Poitou-Charentes cycling holidays

Published by Lyn on 31 October 2014

Browse our listings to find a guided or self-guided bike tour of Poitou-Charentes to suit your cycling style and budget.

A Fixed Base Cycling Holiday in Poitou-Charentes

Explore the idyllic Deux-Sèvres department in western France

Offered by:
Moulin Holidays

Phone number:
+33 (0)5 49 95 94 87

Tour length:
6 nights

Level of difficulty:
Easy and moderate routes, plus a few challenging ones (you decide!)

Price:
€1149 / £1046

Flexible, self-guided cycling holidays based at Le Moulin du Chemin, a small private auberge in the Poitou-Charentes region of western France. Cycling holidays at Le Moulin are notable for idyllic surroundings, excellent food and wine, lovely accommodation and great bonhomie – all at a reasonable price. Everything is included: accommodation, all meals and drinks, the hire of well-maintained, fully-equipped touring bikes, plus the use of the pool and other amenities. (Even the postcards are free.) There are hundreds of miles of little-used country lanes that undulate beside pastures, woods and orchards. Bikes roll easily on well-maintained roads, with hardly any traffic. To guide you, clear route-notes and highlighted maps are provided in a personalised dossier, with friendly advice and information from your hosts, Peter and Carolynne. Choose from easy, moderate (or, if you wish, challenging) routes, with different destinations each day. Finish the day with aperitifs-at-seven, followed by a four-course evening meal with wonderful food and generous supplies of excellent wine – all enjoyed in a leisurely atmosphere.

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Atlantic Coast Cycle Holiday

Guided cycling from Brittany to La Rochelle with camping or B&B options

Offered by:
Fellow Velo

Phone number:
+44 (0)78 1128 5021 or +44 (0)1788 568 371

Tour length:
10 days / 9 nights

Level of difficulty:
Easy

Price:
£920 for camping option, £1195 for B&B option with discount for under 14s

There are quite a few self-guided tours available of the Atlantic Coast, but it's much harder to find one that's fully guided. Even better, there is a fully guided camping option, allowing you to stay close to the wild ruggedness of Atlantic Coast while having someone else carry your camping kit for you (there'll be a support car on hand for that; non-cycling partners and youngsters with tired legs can even grab a lift). If you prefer though there is also a B&B option too. Ride from one historic port town to another: the wonderfully walled St-Malo in Brittany to the boats of La Rochelle, via salt marshes, fields of peat bog and the water world that is the Marais  Poitevin – some of the French coast's most magnificent scenery. Tents, luggage transfer, bike hire (if you need it), all breakfasts and lunches plus some evening meals included. Combine this trip with the Entre Deux Mers and Canal du Midi trips to ride all the way to the Med. 

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Atlantic Coast from La Rochelle to Oléron Island

A leisure ride to experience the highlights of the Atlantic Coast

Offered by:
Le Vélo Voyageur

Phone number:
+33 (0)1 80 91 98 18

Tour length:
4 days

Level of difficulty:
Easy

Price:
From €299

Leave the beautiful city of La Rochelle along the Atlantic Coast La Vélodyssée bike path. Through fishermen’s harbours and through dried up swamps, your bike ride leads you to Rochefort. Share the coast with storks and herons as you take in the sea air. In Rochefort, a former royal shipyard, admire the Hermione, the three-master built with the methods of the 17th century. You take the last transporter bridge of France and continue to ride the Oléron Island. Savour a dish of Marennes’ oysters, your feet hanging in the water and enjoy your refreshing break. You discover the long fine sand beaches and fishermen’s villages of Oléron Island before taking the boat to return to La Rochelle. This route has been devised by French cyclists Bérangère and Eugénie, who set up Le Vélo Voyageur to share their favourite routes with cyclists from around the world.

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Atlantic Coast La Rochelle to Bordeaux (La Vélodyssey)

The ocean on one side and pine forests of the other

Offered by:
Belle France

Phone number:
+44(0)1580 848 685

Tour length:
7 nights

Level of difficulty:
Easy to moderate

Price:
From £1564

This cycle adventure offers wonderful variety, from the endless beaches of the Atlantic Ocean to pine forests and marshlands. Starting in the historic harbour town of La Rochelle, with its world-class aquarium, you'll follow the Vélodyssée EuroVelo 1 cycle route along the coast. On the way you'll be able to visit the city of Rochefort, famous for its 'Corderie Royale', the citadelle in Brouage, the oyster farms in La Tremblade and the seaside resort of Royan. A short ferry ride will take you over to Le Verdon and on to the Médoc peninsula so you can discover the vineyards and UNESCO city of Bordeaux. Included in the price is luggage transfer, detailed route notes, 7 nights' accommodation, and a local agent to provide any help you may need.

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Atlantic Coast La Vélodyssée from Nantes to La Rochelle

Ride along the Atlantic coast on the EuroVelo 1 bike route

Offered by:
Abicyclette

Phone number:
+33 (0)2 30 96 49 54

Tour length:
9 days / 8 nights

Level of difficulty:
Easy to moderate

Price:
From €1075

On this self-guided tour, you'll enjoy the Atlantic section on the La Vélodyssée with its endless sandy beaches to explore. Hop off the bike to take a dip, top up the tan lines or enjoy the pine forests whenever the fancy takes you. Discover the marshlands of Vendée and spend time in colourful ports. Dine in the evenings with a fresh local seafood platter. La Vélodyssée is nearly all flat and signposted, mostly on secured dedicated greenways – it's a perfect introduction to cycling in France. The price of this tour includes 24/7 phone assistance, GPS guided itinerary, luggage transfers, bike rental and accommodation with a number of different options to cater for all budgets.

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Chateaux of the Charente

Meander through the stunning countryside of SW France

Offered by:
Belle France

Phone number:
+44(0)1580 848 685

Tour length:
6 nights

Level of difficulty:
Easy-moderate

Price:
£1377

This tour explores a stunning countryside of vineyards, lolling sunflowers and forests of high shady oaks with turreted châteaux commanding views above winding rivers. This is a lesser-explored area of south-west France, with empty roads and uncrowded villages. Your trip starts in a wonderfully peaceful hotel surrounded by woodland and takes you and your bike on charming quiet lanes to chateaux and bustling towns, such as Confolens, with plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from. The tour price includes 3 days' cycling, 4 nights' accommodation, luggage transfers between hotels, comprehensive route notes, bike hire, station transfers and an English-speaking rep to help you along the way.

 

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Classic Cognac Cycling

Follow meandering river Charente through prestigious brandy vineyards

Offered by:
Belle France

Phone number:
+44(0)1580 848 685

Tour length:
6 nights

Level of difficulty:
Moderate

Price:
From £1155

Classic CognacRide along the banks of the meandering river Charente, one of France's most picturesque but least explored waterways. En route, pass through the prestigious brandy vineyards of the Cognac region, taking the time to stop and sample some of the world's most famous brands. Other highlights include Dorgeville's impressive Roman amphitheatre and the Abbey de Fontdouce. There is the option to add an extra night at Château de Mesnac, a Cognac-producing chambre d’hôte.

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Custom Cycling Holidays in France

Tailored support for your group cycling holiday in France

Offered by:
La Vie en Velo

Phone number:
+44 (0) 7984 065329

Tour length:
Tailored

Level of difficulty:
Tailored

Price:
£480 per day for staffed and fully equipped van and custom-fitted box trailer.

La Vie en Velo can support your trip to anywhere in France. This year they already have custom trips planned in the Pyrenees, the Alps, as well as London-Paris. Their service is ideal for groups and can be tailored to your group size – prices include full van support, bike and baggage transfers and stacks of bikey knowledge. Angus can plan your accommodation for you and also arrange bike hire if you're not bringing your own (he can bring your bike and luggage for you from the UK). Routes can be tailored for you. The La Vie en Velo team specialises in taking cyclists to ride wherever they want using a van and custom-fitted box trailer for your bikes. Ideal for family groups, charity rides, cycling clubs and corporate events.

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Cycle tour from Poitevin Marshes to Ile de Ré

Discover Poitou-Charentes from the Poitevin Marshes to Ile de Ré

Offered by:
Le Vélo Voyageur

Phone number:
+33 (0) 1 80 91 98 18

Tour length:
8 days

Level of difficulty:
Easy

Price:
From €799

Start your bike trip in Niort and discover the small roads and narrow canals of the Poitevin marshes. Cross small villages, discover the fauna and flora of the marshes with a guide on a boat, and visit the magnificent abbey of Maillezais. Stop in the city of art and history that is Fontenay-le-Comte before leaving the wild Marais Poitevin to reach the beautiful port city of La Rochelle. The next day you'll ride to the island Ile de Ré where you'll discover the long fine-sand beaches, the salt evaporation ponds of Loix and Ars-en-Ré, the fortified city of Saint-Martin-de-Ré or the producers of Pineau wine. Cross the bridge back to La Rochelle to bring your adventure to an end. Bérangère and Eugénie at Le Vélo Voyageur have been riding in France since they were 22. They started running self-guided tours to share their favourites routes with visitors to France.

 

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Cycling Holidays in Poitou-Charentes

Fixed base cycling holiday exploring the roads of western France

Offered by:
Moulin Holidays

Phone number:
+33 (0)5 49 95 94 87

Tour length:
6 nights

Level of difficulty:
Moderate and challenging, plus some exhilarating hill routes

Price:
€1057 / £962

Hit the road to explore the hundreds of kilometres of beautifully-surfaced roads and country lanes that wind through the rolling hills of Poitou-Charentes. Your base will be Le Moulin du Chemin, a small private auberge in the Deux-Sèvres department. Cycling here is a dream, with rolling hills and postcard scenery. Road bike routes tend to be challenging, although moderate routes can be tailored to meet individual requirements. Clear route-cards and highlighted maps are supplied in a personalised dossier, plus there's friendly support, advice and information from your hosts, Peter and Carolynne. The recommended routes are different for each day and include some exhilarating hill routes, all starting and finishing at Le Moulin du Chemin. Apart from the cycling, holidays here are notable for their excellent food and wine, lovely accommodation, great bonhomie and reasonable prices. Absolutely everything is included in the price: accommodation, all meals and drinks, bike storage, laundry facilities, and the use of pool and other amenities. (Even the postcards are free.) In the evening, the ‘craic’ is great, with aperitifs-at-seven followed by a four-course evening meal with brilliant food and loads of good quality wine.

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From Nantes to La Rochelle - La Vélodyssey

Breeze along the coast on two wheels

Offered by:
Belle France

Phone number:
+44(0)1580 848 685

Tour length:
7 days / 8 nights

Level of difficulty:
Easy-moderate

Price:
From £1894

Enjoy the endless beaches and sea views as you cycle along this section of the Velodyssée, the dedicated cycle path that opens up the Atlantic coast to all ages. Fly through pine forests, wetlands and colourful ports and fishing villages, ending up in the historic harbour town of La Rochelle – complete with aquarium and seaside restaurants. Price includes luggage transfers between hotels, comprehensive route notes, bike hire for 7 days' cycling, plus 8 nights' B&B accommodation and some evening meals. 

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From Nantes to La Rochelle on La Vélodyssée

Feel the Atlantic breeze as you cycle along the gorgeous coastline

Offered by:
Biking France

Phone number:
+33 (0)2 54 78 62 52

Tour length:
8 days with 6 days of riding

Level of difficulty:
Easy to moderate

Price:
From €955

La Vélodyssée is one of the most popular cycle routes in France – and for good reason. It follows the Atlantic Coast from Brittany to Spain, passing natural and cultural highlights, wild seaside landscapes, golden beaches, giant dunes, salt marshlands and pine forests – all with the ocean as your constant companion. It's an 'easy' route for families and newer cyslists, while its epic nature can still captivate seasoned tourers. This self-guided itinerary includes quaint fishing ports and picture-perfect seaside resorts, adding variety (and amazing food!) to your trip. Price includes 7 nights’ B&B hotel accommodation, one evening meal, a travel folder with maps, route info and tourist brochures in French or English, luggage transfers, bike hire, and an on-call support hotline in case you get stuck.

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La Velodyssey from La Rochelle to Bordeaux

From the beaches of the Atlantic coast to the vine of the Medoc

Offered by:
Le Vélo Voyageur

Phone number:
+33 (0)1 80 91 98 18

Tour length:
8 days

Level of difficulty:
Easy

Price:
From €819

Velo Voyageur Atlantic CoastFrom La Rochelle's ancient fortified harbour you'll ride on the Atlantic Velodyssey route along beaches, through marshes and pine forests. You'll discover the city of Rochefort and its 'Corderie Royale', Brouage citadel built by the French engineer Vauban, the marshes of Marennes, the oyster-farming port of La Tremblade and the costal town of Royan. You'll cross the Gironde Estuary by ferry to Le Verdon and continue your bike trip across Médoc peninsula. You'll cycle along the seashore then through Grand Crus vineyards such as Mouton-Rothschild. You'll reach Pauillac before getting to Bordeaux by train with your bikes to discover this historic and lively city. All in all, a great cycling holiday!

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Moulin du Chemin by bike or foot

Trails and rides to explore in the Charente

Offered by:
Belle France

Phone number:
+44 (0)1580 214 010

Tour length:
6 nights

Level of difficulty:
Easy

Price:
From £1110

This tour is run as a single-centre holiday with your stay and cycling based around Le Moulin du Chemin, a pretty little maison d’hôte hidden amongst a leafy valley in deep rural French countryside of the Charente (north of Bordeaux). The building itself is a restored mill house dating from before 1650 – and its location is at the same time remote yet easily accessible. Surrounded by many, many miles of peaceful lanes, tracks and paths you will be able to pedal among traffic-free meadows, woods and orchards to a sound track of running water and birds. All of this while eating fine cuisine, drinking excellent local French wines and spending your evenings in a wonderful relaxing vibe. Included in your tour are 6 days' cycling or walking, accommodation and some meals, full and detailed notes of the routes, bike hire (electric bikes on request), local support.

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