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Cycling on the Ile d’Oléron and our best itineraries

Bicycle paths oléron

Exploring the island of Oleron by bike is an ideal way to discover the diversity of its landscapes. The island is criss-crossed by bike paths, winding through pine forests, sparkling salt marshes and along beaches as far as the eye can see.

And that’s not all: in summer, when the roads fill up, cycling proves to be the best option for avoiding traffic jams and getting around more quickly.

In this article, we share with you our favorite itineraries for getting around the island, and we’ve written another article to help you organize your stay on Oleron. Get ready to fall under the spell of these roads we love so much.

Bicycle paths oléron

Why cycle on the Ile d’Oléron?

  • The cycle paths take you almost everywhere and are a pleasure to ride, through forests and marshes, along the coast…
  • There are plenty of bike parking facilities in town centers and along the beaches (see our selection of Oleron’s most beautiful beaches).
  • Please note that in high season, from mid-July to mid-August, we advise you to travel by bike. To give you an idea, the island grows from 20,000 year-round inhabitants to several hundred thousand in the summer season, and the road infrastructure is clearly not adapted to cope with so many people.
Saint Trojan port

Cycle route maps

The cycle paths on the island of Oleron each have their own color. The on-site signposting is clearly visible, so you can’t go wrong.

map cycling network île d'oléron

Our favorite routes

From the south to the Chassiron lighthouse in the north

This trail (the blue one on the map) is a must-do in its entirety or in small sections. The start is at the magnificent Gatseau beach, lined with pine trees. Next, you’ll pass through the lovely village of Saint-Trojan, then the cycle path through the magnificent Saint-Trojan forest, skirting the entire west coast of the island.

We recommend stopping for a picnic on the immense sandy beach of Vert Bois, one of our favorites. It’s also the ideal beach for surfing or bodysurfing, and at low tide it’s perfect for families. After this short break, continue northwards towards the typical Oleron villages of La Cotinière (if you would like to find out more, we have written an article on this subject). article about La Cotinière), then Domino and Chaucre. Before reaching the northern tip of the island, and thus the Chassiron lighthouseThe bike path crosses bird-filled marshes with a view of the ocean. It’s one of our favorite portions.

  • Distance: Approx. 40 km (blue trail)
  • Points of interest: Fort Boyard, Gatseau beaches, Cotinière, then Domino and Chaucre
  • Start/Finish point : Saint-Trojan-les-Bains / Phare de Chassiron
  • Type of route: Mostly forest and marsh cycle paths, with a few road sections

Between sea and forest – From Boyardville to St Denis d’Oléron

This itinerary focuses on the northeastern part of the island, linking Boyardville to Saint Denis. The nicest part of this route is the crossing of the Saumonards state forest, just after leaving the port of Boyardville. This is one of our favorite trails. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to discover the lively marina of Le Douhet and the picturesque villages of La Brée Les bains and Saint-Denis. Along the way, you can take a well-deserved break on one of the magnificent beaches on the east coast, with views of Fort Boyard, the Ile de Ré and the city of La Rochelle.

  • Distance: Approx. 17 km (green trail)
  • Points of interest: Plage de la Boyardville, Plage de la Brée les Bains et la Boirie, village of La Brée and Saint Denis d’Oléron. Port du Douet and Boyardville.
  • Start/Finish point: Port de Boyardville / Saint Denis
  • Type of route: Bicycle path with direct access to beaches and road

Through the salt marshes and the oyster route

This route takes you through salt marshes, a guaranteed change of scenery. In Oléron, these marshes are converted into oyster beds for maturing oysters. Leaving Dolus d’Oléron, head up towards Arceau and then Les Allards, passing through a number of vineyards – yes, there are winegrowers on the island of Oléron too. Then take the coastal path (shared road) to the picturesque village of Château d’Oléron, exploring the marshes.

These stretches of salt water are fascinating from an ecological point of view, where you can observe numerous birds (swans, egrets, grey herons…), as well as playing a crucial role in the local economy. Near the colorful cabins of the Baudissière channel, we recommend a stop at one of the oyster huts to savor the famous Marennes d’Oléron oysters, straight from the producer.

At Château d’Oléron, park your bike at the citadel and explore it on foot, finishing with the port and its colorful artists’ huts.

  • Distance: approx. 20 km (red, orange and green trails) – loop possible approx. 40km
  • Points of interest: Marais aux Oiseaux, marshes, Bauddisière channel and Chateau d’Oléron
  • Start/Finish point : Dolus – Le Chateau d’Oléron
  • Environment: Marshes, protected natural areas
  • Type of route: This route crosses departmental roads and consists of shared lanes.
Chenal de la Baudissière ile oléron
Colorful cabins at La Baudissière

Can you cycle around the island of Oleron?

For the more adventurous, it’s possible to cycle around the whole island on the various cycle paths (approx. 80 km). This itinerary will enable you to discover every facet of Oléron, from its tranquil beaches and picturesque villages to its shady forests.

We recommend this itinerary out of season, as some of the summer trails are very busy and you won’t be able to overtake easily.

Resources and tools for Cyclists

  • A map of cycle paths is available from the island’s various tourist offices.
  • The tourist office offers online itineraries on the Loopi application, featuring interactive maps. This tool will help you navigate the cycle paths and discover routes suited to your level and desires.
  • As far as rental companies are concerned, we don’t have any to recommend as we live on the Ile d’Oléron and therefore have our own bikes to get around on a daily basis.
  • A final word of caution: from mid-July to mid-August, the trails are very busy. We advise you to take your time and be careful, as many families with young children cycle at this time of year.
oleron cabanes

We hope you enjoy your ride and your stay on the Ile d’Oléron ! If this article has helped you find your cycling itinerary, leave us 5 stars below to encourage us.

Don’t hesitate to drop us a line below, to let us know if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll be delighted to get back to you.

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Picture of Floriane
Floriane
My name is Floriane, and I've been an adventurer and travel enthusiast since I was very young. More than anything, I love sharing our travel stories and tips with you. We love short getaways as well as long trips. This blog was born after our backpacking trip around the world. We also went on a family tour of Europe.
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