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Trip Report

Bicycling the Eurovelo Route 1 on the beautiful Atlantic Coast of France

Two week bikepacking trip from Nantes to Biarritz. We cycled the Eurovelo Route 1 and slept on campsites.

by ijuri.sAtlasGuru Contributor

EuropeFrance2 days / August 2020

Highs & Lows

The highlight for me was the mutlitude of different landscapes as well as the lush nature you encounter.

This kind of travel is highly dependent on the weather. Two days were quite rainy so we needed to be flexible with our plans!

Itinerary Overview

We did this trip in two weeks, starting in Nantes and finishing in Bayonne close to the Spanish border. We crossed three departments and several cities such as La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Biarritz. The landscape is continuously changing. Leaving Nantes you encounter a rather Nordic landscape with grazing Holstein cows, wind turbines and oyster farms. Then you cross the region north of Bordeaux, la Vendée, which is a popular vacation destination for the French which means you will find quite elaborated camping grounds with restaurants, huge playgrounds and evening animation. South of Bordeaux you enter the beautiful department of Aquitaine, known for its endless beaches, continuously changeing sand dunes and a lush pinetree forest. The humans you encounter will either be surfing or cycling, as the region offers multiple possibilities for both. Last but not least you arrive in the French part of the Basque Country with its unique architecture, language and food. 

It is easiest to arrive to Nantes by TGV from Paris which takes around 2 to 3 hours. For returning I advise the train station of Bayonne which is the best connected in the region.

  • 1 Night: Arcachon
    Dune du Pilat
  • 1 Night: Capbreton
    Directly on the Eurovelo Route

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    To be honest: Nothing. Two weeks are perfect for cycling this distance and the climate of the season was also good.

  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    Luckily not.

  • How was the food?

    We mostly cooked for ourselves using our camping cooker.

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    Having good equipment for bikepacking is key. Pack intentionally and light. If you pack something for just-in-case, unpack it again! Additionally, do not miss the breathtaking sunsets every evening!

  • Packing tips?

    As I said: Pack light. Maybe do some research on the internet on the equipment of other bickepackers. There is plenty information.

  • Transportation Tips?

    If you arrive by train make you reservation very early (I advise 3 months in advance). Bike spaces in trains, especially TGV, are very limited. Arrive to Nantes from Paris by TGV and leave from Bayonne in regional trains. It is the best connected train station in the region.

  • Booking details?

    We booked everything ourselves. Camping grounds do not need any pre-booking. You just arrive and always get space for a tent.

Lodging

  • We slept on a low cost camping site which is nothing too interesting and mentionworthy. But next to Arcachon you find the Dune du Pilat which is worth a visit. It is the biggest sand dune in Europe.

  • Camping La Civelle, clean, well-equipped and priceworthy camping, right on the Eurovelo Route