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La Vélo Francette from Thouars to Airvault

[ Cycle routes La Vélo Francette - From Normandy to the Atlantic by bike ] [ La Vélo Francette, the Thouet river by bike from Saumur to Niort ]
  • 30 km
  • intermediaire Level Intermediate

After visiting the historic heart of Thouars, take in the Imbert Floral Park, with its lovely terraces above the River Thouet. Leaving this Ville d’Art & d’Histoire, you can continue to appreciate to the full the charms of the Thouet’s riverbanks. As you cycle along, enjoy glimpses of waterfalls, wooded slopes and lovely historic buildings.

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The route
For the time being, follow the signs indicating Le Thouet à Vélo (signs for La Vélo Francette will be added in due course). For much of the way, this stage takes you along roads shared with motorised traffic, but with a cycle track at St-Jean-de-Thouars and a stretch of greenway through Soulièvres Park. There are some slopes: through L’Enfer Wood, at the level of the Château de Marsay; after crossing the Thouet at St-Généroux; just after Availles-Thouarsais; and cycling up to Airvault.
Take special care along the lovely descent before Argentine.

Tourist Offices
Pays Thouarsais Tourist Office
32 Place Saint-Médard
79100 Thouars
+33 (0)5 49 66 17 65

Airvault Tourist Office
48 Rue des Halles
79600 Airvault
+33 (0)5 49 70 84 03

SNCF Train Services
Thouars station: on the regional TER line 14 Les Sables-d’Olonne > Bressuire > Saumur


Don’t miss
Thouars: designated a Ville d’Art & d’Histoire thanks to its rich cultural heritage: the château des Ducs de Trémoïlle; the historic Chouans bridge; the churches dedicated to St Laon and St Médard; the local Ecomusée du Moulin de Crevant; the Imbert Floral Gardens; the Henri Barré Museum (on local history and crafts)
Missé: St-Pierre Church; the picnic area near the château
St-Généroux: the medieval bridge and church
Argentine: the pretty, hill-surrounded village
Availles-Thouarsais: the limestone cliffs; the truffle-producing traditions; a very pleasant picnic spot beside the Thouet River, with toilets provided.
Soulièvres: Soulièvres Park and Meadow; the Pont de Vernay bridge
Airvault: designated a Petite Cité de caractère, the village of Airvault grew up around the Augustinian abbey here, one of the greatest in the Poitou region. Visit the village’s medieval centre, including the abbey church, the covered market, the underground fountain, the Musée Jacques Guidez (on Poitou crafts and traditions), and the market, held Saturday mornings in the covered market

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