Cycling – a new way of exploring the coast
Following the coast by bike
Thanks to a whole host of dedicated trails and cycle paths, it’s now possible to cycle along France’s dykes and beaches in complete safety, making a bike ride a great way to get out and have fun with all the family. Most of the seaside resorts in France have developed urban cycle lanes, so that you can cycle safely between the road and the pavement.
Another example is Cap d'Agde, a seaside resort which is linked by cycle routes to other historic sights of interest in the area, such as Le Grau and the old town of Agde.
In addition, these urban cycle routes can be extended into the countryside along small quiet roads or wide tracks used only by walkers and cyclists.
In this way, you can follow an old railway track from La Baule into the Brière marshland (a regional nature park) or across the nearby Guérande saltpans (7km or 12km across flat countryside).
From Cap d'Agde, you can cycle along the banks of the famous Canal du Midi or up towards one of Languedoc’s peaks, Mont Saint-Loup!
The same is true around Les Sables d'Olonne in the Vendée, where a dedicated cycle route between the forest and the Ile d'Olonne, as well as a trail heading south, is being developed.
- Aquitaine coast
Numerous cycle tracks dot the Aquitaine coast, an area which has been a pioneer in this field, reinventing the delights of safe and carefree family cycling amid beautiful natural scenery.
Making the most of the flat landscapes and old network of forestry tracks (made by “gemmeurs” who harvested resin from the
pine trees here), the seaside resorts of the Gironde and the Landes now boast the major attraction of hundreds of miles of safe cycle routes dedicated to family cycling, walking and roller-skating.
Flat, tarmacked, well-maintained and away from busy roads (in other words, for the exclusive use of bikes), these routes have been converted into “green ways” which run close to the sea between the sand dunes and the forest, and between the Arcachon lagoon (and its oyster-farming
villages) and the lakes of Lacanau or Biscarosse.