Our Destination is criss-crossed by cycle paths for long-distance routes and shorter circuits. So discover the region by bike, without moderation! Alone, with a partner or in a group, even with very young children, you can make the most of these beautiful Californian bicycles. Off we go team! All you have to do is choose a programme that suits you in terms of day and destination.
Hooray for cycling…
South Vendée Atlantic boasts a network of more than 480 km of cycle paths, which are each part of Vélodyssée (European cycling route that runs from the North Cape in Norway to Sagres in Portugal and follows our coastline and the Baie de l’Aiguillon, as far as La Rochelle), or Vélo Francette (cycling route between Ouistreham and La Rochelle which passes close to Île d’Elle), or the Vendée à Vélo cycle paths.
In fact, three of our Destination’s circuits carry the Vendée Vélo label:
- La Boucle des Vergers, a 33-km loop which crosses the municipalities of Saint-Martin-Lars-en-Sainte-Hermine, La Caillère-Saint-Hilaire and the Jaudonnière.
- La Boucle Clemenceau, a 25-km loop, which runs through Sainte-Hermine, Saint-Juire-Champgillon and La Réorthe.
- La Boucle des Polders, a 25-km loop, which visits Triaize, Luçon and Champagné-les-Marais.
These routes and loops are featured in the Vendée Vélo guide which is published every year by Vendée Tourisme and can be found at our tourist offices.
You can also purchase our Marais Poitevin pouch with four maps giving details of circuits that cover the entire Regional Nature Park. Both beginners and seasoned cyclists will find their ideal route, for just a day’s bike ride or a several-day cycling tour.
A word of advice before you leave…
- Remember to check that your bicycle is in good working order. Visit one of our bike rental outlets for advice on the best model for you.
- Don’t forget your helmet and make sure your child wears one too. It is compulsory for children under the age of 12 to wear cycle helmets.
- Be careful on routes with shared right-of-way; although these are usually small roads or farm tracks with very little traffic, please exercise caution.
- Be sure you recognise the panels for your chosen route, to ensure your planned “short trip” doesn’t turn into a long one.
- Respect the environment and our natural sites when you’re passing through.
- A doubt or a problem along the way? Look for the Accueil Vélo symbol. Establishments displaying this brand will definitely be able to help you out.
Want to enjoy a cycling experience?
If, after all, you want a cycling experience with a difference… We recommend:
- An excursion with Damien Moulin. He has a curious mind and Vendée in his heart. This man with a passion is the founder of a new concept. Bike rides of an alternative kind, with Original Vélo Tour. Leave early in the morning, on a bike, with Damien and a few good friends… You’ll learn a few tales about the region and its wildlife, its rich heritage and its ancestral mysteries. Before you start to flag, stop to visit one of the farmers of South Vendée Atlantic.
- A bike ride through the vineyards at Maison Mourat. After visiting the wine cellars with Thierry, take one of the Estate’s bicycles for a tour of the different grape varieties. Finally, on the last uphill stretch, you’ll stop for a well-deserved break at the Conservatoire de la Négrette, where you can enjoy a quiet picnic. Make the most of this natural environment before returning to the village.
- Our latest favourite is the wine route named “Terroir du Fief Vendéen de Mareuil”, concocted and tested by Marion, our wine tourism expert. She invites you to discover Mareuil and the Fiefs Vendéens vineyards by bike. Cycle through the vines on the little winding tracks, stopping at the wine estates to taste a Fiefs Vendéens wine and to meet the winemakers. Finally, the circuit takes you to the Chaussée de Chavagnes for a ride along the banks of the Yon, a tributary of the River Lay.
After your ride, you’ll never see the landscape and the bicycle in the same way again. So why not give it a try?