Cognac & Atlantic coast: biking along the Charente from Cognac to Ré Ilsand

“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. But 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 along the roads to Santiago. More than two faces, this bicycle trip 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

  • The Charente Valley between Cognac and Angoulême
  • The town of Cognac: its famous cognac houses and scenic vineyards
  • Cognac tasting and visit of a historical Cognac house
  • The Gironde Estuary and its beautiful perched villages:Mortagne, Meschers and Talmont-sur-Gironde
  • Brouage medieval village
  • Rochefort and the Hermione freguate
  • Splendid city of La Rochelle
  • Peaceful and biking paradise Ré Ilsand
I BOOK NOW I WANT TO GO CUSTOM / PRIVATE

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

DAY 1 - Arrival in 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. Today labelled a City of Art and History, it displays its heritage all the more clearly. But Cognac remains above all the city of the precious beverage where the great names (Hennessy, Otard, Martell, Meukow, Camus, Remy Martin) of the reputation of the town ! Wherever roofs and walls are blackened, it is the action of a fungus feeding on alcohol vapours, the famous angels’ share!

 

Night in Cognac

Meal included: Dinner

DAY 2 - Cognac loop

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 of nature, with open landscapes, changing with each turn, carved with hills jostling in all directions on which hangs a vineyard cultivated like a garden by the men who cultivate it.

The stone heritage is omnipresent. Many of the country’s dwellings and beautiful ashlar houses punctuate the landscape. Their architecture in the courtyard, closed by a high carved porch, preserves the secrets of cognac. 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… each old stone will have an anecdote to tell you! Come and meet the producers: all passionate, they will know how to tell you about their land and their trade better than anyone else!

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.

An unsuspected terroir of the Cognac region but so authentic that we invite you to come and discover it.

 

Route 1 : 61 km / 610 m D+

Route 2 : 70 km / 675 m D+

Night in Cognac

Meals included:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

DAY 3 - Cognac - Angouleme

This bike ride is dedicated to the alternation: 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. Not to spoil anything, there are many curiosities. We stop almost every kilometre to visit something: the Gabarier village of Saint-Simon, the Abbey of Bassac, the typical Charente villages of Vibrac and Saint-Simeux, the smiling and discreetly prosperous town of Jarnac where the first brandy merchants were established in 1610 and where you can visit the Cognac house of Courvoisier, leaning against an imposing 19th century castle.

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 brightness of its light, its successful architecture with its stone houses with tiled roofs and its café terraces make Angouleme a charming and pleasant city.

Angouleme is also known worldwide for its international comic strip festival, which takes place every year in January. But don’t be disappointed if you miss the event, because here, it’s all the architecture that lives to the rhythm of the comic strip: monuments, mailboxes, buses… Even the street signs are in the shape of bubbles! As you stroll through the streets of Angouleme, you will be surprised by the originality of the city’s walls. The painted walls are real works of art. 

We then take the van toenjoy our last night in Cognac.

 

Route  : 58 km / 260 m D+

Night in Cognac

Meals included:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

 

DAY 4 - The Gironde estuary

This morning we head to the Gironde estuary, the largest in Europe, a world of steep (but inhabited!) cliffs and fishermen living in stilt-walk huts. It is this road that we will follow from Mortagne-sur-Gironde, a village perched on a cliff, quiet and with a picturesque little port.

We quickly reach Meschers-sur-Gironde, a village located on a limestone plateau overlooking the estuary. The waves beat cliffs about thirty meters high and pierced by cave dwellings.

Then we arrive in Talmont-sur-Gironde on an exceptional site, labelled “Most beautiful village in France” and constitutes the pearl of the estuary. This village, perched on a peninsula, is nothing more than flowered alleys and small houses with pastel shutters. To keep things simple, there is 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

Route : 40 km / 330 m D+

Night in Vaux sur Mer

Meals included:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

DAY 5 - Vaux-sur-Mer - Rochefort

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 then cross Marennes, the first oyster farming basin in Europe and its salt marshes, before reaching Brouage by small canals in the middle of an abundant ornithological fauna. Once bordered by the Atlantic Ocean, the fortified city of Brouage has recently become part of the very exclusive club of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France”. Nestled in the heart of a marsh that extends over 3,000 hectares, with its ramparts more than two kilometres long, its oyster port, its shops for creators and craftsmen and its many buildings steeped in history transformed into exhibition spaces, Brouage remains an ideal destination. 

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, just next to the Corderie Royale

 

Route 1 : 57 km / 140 m D+

Route 2 : 75 km / 190 m D+

Night in Rochefort

Meals included:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

DAY 6 - DAY OFF IN Rochefort LA ROCHELLLE

We will enjoy the day to discover all the riches of La Rochelle on this well-deserved day of rest. 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. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Vauban fortifications were built by Louis 14th to protect himself from English invasions around 1680.

 

Night in Saint-Martin-de-Ré

Meals included:  Breakfast – Dinner

Day 7 - Île de Ré loop

We get on our bicycles for an easy day exploring the Île de , the pearl of the Atlantic islands. With its seascapes, salt marshes and the poetry of its colourful ports, it boasts a remarkable historical heritage. To discover it, nothing beats letting yourself be carried away by its cycle paths so 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.

 

 

Route 1 : 45 km / 90 m D+

Route 2 : 54 km /  115 m D+

Night in Saint-Martin-de-Ré

Meals included:  Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner

DAY 8 - DEPARTURE

It is unfortunately already time to say goodbye. We will take you La Rochelle TGV or airport after breakfast to end this Cognac & Atlantic Coast bike tour, unless you want to extend your biking holidays and bike the Loire Valley or Bordeaux & Dordogne bike tours with Veymont

Meal included: Breakfast

Cognac & Atlantic Coast

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

Cognac – 3 nights

Hotel Chais Monnet – 5*

Hôtel Chais Monnet is all about a certain lifestyle: excellence is our guiding principle and no effort has been spared to ensure that our guests enjoy a five-star experience in a setting that unites our rich heritage and contemporary luxury. Just a short walk away from the most prestigious cognac houses and the historic centre of this ancient town, our establishment offers the perfect opportunity to create your own unforgettable memories.

Vaux-sur-Mer – 1 night

Résidence 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

Hotel La Corderie Royale Mercure – 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, completely renovated in 2018.Enjoy the contemporary and spacious rooms with breathtaking views of the Charente, the Corderie Royale and the Hermione site or the wooded garden with swimming pool.

Saint-Martin-de-Ré – 2 nights

Hotel Le Clos Saint Martin – 4*

Located in an 18th century building, this hotel-spa is decorated with a marine theme.The establishment includes 2 outdoor swimming pools accessible in season with 2 water bicycles and a bar by the water’s edge. The luxurious spa offers a Turkish bath, a relaxation area and various treatments.

 

BIKES

Included

Hybrid Bike

Trek Zektor 3 Disc or equivalent

Size: 47 (XS) – 51 (S) – 54 (M) – 57 (L) – 61 (XL)

Crank : 48-32

Cassette: 11-34

Tyres: 700x32c

 

 

Supplement + 75 €

Hybrid E-bike

Trek Dual Sport + or equivalent

Size: 16″(S) – 18″ (M) – 20″ (L) – 22″ (XL)

Tyres: 700x38c

 

 

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 : 50-34

Cassette: 11-28

 

 

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

 

 

GEARS

For a more comfortable travel experience, you can choose to bring your own pedals, saddle and helmet with you on the trip. Your guides will install your equipment on the first day when you adjust your bike.

Included with a road bike rental

  • Pedals to choose from the following: SPD-SL / SPD-M / Look Keo / Flat pedals with cages / Flat pedals
  • 1 Pump
  • 1 Computer
  • 2 water bottles
  • 1 saddle bag: 2 spare tubes + 1 multitool + 2 tire-levers
  • 1 helmet:  Size S – M – L – XL

 

Included with a hybrid bike rental

  • Pedals to choose from the following: SPD-SL / SPD-M / Look Keo / Flat pedals with cages / Flat pedals
  • 1 Pump
  • 1 Computer
  • 2 water bottles
  • 1 saddle bag: 2 spare tubes + 1 multitool + 2 tire-levers
  • 1 helmet:  Size S – M – L – XL
  • 1 handlebar bag with a map holder
  • 2 rear panniers

Dates

Price / Person*

Double Occupancy

Single Occupancy supplement

 

 

 

 

 

   from 3590€* 

 

 

 

+ 580 €

 

*Price may vary according to the season, the hotel availability and supplement(s) chosen.

Departures are guaranteed from 4 participants. In case there are less than 4 participants a supplement will be requested to guarantee the departure of the tour.

If you are a group of more than 7 people or you would like to privatize or customize the tour, please contact us to adjust our offer to your needs.

Included

Not Included

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