The Heart of Brittany: Self-Guided

dordogne - chateau de Castelnaud 1 LVT

bordeaux 8 LVT

dordogne - La Roque Gageac 3 LVT

dordogne - dordogne river 4 LVT

dordogne - Sarlat market 3 LVT

dordogne - vineyards 2 LVT

This magnificent tour will allow you to discover the heart of Brittany. It is a land with numerous sights to see, where villages and castles, shores and bocages are in total harmony with the land and the sea. The ride will take you through the Unesco world heritage site “Mont Saint Michel” to the “pirate town” of Saint-Malo along the marvellous Emerald coast. When you take a walk through the cobbled streets of St Malo’s old town, it feels like you’ve stepped back in time. The town and busy ferry port offer visitors an authentic glimpse into Brittany’s important seafaring past. Along the way you should make sure to sample some of Brittany’s culinary delights, such as raw oysters on the half shell and the delicious dry cider which is made in small, local orchards. It is a trip that shouldn’t be missed!

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in St. Malo
Arrive at your leisure. St, Malo was originally built on a rocky island at the mouth of the Rance estuary, allowing it to control the trade heading into the center of Brittany. Now grand fortifications guard charming rows of five-story houses, topped with gray roofs reminiscent of life-sized dollhouses, restored after bombing during the war. Take a walk along its city walls, stroll along the golden coast, and sample one of the numerous restaurants in the city. We recommend trying some seafood!

Day 2: St Malo – Dinan – 22 miles (35 km)
With a short ride today, you can take your time in the morning to see anything you might have missed in St. Malo the night before. Through countryside landscape in the first part of the day, you will cross numerous villages with typical blue-shuttered houses and stone facades. Continue your ride along the river Rance on a peaceful cycling path until reaching the Medieval City of Dinan, which is surrounded by walls. Enjoy a walk through the steep pedestrian streets to discover the timbered-framed houses and cobble stone routes.

Day 3: Dinan – Combourg – 21 or 27 miles (34 or 44 km)
Today’s ride takes you on a very pleasant and peaceful cycling path at the rhythm of the Rance canal, locks and houseboat cruises. At every village, you will leave the cycling path and discover the heart of the inner villages of Brittany. Later, you will cross the bocage, a terrain of mixed woodland and pasture, with fields and winding country lanes sunken between narrow low ridges and banks surmounted by tall thick hedgerows that break the wind. You will then arrive in Combourg with its impressive feudal castle situated near by a wide pond. Tonight dinner is in your hotel.

Day 4: Combourg – Fougères – 33 miles (53 km)
The ride from Combourg will take you into the heart of Brittany with numerous vestiges of the mysterious local civilization that formerly celebrated the worship of stone. It was a kingdom of legends, beliefs and traditions. In the afternoon you will have some time to discover the city of Fougères with its architectural and religious heritage, forests and gardens. This prestigious medieval city is overlooked by its imposing and famous fortress, known as one of the finest in Europe. Don’t miss a visit at the chateau. Dinner tonight is in your hotel.

Day 5: Fougères – Pontorson – 30 miles (48 km)
The ride today is an easy one, with most of the day spent on a former railway path converted into a cycling path. Along the way you will cross typical small villages where you might find a cozy spot for a sandwich and a cider. Then you will follow the Couesnon Valley until Pontorson, a peaceful village on the way to “Mont Saint Michel”. Dinner is in your hotel.

Day 6: Pontorson – Le Vivier sur Mer – 20 miles (33 km)
Today is devoted to the discovery of the wonder of “Mont Saint Michel”. This rocky islet has risen out of the bay for more than thousand years. After some new construction was completed in 2015, the abbey is once again ready to welcome visitors to the island. Enjoy a walk through the authentic, narrow medieval streets with timber-framed houses and charming shops. Continue with a visit of the abbey and loose your mind in the labyrinth of the numerous surrounded walls of the city. After this long period of walking, the ride in the afternoon will take you on a cycling path through the countryside and fields towards the seaside and Le Vivier sur mer famous for its oyster farms. Dinner tonight is in your hotel.

Day 7: Le Vivier sur Mer – St Malo – 25 miles (40 km)
Today you will start the day riding the inner lands through typical small villages and countryside before arriving in Cancale, a picturesque fishing harbor along the granite coast. Enjoy the beautiful view from this bay and taste the fresh seafood arriving every morning by the local fishermen. Then, continue along the coast towards ‘Pointe du Grouin’ a wonderful point of view facing the sea, you can admire the bay with a wide view. This place is also a bird sanctuary where you can easily observe them. Afterwards, continue your ride until you return to Saint Malo, the “City of the Sea”.

Day 8: Departure during the day

Getting There

The TGV (high-speed) train goes from Paris (Gare de Montparnasse) to St. Malo train station, which a transfer in Rennes. The total train ride is three and a half hours. Tickets for the TGV have to be reserved ahead of time. From the train station in St. Malo you will have to take a taxi to the first hotel.

Meals

All breakfasts and dinners are included. Lunches are on your own.

Prices and Dates

Check out our Tour Calendar

Tour Length

8 days/ 7 nights

Included
      – Accommodations in small, three-star hotels and guesthouses
      – Daily breakfast and dinners.
      – 21-speed bike rental, including HELMET, panniers, odometer, lock, repair kit, and map holder
      – Luggage transportation – pieces of luggage limited to 2 p.p. & 32 pounds per piece
      – Route descriptions, maps and travel highlight information
    – Emergency service phone number 7 days a week.
Bicycles

Bikes are included in the price of the tour. Bikes are well-maintained 21-speed men’s and ladies bikes, equipped with saddlebags, repair kit, odometer, and lock. Bike Helmets ARE included. Bikes are adjusted by a cycling specialist.

Level of Difficulty

Moderate. The cycling itinerary takes place on quiet country roads with little traffic. However, the changing topography can also mean gradients that are not always easy. The steep hills are usually short and can be walked if one chooses.

Excluded

Not included in the tour
– Air fare
– Entrance fees to the various mentioned attractions
– Beverages
– Lunches
– Other items of a personal nature

Weather

Average daytime temperatures in April and May are 55-65, June, July, and August 65-80, September and October 60-75. Average rainfall is 6 days per month.

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