The Perfect Ride: Marennes to Royan

By Maggie LaCoste

We sadly departed Marennes and headed south for Royan. Good news is that it was a beautiful, sunny day. The bad news is that our host Alexander informed us that two very serious storm fronts were approaching, and serious rain was predicted for the upcoming days. We took the news in stride, there wasn’t even as much as a cloud in the sky!

As we left Marennes, we encountered a large bicycling group from the Charente-Maritime who we would cross paths with numerous times during the day. They too were headed south to Aquitaine. The first challenge of the day was crossing the bridge over the Suidre River. Remember I am not overwhelmingly fond of bridges to begin with, and this particular morning there was a very hefty cross wind going over the bridge. Despite the picture perfect scenes at the top of the bridge, I wasn’t stopping for anything, counting the moments until I was on solid ground again!

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Once the bridge crossing was over with, the rest of the day was near perfection. We soon entered the area called La Tremblade, an area of oyster farming, beaches and forests, and, gorgeous bike paths.

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The bike route from Marennes to Royan was the best of our trip so far, well marked, great surfaces, plenty of places to stop and eat or have a picnic. And the scenery was peaceful, serene and at times breathtaking. Since this was a holiday weekend in Europe, the bike paths were quite crowded as biking is a very popular past time in this region.

The day seemed to fly by, despite the fact that the last several hours were a succession of up and down paths through the sand dunes, and then up, down and around a series of coastal cornishes.
A look at some of my photos for the day will help you understand the beauty of this special area

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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.