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From Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel — La Véloscénie

Mathias Neveling (CC BY-SA 4.0)

From Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel — La Véloscénie

Bike Touring Collection by Guillaume Favez

4-9

days

3-6 h

/ day

279 mi

8,450 ft

8,575 ft

La Véloscénie is a 450-kilometre (280 mi) cycle route that takes you on an adventure from Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel on the Atlantic coast. From the capital to the beaches, passing through numerous hamlets and stunning towns such as Chartres, this journey westwards has many surprises in store.

I suggest you complete this journey in seven stages, roughly 65 kilometres (43 mi) per day. This is a challenging pace, but should still leave you time to discover the many attractions en route. Cathedrals, castles, lakes, stunning landscapes and historic villages will show you that you don't have to wait for Mont-Saint-Michel to be amazed.

The itinerary alternates between little-used secondary roads, greenways and trails. This trip is best ridden on a bike that can handle rougher trails, like a touring, hybrid or gravel bike.

Paris is easy to reach from anywhere in France, but the choice is more limited if you want to leave from Mont-Saint-Michel. The nearest railway station is in Pontorson, 10 kilometres (6 mi) from Mont-Saint-Michel. From Pontorson, direct trains to Paris leave every evening, at 6.14 pm on weekdays and 6.04 pm on weekends between April and October.

Although the route is accessible all year round, some accommodation and tourist attractions are likely to close in the low season, so it’s best to ride in spring or summer. While some stages end in cities, others end in more rural areas and you’ll need to book your accommodation in advance. It’s not necessary to book restaurants along the route, but it is best to plan stops for refreshments, as not all the villages you pass through have restaurants or shops.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    03:47
    37.4 mi
    9.9 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,175 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This first stage stretches over sixty kilometers for nearly 500 meters of elevation gain. The start is in the heart of Paris, at the crossroads of Boulevard Sébastopol and Avenue Rivoli, the two busiest cycle paths in the capital.The crossing of Paris takes the Boulevard Saint-Michel, a little nod to the arrival of this Collection at the famous Mont-Saint-Michel. …

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  • Difficult
    04:10
    43.9 mi
    10.5 mph
    1,000 ft
    1,125 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    With 70 kilometers, the second stage is a little longer than the first, but with less vertical drop. It will therefore not be more demanding.Shortly before arriving in Rambouillet, I suggest a short break at the Etang d´Or, a beautiful stretch of water that has remained wild. A few kilometers further, we leave the greenery to reach Rambouillet. The …

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  • Intermediate
    04:24
    46.1 mi
    10.5 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,325 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This 74-kilometer Tour is the longest of the Véloscénie, so allow a bit more time. Fortunately, the last few kilometers are mostly downhill, which should help you complete the trail.From the start of this Tour, do not miss the famous Chartres Cathedral, a superb building with exceptional architecture and stained glass windows.On leaving Chartres, the track splits in …

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  • Difficult
    04:36
    45.3 mi
    9.8 mph
    1,250 ft
    1,250 ft
    Expert bike ride. Good fitness required. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The Tour crosses Nogent-le-Rotrou then follows the Huisne, a local river that has remained a little wild. A few kilometers further, the Véloscénie joins an old railway line. The cycle route allows you to discover some old stations. This railway heritage is generally well maintained and the buildings, although similar, each have their own originality.From the twentieth to the …

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  • Intermediate
    03:12
    32.0 mi
    10.0 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,075 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This Tour is shorter than the previous ones, which will give you time to visit Notre-Dame d’Alençon, a beautifully decorated basilica.On leaving Alençon, the cycle route takes small roads to cross the surrounding hamlets. One of them, La Roche-Mabille, is particularly pretty with its perfectly maintained stone houses and superb landscapes.About ten kilometers and a few uphill sections …

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  • Intermediate
    03:42
    37.7 mi
    10.2 mph
    1,275 ft
    1,625 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Tour starts near Saint-Patrice-du-Désert, where the Petit-Jard castle is located. This small private castle is characterized by a magnificent central tower.If you like pretty mansions, drive about ten kilometers through the forest to reach the town of Bagnoles de l'Orne. When entering the village, take a short detour through the famous “Belle-Époque” district instead of following the Véloscénie. …

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  • Intermediate
    03:40
    36.8 mi
    10.0 mph
    600 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This Tour is closer to the coast, so it involves more descents than climbs.Before reaching the coast, take a break in Ducey, a village bordered by the Véloscénie. The surroundings are magnificent, the village is home to the Montgommery castle and offers several shops and restaurants.At kilometer 35, admire the Pontaubault bridge, which played a major role during …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    279 mi
  • Duration
    27:30 h
  • Elevation
    8,450 ft8,575 ft

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From Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel — La Véloscénie

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