Getting around by bicycle
The île d’Oléron and the bassin de Marennes have almost 160 kms of cycle paths. Running through marshes, forests and by the sea, these routes enable you to enjoy a variety of landscapes at a pace that suits you. To keep you on the right track as you get around on two wheels, the cycle path network boasts signposting giving you information and directions.
160 kms of cycle paths...
If you want to explore Oléron, nothing could be easier – just get on your bike and take off on one of the many cycle paths that criss-cross the island. Take things at your own pace and explore marshes and woodland. The current network enables the really keen to cross the length of the island. Once you’ve arrived at the Chassiron lighthouse in the far north, it’s relatively easy to go back down the west coast to admire the Atlantic breakers.
Travelling around Oléron on bicycle is a very peaceful – and eco-friendly way of getting around. In other words, there’s no better way to explore the île d'Oléron. If you’re feeling a bit peckish, don’t worry, there are plenty of picnic areas beside these cycle routes.
Given the island’s very flat terrain, these routes are suitable for all the family. There are lots of suggested itineraries for cyclists as well. To sum up, the île d’Oléron and the bassin de Marennes boast a very large cycle path network that’s suitable for anyone. What’s more, it’s a network that’s constantly growing as it’s being added to each year – much to the delight of all.
Plan your bike rides with Loopi
Plan your cycling trip in Marennes Oléron with the aid of the Loopi app. The concept is simple – whether it involves roads, cycle routes or other paths, Loopi will suggest the route that’s best suited to cycling between two given points. It can be used on laptops, PCs and smartphones (Android). Its functions include suggestions for themed half-day itineraries in the local area.
The Accueil Vélo scheme
Don’t forget to stop off with one of our Accueil Vélo scheme partners! Tourist offices, leisure facilities, bicycle hire/repair shops and accommodation service providers will provide you with a warm welcome and services tailored to you during your cycle road trip – not to mention cycle-friendly services and equipment (e.g.: repair kit, use of bicycle shelters...). This scheme makes it easy to identify participants – and all within less than 5 km of the Vélodyssée long-distance cycle route.
The Vélodyssée long-distance cycle route in the bassin de Marennes
From Brittany, running along the Atlantic seaboard as far as the French Basque coast, the Vélodyssée is one of France’s best-known long-distance cycle routes, especially for the variety of the landscapes through which it travels. Take to your saddles and set off for a cycle road trip that’s more than 1,200 km-long, with the ocean as your backdrop. In Charente-Maritime its route takes in Marans to Royan, a route some 150 km-long. As you go through the bassin de Marennes area, you can choose from 2 different stages on France’s longest cycle route:
Rochefort - Marennes: 37.86 km – approx. 2 hours 30 minutes : https://www.cycling-lavelodyssee.com/cycle-route/rochefort-marennes
Marennes - Royan: 45.39 km – approx. 3 hours : https://www.cycling-l avelodyssee.com/cycle-route/marennes-royan
These 2 routes will allow you to unearth the history and rich heritage of the bassin de Marennes: the citadel of Brouage, a member of the “Plus beaux villages de France” (‘most beautiful villages of France’) scheme; Marennes with its church tower which offers incredible views over the estuary and its oyster farms; the Moulin de Loges in St-Just-Luzac (one of the last tide mills in Europe); and lastly, Fort Louvois, a 17th century coastal fortification built on the orders of Monsieur de Louvois on a rock which is submerged at high-tide, located at the foot of the bridge to the île d'Oléron.