Biking along the charente river
from cognac to La Rochelle 

 

“The most beautiful river in my kingdom” said Francis I about the Charente, born on its shores. With its 420 km of record sunny coastline, a port city, La Rochelle, turned towards a jewel, the Île de Ré (Ré Ilsand), the sea stands out in this region.

Before reaching the coast, we discover a landscape of “stones and water”, hilly, bathed in soft light and with prosperous vines: the Cognac region. This region offers a remarkable variety of landscapes: populated by a multitude of small architectural treasures, stone or half-timbered houses, peaceful villages, solid castles and adorable Romanesque churches.

More than two faces, this bike tour between Cognac and the Atlantic coast therefore presents countless facets: festive and secret, facing the ocean and rural, modern and rustic. Gourmets will appreciate its gastronomy, as simple as it is varied, in the image of the richness of its terroirs. On one side, the best of the sea with the oysters of Marennes . Others include snails, poultry and other farm delicacies. With a pineau from the Charentes and a drop of cognac, this bike trip has definitely everything to please.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Charente River: “the most beautiful French river”
  • Historic cities of Cognac, La Rochelle and Rochefort
  • Cognac Tasting and visit of a traditional Cognac house
  • Perched villages of the Gironde estuary
  • Ré Island
  • Hermione fregate


Dates 2020

PRICE/PERSON IN
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY
(2 persons per room)

PRICE/PERSON IN
SINGLE OCCUPANCY
(1 person per room)

May 30 – 6 June

from 3590€

from 4570€

August 22 – 29

from 3590€

from 4570€

PriCE / person

from 3590€

BIKe itinerary

Welcome to COGNAC

We welcome you at Angouleme TGV at 2 pm and drive you at your hotel in Cognac where we’ll stay for three nights. After a bike fitting and a tour orientation, we explore this unique town settled along the Charente river

How many small French towns can boast, like Cognac, of being famous all over the world? Rich, bourgeois, historical, royal (François 1st was born there), Cognac is a special case in Charente. Cognac remains above all the city of the precious beverage where the great names (Hennessy, Otard, Martell…) have made the reputation of the town ! Wherever roofs and walls are blackened, it is the action of a fungus feeding on alcohol vapours, the angels’ share!

Loop around cognac (VIA the grande-champagne)

Todays let’s explore the Cognac terroir on our bikes, the well name “Grande Champagne” area. very often compared to Italian Tuscany. It is a country carved with hills jostling in all directions on which hangs a vineyard cultivated like a garden by the men who cultivate it. Discover at your own pace the villages of Lignières-Sonneville, Touzac, Bouteville and Segonzac. The rural heritage is rich with Romanesque churches, temples, mills, fountains, washhouses, dolmens… 

This afternoon we will visit the cellars and distillery of a large trading house in Cognac, which allows us to enter the intimate world of a great cognac name and offers an unprecedented sensory experience.

Cognac to ANGOUlême (VIA Jarnac)

Between Cognac and Angoulême, we discover a land of history, a land of cocagne: the banks of the Charente river. Very few industrialized, full of greenery and calm, with charming landscapes: curves of the river, impeccably clean slopes embroidered with rows of vines, stone bridges, peaceful farms, all nestled in amber light. We stop at the smiling and discreetly prosperous town of Jarnac where the first brandy merchants were established in 1610.

We finally reach Angouleme and its upper city, almost curled up on a plateau perched above the Charente, and beat the old pavement by immersing ourself in very old alleys tightly packed around pretty plots.

The gironde estuary (via Talmont-sur-Gironde)

This morning we head to the Gironde estuary, the largest in Europe, a world of steep cliffs and fishermen living in stilt-walk huts. We quickly reach Talmont-sur-Gironde on an exceptional site, labelled “Most beautiful village in France” and constitutes the pearl of the estuary. This village owns one of the most beautiful churches in the region, built in 1094, in balance at the very end of a rocky promontory that plunges into the estuary.

We finally reach our hotel in Vaux-sur-Mer on the Atlantic Ocean after crossing Royan and its Belle Epoque districts

Vaux-sur-Mer to Rochefort (via Brouage) 

We offer you today a royal stage along a cycle path that winds through the wild coastal forest and serves pretty beaches, the smell mixed with sea spray and pines. We cross Brouage, surrounded by small canals in the middle of an abundant ornithological fauna. 

We finally reach Rochefort that Louis 14th himself chose in the 17th century and ever since, the town has built itself around “the most exceptional Naval Dockyard” of the French coast. Symbolic place for maritime history, Rochefort saw the birth and rebuilding of the frigate Hermione on the same site. 

Day off in La Rochelle

Resolutely oriented towards the ocean and its resources, La Rochelle has always been able to take advantage of its geographical location. Rebellious and rebellious, relying on an old maritime tradition, it has passed through the ups and downs of a turbulent history with dignity, from which it has emerged rather grown. The towers of its famous port testify it !

We then cross the ocean over a beautiful bridge and drive to our hotel on the Ile de Ré where we will stay until the end of the tour.  We stay in Saint-Martin-de-Ré, the historic capital of the island. We like to stroll around its picturesque and lively port, surrounded by a star-shaped enclosure. 

Loop around Ré island

We get on our bicycles for an easy day exploring Ré Island, the pearl of the Atlantic islands. With its seascapes, salt marshes and the poetry of its colourful ports, it boasts a remarkable historical heritage. We bike across pretty villages such as La Flotte, and Ars en Ré, both cassified as “Most Beautiful Villages in France”. 

We also reach the far west of the island at the Phare des Baleines. It owes its name to the many whales that have passed through there since ancient times. Culminating at 57 m, it offers a breathtaking panoramic view of Île de Ré and the beach of La Conche where the film “The Longest Day” was shot.

TIME TO SAY GOODBYE

It is unfortunately already time to say goodbye. We will take you to La Rochelle TGV Station after breakfast to end this Cognac & Atlantic Coast bike tour, unless you want to extend your stay with Veymont Travel.

ACCOMODATIONS / HOTELS

Veymont Travel retains the right to change the hotels if necessary as stipulated in our GTC.

Cognac – 3 nightS

Chais Monnet 5*

 Just a short walk away from the most prestigious cognac houses and the historic centre of this ancient town,the place offers the perfect opportunity to create your own unforgettable memories.

Vaux-sur-Mer – 1 night

Residence de Rohan 3*

This boutique hotel is located by the ocean with direct access to Nauzan Beach. Stay in the main house dating from the nineteenth century or in its annex building with private terraces near the large heated pool.

Rochefort-sur-Mer – 1 night

La Corderie Royale 4*

Located in the centre of Rochefort and on the banks of the Charente, the Hotel La Corderie Royale welcomes you to its historic 17th century building.

Saint-Martin-de-Ré – 2 nights

Le Clos Saint Martin 4*

Located in an 18th century building, this hotel-spa is decorated with a marine theme.The luxurious spa offers a Turkish bath, a relaxation area and various treatments.

equipment / bikes

Included

Hybrid Bike

Trek Zektor 3 Disc or equivalent
Size: 47 (XS) – 51 (S) – 54 (M) – 57 (L) – 61 (XL)
Crank : 48-32Cassette: 11-34
Tyres: 700x32c

Supplement + 45 €

Carbon road bike – Shimano 105 Compact
Trek Emonda SL5 or Specialized Tarmac Sport
Size: 47 – 50 – 52 – 54 – 56 – 58 – 60 – 62
Crank : 50-34Cassette: 11-28

Supplement + 75 €

Hybrid E-bike
Trek Dual Sport + or equivalent
Size: 16″(S) – 18″ (M) – 20″ (L) – 22″ (XL)
Tyres: 700x38c

Supplement + 140 €

Road E-bike
Pinarello Nytro or equivalent
Size: 46,5 – 50 -53 – 55 – 58

Supplement + 215 €

Carbon road bike – Ultegra DI2 Compact
Pinarello Prince or Domane SL7 or equivalent
Size: 46,5 – 50 -51,5 -53 – 54 – 56 – 57,5 – 59,5- 62
Crank: 50-34
Cassette: 11-32

Supplement + 775 €

Carbon road bike – Dura Ace DI2 Disk Compact
Pinarello F12
Size: 51,5 – 53 – 54 – 55 – 56 – 57,5
Crank: 50-34
Cassette: 11-32

Equipment / dEtails

You can choose to travel with your own bike and/or bring your own pedals, saddle and helmet. The guide will set up your equipment upon arrival.

Equipment provided with the rental of a Road Bike
Equipment provided with the rental of an Hybrid Bike
  • Pedals to choose from the following:
    • cleats: SPD-SL / SPD-M / Look Keo
    • flat with cages
    • flat
  • 1 Pump
  • 1 Computer
  • 2 water bottles
  • 1 saddle bag: 2 spare tubes + 1 multitool + 2 tire-levers
  • 1 helmet

Equipment Included with a hybrid bike rental

  • Pedals to choose from the following:
    • cleats: SPD-SL / SPD-M / Look Keo
    • flat with cages
    • flat
  • 1 Pump
  • 1 Computer
  • 1 water bottle
  • 1 saddle bag: 2 spare tubes + 1 multitool + 2 tire-levers
  • 1 helmet
  • 1 handlebar bag 
  • 2 rear panniers

WHAT’s INCLUDED / WHAT’S NOT incluDED ?

Included
Not Included

Accomodation

  • 7 nights in 3*, 4* & 5* hotels in double occupancy 

Meals

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 7 dinners
  • Snacks and refreshments

Equipment

  • Hybrid bike rental with bike equipment (see above)

Guiding

  • Certified and experienced guides
  • 1 cycling guide
  • 1 driving guide

Activities

  • 5 road/hybrid bike rides
  • 1 day off in La Rochelle
  • Cognac tasting and visit of a historical Cognac house
  • Visit of Phare des Baleines (lighthouse)
  • Visit of the Hermione Fregate

Support & Transfer

  • 1 support van following the group and offering to the guests:
  • Transfer of people
  • Transfer of luggage
  • Transfer of bikes
  • Mechanical assistance
  • Refreshments
  • Pick up and drop off at predeterminated places
Non Inclus
  • Travel and repatriation insurance
  • Plane/train tickets and transportation to/from predetermined pick up/drop off locations 
  • Accomodation before and after the stay
  • Personnal effetcs purchased during the stay
  • Activities not planned by Veymont Travel
  • Meals not mentionned in the “meals” section 
  • Wine and dinks in bars, hotels and restaurants