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Salt fields in the marshes

Atlantic Coast I: Nantes - La Rochelle

From Nantes to La Rochelle

8 Days / 7 Nights
Salt fields in the marshes

The French Atlantic coast is a cyclist's paradise, especially thanks to the Vélodyssée. This cycling path guides you along the sea and through blooming orchards on the journey from Nantes to La Rochelle. The historic old towns and harbors emanate maritime charm. On sunny days, simply lay your towel out on one of the beautiful beaches and take a dip in the wild Atlantic. Afterwards, indulge in the typical local culinary specialties and savor this unique lifestyle!

Take a leisurely stroll through the old town streets of Nantes and immerse yourself in the French way of life—you'll be enchanted in no time. Cycle along the Loire River through stunning countryside until you reach the sea in Saint Brévin les Pins. Pedal past oyster farms to Bouin and continue on to Saint-Jean-de-Monts. Along the way, make a detour to the island of Noirmoutier and unwind on its tranquil sandy beaches.

Striking rock formations, picturesque fishing villages, and beautiful bays adorn the route as you journey from Les Sables d'Olonne to La-Tranche-sur-Mer. The final kilometers lead you to the tranquil town of Marans, known for its characteristic churches and abbey. Upon arriving in the port of La Rochelle, indulge in the maritime atmosphere and savor a generous serving of seafood. After the cycling stages you've completed, you've truly earned these culinary delights!

  • A visit to the market in Nantes: Art and culture define the cityscape, with its plethora of attractions, shops, and charming old town. During your stay in France, we highly recommend visiting the market, such as Talensac, where you can indulge in fragrant croissants, crispy baguettes, and sweet macarons.
  • Swimming in the Atlantic: The wild waves of the ocean make swimming an exhilarating experience—a refreshing reward after cycling. And if the waves are too intense for your liking, simply dip your toes in the sand and unwind while taking in the magnificent views!
  • The charming island of Noirmoutier: Magnificent beaches and secluded bays await you on your excursion to the small island, emanating uninterrupted tranquility. At Plage des Dames, there's a jetty extending into the sea, offering a fantastic view for you to enjoy.

The Vélodyssée is a long-distance cycling route stretching over 1,200 kilometers from the north of France to the south and the Spanish border. As a result, the cycle paths are well-maintained and popular among cyclists. Most of the route follows the coastline, offering stunning landscapes. Along the stages, you'll encounter picturesque towns and idyllic countryside. Some stages are challenging, reaching up to 75 kilometers in length. You can trust in the excellent organization of the tour by our team—your only task is to cycle and enjoy, preferably simultaneously!

Fine cuisine, delicious wine, picturesque landscapes, and charming cities— cycling holidays in France are the stuff dreams are made of. Experience it for yourself!

Itinerary at a glance

Art and culture await you as you explore your starting point, Nantes. Feel the Atlantic breeze in your hair on the island of Noirmoutier, relax on the beach in Saint-Jean-de-Monts, and savor fresh seafood.

Discover the charms and secrets of this Art & History city settled on the Loire river banks: its magnificent houses in the old districts, its cathedral and its Ducs de Bretagne chateau.

This first bike stage will allow you to reach the Loire river estuary with its calm and wild landscapes, between marshlands and countryside ... before breathing salty and fresh sea air in Saint Brévin les Pins. Enjoy the beautiful beaches.

Discover the "oyster capital" of the Vendée area, former island now protected by dikes and polders, and unique in France. Observe the salt marshland workers and don't forget to taste some oysters at Port du Bec, enjoying the view over Noirmoutier island.

Follow the cycling paths through dunes and forests, and admire the 20th century villas all along the way. After the small loop on the Noirmoutier island, a beautiful fine white sand beach is waiting for you at Saint Jean de Monts.

Between Sion and St-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie, ride along the picturesque rocks of 'Cinq-Pinteaux' and 'Trou du Diable'. Discover the old fishing port of St-Hilaire-de-Riez before reaching the famous 'Vendée Globe' race departure town: Les Sables d’Olonne. There you can taste seafood products such as the well-known 'sablaise' sardine.

On the first part of this stage, you will ride close to the sea, from beaches to rocky creeks... before riding along the Payré estuary with its astonishing and contrasting colours. Leave your bike for a while to have a swim on one of the nice beaches such as Conche beach, before reaching La-Tranche-sur-Mer, a famous seaside resort dedicated to board sports.

Cycle through the dry part of the 'Marais Poitevin' and follow the ‘Voies Vertes’ cycling paths to enter the village of Marans. Have a look at the church and its surprising bell tower made of glass and metal. Continue to La Rochelle with its old towers, remains from the old defensive walls. You will enjoy the charms of the old city bathed with warm and sweet lights.

Departure or extension

Route Information


You cycle mainly on well-developed cycle paths, partially there are also segments on grit ways. The stages are generally hilly, with several climbs on stages 2 and 5.

Prices & Dates

Category A: 3***- and 4****-hotels (French classification)

Category B: 2**- and 3***-hotels (French classification)

Prices per person in EUR

Our rental bikes

Rental bike partner unisex
Unisex bike 9 to 30-speed
Derailleur gears with freewheel

High-quality unisex touring bike with comfortable low entry

Rental bike partner men
Men's bike 9 to 30-speed
Derailleur gears with freewheel

High-quality men's touring bike with classic diamond frame

Rental bike partner e-bike
E-bike 7 to 21-speed
with freewheel

High-quality unisex electric bike with comfortable low entry

Services & Information

Further details about this tour


  • Accommodation in your selected category
  • Breakfast
  • Luggage transfer (1 piece of luggage per person with max. 20 kg)
  • Detailed travel documents 1x per room (German, English, French)
  • Service hotline
  • Tourist tax

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Nantes train station
  • Nantes airport
  • Good train connections from La Rochelle to Nantes

Things to note

  • Minimum number of participants: 2 persons

  • Further important information according to the package travel law can be found here!

  • This tour is a partner tour.

Elena Ferri

"I look forward to making your vacation dreams come true."

Elena Ferri
Travel Specialist
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Monday - Friday: 09:00 AM - 05:00 PM
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