Get ready to add another fantastic route to your French cycling bucket list! In just a few weeks, V-43, a new French National cycling route will be formally introduced as La Velo Francette.
Anchored by the D-Day Beaches of Normandy on the northern end and the gorgeous town of LaRochelle at the southern end, La Velo Francette will travel through some of the most beautiful countryside in France! Beginning in Ouistreham near the English Channel ferry port, the 615 km signposted route travels through 3 regions of France: Normandy, Pays de la Loire and Poitou-Charentes, and 7 departments: Calvados, Orne, Mayenne, Maine-et-Loire, Charente-Maritime, Vendee and Deux-Sevres.
Not only will La Velo Francette be a wonderful addition to the long list of French bicycling routes, but it will make it easy to connect to 3 EuroVelo routes and a number of other French cycling itineraries. The route will connect to EuroVelo 4 near Caen, EuroVelo 6 in Angers and Saumur and EuroVelo 1 in La Rochelle. Cyclists will also be able to connect to the D-Day Beaches to Mont-Saint-Michel route, the Tour de Manche and the Veloscenie, just to name a few. Bottom line, if you are interested in bicycling in Western France, this new itinerary can be your gateway to enough cycle paths to keep you busy for several months!
The new route runs along small roads, canals, greenways and towpaths through the gorgeous French countryside. The route crosses the Varenne, Mayenne, Oudon, Maine and Loire Rivers and also travels through the Marais Poitevin, the Green Venice of France before ending at the port city of La Rochelle, the gateway to the Atlantic Coast beaches and islands.
The departments along the route are busy getting signposts up and ready for the formal opening of the route in June. France Velo Tourism has begun to develop stage information for the route, but the stages that are currently available are in French only. You can access the GPS tracks as well as other information for this new cycle route in English from Bicycle Routes & Tours. This is a fantastic open source resource for bicycling itineraries in Europe that I will detail further in my next blog post.