Cycling France’s Atlantic Coast: The Coastal Path From Bayonne

By Maggie LaCoste

If you love history, Bayonne is definitely a town that you will want to explore. Situated on the Nive and Adour Rivers, Bayonne has thrived both as a military stronghold and a bustling port, and both have contributed to the town’s history. The town is very unique and charming, dominated by its rivers and military fortifications. Bicycling along the quaysides, through the narrow streets of the old city, and along the town walls, you quickly get a sense of the history of this place.

We came here to sample the Bayonne ham, which really comes from the surrounding countryside and Bayonne drinking chocolate, as well as to ride the famous bike path that runs along the coast to Anglet and Biarritz. I am very happy to report that none of these were a disappointment!  The coastal bike path along the beaches of Anglet may be thmost beautiful bike paths along the Atlantic Coast.

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You pick up the bike path literally across the street from the Office of Tourism. Signs are very well placed, and the paths run along the roadway, but they are dedicated paths for bicyclists. I will tell you that as the bike route begins, it runs along an industrial area, and you have no idea of the treat you are in store for ahead. There is a very nice Patisserie along the way that is perfect for a cup of coffee in the morning on your way out, or for afternoon pastries on your way back!

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Once you pass the Port of Bayonne, the bike path takes a turn to the left and this is where the fun starts. If you are a McDonald’s fan, there is one as you start on the ocean path. For the next 8 km, you are treated to a dozen different beach areas, each with its own characteristics, surf shops, bars and restaurants. This isn’t a great path for covering miles, but it is great fun for people watching and for soaking up some great French atmosphere, just my kind of place! Whether you bike this route alone, with friends or with your family, it is safe, great fun and a perfect way to spend a day in France. Here are a few pictures of the scenery along the way, with the early morning very foggy.

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Posted by Maggie LACoste

I love the adventure and unpredictability of experiencing France by bike. Cycling in France is the ultimate slow travel adventure, an opportunity to see it through the back door in a way few tourists experience. One week on a bike in France and life takes on a different meaning! I created Experience France By Bike to inspire recreational cyclists to visit France the slow way....by bike, and to be the best source of information for planning the perfect bicycling adventure. I encourage readers to embrace the uncertainty of the road ahead and to take the path less traveled, exploring roads, towns and villages that you would never experience traveling by car.

  1. This is one of my favourite bike paths too – but I was lucky to cycle there last spring when it was sunny!