La Francette bike is a famous cycling route of more than 600 kilometers, which begins at Ouistreham in Normandy, near the landing beaches and ends in La Rochelle, passing through natural landscapes and picturesque towns such as the Poitou marsh. La Francette bike mainly follows greenways, towpaths and lightly traveled roads, making it a ideal option for families et cyclists of all levels. Along the way, cyclists can discover the history, culture and gastronomy of France, while enjoying a peaceful and picturesque environment.

Francette bike

What is Vélo Francette?

La Vélo Francette (formerly V43) is a cycle route of 628 km which connects Ouistreham in Calvados to La Rochelle in Charente-Maritime. The Vélo Francette crosses Normandy, Pays de la Loire and Poitou-Charentes.

She was elected Véloroute of the year 2017, a distinction offered by the organizers of the Dutch show Fiets in Wandelbeurs (bikers and hikers) in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The jury highlighted the diversity of the landscapes offered, its small bucolic Frenchy roads, as well as the quality of the accommodation on the route.

And once more ! The 2018 Route Trophy is awarded to him by the French Cycling Federation (FFCT) during the Destination Nature exhibition in Paris. This award highlights its initiatives and its significant infrastructures for the development of the bicycle offer.

From Green Venice to the Atlantic Ocean, postcard landscapes!

Let yourself be guided by Sèvre Niortaise who will tell you the Poitevin marsh. Feeding river of the Green Venice, he will take you from the center city ​​of Niort to the Ocean passing through Maraichin villages.

Winding, the Sèvre serves other arms, canals, conches and ditches forming an exceptional network of 8000 km of waterways characteristics of the marsh.

Immerse yourself in its history by letting yourself be guided by this backbone of the marsh. Crisscrossing through rich and varied landscapes, she takes you and guides you throughout your journey to the discovery of sound cultural heritage., its fauna, its flora and its traditions and legends.

Cross the wet swamp to the bay of Aiguillon, and during your stops, discover its hydraulic operation through the numerous locks, dams or ports which still punctuate the life of the maraichins.

Clo & Clem

A green setting

Large spaces to feel this feeling of tranquility. 

Philip Wall

An itinerary accessible to all

To everyone, the Vélo Francette winds between meadows lined with trees in a flat and shaded landscape. Family, it offers several sections where the key words are tranquility, gentleness and nature.

That you are with family, couples or friends, the important thing is to take his time. Walk the route, go immersed in this Grand Site of France and discover passages that only the bike can take (bridges, footbridges, towpaths, etc.).

850 km of bike circuits connected to the route open up numerous loops for you to discover.

A whole program in the spirit of slow tourism! Discover enchanting landscapes while taking his time, fully immerse yourself in nature surrounding area, favor meetings and savor the pleasures of backgammon are the major principles of slow tourism.

01. Section: Champdeniers-Saint-Denis – Niort / 24,5 km

Champdeniers-St-Denis is an astonishing stopover offering services and a remarkable little heritage. The route arrives on the banks of the Sèvre Niortaise near Ternanteuil, alternating small roads and agricultural paths, and winds in a meander before settling on the left bank for its arrival in Niort.

02. Section: Niort – Coulon / 18,3 km

A stage at the water's edge to follow the meanders of the Sèvre Niortaise, alternating towpaths and small roads. The Roussille site, in Niort, is idyllic for taking a break from this maze of cycle loops. As a stopover, a short detour to the capital of Green Venice, Coulon, is essential.

03. Section: Coulon – Damvix / 18,1 km

In the heart of the wet marsh, bathed by the Sèvre Niortaise, Coulon offers the cyclist all the services useful for his journey on the Vélo Francette. After walking through the marshes, the route returns to the Sèvre Niortaise after Irleau. As it approaches Damvix, the canalized river adopts a tense trajectory, as if in a hurry to reach the ocean.


/!\ DEVIATION INFO : The Coulon – Damvix section includes a deviation due to work on the wooden decking located between Coulon and La Garette. This diversion has been in effect since June 1, 2022. You can consult this route with the deviation and the new markings to follow by clicking above or here

04. Section: Damvix – Marans / 27,4 km

The Sèvre Niortaise remains your breadcrumb trail on this stage, only twice neglected for the Canal du Nouveau Béjou and the Canal du Pomère. The route here is punctuated by the ballet of skiffs racing to discover the wet marsh. Arriving at Marans, via the quays, quickly allows you to understand this city living to the rhythm of water. A former lookout overlooking the Sèvre Niortaise estuary, the marsh and the canal, Marans is distinguished today by its singular futuristic bell tower.

05. Section: Marans – La Rochelle / 26,3 km

Final step for the Vélo Francette common with a stage of La Vélodyssée. The route runs along the Marans canal to the sea before arriving in La Rochelle via the Rompsay canal. An easy route for a grand finale with the promise of a swim in the Atlantic Ocean. The call of the islands can then prolong the sweet France effect!

Travel peacefully with the Accueil Vélo label

Accueil Vélo is a national brand which guarantees quality welcome and services among cyclists along cycle routes. With Accueil Vélo , be well received by the partner service providers of France Cycling Tourism ! The brand Accueil Vélo , They are accommodation solutionsbike rental companiesplaces to visit and Tourist offices.

To find labeled structures, go to the different categories and check in the “Bicycle welcome” label:

To find out more about the Accueil Vélo label

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