2019
Cycling Holiday to La Rochelle on the Atlantic

Cycling Holiday to La Rochelle on the Atlantic

Fine cognacs, white villages and wild coastline

  • Cognac – La Rochelle
  • Ferry trip and Ȋle de Ré!
  • Daily routes ●●○○○
  • Altitude profile ●●○○○

8
days

55
km / day avg.

From the small town with its internationally-known cognac, this cycling holiday takes you along the Charente River to La Rochelle on the Atlantic coast. On the way you'll pass expansive vineyards, old monasteries, churches and proud fortresses. Keep your swimming gear handy - as soon as you get to the coast. From La Rochelle, the town of four harbours, you can go on a trip to Ȋle de Ré, a popular holiday island with white limestone houses and long sandy beaches.

Cycling Holiday to La Rochelle on the Atlantic

Brief Information

  • Booking code
    FR-COG7
  • Start / Destination
    Cognac / La Rochelle
  • Duration
    8 days / 7 nights
  • Length
    approx. 290 – 315 km
    Daily routes ●●○○○
    between 45 and 60 km, Ø 55 km
    Altitude profile ●●○○○
  • Route condition
    Mostly level ground with a few hilly stretches on country roads either inland or along the Atlantic coast.
  • Travel information
    By plane to La Rochelle, Bordeaux or Paris, continue on by train to Cognac.
  • Note
    In France bicycle helmets are mandatory for children under 12 years of age. However, for safety reasons we generally recommend wearing a helmet.
  • Tour operated by
    Local cooperation partner

Day 1: Individual arrival in Cognac

You'll known when you get to Cognac as the brandy of the same name is omnipresent. You also soon see that this little town is just as fine as its brandy: the historic quarter and Château de Valois with its Saint-Jacques gate right on the river bank of the Charente are excellent examples. Thanks to its agility, this beautiful river will accompany you on your cycling holiday from La Rochelle almost the entire way to the Atlantic.

Day 2: Trip to Jarnac, approx. 55 km

On small roads along the river, you cycle through vineyards and villages to Jarnac. The place is known for its Cognac distilleries, for example the Courvoisier distillery. The house where François Mitterand was born is a monument now to the former French president.

Day 3: Cognac – Saintes, approx. 45 km + ferry crossing

Today you cycle in a westerly direction. The route is hillier here. The cycle paths are also more uphill. On the way you'll see the former Benedictine monastery Fontdouce from the 12th century - and its pretty herb garden. Next, you have an easy cycle downhill to the familiar Charente. A ferry takes you to the other side of the river and you cycle on to Saintes. In this little town you can follow in many Roman footsteps and see, for example, the amphitheatre or the Arch of Germanicus.

Day 4: Saintes – Rochefort, approx. 55  km

Cycle at a leisurely pace on small country roads from village to village. On your cycling holiday from La Rochelle, you gradually get closer to the Atlantic. Today's destination is Rochefort, the most important harbour town on the French west coast in the 18th century. The royal ropeworks and the reconstructed frigate Hermione takes us back to the huge marine arsenals of former times.

Day 5: Tour round Rochefort, approx. 45 / 60 km 

You're never far from the Charente River today. After cycling a few kilometres, a ferry (not included) takes you across the river whereupon you cycle to the south-lying villages of Brouage and Marennes. Here you'll find a wonderful habitat for birds, marshland and oyster farmland. You'll see the typical huts of the oyster farmers, the so-called cabanes.

Day 6: Rochefort  – La Rochelle, approx. 45 km

Your cycling holiday to La Rochelle takes you along the Atlantic coastline today. Pack your swimming gear, as you'll be cycling past quite a few great beaches. On the way you'll see the pretty villages of St. Laurent, Yves and Châtelaillon-Plage. You continue on to La Rochelle, the former stronghold of the Huguenots. Enjoy the promenade along the strand in this lively town, with its old harbour and impressive defence towers. The wild coast and many arcades give this town its special flair.

Day 7: Trip to Ile de Ré, approx. 45 / 55 km

From La Rochelle, you cycle to Ȋle de Ré, the white island of the Atlantic. Light sandy beaches, white picturesque houses are characteristic of this area. You reach the narrow charming island via a three-kilometre-long bridge. Be inspired by the idyllic capital town of St. Martin-de-Ré or the wonderful coastal village of La Flotte. Tomorrow your cycling holiday in La Rochelle and along the Atlantic coastline comes to an end.

Day 8: Individual departure

After breakfast you start your journey home. Make sure you take home rich impressions of your cycling holiday, from La Rochelle and along the Atlantic coastline!