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Cycling holidays in Poitou-Charentes

4th August 2014 Print
Cycle route

This summer is all about cycling and following on from the huge success of the British stages of the Tour de France what could be more apt than a cycling holiday in France. The region of Poitou-Charentes, and in particular the islands of Re and Oleron, are ideally suited for relaxed cycling holidays for families, group of friends or solo trips.
Ile d' Oleron is the second largest island in France after Corsica and has over 100 km of cycling trails. The trails lead cyclist along some of the most beautiful coastlines in France, across marshes, and through forests. Take a break during the day and stop for a scenic picnic, visit the famous Oyster farms, discover the old lighthouse on the most northerly part of the island or why not catch a boat ride to the famous Fort Boyard.
On the smaller neighbouring island, Ile de Re, cycling is a way of life. With the highest point being just 19 metres above sea level and dedicated cycling itineraries criss-crossing the island, cycling is the most popular way to discover the vineyards, coastal defences, such as the “St Martin-de-Re” citadel, or enjoy the sandy “Gollandières” beach near the picturesque “Bois Plage”. Ile de Re is also known as the “white island” because of the salt marches on the north-west coast and villages with their white-washed houses.  Two of the villages on the island are members of “the most beautiful villages in France” and are well-worth a visit.
From 26 – 29 August 2014 the region will host the International Tour of Poitou-Charentes.  Five stages make up the tour and 20 professional racing teams will be taking part in the tour. It is a great chance to take a break from a leisurely day cycling, to marvel at the professionals in action.
Visit Poitou-Charentes - Press tip suggestions:

The region of Poitou-Charentes welcomes journalists to experience the region, both on and off a bike. Suggested itineraries:
Learn about the famous Ile d'Oleron oyster industry: visit the Oyster beds, meet with the Oyster farmers and discover how the former oyster huts have been adopted by the artist community, and how they turned them into artist studios and galleries
Discover the rich cultural heritage and visit picturesque villages
Enjoy the unspoilt coastline via bike, by foot or try one of the many water sports on offer
Marais Poitevin – Regional natural park and the 'Green Venice' of Poitou-Charentes
Cruise along the many natural and man-made water ways and channels, with its meadows, banks of wildflower and rich wildlife
Cycle through the largest marshland area of France's Atlantic coastline and stop for a spot of fishing in the marsh
Next year the new Veloroute 43 cycling trail will cross the Marshes from Niort to the Baie de l'Aiguillon. From there the trail re-joins the “Velodyssee” cycling trail along the magnificent Atlantic coast
Overnight in traditional scenic villages and enjoy local specialities and restaurants
The charm of South Charente
Tour the hidden gems of the southern part of the Charente region in a quintessentially French car, the 2CV
Enjoy the beautiful countryside, a slice of rural life, unwind, relax and let the world gently pass by
Stop-over in some of France's prettiest villages, enjoy local market life, discover ancient castles and admire the sites along the famous pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela
About Poitou-Charentes:
Situated on the Atlantic Coast between Nantes and Bordeaux, Poitou-Charentes is particularly well known thanks to its destinations, coasts and heritage:
Key destinations:

La Rochelle – Ile de Re, the Coast ( Ile d'Oleron, Royan, and Rochefort), Futuroscope – Poitiers , Cognac country, The Marais Poitevin (Green Venice)
The coast:

460 km of coastline, 110 km of beaches, four islands: Oleron, Re, Aix and Madame
By boat and road

Various ferry companies have regular links with the French Channel ports. All the ports are within half a day's drive of Poitou-Charentes.

By train

From London-St Pancras via Lille-Europe or via Paris to Poitiers,  La Rochelle, Niort and Angouleme. Operates daily with a travelling time of 3h30min

By air

Access from the main cities in UK and Ireland. The two airports of the region La Rochelle and Poitiers are directly linked to main cities of UK and Ireland.
For more information, visit

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Cycle route