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Walking and Cycling in Pays de la Loire

Walking in Pays de la Loire

The western province of Pays de la Loire – with its stunning Atlantic coastline, historic cities, elegant buildings and picturesque villages that line the banks of the River Loire – represents all it means to be French. This is a region that offers lots to see and do, whether it’s for travellers in search of natural splendour or those looking for medieval architecture. Walking holidays in Pays de la Loire are gentle thanks to the level terrain, and include plenty to intrigue culture enthusiasts.

Atlantic Coast

Home to one of France’s premier sailing resorts – Les Sable-d’Olonne – the Atlantic Coast of Pay de la Loire is defined by far-reaching stretches of golden, sandy shoreline dotted with lively resorts. As such, a hiking holiday along the magnificent beaches and through the ports and seaside towns is an idyllic experience. Whether it’s to the modern development of the Vendée in the south of the province, or to the historic resort of La Baule with its welcoming restaurants and luxury boutiques, discovering the Loire-Atlantique on foot is as invigorating as it is beguiling.

La Baule


Nantes Cathedral

Capital of the Pays de la Loire, Nantes has a reputation as the region’s major seaport during the 18th century, accumulating substantial wealth which remains apparent to this day in the vibrant heart of the city. From the prestigious architecture of châteaux and cathedrals to the contemporary art and music scenes so prevalent throughout the centre of town, Nantes provides much to discover when setting out on foot. Plus, with a range of bars and restaurants, walkers are never far from a rewarding treat.

Cycling Holidays in Pays de la Loire

Country and coast, the splendour of the Pays de la Loire is best discovered on a cycling holiday. Navigating the region is simple thanks to gentle terrain, with cycle tracks that lead through forests, marshland, towns and picturesque, sandy coastline. And, like so many destinations across France, it’s the opportunity to experience day-to-day life here that proves so compelling for visitors.


La Loire à Vélo

As one of the most ambitious tourist projects in France, La Loire à Vélo has proven to be an overwhelming success, with more than 800,000 tourists embarking on this fascinating journey each year. The continuous cycle track – which runs from Cuffy to Saint-Brevin-les-Pin on the Atlantic Coast – takes in more than 800km of picture-perfect scenery, stunning natural wonders, and exceptional architecture. Small villages and large cities, thick forestry and meandering waterways, a taste of everything the region has to offer is ready for discovery. Of course, the route also provides ample opportunity for savouring the gastronomic delights of the Loire, with the flavours offering the perfect complement to the sights and sounds of the area.

The Cycling Odyssey

For 1,400km along the Atlantic Coast, La Vélodyssée (the Cycling Odyssey) follows an unforgettable route through some of Pays de la Loire’s most beautiful and enchanting areas. The entire journey passes through ten separate coastal districts, taking cyclists crossing the Pays de la Loire from Nantes down to the coastal resorts of the Vendée. Such a voyage promises much; from quaint seaside towns to vibrant city centres, magnificent architecture to humble countryside scenery, La Vélodyssée is guaranteed to charm and inspire any cycling holiday in Pays de la Loire.