I can’t believe it was 9 years ago that I first cycled La Velodyssey, the Atlantic Cycling Route. It was May 2012, and just a month until this new cycling itinerary would be formally introduced. La Velodyssey has come a long way since then. With the dedication and hard work of 3 French regions and 9 departments, it’s become one of the best known and most popular French cycle routes with over 3 million cyclists a year, with the exception of 2020 during the pandemic. Needless to say, if you’re thinking about taking a cycling trip to France, La Velodyssey is a route you should seriously consider.
Here are 10 reasons La Velodyssey should be on your short list of places to consider bicycling in 2022:
- La Velodyssey is the longest signposted cycle route in France, making it easy to navigate
- 70% of the route is on car-free paths, providing a safer cycling experience
- You’ll find incredible food and wine from one end of the route to the other, from simple pastries to 5* dinners and markets to assemble the perfect picnic lunch
- The route has a perfect mix of historical cities and gorgeous beach towns and beaches to explore
- There’s a well-developed Accueil Velo/Cyclists Welcome network of support services located within 5km of the itinerary, including over 430 accommodation options
- There is a great website to help plan your trip. The La Velodyssey website is comprehensive, with in-depth route and trip planning resources, GPS Tracklog, suggested itineraries, detailed information on all 38 stages including elevation maps, stage details and testimonials
- The casual nature of the cycle path is great for meeting fellow cyclists along the way
- La Velodyssey is one of the few long-distance routes to have a one-way bike rental and service. I have not personally used this service but it has been endorsed by Routard, the French guidebook since 2000. See BicyBags for more information
- This route is suitable for all levels of experience: of the 38 stages, 17 are family rated, 17 average rated and 4 expert rated
- The intoxicating Basque Region with its great hospitality, amazing food, gorgeous landscape and scenery and laid back attitude will make you never want to leave this region
These are just a few of the many reasons for choosing La Velodyssey for a future cycling trip. The best resources to learn more about this itinerary are the La Velodyssey website and the France Velo Tourism website.
If you decide to investigate La Velodyssey further, you’ll want to choose a part of the itinerary that will fit into your travel plans. This is where things get tough! With over 1200km of cycling, La Velodyssey offers a lot of options. Whether you’re looking to cycle for a weekend, a week or even longer, take some time to explore the cities and towns along the route to help you choose your specific itinerary. If you’d like more insight, take a look at posts from my past trips. You can do this by clicking on “My Favorites” on the navigation bar, and then clicking on, “Cycling La Velodyssey“. That will take you to 30 posts from my past trips.
Have fun planning and watch for my next featured cycling itinerary to consider for 2022!