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La Vélodyssée: A 1200 km long cycle route along the Atlantic coast

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La Vélodyssée family cycling

The Easter holidays, the public holiday weekends and the summer holidays will soon be here! But where can you go with the children? If you want to take your time and combine the great outdoors, panoramic views and an exploration of French heritage, then why not try the joys of ‘slow travel’ on our cycle route?

The Family, Slow Travel and getting away from it all with La Vélodyssée!

Family on beach of Atlantic coastIn everyday life, you’re always busy juggling work, home and the kids. You dream of just one thing: relaxing and seeing the kids have fun. If you could also avoid the car, traffic jams and carbon dioxide emissions, then that would be just perfect…

This year, that’s it, you’ve decided: you’re going off as a family to discover some of what France has to offer! And what better way to do that than with La Vélodyssée cycle route?

Why choose La Vélodyssée?

1- La Vélodyssée is a cycle route of over 1200 km which is entirely signposted and waymarked: you just can’t get lost! (Although it is always wise to take a map or a guidebook with you).

cycle paths in Landes - south of France2- More than 80% of the route is made up of cycle paths and greenways, so goodbye cars, and hello to even safer cycling!

3- Apart from in the Basque country and a very small number of other places, La Vélodyssée has very few steep gradients. It is perfect for lovely rides with young children either pedalling on their bikes or in a bike trailer.

4- From Roscoff in Brittany to Hendaye in the Basque Country - just imagine the wealth of scenic landscapes you will discover! With La Vélodyssée, whether you travel for 2 days, a week or more, you have a choice of amazing land and sea views.

How to organise your trip:

1- Choose one or several stages from the 57 available on La Vélodyssée. Will it be Brittany? Or the beaches of the Vendée or the Landes?

2- Book your accommodation: camp sites, self-catering gîtes and bike-friendly hotels (Accueil Vélo) are all shown on the route stage webpages.

3- Choose your mode of transport for getting to and from La Vélodyssée. Road, rail and air links are all explained here.

4- Prepare your luggage. Some advice to help you is given below and on the blogs.

5- Enjoy your holiday and your little ones!

Our advice for a successful family cycling holiday!

Is this your first family cycling holiday? Here are some tips to help you get ready for the big departure day!

• Explain the trip to the whole family!
To make the most of this adventure, every member of the family must feel involved. Your kids will love the sense of being given some responsibility for the trip. Why not give them the chance to choose a visit, or to decide on an itinerary?

Carry your children in a bike trailer• Make sure you choose easy trails
For your very first family cycle rides, La Vélodyssée offers easy routes designed to suit children: between 15 and 25 kilometres a day. Find out more!

• Cycling holidays with a very small child?
Remember to rent or buy a bike trailer (which could also be used for your luggage) or a tag-along third wheel. Your little adventurers won’t get so tired and will enjoy things more!

> Read more helpful hints

Ideas for family routes

Family in BrittanyFor your ‘slow travel’ family adventure, we have thought of everything - including family-oriented routes with suggestions for visits, accommodation and insider tips.

These are 100% family-friendly itineraries offering: a varied range of landscapes, responsible touring and guaranteed fun and laughter!

> Discover our suggestions for family routes on La Vélodyssée

These families have already been on La Vélodyssée!

Children love cycling on La Vélodyssée!These parents and children have already spent a weekend, a week, or longer on a La Vélodyssée holiday - here’s what they have to say:

Caroline, Cédric and their 2 children Manon (age 4) and Hugo (19 months) spent 2 days cycling between Marans and La Faute-sur-Mer, via La Rochelle in July 2015. They plan to do almost the entire La Vélodyssée route in 2016!
> Read their story (in French)

Sabine, Olivier, Thaïs (age 7) and Charlotte (age 4) went pedalling (and much more too!) from Ronce-les-Bains to Royan over 4 days in summer 2015.
> Read their story (in French)

Christine, her husband, and their children (aged 5 and 2½) set off for a week in July 2014 and covered the 300 km between La Rochelle and Cap Ferret. This was ‘only’ their 7th cycle trip with their kids!
> Read their story (in French)

Isabelle, her husband, their 7 year old son and 15 month-old daughter spent 2 weeks on a 350 km itinerant cycling tour in July 2013. A large part of the trip was on La Vélodyssée between La Rochelle and Arcachon.
> Read their story (in French)

Yann, his partner, and their daughters discovered the Royan>Pornic section in August 2013. This was their 4th year in a row on La Vélodyssée!
> Read their story (in French)