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.

Moulin du Chemin Single Centre Walking and Cycling Holiday

Explore the idyllic countryside north-east of La Rochelle

Offered by:
Belle France

Phone number:
+44 (0)1580 214 010

Tour length:
6 nights

Price:
From £1310

This is a single-centre holiday based at Le Moulin du Chemin, a wonderful maison d’hôte hidden in a leafy valley in deepest rural France. Established by the present proprietors in 1993, the restored mill house dating from before 1650 is remote, undiscovered and yet easily accessible. The idyllic region is known as le Pays de Gâtine and encompasses hundreds of miles of peaceful lanes, tracks and paths meandering among meadows, pastures, woods and orchards criss-crossed with clear streams and ancient hedgerows, rich in wildflowers butterflies, birds and other fauna – a veritable rural paradise. Routes can be tailored to your ability. The price of this tour includes 5 days' walking and cycling, 6 nights' fully inclusive, including 6 breakfasts and 5 evening meals. There's also welcome introduction, bike hire, a detailed booklet, station transfers, fully French-integrated British hosts, information and advice if required and support throughout your holiday, including Belle France 24-hour support.

Moulin du Chemin

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3-day Tour des Charentes

Discover the 'real' Charente Maritime with a local guide

Offered by:
Charente Maritime Cycling

Phone number:
+44 (0)779 245 3349

Tour length:
3 days

Price:
£595

You are in safe hands with local cyclist Adrian, who has extensive experience as a cycle guide, including a stint on the often treacherous roads of South America. By contrast, the roads in his backyard in Charente-Maritime on the west coast of France are positively idyllic. This three-day, 350km ride is perfect as an introduction to the back roads of the Charente Maritime region. While it starts in La Rochelle, with its popular harbour and link to te Ile-de-Re, it also heads inland to explore some of the lesser-known routes of the Charente-Maritime. You'll soon be pedalling along quiet lanes taking in the open scenery, sea air and salt marshes, stopping along the way to eat at local restaurants (with seafood and the region's famous oysters being a particular specialty), and sample the famous Pineau wine. This tour covers the heart of the region and the quieter back roads away from the main coastal EuroVelo 1 route. This is a fully supported and guided ride that's perfect for road bike riders or fit cycle tourers, with daily distances of between 90 and 120km (can be tailored for you). The price includes guided support, accommodation and stacks of local knowledge. Bike hire can also be arranged.

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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

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 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 214 010

Tour length:
7 nights

Price:
From £1655

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.

Atlantic Coast La Rochelle to Bordeaux La Vélodyssey Belle France

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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

Price:
From €1085

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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Charente, Dordogne and the Haute Vienne – Cycling Tours for All Abilities

Explore the beautiful countryside south-west of Limoges with local riders

Offered by:
Cycling Chez Nous

Phone number:
+33 (0)5 55 75 33 41 or +44 (0)7538 344076,

Tour length:
6 days riding (can be tailored for you)

Price:
From €532-€832 depending on your preferred accommodation (gite or farmhouse)

Sue and Phil at Cycling Chez Nous offer fixed base tours on a guided or self-guided basis (with gpx files provided) in their own backyard. The Haute-Vienne is a much lesser cycled area of France and takes in the triangle on the Dordogne/Charente border within reach of Limoges, Angouleme and Thiviers. It is a true – and very 'local' – cycling paradise with mainly traffic-free roads that run through a landscape of fields and forests. The roads are a pleasure to cruise along, the sun on your back as the beauty of the region slides silently past you. Prices include accommodation based on 7 nights, daily continental breakfast, afternoon tea and 6 three-course evening meals with wine, cheese and coffee (one night is reserved for you to enjoy a local restaurant). There's also canapes and fizz on first and last evenings. Shorter or longer tours can be tailored for you. Airport transfers from Limoges can also be arranged.

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Classic Cognac Cycling

Follow meandering river Charente through prestigious brandy vineyards

Offered by:
Belle France

Phone number:
+44(0)1580 214 010

Tour length:
6 nights

Price:
From £1360

Ride 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.

Classic Cognac

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Cycle the Atlantic from Nantes to La Rochelle

Enjoy the beaches that hug the Velodyssey Eurovelo 1 bike route

Offered by:
Le Vélo Voyageur

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

Tour length:
8 days

Price:
From €795

With this self-guided trip along the Velodyssey cycle route you will experience the wide variety of landscapes that the Atlantic coast has to offer – from sandy beaches and rocky coastlines to marshland and pine forests, charming villages and trendy seaside resorts. The initial part of the itinerary to Pornic feels like Brittany because of the historic heritage and the architecture. Further into the Vendee country is a different story. The land is more open, with agricultural polders, oyster farming land and forests. For the most part, the cycle path is close to the coast, offering the best views of the ocean. Stay each night in one of the welcoming seaside towns scattered along the Vendee coast and end your bike trip in La Rochelle and its old harbour. The price of this tour includes bikes, GPS routes, maps and tourist leaflets, accommodation and panniers. Ebikes and luggage transfers are available as added extras.

Cycling Nantes to La Rochelle

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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

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.

Cycle tour from Poitevin Marshes to Ile de Ré

 

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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

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 in style on this self-guided break

Offered by:
Belle France

Phone number:
+44(0)1580 214 010

Tour length:
7 days / 8 nights

Price:
From £1995

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. 

From Nantes to La Rochelle Belle France

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La Rochelle, Islands & Beaches

Ride gently along France’s sunny west coast

Offered by:
Inntravel

Phone number:
+44 (0)1653 617003

Tour length:
6 nights

Price:
From £830pp

The Charente-Maritime coastline is synonymous with long, sandy beaches and sunshine, but there’s more to it than that. If you can tear yourselves away from the plages to follow this suggested cycle routes, you’ll discover why this glorious coastline is so perfect for cycling.History? Tick – there are 17th- and early 19th-century fortifications right along the coast, and you can delve into the region’s maritime traditions, naval battles, and links to Napoleon. Good food? Tick – the oysters and mussels are some of the best in France, and prawns, lobster, fresh sardines, sole and scallops also feature widely on menus. Wildlife? Tick – the wetlands are teeming with birds such as oystercatchers, curlews, redshanks, sandpipers, little egrets, spoonbills and ringed plovers. Towns and villages? Tick – you’ll find your fill in La Rochelle and on glamorous Île de Ré. The choice is yours. The price of this tour includes 6 nights' accommodation, 1 dinner, 6 breakfasts, luggage transfers,route notes and maps, and high-quality bicycle (ebikes an option).

La Rochelle cycle tour

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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

Price:
From €749

From 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!

Velo Voyageur Atlantic Coast

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Need planning help? Use our bespoke service

Let Freewheeling France help you plan your French cycling adventures

Offered by:
Freewheeling France

Tour length:
Tailored for you

Price:
Tailored for you

If you want to cycle in France but you're not sure where to go or how to sort it – maybe you're strugglng to find accommodation or the right self-guided or guided ride for you – then this service is for you. It's my own bespoke service that matches your holiday wishlist to the right tour operator or accommodation option for you. This is for riders who need a little support on the road – anything and everything from accommodation advice and route planning to hiring bikes and luggage transfers. I'm working with a network of cycling specialists across France to offer you the best cycling holidays possible – and tailored just for you, your dates and your cycling ability. Hit the brown button below or see this link for details.

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