Favourite spots in Western France

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
aflook
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Joined: 22 Nov 2011, 3:21pm
Location: Sheffield

Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby aflook » 2 Mar 2020, 6:54pm

jacobean wrote: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.


Intrigued to know what made you dislike Mimizan Plage so much. I'll make sure I don't plan a rest day there, but will pass through with interest. I'm headed inland towards the hills from Moura(?) so should miss out the messy bits around Biaritz. Might change to go through S Sebastian if I can't resist the call of a sculpture museum, but will have to balance that against the traffic etc. But I must admit I quite enjoyed cycling through Naples a couple of years ago...

aflook
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Location: Sheffield

Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby aflook » 2 Mar 2020, 7:00pm

Gearoidmuar wrote: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!

Ooh I do like a nice bridge... Ile de Re does look lovely. I'll bear it in mind once I've worked out all my different stages and see how long I've go over. Want to allow for a much slower pace through Spain because I usually find it rougher going. Every time I go to Spain, cycling or otherwise, I find a new set of mountains to explore.

jacobean
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Joined: 12 May 2009, 11:57pm

Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby jacobean » 3 Mar 2020, 12:09pm

aflook wrote:Intrigued to know what made you dislike Mimizan Plage so much. I'll make sure I don't plan a rest day there, but will pass through with interest. I'm headed inland towards the hills from Moura(?) so should miss out the messy bits around Biaritz. Might change to go through S Sebastian if I can't resist the call of a sculpture museum, but will have to balance that against the traffic etc. But I must admit I quite enjoyed cycling through Naples a couple of years ago...


Well when I was there around 10 years ago, the whole town was smothered in putrid smell. Transpired it was caused by the local paper mills. This combined with the fact that it's a quite tacky seaside resort made me want to leave as soon possible.

Heading inland is a wise idea. As you probably know, France has very nice small towns and villages. However, in my opinion, some of their seaside resort towns which have been built-up to cater to mass tourism can be ghastly places!

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Morzedec
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Location: Cornwall/Deux-Sevres

Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby Morzedec » 3 Mar 2020, 1:43pm

Second favourite spot in western-ish France, after our house is - our garden!

Happy days.
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aflook
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Joined: 22 Nov 2011, 3:21pm
Location: Sheffield

Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby aflook » 4 Mar 2020, 6:03pm

Morzedec wrote:Second favourite spot in western-ish France, after our house is - our garden!

Happy days.

Looks amazing. More of an estate than a garden, whereas mine is more of a flowerbed with a shed. Fortunately I don't feel the need to swing cats about :)

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Morzedec
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby Morzedec » 4 Mar 2020, 7:51pm

Hello, that was the middle-sized of our three ponds, all of which are needed in the summer - and most years all three dry out completely. It's no big deal, land is cheap in France: I was recently offered 5 HECTARES of leisure land - ie it floods during the winter months, there are 500 mtrs of riverbank - for - wait for it - 5,000 Euros, because no-one else wants it. The farmers can't get a machine on it for long periods, access is tricky (narrow between the trees, and it's often too boggy even for 4wd), so it's 'three months a year land' just for camping, picnics, and BBQ. No chance of building anything, because the planners won't agree to a house with a snorkel.

I don't need the land, and the owner is quite happy for most anyone to use it anyway so we all do, whilst agreeing not to collect any wood (valuable in France, because everyone has a woodburner) nor leave a mess behind when you leave.

There has been a small problem with 'skinny-dippers', but nude bathing whilst having a BBQ is both uninsurable and dangerous to ones - well, you will know what I mean - and it also offended the older ladies, so it now takes place mainly after dark. How do I know? Well, there's still some life in the old dog yet.

I've often considered moving to Milton Keynes, but then thought - no.

Happy days,
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ConRAD
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby ConRAD » 4 Mar 2020, 8:12pm

jacobean wrote:... avoid the town of Mimizan Plage. Awful town! ...

Not totally sure what you're actually talking about, sorry but at that time I had a complete opposite vision!!
Here below just four pictures from my trip, all visited places with NO exceptioin simply amazing .... and above all "oceanly relaxing" (IMO of course):
- 16.04.2013: Bayonne-Mimizan, 122km
- 17.04.2013: Mimizan-Lacanau Océan, 172km

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jacobean
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Joined: 12 May 2009, 11:57pm

Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby jacobean » 5 Mar 2020, 4:51pm

Unfortunately, this is my memory of the town of Mimizan Plage. The pine forests and ocean are undeniably beautiful its the town itself I have the problem with. Tatty and charmless!

https://www.tripadvisor.com.sg/Location ... taine.html

francovendee
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby francovendee » 3 Apr 2020, 8:27am

Gearoidmuar wrote: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!


Nice flat island but awfully busy with cyclists on the paths in July and August. Silly numbers of people and you have to be on your guard not to collide with someone.
The popularity of ebikes has made the problem worse. If you go out of season it's a very place to cycle. We go in Feb or March and it's almost deserted.

Bogawski
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Joined: 7 Jun 2010, 8:32pm

Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby Bogawski » 3 Apr 2020, 6:03pm

Check out Brouage, nice hotel in the main street. Wouldn't bother with I'l de leron, too much traffic, nice bridge though.

aflook
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Location: Sheffield

Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby aflook » 25 Sep 2020, 3:30pm

As the OP I thought I ought to update you all after your brilliant suggestions..... I had, of course, to abandon this year's trip due to the pandemic, but I hope to revisit the idea next year or the year after. For the present I'm only planning UK trips until I see how things pan out for travel in mainland Europe.
All the best,
Adrian

pq
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby pq » 25 Sep 2020, 7:52pm

We liked St Antonin Noble Val and the area around it so much we moved there. It's a way from the coast but is officially SW France.
One link to your website is enough. G

Ray
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Re: Favourite spots in Western France

Postby Ray » 25 Sep 2020, 8:11pm

pq wrote:We liked St Antonin Noble Val and the area around it so much we moved there. It's a way from the coast but is officially SW France.

Ooh, another lovely area of France that we got to know during a number of holidays based in Castelnau-Montratier, south of Cahors. You lucky people! I hope all this Brexit nonsense is not giving you too much grief; not to mention Covid-19 . . .

Really missing France this year. Had to cancel a stay in the Luberon and the Drôme back in May/June, and this week I should have been riding with an international (mostly French) group from Rodez to Nantes.

Maybe next year ?
Ray
The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt - Bertrand Russell