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Vendee Cycling Tours

We offer Cycling Tours of the Vendee

Les Croisettes is a home-based touring approach, so there is no need to be concerned about cycling to the next inn or hotel. Here, Les Croisettes is your home, so settle in for a relaxing stay.

The minimum age for accompanied children is 10. Please check with us to be sure we have the right size bicycle for your child when booking.

Les Croisettes is also available for custom groups.

Just give us a call and we will design the cycling vacation that is just right for your group.

Read below for an example of the types of Cycles in the Vendee region:

  • ARRIVAL

After you’ve had a chance to unpack, we will prepare a bicycle for you. Then, enjoy a short trip to the local village, and discover its traditional French charms. In the evening, we’ll have a Welcome Meeting to explain what’s in store for the week including light refreshments.

With 770kms of cycling tracks the Vendée offers you 4 major circuits through which you will enjoy the most diverse landscapes with a large variety of flora and wildlife, from seabird to birds of prey and from a small mouse to large boars and deers.

  • CYCLE 1

The “Littoral” (The Coastal Circuit) with its 167kms will take you all the way from the Island of Noirmoutier to the Pointe de l’Aiguillon along the coast. We have selected the part of this circuit, which will take you through the beautiful forest from Longeville to la Terrière. Then onward to la Tranche sur Mer, a pretty summer holiday resort. Leaving La tranche you will follow the coastline and see some of the most stunning sandy beaches down to La Faute sur mer, where you will finally arrive at l’Aiguillon sur Mer and la Pointe de l’Aiguillon renowned for its “mytiliculture” (the art of cultivating mussels) which extends to a surface equivalent to 400kms. Historical Note: It is said that this method of cultivating mussels was discovered by an Irishman who landed in this area after surviving a shipwreck in the 13th century. Here is where your “littoral” circuit ends. This is a 46kms trip. (12 – 13 – 14 – 15)

  • CYCLE 2

The “Marais Poitevin”, the Marshland with an 88kms of circuit can start where you left off at l’Aiguillon sur Mer all the way to Maillezais. You will enjoy a total change of scenery, going through magnificent wild countryside, along canals and locks, and rich architectural and historic heritage. The first leg of this circuit takes you to Luçon, which used to be a port where ships were still docking in the 1920’s, and is now totally dry except for a small canal. You can also enjoy the beautiful gardens of “Jardin Dumaine” right in the heart of the town and also its historic cathedral. On leaving Lucon and after passing lush vegetation you will arrive at the locks of Brault where you can admire its hydraulic science. From the bridge you then follow the canal to Chaillé les Marais and watch the technique used by the local fishermen to catch grey mullet. From here you will follow the canal of Clain, the canal of Guinée and the canal of the 5 Abbés (abbots), which was constructed all the way back in 1217. When you arrive at the Ile d’Elle there is a magnificent point giving you a 360° panoramic view over the canals and how they cross over. You are now arriving in what is known as the Venise Verte (the green Venice), with it lush flora and sanctuary for endangered species. Maybe you would like to take the opportunity in swapping your bike for a circuit on a rowing boat or on board a “plate with a pigouille”, a flat boat powered with a special oar. Through Maillé to Maillezais where you can visit the ruins of its Abbey, one of the most prestigious in the region. The first circuit will take you from L’Aiguillon to Chaillé les Marais 44kms (15 – 16 – 17 – 18) and the second from the Luçon canal all the way to Maillé totaling about 56kms. (17 – 18 – 19 – 20)

  • CYCLE 3

From the Marais into the “bocage” is another circuit of 106kms. We are now in the western part of the Vendée and going north-west. You will enjoy lovely villages along the way, none more so than Nieul sur l’Autize, with its beautiful Abbaye Royale. Then follow the Autize river and enjoy a little detour towards Saint Hilaire des Loges, the “mairie” (town hall) of which, dates from the 16th century. Cycling trough beautiful countryside you will arrive in the small, but exquisite, medieval town of Vouvant. Next to Vouvant the huge lake, lock and grand forest of Mervent will take your breath away. The cycling for this section of the circuit requires much more energy, but is worth the pain. Onwards then all the way through Faymorau, Breuil-Barret and finally Réaumur where you can enjoy a long pause by its lake and visit the Manor of Sciences where you are invited to see the world of science as it was in the 18th century. Here again there are various possible circuits, one starting in the Maris Poitevin, taking you 55.9kms from Maillé all the way to Vouvant. (21 – 22 – 23 – 24) or another starting from Vouvant to Réaumur for 57.3kms. (25 – 26 – 27)

  • CYCLE 4

The “Bocage” is the longest circuit with its 258kms. It will take you all the way from Réaumur to Lucs sur Boulogne, via Montaigu, the furthest north part of the Vendée. The cycling here is a little more difficult, as you are now also in the hilliest part of the Vendée. Your first stop will be in Pouzauges and its nearby chateau, which is in the most splendid surroundings. Towards Saint Mesmin don’t forget to stop at the Puy Crapeau with its orientation table at the top of an old mill, offering an impressive view of the area. Along this route you will see some of the most beautiful manor houses all the way to the Chateau de Mesmin, a 14th century fortress. Following the cycle track you will pass La Flocellière and its renovated renaissance chateau, les Epesses, which is very near the theme park of the Puy du Fou. A more difficult track awaits you and the enchanting décor around Saint-Mâlo-du-Bois and the Sèvre Valley, then along the meanders of the Sèvres Nantaise to Rochard and the viaduct de Barbin. Still following the river you will see a diversity of mills to making flour, paper or hemp. Then take a rest at the lakeside of Gazeau. There is also the grotto of Notre Dame de Lourdes in Saint-Aubin-des-Ormeaux, which is a local curiosity. After another difficult track, you are in Tiffauges with its domain known as Blue Beard and his castle, which inspired the famous tale. Along the river with its protected by trees, you’ll go through La Bruffière, Cugand, La Bernardière and Montaigu. Les Herbiers is your next step with churches from the 14th and 15th century and its 12th century chateau. Here you can also enjoy a superb steam train trip. Between Mesnard-la-Barotière and la Bultière you will enjoy the nature reserve dating back to the 11th century. Carry on to Saint-Georges-de-Montaigu near the 72ha dam, which is the water reserve for the north of the Vendée. Onwards through more history, along the little Maine river to Chavagnes-en-Paillers, Grasla, la Chabotterie and les Lucs sur Boulogne. By now you will be well trained and ready for this last more difficult excursion which will take you 65.3kms from Réaumur to the beautiful lake at Les Epesses. (28 – 29 – 30 – 31)

  • CYCLE 5

And last, but not least, half way through the week, we will take you all the way to the beautiful port town of La Rochelle. From here you will cycle over the 3kms long bridge, which will take you to the Ile de Ré. This 26kms long island with its width varying from 5kms to as little as 70m has 100kms of cycling tracks. Because it is very flat, i.e. the highest point is no more than 20m above sea level, it is possible to cycle the whole island from the bridge, south to north, along the east coast and back along the west coast, all in one day. From the bridge you will arrive at Rivedoux with its sandy beaches, towards La Flotte and the major town of the island Saint Martin de Ré, which is well worth a visit. From there you will follow the coast round the bay to arrive in Loix. You can also avoid Loix and head straight for the narrowest part of the island towards Ars en Ré (a name which frequently brings a smile to most English speakers). This part of the island is well known for its sea salts, collected at dawn and known as “Fleur de Sel” (flower of salt) and its oysters and mussels farming. Around another bay you will reach the most north westerly point known as Les Porte de Ré. From there you are on your way back, making a dash south easterly towards the Phare des Baleines (the lighthouse of the whales). This beautiful building was started in 1849 and finished in 1854. Replacing the lighthouse built in 1682 with a height of 29 metres, this new lighthouse is 57m high and you can access the top by climbing its 257 steps. From now on you can say you are on your way back by going in a south westerly direction through La Couarde sur Mer, Le Bois Plage en Ré, La Noue, Sainte Marie de Ré and back to the bridge for a last effort. This trip can vary between 100 and 65 kms depending on whether you choose to follow all the tracks or, sometimes cut across. As well as salt, the island produces its own wine and many other products with the “Ile de Ré” label. You will not be short of finding a souvenir or two.

  • LUNCHES & LOCALITY

For lunch, guests can enjoy locally made cheeses served with various breads and a crisp green salad. For the more adventurous, we can take a side tour to the home local farmers with the facility to buy from their shops, ie wine from the vineyard in Vix, local honey, the Vendée Trospinet and Coffee Liqueur made in Lucon , and once you have made your purchases, your shopping can be left in the van.

The minimum age for accompanied children is 10. Please check with us to be sure we have the right size bicycle for your child when booking.

Les Croisettes is also available for custom groups.

Just give us a call and we will design the cycling vacation that is just right for your group.