Favourite spots in Western France

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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ConRAD
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby ConRAD » 17 Feb 2020, 10:09am

aflook wrote:... views, historic towns and all forms of art ...

If you like also some short cycling in the night, maybe this might be for you.
In the sequence below: Bordeaux, San Sebastian, Carcassonne

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djb
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby djb » 17 Feb 2020, 10:39am

aflook wrote:Thanks djb. Yes I enjoyed the Pyrenees last year and I'm looking forward to seeing a different part this time. Not planning on lingering there as in Santander I'm meeting a friend for 2 weeks' touring in the Picos de Europa, so plenty of mountains then! I, too enjoyed EV6, though I did find myself yearning for the hills.
It's not that I'm not planning for rest days, I just haven't decided where yet. I might take some time in Nantes as I didn't stop there last time.
I found cycling past the D-Day beaches very moving, but don't wish to re-visit yet.
As for visas :x just don't get me started......


Right on all accounts. Sounds like you will have one heck of a fun summer, enjoy..
There's a small possibility ill be meandering in Borisland, so if I'm plodding along through incessant rain, I'll think of you!

And as for my visa comment, I believe that unique Brit expression that we don't use here, "taking the micturate" (Funny, I typed p I s s but it appears the forum changed the word) , is the appropriate one, in case others didn't cotton onto that.
I was just pulling your populace legs.

aflook
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby aflook » 17 Feb 2020, 11:08am

My favourite place in Western France?

My house, of course!

Lucky you! :)

Very visited, but I liked Arcachon near Bordeaux, which is nearyour route. Former convalescence resort, briefly home to Alexandre Dumas.

Well worth camping at Camping Municipal de la Citadelle in Blaye, on the Garonne estuary not far north of Bordeaux. You pitch inside the walls of the citadel itself, a short walk from the nice little port of Blaye.

A little off your route, the old walled city of Angouleme is home to the Comic Strip museum which may be of artistic interest. http://www.angouleme-tourisme.co.uk/

All the above now incorporated into the route.
Bordeaux, San Sebastian, Carcassonne

I don't know Bordeax so I might plan a rest day there. Carcassonne is a bit far out (although I did love it). Wasn't planning on S Sebastián but then I noticed the Eduardo Chillida museum has reopened...... Great photos, ConRAD
Thank you all so much for your suggestions - and yes, it should be a cracking summer!

simonhill
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby simonhill » 17 Feb 2020, 11:27am

djb, a word of warning if you are hitting these fair shores in the summer.

The Brexit thing has divided our nation like nothing I have known. Until you know who you're talking to, you may want to steer clear of the topic.

I and many here are happy to take our normal self depreciating approach. This is not so for everyone.

I hope you don't mind me mentioning this.

aflook
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby aflook » 17 Feb 2020, 12:25pm

So if I want to visit the Marais Poitevin, would I do best to stop at Damvix, Coulon or Le Mazeau? Or somewhere else? Anyone know these places?

tatanab
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby tatanab » 17 Feb 2020, 1:33pm

aflook wrote:So if I want to visit the Marais Poitevin, would I do best to stop at Damvix, Coulon or Le Mazeau? Or somewhere else? Anyone know these places?

I stayed in Mauze sur le Mignon. A very pleasant municipal site near the canal on the road towards Saint Hilaire. The Marais is very different and I found it quite mesmerising, little tiny roads with algae covered waterways for punts. There are also the larger waterways in the more touristy parts of the Marais.

aflook
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby aflook » 17 Feb 2020, 2:03pm

I stayed in Mauze sur le Mignon. A very pleasant municipal site near the canal on the road towards Saint Hilaire. The Marais is very different and I found it quite mesmerising, little tiny roads with algae covered waterways for punts. There are also the larger waterways in the more touristy parts of the Marais.


Sounds good, thank you. I can also pass by Damvix and Arcais and check them out. I think I might want to try one of the boat trips.

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Morzedec
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby Morzedec » 17 Feb 2020, 5:45pm

Hello, although the Marais abounds with campsites (try the one at Maille) two that you ought definitely to avoid are those at Damvix and Arcais! These are the tourist camping 'hotspots', and even if you can find a place to pitch your tent between the 000s of campervans that will be there, these sites are busy, expensive, and because of the crowds not always the cleanest.

Happy days,

djb
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby djb » 17 Feb 2020, 7:55pm

simonhill wrote:djb, a word of warning if you are hitting these fair shores in the summer.

The Brexit thing has divided our nation like nothing I have known. Until you know who you're talking to, you may want to steer clear of the topic.

I and many here are happy to take our normal self depreciating approach. This is not so for everyone.

I hope you don't mind me mentioning this.


actually thank you for the reminder Simon, I should know better. As a Canadian, its exactly the same thing here with interactions with Americans concerning their present political situation. Not to mention the long standing differences between Canadian and Americans that I suspect that a lot of Brits and Europeans may not realize are there--such as views on guns, universal health care, social inequalities....

I appreciate the comment.

djb
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby djb » 17 Feb 2020, 7:58pm

and back to our regular programming

re Arcachonne, seems to me that it was in that area, Les Landes, that there is a neat bike path that goes through cultivated pine forests, below Bordeaux somewhere, near the coast.
I just remember how neat it was, although this was a looong time ago and is probably different now.

aflook
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby aflook » 18 Feb 2020, 9:18am

Morzedec wrote:Hello, although the Marais abounds with campsites (try the one at Maille) two that you ought definitely to avoid are those at Damvix and Arcais! These are the tourist camping 'hotspots', and even if you can find a place to pitch your tent between the 000s of campervans that will be there, these sites are busy, expensive, and because of the crowds not always the cleanest.

Happy days,

Thanks for the warning! Will choose an alternative. Mauze sur le Mignon looks good in terms of route.

djb wrote:re Arcachonne, seems to me that it was in that area, Les Landes, that there is a neat bike path that goes through cultivated pine forests, below Bordeaux somewhere, near the coast.
I just remember how neat it was, although this was a looong time ago and is probably different now.


Looks like there are some lanes through forests just below Gujan Mestras. Would that be it?

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ConRAD
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby ConRAD » 18 Feb 2020, 9:53am

aflook wrote:... looks like there are some lanes through forests just below Gujan Mestras. Would that be it?

yes, indeed, there's something like that either between Bordeaux and Lacanau Ocean on the atlantic coast, either along the coast from Bretagne to the border with Spain, it's the "Vélodyssée", une véloroute qui traverse la Bretagne et longe l'Atlantique jusqu'à la Côte basque.

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aflook
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby aflook » 20 Feb 2020, 10:58am

ConRAD wrote:
aflook wrote:... looks like there are some lanes through forests just below Gujan Mestras. Would that be it?

yes, indeed, there's something like that either between Bordeaux and Lacanau Ocean on the atlantic coast, either along the coast from Bretagne to the border with Spain, it's the "Vélodyssée", une véloroute qui traverse la Bretagne et longe l'Atlantique jusqu'à la Côte basque.

Thanks, ConRAD I'm planning on using some of that route down the coast, and maybe from Bordeaux to Lacanau.

jacobean
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby jacobean » 1 Mar 2020, 12:24am

Not a bad route overall.

Avoid the town of Mimizan Plage. Awful town!

Contis-Plage just a few kms down the road with spectacular beach is much nicer.

Road from Cap Breton down to Hendaye is not very pleasant - way too much traffic and in some parts begins to feel like one giant suburb of Biaritz. Heavy traffic from French border into Spain makes the trip to the lovely town of San Sebastian a challenging cycle.

Once in Basque country proper - great cycling with verdant rolling hills.

Gearoidmuar
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby Gearoidmuar » 1 Mar 2020, 5:35pm

Ile de Ré off la Rochelle. We'd planned to start a tour from La Rochelle, but one lads bike was delayed by a day and we cycling around this. It was lovely. The bridge is, as I remember 2.2 miles long!