No Hills Cycling Adventure!
- No Hills Adventure! (well only a few...) - A gentle meander on the cycleways of central Brittany - Maximum 30 miles – average 18 miles – very easy Also available as a Cycle-camping route
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, and on established cyclepaths and cycleroutes. This route does have some longer days and ineveitably you will find gentle 'railway' gradients and the odd 'hop' where the track crosses roads and the like, so not as easy as the 'Rigole' cycle route, but nothing most people would find difficult. 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 Bon Repos 5 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, then on to a lovely little B&B for the night where you'll be taken to the local restaurant.
Day 2 - 35km - Bon Repos to Pontivy - almost all cyclepath
If you started on the Saturday then today is the Sunday morning market at Bon Repos where you can 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 to stay at a wonderful hotel right in the centre just 300m from the massive fortress that dominates the town.
Day 3 - 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. Very peaceful and easy ride to a more modern hotel, but one run by the same family for years and a lovely setting by the canal...
Day 4 – Free to explore!
You spend two nights here so now a chance to explore the most spectacular chateau in central Brittany and the medieval centre of Josselin. The surrounding countryside is wonderful to wander through or you can just be lazy for the day...
Day 5 - 38 km - 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 B&B tucked away miles from anywhere;-)
Day 6 - 40 km - Quiet lanes followed by the V6 cyclepath
You follow the V3 cycle-route along quiet country lanes before reaching the little town of St Meen-le-Grand - 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. Again a pretty little B&B awaits you at the end of the day...
Day 7 - 48 km - to St Caradec - almost all cycle-path
The old narrow gauge railway cuts through the rolling hills of the heart of Brittany and through the town of Loudeac with it's magnificent walled town centre and range of shops and restaurants. Well worth taking time to explore... A few small hills greet you for the last 5 km or so as the path criss crosses the new road, but you're soon back on track. Then on through the fields and woods to a B&B in the heart of a farm.
Day 8 - 28 km - All cycle-path
A short day to bring you back to us in a morning to allow for packing up. The V6 bringing you 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!