The seaside resort is the starting point (or arrival point) of a 45 kilometer cycle route. We discover the Côte de Beauté and the coast of the Arvert peninsula at our own pace. Royan is a stage in its own right on the Vélodyssée.
More than 800 kilometers from Roscoff (Finistère) to the north, and 500 kilometers from Hendaye to the south (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), Royan is almost halfway on the French route of the Vélodyssée®. This long ribbon of cycle paths runs for 1 kilometers along the Atlantic coast, from Brittany to the Basque Country. In the Pays Royannais, the portion follows the shape of the coastline drawn by the Côte de Beauté and the Wild side. It offers 45 kilometers of walks between the mouth of the Gironde and the Arvert peninsula, up to La Tremblade Ronce-les-Bains.
We start the journey, as it should be, from Royan, stage of the Vélodyssée ® after having spent a good night nearby, in a Saint-Palais-sur-Mer campsite or a hotel in Saint-Georges-de-Didonne. The total travel time is estimated at approximately 3 hours. Count on a good six hours for a round trip, stops, halts and detours not included.
stage 1: walk in royan, stage of the velodyssée ®
The official start is at the pier, the terminus of the previous stage from Le Verdon-sur-Mer (Gironde). The first pedal strokes take the cyclist along the Foncillon beach. Then a path opens up to the site of the old Fort du Chay, a 1945th century military building bombarded in XNUMX, of which some ruins remain on their promontory of limestone rocks, facing the ocean.
Past the Conche du Pigeonnier, the route continues north, along the coast to the hollow formed by the Pontaillac beach then temporarily departs from the coast via Boulevard de la Côte de Beauté (Vaux-sur-Mer).
Stage 2: Stop at Saint-Palais-sur-Mer
The waves reappear very quickly at Nauzan beach, which opens onto a bay from which rises a cornice popular with walkers. A little further on, you reach Bureau beach in Saint-Palais-sur-Mer. On the other side stands the very spectacular Devil's Bridge, a rock formation exposed by the ocean near the Pierrières massif and the platinum conch. We do not hesitate to make the detour on foot to enjoy the view.
Stage 3: The bay of Bonne Anse in La Palmyre
The Vélodyssée® leaves Saint-Palais-sur-Mer by the avenues of the Grande Côte and La Palmyre and goes through a deep pine forest to the Coubre lighthouse, which marks the southern tip of the Arvert peninsula and the entrance to the Côte Sauvage. Here opens, like a symbol, the Bonne Anse Bay (Les Mathes-La Palmyre), prisoner of a gigantic sandbank colonized by a remarkable reservoir of fauna and flora.
Stage 4: Journey on the Côte Sauvage
From there, the journey continues north and enters the green lung of the department, the Coubre forest, a massif of nearly 8 hectares planted with maritime pines, oaks and arbutus through which the Vélodyssée® meanders over 000 km. A refreshing haven steeped in conifers where the silence of nature, crossed by the sea breeze, imposes its impenetrable breath.
Here, the cycle route runs close to the coast which stretches its cord of wild shores, the Spanish Point in particular, agitated by impetuous currents. The route then branches off gradually towards the east and follows the northern coast of the peninsula where you can discover the Galon d'Or, marshland and famous beach of La Tremblade, as far as La Cèpe, another bathing site in the seaside resort. of Ronce-les-Bains, which offers a breathtaking view of the Île d'Oléron and its 3 kilometer long and 23 meter high bridge.
The journey continues beyond the Seudre viaduct, to Marennes where stands its famous bell tower, the highest in the department (85 meters) on the right bank of the estuary.