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France

Ile de Ré and the Atlantic Coast

Self-Guided Family Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$1,480 P.P.
Child Discount Applies
France

Ile de Ré and the Atlantic Coast

Self-Guided Family Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$1,480 P.P.
Child Discount Applies
BOOK NOW
This gentle family cycling tour in France starts in La Rochelle, a one thousand year old white washed city, and follows the dramatic Atlantic Coast south to the coastal resort of Royan. Highlights along the way include a ride to Baie de l’Aiguillon, a visit to the affluent island of Ile de Ré and the chance to sunbathe and chill out on the beautiful beaches of Royan. 
The long expanses of white beaches here have been well looked after and have kept their charm; the coastline is characterized by pretty port towns and stunning sandy beaches. You’ll be riding along country lanes and cyclepaths, on largely flat terrain perfect for cycling, so it's great for families with younger children, with plenty of fun to be had on the beach.
This self guided tour is available for a minimum of two people and we have departures available every Saturday. We book all your accommodation, transfer your luggage and then provide you with routes and an itinerary for you to do the trails at your own pace. Just let us know your preferred start date. 
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Highlights

  • Cycling alongside the beautiful beaches of the Atlantic Coast
  • Staying in La Rochelle and exploring its historical port and town centre
  • Taking in the scenery from Chatelaillon Plage
  • Reaching the lovely Ile de Ré
  • Practicing French with the kids at the colourful markets of La Flotte
  • Chilling out on the superb beaches of Royan

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into La Rochelle

After arriving into La Rochelle, depending on flights times, you will hopefully have the opportunity to explore the Ville Blanche (‘the white city‘). La Rochelle is filled to the brim with luminous limestone buildings, with towers dating back to the 14th and 15th centuries, that glow beautifully in the sunshine. You will be able to explore from your comfortable, town centre hotel at your leisure.

Once settled into your hotel, your bikes (should you be hiring), route notes and maps will be provided for your trip.

Day 2
Loop Ride - Ile de Ré
36 Miles / 58 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Today you will visit the UNESCO protected island of Ile de Ré. After breakfast you’ll make your way across the impressive road bridge to reach the island. The bridge was built 29 years ago and made accessing the island much easier. Many people thought the island would lose its charm with a higher volume of visitors, but it managed to retain its calm and lovely atmosphere. It’s a pleasure to stroll around.

The island is perfect for cycling, with relaxing flat terrain. With more than 60 miles of designated cycle lanes, you’ll be spending the day meandering through pretty gardens, oyster farms, vineyards and salt pans. If you wish, you can choose to shorten the tour on the island. (please contact our office for more details)

Your route will take you to the lively fisherman’s village of Rivedoux, and to one of the most picturesque port towns in France; La Flotte where you can visit the colourful market. The perfect place for the kids to practice the French they’ve been learning! You will then make your way to Saint Martin along a cyclepath, and back to La Rochelle to the comfort of your hotel.

Day 3
Loop Ride - Baie de Châtelaillon
26 Miles / 42 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Leaving La Rochelle, today you’ll head south on a pleasant cycle path following the coast. Along the way you can enjoy the wonderful scenery from Châtelaillon Plage, a seaside resort that dates back to the late 19th century. Excellently maintained it’s the perfect place to relax, take a stroll in the charming town centre, take a swim in the ocean or play on the beach with the kids!

When you‘re all sunbathed out, you can head back to La Rochelle on small country roads via De Buzay Castle in the town of La Jarne.

Day 4
Loop Ride - Baie de L'Aiguillon
29 Miles / 46 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Situated north of La Rochelle, the Baie de l‘Aiguillon is a graceful link between continent and ocean. Your itinerary along the white coast is gentle and beautiful. You will have the opportunity to visit one of the Baie de l‘Aiguillon’s famous oyster farms and visit the interesting Maison de la Myticulture, where you can learn more about the farming of oysters. Once you’ve had your fill, you will then head back to your hotel in La Rochelle.

Day 5
La Rochelle to Rochefort
33 Miles / 53 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

It’s time to leave La Rochelle for another great town – Rochefort. Although often overshadowed by the larger towns on the Atlantic Coast, Rochefort has plenty of attractions. Built in the 1660s, its initial purpose was to supply and defend the French Navy, and its military feel can still be felt. No more so than by visiting one of Europe’s longest buildings, the Corderie Royale, which was built as a rope factory and is now an interesting museum.

The terrain today is mostly flat and you will find yourself meandering along cycle paths and narrow, traffic free roads.

Day 6
Rochefort to Marennes
22 Miles / 37 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Today you’ll leave Rochefort and cycle to Marennes along country roads and paved cycle paths. Situated on the right bank of the Seude, Marennes is located in the centre of the most famous oyster farming region in France. Thanks to the temperate climate, the clay rich soil and the fresh waters brought in by the Charente, the Seudre and the Gironde, an exceptional site for oyster culture. On your way you can enjoy the birds that have adopted this part of the coast as home. Just up the cycle tracks in the marshes you may get the chance to see an array of bird species including Grey Herons, Black-winged Stilts, Northern Lapwings and the Common Kingfisher. See who can spot the most colourful birds!

This idyllic day ends at a hotel just outside Marennes, the town centre is easily accessed by bike (4 minute ride) or a leisurely stroll (10 minutes).

Day 7
Marennes to Royan
28 Miles / 45 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

You’ll leave Marennes on a quiet cycle path, and head towards the beach. Once you arrive at the pine forest overlooking the sea, why not go for a midday swim? (Don’t forget your swimsuit!) Your ride continues on a cycle path along the rocky coast to Royan. Varied and colourful landscapes for your last day of cycling! You’ll spend your final night in Royan, home to fantastic beaches that stretch for miles either side of the town and are arguably the finest in France.

Day 8
Departure from La Rochelle
  • Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast, we will transfer you back to La Rochelle where you can start your journey home.

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The Cycling

Terrain

The Atlantic Coast is a leisurely cycling tour predominantly along exclusive and mixed-use cycle paths and quiet, paved roads. Even in the larger towns of La Rochelle and Royan, there’s a great network of cycle paths and cycle lanes, meaning only around 10% of the route is shared with traffic. The hardest day is Day 2 (Ile de Ré) : short uphill climb to get onto the bridge. If you wish, you can choose to shorten the tour on the island this day(please contact our office for more details). The terrain is mostly flat and although the distances are longer than on some of our other French tours, the traffic-free routes allow for a safe ride you can take at your own pace.

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Family Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 2 : Gentle

Distances generally of between 15-30 miles / 24-48 kms per day

For those looking for an easy-going route

Mainly on the flat

Some undulations and the odd cheeky climb

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Maybe you and your family have recently got into cycling and would like to do more over consecutive days, or maybe you‘re looking for a more energetic alternative to your usual vacation? If you’re looking for an opportunity to try some quiet, safe roads, cycle paths or some accessible, cycle friendly routes these trips might be for you. You’ll come across some gently undulating terrain and the odd cheeky challenge, so we’d generally expect those on a Grade 2 trip to ride their bikes relatively frequently at home, occasionally heading out as a family for some leisurely rides at the weekend.

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Dates & Prices

2021 Departures available between (and inclusive of) 20 Mar and 31 Oct.

Season 1 For trips starting between (and inclusive of) 20 Mar and 30 Jun or 01 Sep and 30 Oct: $1480 per adult (Saturday Departures) or $1530 per adult (Sunday or Weekday Departures)

Season 2 For trips starting between (and inclusive of) 01 Jul and 31 Aug: $1595 per adult (Saturday Departures) or $1645 per adult (Sunday or Weekday Departures)

We are able to offer the following discounts on the land only price for children (when the child is sharing a room with 2 fully-paying passengers – dependent on availability)

0 – 1 years – Free Place

2 – 11 years – 50%

12 – 16 years – 10%

Choose your date
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
8 days
Price
$1,480.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in 3 and 4* hotels and chambre d‘hôtes (family rooms on request)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B-Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Local representative (with welcome meeting)

D) Detailed route notes and maps

E) Luggage transfers

F) Transfer from Royan to La Rochelle – Day 8

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike

C) Transfer to hotel on arrival

D) Single room (available if required)

E) Travel insurance

F) Meals not stated in the itinerary

G) Personal clothing and equipment

H) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities)

I) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

J) City tax (pay locally) – between €0.80 and €1.50 per adult per day

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The Essentials

Travel Options

For this tour we ask that you make your own way to your hotel in La Rochelle on arrival and onwards from either Royan or La Rochelle at the end of the trip. We’d ask that you aim to arrive before 17.30 if possible.

The most convenient airport for this trip is La Rochelle airport (LRH). Most flights from North America require overnight travel, and a stop over in an intermediary airport, with Norwegian or Aer Ligus combining with another airline being a common combination for this trip.

Please note that flying from North America may involve multiple travel days.

Alternatively you can fly into either Bordeaux (BOD) or Paris (CDG), with most large airports offering direct flights to CDG with airlines such as Norwegian and Air France. We will be more than happy to talk through your options before you make any travel arrangements, and the best ways to travel to La Rochelle from the above airports.

Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements so that we can ensure they fit in with the holiday schedule.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double ensuite rooms) will as standard be in 3 and 4* hotels and chambre d‘hôtes. Triple/family rooms are available on request and subject to availability. If you are driving to France then usually you will be able to leave your car at your first night’s accommodation, or close by, for the duration of your trip. Please note that a local charge may apply for this and it is subject to availability.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to rent. These bikes are typically hybrid bikes with semi-slick tyres, 21 gears, and a relaxed riding position. If you do decide to rent we can include a helmet on request; please request helmets when making your booking. If you choose to rent an e-bike, there will be a 250 Euro deposit required on arrival, which can be paid using a credit card. This will be fully refunded when the bikes are returned undamaged. Rental bikes come with pannier racks and bags, emergency repair kit including spare inner tubes, bike pump and bike lock. GPX files are usually available on request (please contact our office for more details).

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