Five cycling tours in the Vendée perfect for families
You can choose from a variety of family cycling paths suitable for budding young explorers, away from traffic so you can pedal in complete safety and encourage their curiosity. Are you ready to marvel at the flora and fauna of our region? Check out these 5 family cycling tours for everyone to enjoy.
A family cycling tour through the Green Venice
From Maillé to Maillezais. (7km)
A trip along the water ‘s edge, is the theme behind this family-friendly cycling tour. And what are the advantage of the Green Venice? A completely flat route to make the most of the scenery without too much effort! Whether you are equipped with a kid’s bike trailer, Tag along bikes or children’s bikes, the route is suitable for young cyclists. Set off for the Marais poitevin to discover the cultural and natural riches riding leisurely along the Vendée Vélo routes. Starting out from Maillé, a 7 km ride will take you to discover the Venise Verte (Green Venice). As you leave the town, you will cross the Maillé aqueduct, which marks the boundary between the wet and dry marshes.
You will then follow the ‘sentier des levées (levee path), a safe track that runs alongside the Jeune Autize river. High banks and clods will mark out your route. At each stage of the journey, the Venise Verte leads you to new architectural and historical discoveries. These include the prestigious abbeys of the southern Vendée, such as Maillezais Abbey. An imposing monastic vestige well worth the trip!
Would you like to discover the Marais Poitevin by bike with a guide? Try the Original Vélo Tour for a guided bike ride in the southern Vendée.
Notre Dame de Monts/Saint Jean de Monts family bike ride
From Notre Dame de Monts to Saint Jean de Monts (9,1 km)
Want to combine a bike ride with discovering the natural landscapes of the Vendée? Then this is the route for you and your little ones! Rated as an “easy” route, you don’t have to be an experienced cyclist to take it.
From beach to beach, this route towards Saint Jean de Monts will fill your lungs with the most stimulating sea air. Starting out from Notre Dame de Monts follow the paths towards Saint Jean de Monts. If you’re feeling peckish, head to the Avenue de la mer, on the edge of the forest, for a picnic break under the maritime pines at one of the shaded tables. Here, the children can have fun and enjoy themselves in the play area.
A rewarding ride for sea lovers awaits you as you follow the cycle path, which offers direct access to all the beaches. Finish your journey at the pier on the extensive beach at Saint Jean de Monts. And why not, end your trip with a refreshing swim! The children will love it!
Discover the Guittière Marshes on a family cycling tour
La Guittière loop (10,8 km)
A ride through the marshes is a must in the Vendée ! La Guittière, a delightful little oyster-farming village in the heart of the Payré Estuary, is the ideal spot for your family cycling excursions. Discover La Guittière marshes with your children on this 10km loop! It is a simple, easy route that is adapted to your little ones’ needs, in terms of the number of kilometres involved. Equipped with a rucksack and a large bottle of water, you’re ready to set off on this trail. The first stage takes you to the Port de la Guittière, where oysters are farmed in the clear water of the Payré Estuary. By following the yellow signposts, you will discover several different sites which are worth a visit.
After a few kilometres, stop off at Ilaude, a village located at 14m above sea level, which offers a lovely view over the network of the fish marshes. Then, head on towards Catherine Cousseau’s art studio, and ride across the Payré marshes towards Le Veillon and the village called “Hautes-mers”. Follow the steep paths through the salt marshes. If you’re lucky, you’ll probably come across some salt workers demonstrating their ancestral skills harvesting this white gold: salt. So why not even take a bag home with you as a souvenir to season your cooking – it's a real treat! Finish the loop with a little trip to the Port de la Guittière beach. The children can have a paddle in the water! Relax for a few minutes and admire the breathtaking view of the estuary. It’s a truly refreshing experience.
L’île de Noirmoutier family bike ride between beaches and harbours
From Château de Noirmoutier to the salt marshes (19,7 km)
The island of Noirmoutier offers some great cycle rides to discover its maritime and seaside heritage. Set off for a 2-hour ride on signposted routes with lanes reserved for cyclists, so you can explore the island at your own pace. There’s no need to worry about any difficulties along the tour – it’s clear all the way! Discover some of the island must-see places such as the historic centre of Noirmoutier and its chateau, the renowned Bois de la Chaise, and the Plage des Dames. Starting out from the chateau, then across the Jacobsen jetty from where you can continue along the marshes until you come to the fishing village of Le Veil. This authentic village, with its small white houses, their blue shutters, and the sweet scent of flowers, is truly delightful! Then head towards l’Herbaudière to discover its fishing and yachting harbour. Here you can stroll along the harbour and pick up a few holiday souvenirs or even treat everyone to a delicious ice cream. To finish your tour, retrace your steps along Noirmoutier’s famous salt marshes. If you’re feeling a bit peckish, stop off at one of the island’s oyster huts and sample some oysters!
A family cycling tour to discover the Bocage Vendéen
From Sainte Florence to Saint Fulgent (9,5 km)
Set off on a journey through the small green woods and vast meadows of the Vendean Bocage. Starting from the church in Saint Florence, you can enjoy a 9km ride along the cycle paths of the Vendée. Head for the l’Herbergement National Forest. To cross it, take the dirt paths through the heath with oak and chestnut trees. Here you will enjoy the calm and coolness of the forest as you continue your tour. Finally, you will come to a path leading to the Pays Sèvre et Maine hiking trail before you see the entrance to the Bois du Défend.
Motivate your little troops to follow the path that will take you to a remarkable natural area: Lac de la Tricherie ! This outdoor activity centre offers a host of water-based attractions: Swimming, pedalos, inflatable games, canoeing…. Picnic areas are available where you can have a snack and relax while the children have fun in the playground.