Do you want to travel to La Vélodyssée by train, with or without your bike?
How do I get to the La Vélodyssée route by train?
If the question comes up so often, it's because it's important to ask it, so that you can prepare ahead of time and make the most of your trip. To answer this question as simply and precisely as possible, this article is divided into five parts:
1️⃣ Advice from La Vélodyssée on taking the TER with your bike
2. 🎫 Renseignez-vous sur les modalités TER + vélo et réservez votre place
3. 🚲 Le jour-j du départ, arrivez en avance pour prendre le temps de préparer votre vélo pour son voyage (retirez les sacoches, étiquetez votre vélo)
4. 🚃 Montez sereinement à bord, accompagné(e) de votre vélo !
2️⃣ Major railway stations, gateways to La Vélodyssée
The 1,300-kilometre route is punctuated by major stations in strategic locations: Morlaix, Nantes, La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Hendaye. These stations are connected to the rest of France, offering direct access to the French Atlantic coast. It's worth noting that these major stations can often be reached via the various coach operators. They also allow you to cover the La Vélodyssée itinerary from top to bottom, offering greater freedom in the case of a "one-way" trip, for example.
Here is a map of France's rail network:
Locate railway stations on the route maps on our website by selecting ‘Station’ in the ⓘ section.
3️⃣ Transport conditions for classic bicycles
If your bike is dismantled and stored in a bag measuring 120 cm in height and 90 cm in width, then it is considered to be hand luggage and is accepted within the limits of available seats on all trains (additional baggage option for OuiGo trains).
However, if it is not dismantled or folded, then the conditions for transporting "classic" bicycles vary according to the type of train you are taking.
Here is a summary by train type:
* TER: depending on the region, specific boarding arrangements may be put in place.
4️⃣ Conditions for transporting special bicycles and accessories
While there are solutions for transporting conventional bicycles, unfortunately this is not yet the case for less standard models. For safety reasons, bicycle trailers are not permitted on Intercités, TER and TGV trains, whatever their size or shape. Oversized" bicycles follow the same rules and are not allowed on board for the same reasons: tandems, tricycles, recumbents, cargo bikes, etc.
5️⃣ Train + bike: alternative solutions exist!
- Option 1: Consider having your bike delivered to your final destination on the Atlantic coast (Mimizan, La Rochelle, Nantes, etc.).
For example, BicyBAGS charges €23 to deliver two bikes per 100 km segment and €20 to deliver five bikes per 100 km segment (service available between Nantes and Hendaye).
Option 2: Remember that SNCF will also deliver luggage to your home. This service is currently getting a makeover and will be up and running again in June 2021. Before it temporarily closed down, the delivery charge was €80/bike/journey, with bikes treated as large luggage.
- Option 3: Consider renting a bike and returning it at the end of your itinerary: several rental companies offer this “one-way” service.
- Option 4: Rent a bike when you get off the train or in the area around your accommodation: click here to see a map of “Accueil Vélo” rental companies close to the railway station.
- Option 5: Use the dismantling kits provided from 14 July in the following railway stations: Hendaye, St-Jean-de-Luz, Ciboure, Biarritz, Bayonne, St-Vincent-de-Tyrosse, Dax, Bordeaux St-Jean, Arcachon, La Teste, La Rochelle and Nantes.
6️⃣ Some news from the SNCF, work in progress, new features for cyclists, partnerships... everything you need to know!
First of all, to supplement the information on this page or if you have a specific need, we invite you to consult the SNCF website and its page dedicated to cycle transport. The French website LeCyclo may also be the valuable help you are looking for when preparing your journey.
For Intercités and TGV trains, buy your passenger + bike ticket online on the SNCF website. TER, OUIGO and iDTGV trains do not offer this facility.
On all trains, the number of seats for bicycles is limited. We advise you to arrive well in advance, to avoid peak times and to make your reservation in advance.
In the interests of quality, initiatives and development projects may be orchestrated by the SNCF. We will endeavour to keep you informed of the main initiatives that may affect you.