The Radiant Isles
Among those in the know, the Ile d’Oléron and Ile de Ré are the most famous and fashionable islands along the French Atlantic Coast, nestled secretly between Brittany to the north and the vineyards of Bordeaux to the south. From our rendezvous in the medieval harbour city of La Rochelle, with its two imposing towers, we’ll take you for an unforgettable journey of wonderfully flat biking along the sea, picnicking on sail boats and tasting oysters at one of the most respected growers in the world. B&R is proud to be the first active travel company to offer you the opportunity to be in the vanguard and experience this unique itinerary.
This is a signature B&R Biking trip—expertly guided, small groups, premium hotels.
La Rochelle to La Rochelle
6 Days / 5 Nights
Price per person from: $5,795
Single supplement: $1,100
See departure dates for exact pricing
Choose a Date
Day by Day
Beginning in the harbour of Ile d’Oléron, ride along quiet bike paths through the oyster fields and farms of the bay. Arriving in Le Grand Village, enjoy a lunchtime cooking demonstration from Chef James Robert followed by a short ride to the protected sand beaches of Vert Bois and La Rémigeasse.
Cycling through the little fishing villages of La Cotiniere and Saint-Pierre d’Oléron, savour the contrasting landscape of pine forests and ocean front. After an afternoon of poolside relaxation, enjoy dinner at a private castle on the coast hosted by Chef Coutanceau.
Enjoy a catamaran cruise across tranquil waters to the Ile de Ré, and depending on the tide, we’ll stop on Ile d’Aix. This National Park sits in the middle of the bay and offers an exceptional environment for a light hike.
Discover the south of the Ile de Ré by bike along a stunning seaside route. Spend the afternoon poolside at Villa Clarisse or explore the village of St Martin de Ré before an evening walking tour.
Arguably the best ride of the week, this route follows the ancient Route du Sel to the top of the island, stopping in a virtually untouched village. Challenge yourself with the century ride, or return to St Martin before an evening pedal through the countryside to a secret location.
After breakfast catch the TGV to Paris from the La Rochelle-Centre Ville train station, and say au revoir to the Charentes Maritimes!
Le Grand Large, Dolus Ile d’Oléron
Built in 1965, the hotel Le Grand Large has found its place in a natural way in the middle of the dunes and the beach of La Remigeasse. With Le Corbusier’s style and its exposure to the west, it’s a very luminous and comfortable place to relax. The hotel associates comfort with high-quality, designer furniture and a soft and chic atmosphere. View hotel website »
Hotel Le Toiras, St Martin de Ré
The Hôtel de Toiras is exceptionally well located at the entrance to the port of Saint Martin de Ré, the historical capital of the Île de Ré. The façades, typical of the old Île de Ré residences subjected to the forces of the Atlantic Ocean for nearly four centuries, make the hotel an integral part of the activities and life of this harbour town, endowing it with great natural charm. View hotel website »
This trip is rated Easygoing. Daily biking distances vary from 30 to 50 km (18 to 30 mi.), with options on some days as far as 100 km (63 mi.). The terrain is all flat. Any difficulty in the ride will depend on which way the wind is blowing. The walking route on the third day on Aix is mostly flat along unspoiled landscapes and beaches.
You can't enjoy a great biking trip without a really great bike. On this trip you'll be riding customized Cannondales; there are three models to choose from to ensure you'll have the perfect bike. Click here for a detailed description. We also equip you with handlebar bag, helmet and water bottle.
All hotel accommodation
4 dinners, 3 lunches and all breakfast with wine (as selected by B&R)
Services of B&R guide(s) and support van
Use of a customized Cannondale bicycle and helmet
Use of two lightweight, telescoping walking sticks
Detailed maps, route suggestions and water bottle
All special events and private tours
All transportation from rendezvous to drop-off
All baggage transportation
All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service
At Your Service
We take pride in choosing guides who are not only exceptional travelling companions, but who’ll go far beyond the call of duty to ensure an unforgettable experience.
“Travelling with B&R is an over-the-top experience. It seems that every moment from biking in the breathtaking countryside to the luxury hotels, the food, the wine, the other travellers, and the excellent guides—all are the most memorable. The hardest part of the trip is the return to reality!”
— Betsy Sampliner
Notes from the Road
- Where to Eat: Beaune RestaurantsAh, Beaune. It’s our medieval jewel and our French home, the heart of Burgundy wine country. Fortunately, a varied and distinguished contingent of Beaune restaurants make the local fare served on a plate almost as enjoyable as that served in a bottle …
- The White Storks of AlsaceYou’ll see them high above the village squares, perched precariously atop slanted rooftops in their huge nests, or roaming fields of newly cut grass. For many centuries, these graceful white birds have been a yearly presence in Alsace during the warm …
- Q&A With David ButterfieldIt’s been 26 years since David Butterfield first set foot in Burgundy, and boy how times have changed. The Slow Road caught up with the son of B&R co-founders George and Martha Butterfield, now a respected producer of Burgundy Grand Crus, to talk ter …