Touring down the west coast of France

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  • The (loose) plan at the moment is to start in Nantes, and aim for the Basque country, taking in nice winding routes with plenty of beach stops.

    So:

    1- Does anyone have experience or words of wisdom for cycling down the west coast of France? Recommended routes, must see spots, nice beaches, campsites etc etc?

    2 - Can anyone recommend any good reading material- cycling guide books, maps that might offer some insight? I'm looking at a few at the moment but most of them seem to focus on the South.

    Would be lovely to hear some expertly formed opinions!

    Ta!

  • My uncle has a surfshop called LE PALMIER in "La Tranche-sur-mer" down the coast from Les Sables d'Ollonne.
    My name is Cedric, his name is Nicolas, I'm sure he'd be more than happy to point you to the best places in the area.
    This town probably has the best surfing/windsurfing spots of the north part of the coast, so maybe you can rent a board from him and spend some time in the water, if you need some practice before hitting the waves of Biarritz.

    In the Basque Region, go to Espelette and buy some chillies.

  • This is something I want to do for 10-14 days next Summer. I don't really have a start/end point in mind, and this part of the country appeals to me as I'm told it's pretty flat, has nice beaches and lots of campsites.

    Any ideas on where I should aim for? I reckon I'd cycle 40-50 miles a day.

    All advice appreciated.

  • I'm thinking of a (very) preliminary route of a ferry from Portsmouth then cycling St-Malo to Biarritz, then flying home. Would the flying be doable?

  • la gacilly is a beautiful town hanging baskets galore old buildings nice river to sit beside while munching your lunch
    big arty community
    nice cobbled streets, good cidre
    when i was there they had loads of 10ft by 6ft photo's in the streets ,... maybe it was an exhibition or something

    from bordeaux towards the coast is a beautiful area to cycle carless roads through the strongly scented pine forests golden sand cap ferret nice place to camp .. i'm sure the whole of les landes ( the reclaimed land as you head towards spain ) is pretty much like this

  • Check out the largest sand dune in Europe (apparently) a little out of Bordeaux, dicki's mentioned it above I think and the small town nearby, which is nice

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_D­une_of_Pyla

  • archachon is a nice town, dune at southern end just on the outskirts
    it's a posh french seaside town
    nice restaurants and beaches all around that area

  • How much would approximately I'd pay each night for a one one tent in a campsite?

    Can you camp wild in France?

    Cheers for the response guys. I'm hoping the planning of this trip will get me through the winter!

  • Not sure if wild camping in france is legal. It's certainly possible in lots of places, if you arrive late and leave early...

    Municipal campsites are the cheapest http://www.camping-municipal.org/

  • as long as you don't crush crops / disturb the cattle / light fires on the ground ... find an isolated place and pitch up
    france is such a sparsely populated place you should be able to find a nice quiet spot to rest your head where no one can spot you

  • jackc, EV1 might be of interest to you > http://www.velodyssey.com/

    cycled nantes-brest canal this august, bloody brilliant

  • as long as you don't crush crops / disturb the cattle / light fires on the ground ... find an isolated place and pitch up
    france is such a sparsely populated place you should be able to find a nice quiet spot to rest your head where no one can spot you

    Keep low especially in touristy areas,
    dune du Pyla/ Cap Ferret is a very obvious one,
    I would camp away from it.
    Remember that unless you make yourself conspicuous,
    local cops or gendarmes will make their rounds in cars..

  • I’d like to go in a family holiday somewhere I’m in the west coast of France (and do some cycling while the kids are by entertained by a pool).

    Does anyone have any family friendly campsites (preferably with static caravans) which are near beaches and have nice cycling fairly close by?

    (I never did my tour before :( )

  • Bordeaux area is super nice to cycle.

  • Has anyone cycled Caen to La Rochelle on velo francette?

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Touring down the west coast of France

Posted by Avatar for liam-h @liam-h

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