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