The French are famous for their love of cycling, and it’s not all about the Tour de France. Brittany alone has over 1,300km of cycle routes, from hard-core mountain trails to rural towpaths. In other words, if you’re ready to get out there on two wheels, there’s no better place than Brittany.
Where do I start ?
If you come to Morlaix Bay, you can bring your own bike on the ferry straight to Roscoff. Brittany Ferries has plenty of experience in welcoming cyclists and keeps it simple (see their video on you tube).
Alternatively, you can hire a bike over here from our centres in Morlaix and Carantec : just leave your car at one of several free car parks and cycle away !
To plan your trip, the Cycle West website has practical cycling information and a GPS tracklog plus a complete itinerary planner based on difficulty and location. Two of Cycle West’s cross-channel routes connect with Morlaix Bay : the 700km Tour de Manche and the 1200km Velodyssey that continues right down the Atlantic coast into Spain… but you can choose to do just part of the circuit !
What’s the best route for me ?
As France is so cycle-friendly, it caters for all abilities. There are competitive clubs and mountain-bike challenges, but also countless paths that are perfect for families and the not-terribly-fit !
You might know that the French for bike is vélo and you’ll see plenty of Véloroutes here. These routes combine sheltered trails and roads without much traffic.
Even better are the Green Ways (Voies Vertes in French), a fantastic network of paths only open to pedestrians, cyclists and horse-riders. Picture a lane dappled with shade from trees on either side, the quiet of the countryside and the joy of cycling gently with your family – that’s a typical Green Way. Often based on former railway tracks, they’re mostly flat and lead directly from one town to the next. This makes them ideal for families as they’re safe, convenient and not too demanding.
Here in Morlaix Bay, both Green Way 1 and Green Way 7 (also called the V7 or Trans-Finisterienne) head inland over the Arrée Mountains towards Carhaix-Plouguer, but the Green Way 7 spans 130km in total, connecting Roscoff in the north to Concarneau on the southwest coast.
Finally, fans of mountain biking will adore the terrain in Morlaix Bay, especially the inland area of the Arrée Mountains with their moorlands and valleys. You can charge off among heather and challenge yourself to get to the highest point, or opt for muddy trails through woodland, we’ve got it all !
Feel free to ask in any of our Tourist Offices for maps, practical information and advice on choosing the best routes.
I’m not convinced…
If you’re concerned you might not keep up with your travelling companions, opt for the flatter the Green Ways or hire a VAE electric bike, perfect for a power boost uphill !
If, on the other hand, your companions want to cycle and you’d prefer to explore differently, try our By Rail and By Sea outing to Roscoff and the Île de Batz, our horse-riding trails or leisurely country walks.
And if that also sounds too energetic, choose an indulgent spa break in Morlaix Bay, so you can relax and unwind while the others head off on their cycle trails. Perfect !
Accueil Vélo : Bikes welcome !
This sign shows that cyclists and bikes are welcome. You’ll often see it in accommodation that also offers bike repair facilities and extra information about cycle routes.
Which bike should I hire ?
You can easily hire a bike here, and it’ll help to know these abbreviations :
- VTC means Vélo Tous Chemins : these bikes suit everyone
- VTT means Vélo Tout Terrain, which is really a mountain bike
- VAE means Velo à Assistance Electrique, electrically-powered bikes, ideal for hilly areas