New French Bicycling Route To Debut In June

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.

La Velo Francette, Route V-43

La Velo Francette, Route V-43

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!

Enjoy visiting the D-Day Beaches before heading south along la Velo Francette

Enjoy visiting the D-Day Beaches before heading south along la Velo Francette

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.

La Rochelle, the ending point of La Velo Francette

La Rochelle, the ending point of La Velo Francette

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.

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. We have done part of this trail from Laval to Samur. We loved the Mayenne Canal, very scenic with weirs every few miles, The trail runs right beside the river almost the entire way but there were few touring cyclists. Our stay at Le Moulin de Rongere, a mill right on the Mayenne, was a highlight of our entire journey. You can read all about our adventure at
    http://www.trailsandgreenways.com/content/mayenne-canal-laval-le-moulin-de-rongere

    1. Dear Maggie,

      Thanks so much for the nice note and I am glad to hear good reviews on this new route! One of the most wonderful parts of La Velo Francette is that it connects so many already-popular routes, thus making it easy for those of us who want to “sample” a number of different French cycling routes. Hopefully you will be able to plan a trip to explore more of this new route soon. Thanks also for the link to your journal of your trip!

      Maggie LaCoste
      Experience France By Bike

  2. We’ve just bought the guide book to the Vélodyssée put out by Le Routard. Although it’s obviously more useful if you can read French, the maps are very clear and it’s has places to stay and visit. I’ll let you know when we’re tried it out.

    1. Definitely let me know how you find the route. We did it the spring before it opened and we had a lot of problems with lack of signage at critical points on the route. Also found parts of the route very monotonous! But we really loved the cycling near Bayonne and south, just spectacular!

      Hope you’re enjoying the warm weather!

      Maggie LaCoste