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La Vélo Francette from Pont d'Ouilly to Flers through La Roche d'Oëtre

[ Cycle routes La Vélo Francette - From Normandy to the Atlantic by bike ] [ La Vélo Francette, the Orne valley by bike from Ouistreham to Domfront ]
  • 30.6 km
  • expert Level Expert

This demanding but grandiose alternative stage is worth the effort involved in cycling up La Roche d’Oëtre. From its 118m-high summit, enjoy grand views of the Rouvre’s wooded gorges, listed as an Espace Naturel Sensible (an environmentally protected area), set in the heart of Europe’s oldest mountain range. To reach the château and station at Flers, continue along pleasant, quiet, but steep roads through traditional Norman farmlands.

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The route
La Roche d’Oëtre is worth a special detour! La Vélo Francette here forces you to tackle a very demanding part of La Suisse Normande; the amusing nickname for this hilly area, Norman Switzerland, makes some sense here! Passing along often very steep country roads, the typical Normandy landscapes divided by hedgerows are a delight before you reach the town of Flers and its château.

Tourist Offices
Collines de Normandie Tourist Office
La Roche d’Oëtre
61430 Saint-Philbert-sur-Orne
+33 (0)2 31 59 13 13 - roche-doetre@wanadoo.fr
 

Flers Tourist Office
2 Place du Dr. Vayssières
61100 Flers
+33 (0)2 33 65 06 75 - otsi.flers@wanadoo.fr

 

SNCF Train Services
Flers train station: on the regional TER line Paris/Granville – Stops at: l’Aigle, Surdon, Argentan, Briouze, Flers
www.ter.sncf.com/basse-normandie

 

Buses
Line n°25 - Flers > Saint-Bomer-les-Forges > Domfront > Lonlay-l’Abbaye
Cap Orne - www.orne.fr/node/1254 : +33 (0)2 33 81 61 95. Bicycles may be allowed in the hold, if there is sufficient space for them. Check in advance with the transport company: +33 (0)2 33 65 61 61 www.vtni61.fr

 

Don’t miss
Pont-d'Ouilly: Guinguettes (riverside restaurants) on the banks of the Orne River

La Roche d’Oëtre: La Roche d’Oëtre boasts one of the most magnificent viewpoints in northwest France. Listed as an Espace Naturel Sensible (an environmentally protected area), set in the oldest (if worn down) mountain range in Europe, from its 118m-high summit, take in grand views of the Rouvre’s wooded gorges.  +33 (0)2 31 59 13 13 www.roche-oetre.fr

Maison de la Rivière et du Paysage: At the entrance to the Rouvre Gorges, these two centres dedicated to this special site cover several hectares, lying within an exceptional, protected environmental area where remarkable species thrive. A listed Espace Naturel Sensible, the site enables you to learn much about the specific natural environment here. +33 (0)2 33 62 34 65 www.cpie61.fr

La Carneille: this village built on both sides of the Gine Valley is set amidst further gorges and presents a lovely architectural ensemble, with its 17th- and 18th-century houses, its lanes, its church with a striking bell-tower and its historic butter market. www.roche-doetre.fr/IMG/pdf/circuit_dec_la_carneille.pdf

Flers: In the heart of town, the château grounds stretch across 7 hectares around a lake, offering a quiet spot for a walk or a pause in the centre of town.

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