NORMANDY CYCLING & CYCLE TOURS | MANCHE | NORMANDY

 

Normandy is known throughout Europe and beyond for its great cycling and it is easy to see why. Having hosted the Tour de France many times with perfect cycling roads and paths, what better way to enjoy this stunning area than by bicycle?

Normandy welcomes cyclists of all abilities with nearly 1500km of bike trails and 230kmn of greenways (voies vertes) and that’s as well as the glorious roads to mender along.

Please see some helpful links below and advice on the best cycling tips in Normandy. We also offer bespoke cycle tours.

Glatigny Farmhouse is located within La Manche, Normandy and is perfectly located as your cycling holiday rental for exploring the area on bike.

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Whether you cycle purely for leisure or are a born competitor, the La Manche region in Normandy attracts cyclists of all abilities and on a variety of bikes. The passion for cycling is felt throughout the whole of Normandy and it’s no surprise the area is well equipped to cater for and enhance cycle holidays.

The tourism websites or offices in most local towns have a lot of cycling information and their maps are very useful, no matter what language you speak. We do recommend a visit if you are planning a cycling holiday in Normandy – it makes planning the route a breeze!

Due to the diverse selection of routes and tracks Normandy is a magnet for road-cyclists and mountain-bikers alike.

There are some links above to specific routes and events, but below are a just a few routes and reasons to why the cycling in Normandy is such an attraction. We hope you enjoy our top Normandy cycling tips!

 

Here are some of the recommended cycle routes in the Normandy area: 

Cycling in Manche (Lower Normandy)

As already indicated, cyclists of all types and abilities are attracted to the La Manche area of Normandy and it is the perfect way to see this beautiful and historically rich area.

There are nearly 1500 km of dedicated bike routes, running from Cherbourg to Mont Saint-Michel and also 230 km of greenways (voies vertes). These routes take in monumental and poignant sites such as Mont Saint Michel, The D-Day beaches, The Somme Bay, Etretat Cliffs, The Apal Coast and much more.

Going through UNESCO World Heritage site, ‘La Vélomaritime’ routes offers an incredible and unique cycling experience; encompassing sight seeing, challenge, the feeling of escape and cultural and culinary discovery!

For those that struggle to choose the perfect itinerary the ‘Tour de Manche’ route is perfect as it offers such a varied and unique experience, bringing together both French, British and American history as well as many architectural, bucolic and astronomical delights.

Along this fully signposted  route, cyclists can enjoy and discover attractions such as Morlaix Bay, the Pink Granite Coast, Mont Saint Michel, just to name a few. 

If you are coming over from the UK, this area also encompasses many of the ferry ports, making it very convenient.

Being on the Cherbourg peninsula, in La Manche, Glatigny Farmhouse is a perfect base for this area.

 

Cycling in the Orne (Lower Normandy)

Orne in Normandy is another route that is perfect for cycle riders of all abilities and ages and is especially suited to family holidays. There are many routes being opened each year in the area.

You can cycle through the Normandy-Maine National Park, and highlights include the Medieval town of Domfront , Carrouges Castle, the spa town of Bagnoles, and the beautiful Andaines Forest.

Along the Orne you’ll be able to enjoy views of marshes and beaches from Bénouville to Merville and distant horizons from Vierville to Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes.

These cycle routes are perfect for all the family!

 

Cycling in Calvados (Lower Normandy)

Calvados is a beautiful area in Upper Normandy, France and the open roads meandering through the poppy fields are prefect for a cycling holiday in France.

Some of the sights in this area include stunning panoramic views from Longues to Arromanches, the picture perfect areas from Merville to Cabourg and the great outdoors from Courseulles to Ouistreham

 

Cycling in the Eure (Upper Normandy)

Like much of the area in Upper Normandy, this area combines the charm of nature with beautiful plains, valleys and the delightful valley of the Eure.

The challenge in this region will be to keep cycling – the beauty may cause you to stop every few minutes to take in all these bucolic sights!

 

Cycling in the Seine-Maritime (Upper Normandy)

The terrain around the Seinne-Meritime is a cyclist’s idyll. The landscapes are dynamic and the designated bike paths allow cyclists of all levels to travel a route that’s perfect for them.

 

Cycle the sea on the Alabaster Coastal Route

The EuroVelo 4 contains a route called The Coastal Route; the 4,000-km EuroVelo4 route goes all the way from Roscoff in Brittany to Kiev in the Ukraine. This Véloroute du Littoral (as it is signposted) is a real high on worldwide cycle routes.

Due to its distance, only very keen cyclists attempt the entire route, but the stretch through Normandy is a real treat!

We recommend starting near Le Harve and finishing in Le Tréport - a route of nearly 200km. There are some quite steep ascents which render this route ‘challenging’, but it is very much worth the effort. – The beautiful blue waters up against the iconic white cliffs are a delight.

Towns such as Fécamp or Étretat are a treat to take in along the way.

 

Cycle the cider route through the Pays D’Auge

This cider or Cidre route runs through the picturesque Pays D’Auge and there are no points for guessing why it’s called the cider route!!

The route is perfect for the cyclist who enjoys good food and drink! The area is known for its half-timbered farm houses, great food and of course quality cider!

This relatively tame route of only 40km meanders through charming villages, gentle hills, chateaux and orchards aplenty!

The quintessentially Norman aspect of this route makes it well worth a cycle, even if cider isn’t your tipple! There is always the abundant French wine!

 

Cycle the Vélo Francette from Normandy to the Atlantic Coast

The Vélo Francette  is over 600km, but can be easily divided into shorter rides. Starting near Ouistreham, these geenways (voies vertes) are very family friendly and suitable for all levels of cyclists. Many routes are very easy and enjoyable, taking in the picturesque scenery of the Normandy countryside; you’ll pass by many rivers, fields and beautiful houses.

 

Cycle the path of the Impressionists in the Seine Valley

Made famous by Claude Monet and his painting at Giverney, this area is a must if art and impressionism are your forte.

Bringing art and cycling together, this route meanders through the untouched countryside around Giverney and ends in Le Harve. Just over 100lkm, the route meanders along the Seine River passing through quintessentially French villages, the Seine Normandy National park and also the vibrant city of Rouen. Containing both leisure and some more challenging hilly sections – this route suits many abilities.

 

Cycle through history from Arromanches to Port-en-Bessin

Steeped in dark history, the area and cycle routes from Arromanche to Port-en-Bessin offer much to those interested in World War Two history.

Visiting Second World War sites such as the D-Day museum, Bayeux War Cemetery, Omaha Beach and the Museum of the Battle of Normandy, these relatively short and easy routes give much to contemplate on.

Be aware that some of these routes are shared with other vehicles and although traffic is largely low, it may get a little busy on entering some of the towns such as Caen or Bayeux.

 

Cycle the Véloscenic from Paris to the Mont Saint-Michel

If you are an avid cyclist and can handle the nearly 450km ride, this route is worth every kilometre!

The scenery is simply stunning; sites such as Mont Saint Michel or the Notre Dame will not fail to disappoint and the local charming villages oozing with character will help lift your (potentially sagging!) spirits.

This entire route is a fully dedicated cycle path and is well signposted. Although long, it is also relatedly flat with only small undulations

This route is made up of six different smaller routes from around 30km to 90km so it doesn’t all need to be done in one go. Each route is very varied and offers much by way of sights.

This route takes in some of the most well-known sights in France and Europe and even if you do just one stage, it is worth the effort.

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