Our selection of touring bikes routes in the Vendée
The Vendée has a tremendous selection of cycle routes to explore. Many different loops suitable for all levels which will take you through a vast diversity of the Vendean landscapes. From seaside routes, inland circuits, child friendly trails….. you’re bound to find the right one.
L'ile d’Yeu - seaside bike route within the pearl of the Atlantic coast
Just off the coast at Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, L’Ile d’Yeu offers beautiful picture postcard scenery. Its 23km² land mass contains a great variety of landscapes. From Ker Châlon, the cycle route of 4,4km reveals the great beauty of the island. The northern coast is predominately sandy, and which starts the tour with La Tourette beach, where families can bath in complete safety.
At the halfway point, you will cross the village of Saint Sauveur, the old capital of the island. White houses with blue shutters border its narrow streets and delightful hollyhocks so typical to the island add a splash of colour.
To the south, you will discover a rocky landscape, this route ends at the Vieilles beach which at one time housed a port.
L’ile de Noirmoutier – three cycle circuits ideal to explore
The island of Noirmoutier boasts 83 km of cycle paths, including three loops that are ideal for exploring what the island has to offer. Perfect for nature lovers, family outings, trips among friends or even on your own! The trails range between 19 and 23 km in length and are equipped with observation points containing information about the island’s heritage. You can pick up a free map of the trails at the Tourist Office. Between the beaches and ports: This trail starts at the château which overlooks the Noirmoutier en l’Ile port. Follow the embankment bordering Müllembourg nature reserve and admire the hundreds of birds that live there. Then head into the famous “Bois de la Chaise” area, where you’ll find numerous delightful turn-of-the-century villas and chalets, as well as stunning sandy coves. Next, the trail takes you along the coast towards the picture-postcard village of Le Vieil, where hollyhocks grow along the dry-stone walls. As you follow the coast around the “top end” of the island, you’ll pass through farmland where new potatoes are grown, before arriving at the fishing port and marina. Two other recommended signposted trails: “Between marshes and windmills” and “Between Gois and forests”.
The "Boucle des Panorama" in Saint Jean de Monts – a touring bike route with panoramic views
This 26.6 km loop between La Barre de Monts and Notre Dame de Monts is perfect for nature-lovers. Hop into the saddle and explore the marshes, ocean, and forests. Along the way there are various attractions including Le Daviaud, Porteau Lock, Pont Neuf, Le Pey de la Blet, Biotopia (“Accueil Vélo” label) and Kulmino (“Accueil Vélo” label). An official Vendée Vélo cycle route.
Explore Brétignolles sur Mer by bike along a seaside route
For families who love the great outdoors: Cycle Loop route 5 – Brétignolles sur Mer – is accredited by Vendée Vélo. Explore Brétignolles sur Mer by bike along this 8.5 km loop. Here you can admire the various landscapes such as the schist cliffs, a listed dune, or even spend some time on the beaches at La Sauzaie or La Parée. Bonus: Vendée Miniature, here you can discover a miniature Vendean Bocage village, featuring 650 tiny figures.
A relaxing cycling break to the seaside resort of Les Sables d’Olonne
This route of 16,8km will allow to discover the exceptional, preserved heritage of Les Sables d’Olonne. Enjoy a relaxing cycling break, which covers the forest, the marsh area, the beaches and well know “Côte Sauvage” – you won’t be disappointed. The Vendée has designed this unique route to enable you to discover the seaside resort of Les Sables d’Olonne and one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe.
As part of la Velodyssée, a safe cycle path for families with children
Destination Vendée Grand Littoral is crossed by the Vélodyssée. A walkway has been installed between Bourgenay and La Guittière port, allowing users to discover the local plants and wildlife living in and around the Payré Estuary. The loop is a great way to explore the preserved salt marshes around Talmont Saint Hilaire, as well as the unique, comb-shaped marshes stocked with fish. It’s the ideal route for families with children, as all the cycle paths are safe.
The little California’s touring bike route and its beautiful seaside views
This 9,7km circuit around La Tranche sur mer which is also known as the Vendée’s “Little California” provides one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Vendée landscapes: that of the dunes, beaches, and marshes. From the Plage de la Terrière to the Belle Henriette lagoon, a striking natural heritage is just waiting to be discovered.
A stunning southern cycle path to observe a natural lagoon and a wild environment
A “ride with the tides” between the estuary and the ocean, a loop of 13km. This cycle path is a great way to explore the La Faute sur Mer peninsula, which includes the Lay river, the Casse de la Belle Henriette nature reserve, Pointe d’Arçay and the area’s stunning fine-sandy beaches. Set off along the coast until you reach the Casse de la Belle Henriette and explore this remarkable site – now a national nature reserve. Where a tributary of the Lay once emptied into the Atlantic Ocean, a sand bank formed and developed naturally to create the Belle Henriette – one of the last remaining natural lagoons on the Atlantic coast. It’s the perfect place to observe the area’s rich plant and wildlife. Next, ride along the Lay for around 7 km, taking in the diverse landscape between the forest and the ocean. The Rade d’Amour, with its extensive biodiversity, eventually leads to the outskirts of Pointe d’Arçay – a geological curiosity formed by the improbable coming-together of counter-currents.
In Sud Vendée, “La Transfontenaysienne” new trails explore a Town of Art and History
This network of three trails in the centre of Fontenay le Comte are each around 10 km in length, is part of the Vendée Vélo. “La Transfontenaysienne” will eventually link up with the trails that run through the forest and the Marais Poitevin. These brand-new trails are the perfect way to explore the town on foot or by bike. They also offer a different way to appreciate this Town of Art and History, crossing the Seillot valley and heading through the narrow streets alongside family gardens and the Vendée river.
La Roche sur Yon by bike: the gateway toward the Vendean countryside
This trail stretches through the countryside from Les Terres Noires to the Moulin Neuf, it leads to the outskirts of La Roche-sur-Yon. The route starts in a rustic setting with pretty hedge-lined roads among the gently undulating peaceful landscapes so typical of the “Bas Bocage”. Then, it takes you past the Parc de Beaupuy, a county (departmental) nature reserve known for its diverse sights and landscapes – woodland, meadows, lakes and the 19th-century manor. The second part of the route follows a car-free cycle path along the “Entre Yon et Vie” trail. Next, you’ll catch a glimpse of the 108-hectare Moulin Papon dam lake, where you can indulge in a spot of fishing, sailing, rowing, as well as other water sports. You can also stop off for a picnic in the shade of the elder trees along the riverbanks. An official Vendée Vélo route of 8.3 km.
Vendée Vallée, a touring bike route into the historical landscape of the Vendée 12.2km
Between the uplands (Bocage) and the forest, the trail of 12.2km links the Refuge de Grasla with the Logis de la Chabotterie, taking you across the historical landscape of the Vendean war. The first part of the loop is dedicated to the Forest of Grasla, Chestnut and the hundred-year-old oak trees that reside here.
From here, you follow the narrow routes that cross the Vendean Bocage, allowing you to enjoy the numerous charming hamlets as you ride.
Your journey ends at the Chabotterie. The surrounding woods witnessed the capture of the General Charette during the Vendean war.
To discover the rest of the cycle trails and the various tourist sites to visit near to these routes, check out our website.