, 1er journal des professionnels du tourisme francophone

The Vélodyssée: the longest cycling itinerary in France

over 1200 km throughout 9 departments

The Vélodyssée is the longest accommodated bicycle path of France. It expands over 1,200 km throughout 9 departments and 3 regions, from the North to the South of France. Sabine Andrieu, Coordinator Project Manager of La Vélodyssée, tells us more about this relatively recent and little known bike path.

Rédigé par Saliha Hadj-Djilani translated by Joséphine Foucher le Mercredi 13 Avril 2016

Vélodysée in Vendée (photo: A.Lamoureux)
Vélodysée in Vendée (photo: A.Lamoureux) - What is the point of such a project?

Sabine Andrieu: “It is the longest cycling itinerary in France with 1,200 km of biking itineraries adapted for both ways, but it is also the French portion of the EuroVelo 1, the largest European bike road that starts in the Scandinavian countries and stretches until Portugal.

In France, La Vélodyssée connects Roscoff in Bretagne to Hendaye in the Basque Country by going through the Loire Country, Charente-Maritime, and Aquitaine.

It is very unique since it has the Atlantic ocean as the backdrop and gives way to breathtaking landscapes!

An itinerary like this enables to explore France’s regions at one’s own rhythm and in a different touristic mode: slow-traveling, a trend that is becoming more popular in the last few years!” - How long did it take to set it up?

S.A.: “Four year of efforts and work in collaboration with the project’s partner collectivities enabled the opening of La Vélodyssée in June 2012. Today, it provides more than 70% of car-free itineraries appropriate for family outings, and should reach 80% when all of the definitive developments will be finished by 2019.

The trail is regularly improved to optimize the safety and comfort of biking tourists, from the infrastructures to fixing the path.

The development of more services along the trail (picnic areas, water points, luggage transportation, or one-way bike rentals) will also be a priority for the upcoming years, La Vélodyssée is still a young, growing, itinerary!” - Will the bike roads boost tourism in these little known regions?

S.A.: “Indeed, the bike roads offer different perspectives and a new art of vacationing!

Biking allows to discover, at one’s rhythm, the places and sites that are not accessible by car! At every turn along the trail, there are touristic gems worth the detour!

La Vélodyssée takes you on a unique exploration of territories such as the inner part of Bretagne, preserved from the bustle of the coasts during the summer!

Varied and accessible to all, the itinerary can be done in many ways: either for a short escapade or as a solo, duo, or group journey, to each their own vél’Odyssée!”

Map of vélodysée

Map of vélodysée
Map of vélodysée

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