FLow velo - Cycling from Angoulême to Rochefort & Aix island along the Charente river
Cycling holiday on the Flow Velo bike route from Angouleme to Rochefort & Aix island
Along the Charente Valley you will discover the perfect combination of river, stone and vine. This cycling trip is largely based on the “Flow Vélo“, a cycle route from the Dordogne to the Atlantic ocean. We offer you a nice route on a pleasant « white » cycle path close to the Charente river, on small roads in the heart of the Cognac vineyards, through the Charente countryside, the Charente-Maritime marshes or along the beaches of the Aix island. This relaxing cycling tour has many beautiful surprises in store for you.
Starting from Angoulême, the capital of the comic strip, you will gently ride the Flow Vélo to discover the Charente vineyards and its bucolic countryside. Along the Charente meanders, your journey will be punctuated by villages, small churches, farms and bridges, all of which add to the charm of the region. Along the way, you will reach the land of the “liquor of the Gods”: Cognac, where you can meet passionate winegrowers or the “Grandes Maisons” in Jarnac or Cognac itself.
Your cycling route will take you further through the Saintonge region with its castles and Romanesque churches. Don’t miss a visit to the Gallo-Roman Amphitheatre in Saintes, which is truly spectacular. After Saintes, a city of Art and History, head for Rochefort, an arsenal city nestled in one of the last loops of the Charente, well known for its “Corderie Royale“.
Finally, set off for a last island stopover and a trip to the small, wild and unspoilt island of Aix, nestled between its two big sisters, Ré and Oléron. This crescent of sand, 3 kilometres long and 700 metres wide, offers cyclists the enchantment of a stopover at sea. Close to the majestic Fort Boyard, the island of Aix offers beach and marsh landscapes to the south, while to the north, the forest and its creeks are reminiscent of the Mediterranean. Take the time to discover every corner of the most insular of the Charente islands by bike or on foot!
You will be warmly welcomed every evening in 3-star hotels.
- The sweetness of life in the Charente region
- A peaceful greenway close to the river
- The “Grandes Maisons de Cognac” in Cognac and its wine-growing surroundings
- The historic city centers of Angouleme, Saintes & Rochefort
- Aix Island, as small as singular
Arrival at your accommodation in Angoulême. You will be welcomed in your hotel in the « old city ».
Delivery of documentation on the region and the road-book on which will be indicated your circuit.
Capital of comics, City of Art and History, Angoulême will seduce you with its southern atmosphere: cobbled streets and white stone house. Perched on a promontory and surrounded by ramparts, it overlooks the river Charente. Here comics are omnipresent and appear at all the corners of the streets.
Night in B&B in hôtel***
You will start your trip closer to the river of Charente, making a loop in Fléac, before reaching Trois-Palis and its famous chocolate factory.
In Saint-Simeux, you will enjoy to cross the bridge and admire the view of the church overlooking the valley, as well as old eel fisheries and water mill.
You will continue your journey along the Charent river, until you reach the picturesques villages of Vibrac and Jarnac inescapable, to finish the stage in Cognac, a city steeped in history, and world famous for its exceptional spirit.
Labeled City of art and history, Cognac is a city on a human scale that is full of architectural treasures, witnesses of the golden age of the trade of the precious beverage. The visit of one of its famous trading houses is inevitable!
Night in B&B in hôtel***
You leave Cognac and the department of Charente to enter the Charente Maritime. Not far from the river, enjoying the peaceful countryside, the cycle route will take you to Salignac-en-Charente where you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the river. Your itinerary punctuated by villages and hamlets, will end in Saintes, in the Saintonge.
Founded by the Romans, “Mediolanum Santonum” was the capital of Aquitaine in the first century. From this prosperity, it preserves the Arc of Germanicus, a magnificent and vast amphitheater, vestiges of the baths and an aqueduct. Labeled city of Art and History, Saintes will also surprise you with its Abbaye-aux-Dames, a prestigious monastic complex, one of the jewels of the Romanesque art saintongeais.
Night in B&B in hôtel***
On this stage the route of the Flow Vélo, a little more hilly, offers authentic and varied landscapes, allowing you on several occasions to set foot on the ground:
The Port of Envaux, the château of Panloy in the style of Louis XV, the chateau of Crazannes, as well as its quarries of limestone, the small picturesque village of Saint-Savinien, « Small City of Character », and « villages of Stones and Water » are so essential on your course. You will finally reach Rochefort, a dynamic city facing the Charente estuary, with rich heritage.
Chosen by Colbert to become the largest military arsenal of the kingdom, the city is the home port of the famous frigate, the Hermione. You will also discover, the Corderie Royale, considered as the biggest manufactory of Europe, it is the most impressive monument of Rochefort; and its trans-ferry bridge, the very last of France.
Night in B&B in hôtel***
Change of scenery for this last day in a loop! You will discover the marshes of the right bank of the estuary of Charente, before joining Fouras, small seaside resort and departure of the ferry. After a 30 minute crossing, during which you will see Fort Enet and Fort Boyard, you will arrive on the most insular of the Charente islands: the island of Aix.
Accessible only by boat, this island, classified as a remarkable natural site, can only be discovered on foot, by bicycle or by horse-drawn carriage. The 15 km of pedestrian and cycle paths crossing the island will allow you to explore gently, this little corner of paradise, where nature is queen.
Night in B&B in the same hotel
Departure from Rochefort after breakfast
We take care of transporting your luggage at each change of accommodation so that you travel light and take full advantage of your daily hike.
You leave your luggage at the reception of your accommodation before your departure .
At the end of the afternoon, you will find them at the reception of your new accommodation or directly in your room.
Luggage accepted per person: 1 suitcase or travel bag (20 kg maximum) + 1 piece of hand luggage.
We remind you that rental bicycles are equipped with saddlebags to be used to transport the things you deem useful for the day
Your travel record corresponds to the documents or files you receive before your trip (usually a month before) and upon arrival at the first accommodation.
- A welcome letter with the main practical information:
- The time slot for baggage transport
- Details of the delivery and collection of bikes from rental if necessary
- Your local contact and telephone number (s) in case of emergency
- Any additional information
- The logbook travel package including map with the route (to the appropriate scale) and directional, tourist and practical indications
- The necessary voucher (s) to be given to the service provider (s) (only if necessary!)
On request and depending on the circuits:
- The “Evazio” application to download from smartphone for “GPS” navigation with visual guidance (reading of the track on the your smartphone) and / or oral.
- The application also contains practical and tourist information. Once the trip has been downloaded, no internet connection is necessary
- The loan of a GPS device with the pre-recorded tracks
- Sends GPX tracks of each stage to be used with your own navigation support
On this circuit, we suggest that you provide you with the choice and by reservation:
- A hybrid bike suitable for hiking and for the route
- An electric bike adapted to the route
With its equipment:
- 1 rear bag
- 1 handlebar bag
- 1 set of repair
- 1 helmet (on request)
- 1 anti-theft device
- 1 charger (for the electric bike)
For the youngest, we can offer depending on age and size
- A child’s bike
- A baby seat
- A trailer
- A follow-up bike
The bike is delivered to the first accommodation and is adjusted to your size.
At the end of the tour, the bike must be left at the last accommodation with its equipment. We will take care of their recovery.
This tour is available in a “superior” version :
The type of accommodation is classified into 3 ranges:
Comfort : The circuit mainly presents hotels classified 2 and 3 stars (or equivalent) and rooms of host.
Superior : The circuit mainly presents hotels classified 3 and 4 stars (or equivalent) and charming guest rooms.
Luxury : The circuit mainly presents 4 and 5 star hotels or equivalent
Our support team remains available for the duration of your trip.