cycle path to Bordeaux. You will pass by a protected forest that surrounds Lacanau as well as the ‘lac de Bordeaux’. This is a nice route that will take you directly into the city of Bordeaux.
Distance of roughly 65km.
Night in a two star hotel.
End of your stay after breakfast. However, there's always the opportunity to carry on to the Mediterranean on the Canal du Midi! Contact us for details.
Any day between April and November.
- At your hotel in La Rochelle.
- After breakfast at your hotel in Bordeaux
- A mixture of 2 and 3 star comfortable hotels or chambre d'hotes with ensuite bathrooms with shower or bath.
- From 2 persons only
- Generally easy riding along flat surfaces. Between 40-60km per day.
- Your bag (one per person) is transferred by taxi between the hotels.
- Bike rental (hybrid bike) including repatriation : 270€
- Supplement July/August : 89€
- Bike rental (hybrid) without repatriation (i.e you bring the bike back to La Rochelle on the train) : 90€
- 7 nights in hotels or chambre d'hotes, breakfast, your daily luggage transfers, the route notes and maps.
- Transfers to the start of the route and from the finishing point, insurance, lunches, evening meals.
The Great Crossing - From the Atlantic to the Mediterranean
Canal du Midi - Canal de Garonne - Atlantic Coast - Seas and rivers - Leisure cycling - Culture & gastronomy - E-bike tours - 14 days / 13 nights