10 great ideas for cycling in Brittany
From quiet country lanes to green ways, cycle paths and off-road routes, there is cycling aplenty in Brittany. Choose from tranquil rides for some family fun or a serious stretch for the solo cyclist and cycle on- or off-road along the coast or in the country. A healthy holiday for all!
From England to France!
Not quite as daunting as it sounds, the Cycle West project links southwest England with northwest France and there are three main marked routes that can be done in one or in sections. For the brave there’s the Vélodyssée that goes from England to Spain or alternatively tackle the Tour de Manche or the Petit Tour de Manche. Let the adventure begin!
Find out more: www.cycle-west.com
Four routes at the ends of the Earth
One way to explore northern Finistère is by following one of the area’s four marked routes that vary from 25km to 93km. Le Bout du Monde (the ends of the earth) takes you from Aber Ildut to the delightful Pointe St-Mathieu while Les Vieilles Pierres (the old stones) is all about the local chapels, castle, churches and abbey. For fans of standing stones, go for Les Menhirs.
Find out more: www.pays-iroise.bzh
Follow the green way from Rennes to St-Malo
Travel the 107km from the Breton capital, Rennes, to St-Malo in perfect tranquillity as you follow the green way along the canal. Stop off at iconic sites such as Hédé’s 11 locks, medieval Dinan and the seaside resort of Dinard with its perfectly preserved elegance of yesteryear. Easy, carefree pedalling through lush, green countryside that can be done all in one go, little by little or just a taster.
Find out more: www.bretagne35.com
The wheel is reinvented in Erquy where bikes become electric. The helping hand makes following the coastal road a breeze and all you have to do is relax and enjoy the ride. Erquy’s exceptional beauty can be appreciated in full on two wheels: breathe in the sea air and enjoy the kaleidoscope of colours as pink sandstone cliffs, purple heather and vibrant yellow gorse are all reflected in the emerald sea...
Find out more: www.erquy-tourisme.com
Art in unusual places
The Blavet Valley makes the most of its spectacular religious architecture by using local churches and chapels to exhibit contemporary art during its annual Art dans les Chapelles festival – and now you can explore it by bike. Choose one of four circuits that vary from 13km to 22km and take in some 25 breathtaking sites as you wend your way through the glorious Breton countryside.
Find out more: www.artchapelles.com by bike
Mountain-biking central: Côtes-d’Armor
Côtes-d’Armor has some 4000km of marked circuits for mountain biking – or VTT as it’s known in French (vélo tout terrain). A choice of routes means that there is something to suit all abilities from those who have never cycled off road to those wanting to test their limits; find the perfect route for some family fun or go it alone and cycle solo. The area also has five dedicated mountain bike centres.
Find out more: www.vtt-22.fr
Family cycling – stay on track!
For something a little bit different, head to Médréac, south of St-Malo, where a 10km stretch of the disused railway line has been given new life. Specially adapted bikes allow you to cycle along the tracks through the Breton countryside and because the bikes are joined together, it’s great for couples and families. Little ones can either cycle in between mum and dad or just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Find out more: lagaredemedreac
Around Redon: where waterways meet
Several waterways converge at Redon and this crossroads makes for beautiful countryside and endless options for bike rides. Why not plan a sight-seeing bike ride for a family fun day out? Some 20-odd routes are on offer: Saint Just and its standing stones, the Vilaine marshes, Lohéac with its car museum and the artistic centre of La Gacilly...
Find out more: www.tourisme-pays-redon.com
Hop on the train – with your bike in tow
Relieve the pressure and take your bike on the train to make faraway places accessible or linear routes practical – and you’re being green too! Leaving from Paimpol, the Trieux valley can be explored on two wheels and then you can head back on the train or on the Quiberon peninsula, take your bike on the tire-bouchon (corkscrew) train and set off along the côte sauvage or the wild coast.
Follow that bike!
If you want to explore Brittany by bike but aren’t too sure about planning your own route (and carrying your own luggage!) why not turn to the professionals? Make the most of their experience and cycle tried and tested routes that take you through breathtaking Brittany’s best bits. Leave the booking to them, entrust them with your bags and all that is left for you to do is pedal along without a care in the world!