Lakes and Forests hotel based route
A lovely gentle wobble through the Breton countryside. Few hills, short distances, very quiet roads all make it a very easy introduction to cycling in France.
Day 1 – A gentle wobble to Mellionnec – 8 km.
That says it all really... A very gentle introduction to the week... You just get onto the canal towpath and ride 8 km to a little B&B lost in the countryside. Food? The owner is a retired chef - you'll eat like kings.... A very gentle way to start.
Day 2 - In theory stay put, but LOTS to see and do...
Sunday morning there's a lovely market at Bon Repos, it also allows for plenty of time to explore the canal system, walk in the forest, discover ancient covered tombs and the preserved forge and Chateaux at Les Forges du Salles
Day 3 - 29 kms
Today is the longest and probably hardest of the week but it's worth the effort and in reality will be unlikely to take more than 3 hours. The roads are vanishingly quiet and pretty and tyour host of the previous night will make you a lovely picnic. This takes you through the little market village of Guemene and then on to a converted 14c coach-house that is the hotel in the sleepy village of Melrand (and yet another wonderful restaurant...).
Day 4 - 27kms
8 kms on the road and you dive down to St Nicolas des Eaux which makes a gorgeous lunch/coffee stop. Then the canal towpath again which will take you meandering (traffic free) another 19 kms right into the centre of Napoleonic town of Pontivy - bustling, huge Chateaux, great centre with bars to sit outside in the sun, wonderful restaurants (a great Vietnamese one!). The hotel Europe is a 3* eastablishment and gorgeous with it. One of it's plusses for us is that it doesn't have an evening restaurant. I know that sounds crazy, but the people who own it are so nice you'd feel bad about not eating there if they had one. It leaves you free to explore the town and huge Castle, and of course sample a couple of the wide range of restaurants in the centre.
Day 5 - 23 kms
Now for a day all on the canal towpath - this is an especially lovely section and it takes you all the way to Rohan, a large and busy village set right on the canal.
Day 6 - 24 kms
A potter back along the towpath and then off on country lanes to the village of St Caradec where you stay at a Chambre D'Hote where the farmers wife will cook you a cyclist sized meal and make you very welcome...
Day 7 - 16 kms
A short easy ride to the village of Caurel, much of it on the old railway track, that will leave plenty of time to explore the town of Mur de Bretagne, and then spend time at the side of the Lac de Guerledan. The hotel has a restaurant and there's another right opposite so too much choice as usual...
Day 8 - 10 kms
Saturday morning so a short and easy ride down the converted rail-track with views over the 'Lac de Guerledan' then to the canal to bring you back to Gouarec.