There is no doubt about it, the 2014 Tour de France has started a bit of a cycling craze and where better to take a cycling holiday than France where it all started in 1903 (history of the Tour de France)…
We don’t propose you work quite so hard at it as the legendary cyclists – something a bit more relaxing was what we have in mind. Somewhere picturesque and ideally suited for relaxed cycling, like Poitou-Charentes and the lovely islands of Ré and Oléron…
Cycling in Poitou Charentes
On the picturesque Ile de Ré, cycling is a way of life. Ile de Ré is also known as the “white island” because of the salt marches on the north-west coast and villages with their white-washed houses. Ile de Ré has ten towns or villages, two of them – Ars-en-Ré and La Flotte – have been given the official accolade of “most beautiful villages in France” and are well-worth a visit. With the highest point of the island being just 19 metres above sea level and dedicated cycling routes which criss-cross the island, cycling is the most popular form of transport. The cycle routes will help you discover the vineyards, coastal defences, such as the “St Martin-de-Ré” citadel, or enjoy the sandy “Gollandières” beach near the picturesque “Bois Plage”.
Ile d’Oléron is by contrast, the second largest island in France after Corsica and offers more than 100 km of cycling trails. Bike routes lead you along some of the most beautiful coastlines in France, across marshes, and through forests. You’ll discover plenty of places to take a break here. Stop for a scenic picnic, or take lunch at the famous oyster farms, discover the old lighthouse on the most northerly part of the island or catch a boat ride to the famous Fort Boyard.
From 26 – 29 August 2014 the region will host the International Tour of Poitou-Charentes cycle ride. 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.
Find out more: www.visit-poitou-charentes.com