The Atlantic Coast of France, My Destination for Spring 2012

By Maggie LaCoste

This is my 100th post about biking in France, and I thought it was the perfect occasion to reveal the destination for my upcoming trip to France. Having spent the last two years exploring the Loire Valley, Burgundy, Brittany and the Dordogne, this spring I will finally journey back to the Atlantic Coast of France. It has been almost 20 years since I visited this area, long before I took my first bike vacation in Europe, and long before EuroVelo, veloroute and voie verte even existed. This area along the Atlantic Coast is the ultimate playground for recreational cyclists and it is considered one of the best bicycling areas in France.

This May, I will spend almost three weeks exploring the area from La Rochelle south to the oyster farming region around Marennes, the 2 gorgeous islands, Ille de Re and Ille D’Oleron, the famous seaside resort of Royan, crossing the Gironde to the Medoc, on to Bordeaux and St. Emilion and then connecting to the cycle path that runs all the way to the Spanish Border. My goal is to make it to Spain, but that will depend on how many deviations I take along the way! My travels will take me through three major departments: the Charente-Maritime, the Gironde and the Landes. Fortunately I will be able to explore the incredible network of bike paths before the surge of summer tourists hits, which means that I will be able to travel without reservations, totally free of any set itinerary, which for me, is the best kind of cycling adventure.

Before I dive into my trip planning activities, I thought I’d share some of the reasons this area was the top choice for my upcoming bike trip. To begin with, there are few regions in France that offer the diversity and concentration of bike routes as this area. Whether you are interested in a long distance trip like mine, or just a day or a weekend trip, whether you are biking alone, with a friend or with kids, the Atlantic Coast has so many options that your biggest problem is deciding what ro

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7 Responses to The Atlantic Coast of France, My Destination for Spring 2012

  1. Natasha @Bike Hire Direct February 29, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    Great article about the Charente Maritime region – very accurate!

    Potential visitors to France often overlook it for the more promoted regions such as Provance… BUT as the French consider this reason the true ‘French Riviera’ perhaps they are just trying to keep to for themselves : )

    Have fun… don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need any help at all!

    • admin February 29, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

      Thanks for the nice response to my latest post! I too agree that many visitors overlook this fabulous area, only stopping in Bordeaux, going to a few vineyards and then moving on. I can’t wait for my trip, and I cannot wait to write more about this wonderful area!

  2. dunedupilat.com March 1, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    Very interesting project! So you have never been to the Arcachon Bay? Take enough time to visit the most interesting spots. You are right, the Dune of Pilat is certainly one of them. Take a look at my website dedicated exclusively to this wonderful place: http://www.dunedupilat.com. Don’t miss the photo section, hope you’ll enjoy. Good luck!

    • Experience France by Bike March 6, 2012 at 10:53 pm #

      Thanks so much for responding to my post! I cannot wait to visit Arcachon Bay and explore every inch of every bike path in the area! I cannot wait to eat oysters and seafood, visit the Dune du Pilat, go to the bird sanctuary, Cape Ferret, and hopefully make it all the way to the Spanish border. I will be posting reports every day when I am gone, so be sure to read my reports! I will definitely check out your website too!

  3. Fraussie Grouet March 13, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Hi, just featured this post in my other blogs on Wednesdays post: http://www.aussieinfrance.com/2012/03/use-your-french-to-help-combat-hunger-paris-for-lunch-atlantic-coast-by-bike/

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