Determine cycling route difficulty on La Vélodyssée

A cycling itinerary for beginners and families

Various criteria can be used to assess a route’s difficulty:

  • the type of paths used and the type of road: greenways, cycling paths, roads, shared or unshared roadways 
    ➡️ Nearly 80% of the route is on greenways or cycle paths guaranteeing a pleasant and safe experience.
  • the surface type: is it smooth, rough, etc.? 
    ➡️ In general, La Vélodyssée is easy to ride, but in certain places in Brittany, the Loire-Atlantique department, and the Charente-Maritime department, the surface material on certain paths may be irregular and stony, and at times the surface may not be as easy to ride on as tarmac. But it is nothing like mountain biking! 
  • the presence of motorised traffic 
    ➡️ the route is mostly on car-free lanes, however crossings in large and medium-sized towns can be stressful and require caution. During the summer months, the few sections of shared roads along the coast are very busy. 
  • the state of markers 
    ➡️ La Vélodyssée is marked with signage in both directions between Roscoff and Hendaye 
  • the topography/elevation profile  
    ➡️ the cycling route is generally flat, with some exceptions


All of these reasons make La Vélodyssée an especially good cycling route for families, people who prefer to ride on greenways.


Some more difficult sections

  • Hendaye <> Saint-Jean-de-Luz : beautiful coastlines and more than 4 km of shared road.
  • Biarritz <> Saint-Jean-de-Luz : mainly on shared roads with significant topography features. Use caution at crossings in Biarritz, Bidart and Guéthary.
  • Capbreton <> Bayonne : the route between Boucau and Bayonne follows a brand new cycling lane but there are still a few sections on the rather busy secondary road 108.
  • Hourtin-Plage <> Lacanau : the dune section from Carcan-Plage to the outskirts of Lacanau is quite difficult. You will feel like you are riding a roller coaster.
  • Canal de Nantes à Brest : a beautiful coastline near Lac de Guerlédan/Mûr-de-Bretagne both in the North>South and South>North directions.
  • Roscoff <> Morlaix : hilly shared roads.

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