There are three major cycle routes along the Rivers of Western France: the “Vélo Francette” in Mayenne, the “Vallée du Loir à Vélo” (“Loir Valley by Bike”) in Anjou, and the “Vélobuissonnière” in Sarthe. These interconnected cycle routes offer some wonderful getaways on the waterfront.
The "Vélo Francette"
The 600km (370mi) long cycle route Vélo Francette runs between the English Channel and the Atlantic, from Ouistreham to La Rochelle. It spans the Rivers of Western France for 135km (84mi) linking Mayenne with Angers following the river’s course. The route is easily identifiable by the “Vélo Francette” logo and its national identifier “V43”, which you will also find on the cycling signposts.
4 days along the course of the Mayenne
This 135km (84mi) long route follows the valley of the Mayenne on the towpath from Mayenne to Angers. This segment, which is located entirely on the riverbank, covers all of three rivers: the Varenne, the Mayenne, and the Maine. Expect to spend four days cycling along the Mayenne via the ancient town of Laval and Château-Gontier.
A family-friendly circuit around Angers
Discover the capital of Anjou by setting off from the Parc Balzac in Angers on a route of 25km (16mi) in length. From Angers to Montreuil-Juigné, this cycling circuit follows a green route before beginning its descent towards the banks of the river Mayenne. You will finish with a stopover on the island of Saint-Aubin, which is accessible to cyclist via a small ferry.
The Loir Valley by Bike
Located at the heart of Western France, the Loir Valley by Bike route is France’s premier cycling route for following the course of a river from its source in Eure-et-Loir to its confluence in Anjou! The V47 covers 320km (200mi) of the Loir valley (not to be confused with the Loire!) from Angers to Saint-Éman.
As the Loir is not navigable, the best way to get to know this charming river is by bike, starting in the capital of the Anjou region! When you set off from Angers, don’t miss out on La Flèche and its zoo via the “Loir Valley by Bike” route, and then head towards the valley of the Sarthe on the “Vélobuissonnière”.
The Vélobuissonnière is a 250km (155mi) long cycling route from Normandie to the Loire Valley, linking Alençon and Saumur. It crosses the Sarthe Valley from “Cité Plantagenêt” in Le Mans to Malicorne via La Suze-sur-Sarthe.
It follows small, tranquil routes made up of shared trails and cycling paths along the towpath. The Vélobuissonnière in Sarthe links up with the “Loir Valley by Bike” route at La Flèche as well as the “Vélo Francette” and the “Loire by Bike” in Saumur.
During your stay in the Rivers of Western France, cycle along the Sarthe by following the signposts marked V44.
The “Vélobuissonnière” from Le Mans
Starting in Le Mans, get on your bike to get to La Suze-sur-Sarthe on a 30km (18mi) long segment. This two-hour long bike route sets off from the quays of the port of Le Mans and passes the village of Fillé. On the island of MoulinSart, find out the secrets of being a miller at the Saint-Cyprien mill.