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La Vélo Francette, the Mayenne valley by bike from Domfront to Angers through Laval

[ Cycle routes La Vélo Francette - From Normandy to the Atlantic by bike ]
  • 174 km

This section of the cycle route La Vélo Francette takes you beside no less than four rivers: the Varenne, Mayenne, Oudon and Maine. This cascading series of rivers leads you, via various confluences, towards France’s most regal river, the Loire. Cyclists enjoy a panoply of northwest France’s riverbanks this way, along with happy hikers, riders, and people out angling and boating.

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The 5 stages of the section « La Vélo Francette, the Mayenne valley by bike from Domfront to Angers through Laval »

  • La Vélo Francette from Domfront to Mayenne

    La Vélo Francette from Domfront to Mayenne [44.9 km]

    The route leaves the southern Norman hilltop town of Domfront, taking you on a long stage going via roads and greenways beside the Varenne River up to the Mayenne River and on to Mayenne-town. Three remarkable sights on the Varenne are the mills of Moulin de Varenne, Moulin d’Ambloux and Pont des Planches. The village of Ambrières-les-Vallées offers a last view of the Varenne before you join the banks of the Mayenne. Works are in progress, but the signposts will guide you throughout the deviation.

    Difficulty: Intermediate view the detail
  • La Vélo Francette from Mayenne to Laval

    La Vélo Francette from Mayenne to Laval [35.6 km]

    After visiting the historic town of Mayenne, with its castle dating back in part to Carolingian times, head south via the Mayenne Valley. This La Vélo Francette stage is well suited to families, following the riverside towpath in a lovely natural setting punctuated by lock-keepers’ houses and beautiful old homes. The town of Laval is a delight to walk around.

    Difficulty: Family view the detail
  • La Vélo Francette from Laval to Château-Gontier

    La Vélo Francette from Laval to Château-Gontier [34.8 km]

    The start of this stage affords fine views of the town of Laval and its two châteaux. The nine-arched railway viaduct here also has a footbridge open to cyclists, and links the Mayenne River’s east bank to Laval’s town centre and its river port. South of Laval, admire the well-known Abbaye du Port Salut (historically connected with popular Port-Salut cheese) before discovering more of the natural beauty of the Mayenne River.

    Difficulty: Family view the detail
  • La Vélo Francette from Château-Gontier to Le Lion-d'Angers

    La Vélo Francette from Château-Gontier to Le Lion-d'Angers [34 km]

    Travelling along the Mayenne Valley, each meander reveals new delights to spur you on, with a château here and a mill there, or then a waterside village with a river port. Before the town of Le Lion-d’Angers, you’ll get a notion of the importance of the equestrian professions around here as you pass the Domaine de l’Isle-Briand, home to a world-class national stud farm that hosts equestrian events.

    Difficulty: Family view the detail
  • La Vélo Francette from Le Lion-d'Angers to Angers

    La Vélo Francette from Le Lion-d'Angers to Angers [27 km]

    After the picture-postcard equestrian grounds at L’Isle Briand, with its château and national stud farm, plus the Mayenne and Oudon confluence, you cross the low-lying ends of several river valleys that form one of the most exceptional areas of wetland in Europe, going right up to Angers, a famed historic Plantagenet city. Up to that town’s Pont Jean Moulin bridge, the rural atmosphere remains almost untouched.

    Difficulty: Intermediate view the detail