Cognac - La Rochelle
Fresh oysters, spirits & your bike.
Fair Weather Cyclist
- 8 Days / 7 Nights
- Self-guided tour
Arrival in Cognac
You may fly to La Rochelle, Bordeaux or Paris and take the train to Cognac. Your hotel is located in the centre, approx. 10 minutes’ walk from the train station.
You are leaving Cognac on small roads along the Charente River, heading for Jarnac. Follow the river on small roads passing hamlets and vineyards. Close to the river in the center of Jarnac, you can go to the headquarters of Courvoisier for a guided visit. Jarnac is the home town of the late French president François Mitterand, who is also buried here. A museum, exposing the many gifts he received on official visits, is centrally located.
Today we are leaving Cognac towards the west on slightly more hilly roads than yesterday. You may find a nice place for a picnic on the grass outside the monastery Abbaye de Fontdouce. The Abbey is open for visitors. It is in Romanesque style, typical of the region. In the afternoon, downhill roads will bring you to the Charente River, where a small ferry will take you over to the opposite bank at Chaniers. Hotel centrally located in Saintes.
Saintes has the only Roman arcade and theatre on the west coast of France. Leaving Saintes you will cycle on small, easy roads from village to village, most of them with a nice looking church, a castle and a café for refreshments. At the end of the day, you will reach Rochefort, which used to be the most important naval port on the west coast for the French kings in the 18th century. Hotel centrally located.
Rochefort is an old naval port. You can visit a true copy of the frigate “L’Hermione”, docked in the harbor of Rochefort. There is also an old rope factory (La Corderie Royale) turned into a museum. After a few kilometers, you take a small ferry to cross the Charente River, which you also take when returning to Rochefort in the afternoon. Heading south, you will pass the villages Brouage and Marennes, among marshlands teaming with birdlife and onwards to a large tract devoted to oyster farming, small boats and the distinctive “cabanes “: the little huts used by the oyster farmers.
Today´s route will bring you north, along the coast, passing the villages St. Laurent, Yves and the Châtelaillon-Plage. You will also pass several beaches, so bring your swimwear! You will arrive in La Rochelle along the sea front and your hotel is in the city center.
Today´s round tour will bring you to the most beautiful island of the Atlantic coast of France, Ile de Ré. A long bridge with a lane for bicycles and pedestrians will take you to this popular summer resort, where you will pass the villages La Flotte and St. Martin-de-Ré. You will pass coastal villages with beaches and restaurants for a summer lunch.
The route is mainly flat with daily stages of approx. 40 – 60 km. Most of the time you cycle on small secondary roads and cycle paths.
- Accommodation as already mentioned
- Breakfast buffet
- GPS tracks available
- Luggage transfer between the hotels
- Detailed travel documents
- Service hotline
Arrival / Parking / Departure
- Cognac train station
- Bordeaux and Paris airport