By continuing to navigate on this website, you agree to the use of cookies that will propose contents and services that correspond to your areas of interest. Learn more and manage your settings

Find my cycling route

No stage matches your requirements

You are here: Home Unmissable sights along La Vélo Francette

Unmissable sights along La Vélo Francette

La Vélo Francette’s route is packed with great natural and cultural sights. Find out here about the most unmissable ones along the way.

Sword Beach D-Day landings

Sword Beach was the most easterly of the five landing beaches in Normandy used by the Allies on 6 June 1944, as they began their heroic task to liberate Europe from the Nazi grip in the Second World War.

Read More…

Orne Estuary and Sallenelles Bay at Ouistreham

The Orne Estuary is an important transitional zone between the Channel’s salt waters and the Orne’s fresh river water and is the biggest protected nature area in Normandy’s département of Calvados.

Read More…

Caen: from the Middle Ages to the Second World War

The historic city of Caen was begun for William the Conqueror. Its amazing medieval buildings include the castle of the Norman dukes and the Abbaye aux Hommes and Abbaye aux Dames. Fiercely fought over in 1944, Caen has a Mémorial that is a major museum encouraging reflection on both war and peace.

Read More…

Normandie-Maine Regional Natural Park

Explore the unspoilt hills of southern Normandy and of the former province of Maine just to the south.

Read More…

The Suisse Normande and its hills

The Suisse Normande has dramatic hilly landscapes carved out by the Orne, the most important river to cross Normandy after the Seine, its valley and tributaries marked by cliffs, gorges and densely wooded slopes.

Read More…

La Roche d'Oëtre Belvedere

La Roche d’Oëtre offers one of the most grandiose viewing points in northwest France. It’s listed as an Environmentally Protected Area, set in the heart of Europe’s oldest, if now worn down, mountain range.

Read More…

The medieval fortified town of Domfront

An historic Norman frontier town and a popular stopping point on the old road from Paris to the great pilgrimage island of the Mont-Saint-Michel, Domfront dominates from its height the typical surrounding patchwork of fields and hedgerows known as bocage. The town offers a fine example of medieval urban architecture and much of its centre has been prettily renovated.

Read More…

Laval: the Mayenne capital between Normandy and Anjou

The town of Laval was built beside the Mayenne River and became capital of the French department of Mayenne. Its origins go back c.1,000 years.

Read More…

Lactopôle: a museum on milk

Laval boasts the biggest museum in the world dedicated to milk and cheese, as the region has long been a major producer of dairy products. The Lactopôle aims to show visitors how matters dairy have featured large in French culture going back centuries!

Read More…

The Mayenne River by boat

Consider getting out on the Mayenne River on a boat with accommodation on board and discover the local landscapes at a completely different pace, savouring the slow passing of time!

Read More…

Château-Gontier

This town has been restoring and embellishing its heritage, which goes back in part as far as 1,000 years ago, and which you can discover by wandering around its winding lanes.

Read More…

Saint-Aubin Island and its House of Environment

North of the great city of Angers, the Saint-Aubin Island is a remarkable natural site in the Basses Vallées Angevines area, where several rivers converge before joining the Loire. The island, often flooded in winter, extends across 600 hectares in summer, when it’s covered with meadows.

Read More…

Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park

The Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Natural Park, the first park created within the Loire Valley’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located where the historic counties of Anjou and Touraine meet.

Read More…

Angers, a city at the confluence of the Maine and the Loire

Angers counts among the greatest cities in the greater Loire Valley, designated a Ville d’Art et d’Histoire for its exceptional heritage. Its lively centre either side of the Maine River and its many festivals make it a brilliant destination for a short break.

Read More…

The Loire Valley

Beside the Loire and its exquisite tributaries, discover countless heritage treasures, including Saumur, Montsoreau, Chinon, Ussé and Villandry. The last, famed for its formal vegetable gardens, plus the many local orchards, recall the fact that this part of the Loire is known as the Garden of France.

Read More…

The Cadre Noir Riding School at Saumur

The training of top cavalry riders has been a speciality in Anjou since the 15th century and the time of chivalric lord René d’Anjou. Saumur’s École Nationale d’Équitation, with its Cadre Noir elite riding squad, is a centre of French equestrian excellence, as is the Haras National du Lion d’Angers, north of Angers.

Read More…

The Thouet Valley

Exploring the hidden gem of the Thouet River takes you south from the Loire Valley to the Thouet’s sources in the Poitou-Charentes Region. Enchanting heritage sites along the way include remarkable churches, as many pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela (in Spain) passed this way in medieval times.

Read More…

Thouars and the Château of the Dukes of La Trémoille

Thouars is the one most significant historic towns along the Thouet. Reaching here, you can’t miss the imposing castle on its rock, set above a meander in the river.

Read More…

Niort and its twin keep

Niort is a town that has preserved many historic treasures, none grander than Eleanor of Aquitaine’s twin keep, standing guard over the Sèvre Niortaise River here.

Read More…

The Marais Poitevin Regional Natural Park

The Marais Poitevin Regional Natural Park protects a magical marshland divided up by an intricate network of canals. Calm, secretive, serene, it’s ideal for ecotourism, whether you explore it by cycling or hiking, punting or boating.

Read More…

Marans, a sentinel over the Sèvre Niortaise

Marans is a sweet little town known locally as capital of the dry marshes; it stands west of the main Marais Poitevin wetlands. Marans’s soaring church acts as a great viewing point over the wider area.

Read More…

The Marais Abbey at Maillezais

This splendid fortified abbey was begun in 1003, on what was then an island in the Gulf of the Pictons. It became a great medieval centre of learning, its church designated a cathedral; during the French Renaissance it trained major writers like François Rabelais and Agrippa d’Aubigné.

Read More…

La Rochelle

La Rochelle’s relationship with the sea could be called a love story! The city’s riches came from its seafarers trading across the oceans. In fact, up until the 15th century, this was the leading French port on the Atlantic.

Read More…

Aquarium La Rochelle

Get off your bike to dive to the bottom of the ocean here, in one of the largest privately-run aquaria in Europe!

Read More…