Roscoff to Biarritz

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Roscoff to Biarritz

Postby courtyardbikers » Tue Oct 25, 2011 5:30 pm

Next May/June my wife Rachel and I intend cycling from Roscoff to Biarritz using voie vertes and canal paths as much as possible.
We have bought a couple of Scott hybrids to avoid grit and mud in the brakes. Has anyone done this ride please. We aim to cover about 25 miles a day (we are retired) and have the time. Thanks.
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Re: Roscoff to Biarritz

Postby Barrenfluffit » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:27 pm

You know that Eurovelo1 follows this route and this route intends to. http://cycle-west.com/en/map.php
Also there is an established cycle path running just inland all down the coast built during ww2; although building a cycle path wasn't what they had in mind... Can't remember the french name to google it.
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Re: Roscoff to Biarritz

Postby T other Dave » Tue Oct 25, 2011 7:35 pm

Done St Malo - Bilbao this year, Are you camping, b & b or hotels? Its a loverly ride and 25 mile a day is very easy it will leave you lots of time to sample the great food along the way, whilst you have time on your side you may wish to do a basic list of things you'd like to see along the way? I like just stopping in cafes for coffee and crossaint and watch the French life go by. The only thing I'd say is that on some of the paths and canal paths you miss out on some nice towns, miles n miles of paths in the Gironde that tend to skirt around towns or just cut through pine forests (nice) but miss out coffee n crossaint stops :D
Hope you get good weather.
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Re: Roscoff to Biarritz

Postby nmnm » Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:22 pm

Lots of people posted blogs showing this route over on the Crazy Guy on A Bike site. If it's a new area to you, it can be nice to detour for a couple of days when you hit the Loire to see a castle or a palace. One large choice to be made is which side to pass Bordeaux on. I took the ferry at Royan, nice enough. I'd go inland next time for a change.
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Re: Roscoff to Biarritz

Postby courtyardbikers » Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:41 am

Greetings from South Devon!
Fantastic response from all of you...thanks. We have been taking your advice and checking out your recomendations.I have done JOG to Land's End and JOG to Paris for charity, but Rachel is new to long distance cycling so we will be looking for B+B's and comfy hotels. Any to avoid? WE love the idea of coffee and croissants!I have researched the area around the St Nazaire bridge (horror stories) and decided to take the ferry to the East at Le Pellerin.
We will be dropping down to Le Pellerin from Redon ...anyone done that bit?
Also, whilst the Brest-Nantes canal has the attraction of being flat, it does tend to meander. It looks as if we could pedal a long way and not get very far on the journey. Anybody covered that bit on an easy parallel route?
As insurance, we will have a support vehicle for the first two weeks(relatives who were going to holiday there anyway) in case Rachel decides it's not for her! Looks as if we will be going on 12th May 2012 and back mid-June.Inshallah.We have a touring tandem in the garage (virtually unused these days in Devon) but unsure if the route would suit it?
I was thinking of taking masseurs and portable hot-tubs ?
All advice gratefully received.
Andrew and Rachel.
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Re: Roscoff to Biarritz

Postby BeeKeeper » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:15 pm

For the first bit you can take a voie verte from Morlaix to Rosporden. It is not the most exciting riding but pretty safe from traffic. I did it earlier this year and the only real drawbacks are the route tends to skirt round villages and you can't see much in places as it is lined with trees. I can't help on hotels as I camped. Getting to the start in Morlaix is a very steep hill but it is not too long if you have to push the bikes up it. There is a convenient creperie near the bottom of the hill for last minute re-fuelling.

If you like ferries you could of course keep going at Biarritz until you get to Santander - although this will involve a lot more hills and some good research to find quieter roads.
Last edited by BeeKeeper on Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roscoff to Biarritz

Postby Goosey » Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:18 pm

courtyardbikers wrote:Greetings from South Devon!
I have researched the area around the St Nazaire bridge (horror stories) and decided to take the ferry to the East at Le Pellerin.
We will be dropping down to Le Pellerin from Redon ...anyone done that bit?


I did that bit in 2010 - very enjoyable it was too.

http://holidaysouthwestfrance.com/wordpress/?p=133
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Re: Roscoff to Biarritz

Postby T other Dave » Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:30 pm

Ohhh the St Nazaire bridge, I went for it, got there about 5.30 pm so waited about an hour for the traffic to ease then headed over so glad I did rather than go around but that was my choice. Had dinner in Redon nice place but has 2 sides to it, nice n naff I had dinner in the naff quarter, I just kept heading south till I reached the Loire then followed it to St Nazaire, that bit seemed nice and flat compared to North of Redon which is lots of up and down. Get a good scale map and just spend some time linking up the places you fancy or a route. You do have plenty of time to meander along canals I did it in 10 days so it pretty much was straightish as possible but 2 months you got plenty of time.
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Re: Roscoff to Biarritz

Postby Ann Kennedy » Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:40 pm

I've done from the ferry you mention along the south side of the Loire to St Nazaire and then down the coast to Lacanau where we turned inland from Bordeaux - this was part of a Tours to Bordeaux trip. I have some details i could send you if you pm me. It was most only voies vertes with some sections on quieter roads (and a few busier ones near big towns but nothing horrendous). Reasonably flat though the wind can be ferocious as it blows in from the Atlantic. Quite a varied coast though there are a few sections where you feel you've seen enough pine trees for now. The islands (Noirmoutier with it causeway, Oleron and Yeux - may have got spelling wrong there) are worth visiting and are blessed with good cycle routes.

We did slightly longer days but most of the hotels we stayed in were Logis de France and their website is quite helpful in terms of finding hotels on any French route - if you use the map based search rather than the name based search. These are typically 2* sometimes 3* family run hotels, usually with a reasonable restaurant serving local cuisine. If you do take this route there was an absolutely fabulous moules restaurant north of La Rochelle which was memorable - two of the other customers had travelled from Nantes just to have lunch there which says a lot!
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Re: Roscoff to Biarritz

Postby Robert » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:25 pm

courtyardbikers wrote:As insurance, we will have a support vehicle for the first two weeks(relatives who were going to holiday there anyway) in case Rachel decides it's not for her! Looks as if we will be going on 12th May 2012 and back mid-June.Inshallah.We have a touring tandem in the garage (virtually unused these days in Devon) but unsure if the route would suit it?
Andrew and Rachel.


The route should be fine for a touring tandem. We've ridden from St Malo to our house in Tarn & Garonne on our Dawes Discovery Twin three times, two of them pulling a trailer. There's a fair bit of common ground between our route and yours - and no, we've not tried the St Nazaire bridge. My partner has suggested it, but I'm a coward, the Coueron / Le Pellerin Ferry's fine for me. I've written up our tours on Crazyguyonabike. That link will take you to the accounts I've written there. I've included a map for every page.

I was just wondering what you'd do with the tandem if your wife bales out? Hopefully if you've got enough comfy hotels booked she won't. I'd add +1 to the advice above to use Logis de France.
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