Vélo Francette

If the Vélo Francette starts in Ouistreham, in Normandy, BicyBAGS operates from Angers to La Rochelle. For further information on the route, see the official website.

La Vélo Francette, a cycling route along the water: between Loire, Thouet, Sèvre, Marais Poitevin and the Atlantic Ocean.

Loire à vélo et Vélo Francette font route commune entre Angers et Saumur.

Between Angers and Saumur, La Vélo Francette and the Loire by bike share the same route. So you have the opportunity to taste local specialties: heritage and wine. The castles of Angers, Saumur and the Abbey of Fontevraud (if you stray a little from the itinerary) can be visited and are worth the detour. Just like the many local cellars (troglodytes or not) which open their doors to taste Anjou-rouge, Saumur-Champigny, Layon…

From Saumur to Niort: Thouet valley and Sèvre niortaise.

In Saumur, the Thouet replaces the Loire as the common thread. Montreuil-Bellay, Small City of Character and fortified town is a nice crossing point. You continue to Thouars, city of Art & History where the historic center and the floral park are welcoming. The banks of Thouet, bucolic and exotic, accompany you to Airvault, St-Loup-sur-Thouet then Parthenay, 3 villages with a rich heritage. La Gâtine champêtre then stands on your way. A few climbs are to be expected before catching up with the Sèvre Niortaise and arriving at Niort and its Dungeon.

La zone d’intervention de BicyBAGS sur la Vélo Francette

The Marais Poitevin and the Vélo Francette between Niort and Marans.

The Vélo Francette then enters the Marais Poitevin (or Green Venice) which you will only leave when you arrive in La Rochelle. Sometimes meandering along the Sèvre, sometimes in the heart of the wet Marais, you discover a kingdom of greenery with charming villages and unspoiled nature. Set foot on the ground for a boat ride. The idyllic greenways pass through remarkable places such as La Roussille, La Garette, Arçais, Damvix or Coulon which invite you to stroll.

The Atlantic coast and the Vélodyssée as the privileged end of the Vélo Francette.

Marans and its small port are the last crossing point before arriving at the ocean and the jewel of Charente-Maritime, La Rochelle. With its historic and lively center, its arcades, its old port, the aquarium and a lot of activities to do, it is a city where you can spend several days. Île de Ré, accessible from the bridge or by sea shuttle with or without your bike, is an opportunity to play extra time! From La Rochelle, connections are possible with the Vélodyssée!

Departure/arrival cities with station access:

  • Angers (1h30 from Paris)
  • Saumur (less than 2 hours from Paris)
  • Niort (2 hours from Paris)
  • La Rochelle (2-3h from Paris)
La Rochelle, last stage of the Vélo Francette
La Rochelle, last stage of the Vélo Francette

Our ideas for itineraries on the Vélo Francette:

1. Cycling route for families or beginners: from Niort to La Rochelle

Duration: 3 days of cycling

Difficulty level 1/5
Short stages with an elevation close to 0 and an 80% route on cycle paths and greenways.

Interests on the route:

  • PNR Marais Poitevin
  • Coq à l’Âne Park in Saint-Georges-de-Rex
  • Ornithological park in Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud
  • Small City of Character: Arçais
  • Nautical activities (boat, canoe, paddle…)
  • La Rochelle Aquarium
Vélo Francette vacances à vélo en famille
Marais Poitevin, Vélo Francette route ideal for families

Possible steps:

  • stage 1: Niort – Arçais/Damvix 31 km
  • stage 2: Arçais/Damvix – Marans 28 km
  • stage 3: Marans – La Rochelle 26 km
  • Possibility of extending the route on the Ile de Ré or on the Vélodyssée

Our services on this course:

  • Niort bike rental
  • La Rochelle bike rental
  • Baggage transport
  • Transport of people with or without bicycles
  • Tailor-made quote

2. From Angers to La Rochelle by bike, the rich and varied Vélo Francette

Duration: 5 to 7 days of cycling

Difficulty level 2/5
Despite two stages which have a little difference in altitude and some country roads (between Thouars and Niort in particular), this route remains accessible to as many people as possible. The distances to be covered per day range from 30 to 70 km.

Interests on the route:

  • Angers Castle
  • Saumur Castle
  • Royal Abbey of Fontevraud
  • Thouet Valley
  • Cities of Art and History: Parthenay, Thouars, Saumur
  • Small Towns of Character: Airvault, Saint-Loup-sur-Thouet, Coudray-Macouard, Montreuil-Bellay, Arçais
  • PNR Marais Poitevin
  • Coq à l’Âne Park
  • Ornithological park in Saint-Hilaire-la-Palud
  • Nautical activities (boat, canoe, paddle…)
  • La Rochelle Aquarium
Château de Saumur, perched among the vines
Thouet Valley, near Montreuil-Bellay

Possible steps:

  • stage 1: Angers – Saumur 58 km (68 km via the Bouchemaine variant)
  • stage 2: Saumur – Thouars 47 km
  • stage 3: Thouars – Parthenay 67 km (intermediate stage possible at Airvault, 30 km)
  • stage 4: Parthenay – Niort 55 km
  • stage 5: Niort – Arçais/Damvix 31 km
  • stage 6: Arçais/Damvix – La Rochelle 54 km

Our services on this course:

  • bike rental Angers
  • Saumur bike rental
  • electric bike rental angers
  • Baggage transport
  • Transfer of people with or without bicycles
  • Tailor-made quote

Alternative departure: Saumur. Possibility of extending the stay on the Ile de Ré (sea shuttles accepting bicycles from La Rochelle). Possible connections with the Vélodyssée towards Rochefort/Royan in the south or Les Sables d’Olonne/Nantes in the north.

Prepare your bike trip on the Vélo Francette with a bike guide:

Call on a cycling travel professional to organize your cycling trip on the Vélo Francette?

La Vélo Francette with La Bicyclette Verte, bike travel agency based in La Rochelle