An adventure on Central Brittany's cyclepaths
NEW for 2019
A gentle meander on the cycleways of central Brittany - Maximum 30 miles – average 18 miles – very, very easy and traffic free so perfect for children.
Brittany is sometimes described as 'hilly'. To be fair much of it is what I would call 'rolling' - gentle hills that give a lovely rhythm. However it is possible to cycle a long way virtually flat all the time allowing for the odd 'hop' up locks and roads, and 'railway gradients'. 100% on established cyclepaths and cycleroutes it requires a bit of 'insider knowledge' to piece together but here you'll find a route that covers a considerable area and follows the three best known cycleroutes in Brittany. First the Nantes-Brest canal, then up the V3 and then a return taking advantage of the meandering little cyclepath made from the bed of the old narrow-gauge railway. In all around 250 km of very easy and very quiet cycling through areas most tourists never get to see. You'll cycle canals and rivers, see chateaux and fortresses, pass dark forests and bustling market towns and all without breaking a sweat. Perfect for families with children on their own bikes or for those who want to travel a reasonable distance but not get hot and bothered doing it;-)
Day 1 - our base to Pontivy 40 km - almost all cyclepath
After getting sorted a very short ride to the gorgeous site of Bon Repos with it's Abbey, bars and picnic area where assuming you arrive on Saturday you get to see the Sunday morning market and buy an enormous picnic before setting off on the converted railway path following the north of the Lac de Guerledan and thence to Mur de Bretagne which makes a good stop for lunch. You then drop down to the Nantes-brest canal and follow it's meandering way to the Napoleonic town of Pontivy. The campsite is in the centre of the town so you can have a good walk around and explore, and though it is Sunday you'll still find places to eat open.
Day 2 - 45 km - Pontivy to Josselin - 100% cyclepath
Monday is market day in Pontivy so chance to stock up before a beautiful ride down the bank of the Nantes-Brest canal. Half way you go through the little market town of Rohan which makes a good lunch-stop (and has a campsite if you want to split this day into two). The choice here is one of two lovely campsites – each a couple of kms outside the town.
Day 3 – Stay at Josselin.
Though far from compulsory a rest day here gives you a very leisurely day to explore the medieval centre and chateau at Josselin or to explore the surrounding area which is very pretty and will at least get a few hills under your belt...
Day 4 - 35 km - Josselin to Loyat - some cyclepath, the rest on very quiet country lanes that form part of the V3 cycleroute.
Today the ride takes you first along the canal and then onto the V3 cycleroute through the town of Ploermel and gorgeous countryside and the edge of the Forest of Brocéliande to end up in a lovely campsite tucked away miles from anywhere;-)
Day 5 - 40 km - Loyat to Merdrignac - Quiet lanes followed by the V6 cyclepath
You follow the V3 cycle-route along quiet country lanes before reaching the little town of St Mene-le-Grande - a bustling place with some great places to eat for midday and thence pick up the V6 cycle-path - converted from the narrow-guage railway, and off back into the countryside. To the campsite at Merdrignac...
Day 6 - 40 km - to Loudeac - almost all cycle-path
The old narrow gauge railway cuts through the rolling hills of the heart of Brittany and to the town of Loudeac with it's magnificent walled town centre and range of shops and restaurants. The campsite down by the lake is just lovely.
Day 7 – 36 km – back to base - 99% cyclepath
The V6 bringing you all the way back via Mur de Bretagne and your only 'repeat' - however you can cheat by leaving the cyclepath for the last 10 kms and swooping down the silky tarmac of the old main road (now bypassed) to end the week windblown!
The sharp eye'd amongst you will have noticed that we bring you back to 'base' on the Friday night. Now if you'd rather you can break the ride to stop at Mur de Bretagne campsite leaving a short ride on the Saturday maorning, or indeed if you feel happy doing 36 km in a morning you can use the extra day gained to have a stop at say Rohan, or a day off to explore in one of the other campsites you stop at. The joy of camping is that it's all totally flexible and you are the ones that decide...