‘Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike,’ JFK once said, and the thrills of discovering Normandy on two wheels are hard to beat! Whether you are a novice or a hardened cyclist looking for a change of scenery and awe-inspiring itineraries for a ride with friends or family, our top ten stunning cycle routes are bound to satisfy your desire to explore. On yer bike!

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1.

MEANDERING ALONG THE RIVER SEINE (SEINE-MARITIME)

Head to Caudebec-en-Caux for a ride along the Val de Seine cycle route. Following the picturesque meanders of the river, this traffic-free, scenic and relaxing route provides a perfect environment for novice and seasoned cyclists, family and friends alike. Enjoy the landscapes, unique light and reflections on the water. Not surprisingly, the Impressionists adored this section of the River Seine, and were fascinated by its colours.

MEANDERING ALONG THE RIVER SEINE (SEINE-MARITIME)
Villequier © J-M. Berts / Caux Seine Tourisme

Useful information

Véloroute du Val de Seine
76490 Rives en Seine
Bicycle hire available in Caudebec-en-Caux. Information at the Tourist Office.
15km cycle route

2.

BIKING THROUGH THE BOIS DU BREUIL FOREST (CALVADOS)

Situated 4km from Honfleur, the Bois du Breuil is among the few coastal forests accessible to the public and cyclists, from complete beginners to seasoned pros. This 300-acre stretch of lush wooded greenery is owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral. A cycle route loops around the forest, offering magnificent views over the Bay of Seine. See you amid the trees!

 

BIKING THROUGH THE BOIS DU BREUIL FOREST (CALVADOS)
© V. Rustuel

Useful information

Le Bois du Breuil
14492 Pennedepie
Access to the car park is via the RD 62 (Equemauville-Pennedepie).
5km cycle route

3.

ENJOYING THE VÉLOBUISSONNIÈRE AT YOUR OWN PACE (ORNE)

Beginning in the historical town of Alençon (a designated ‘Remarkable Heritage Site’), the Vélobuissonnière cycle route offers beautiful views of the rolling hills and country landscapes of the Alpes Mancelles valleys, where the Sarthe river flows peacefully. Take time to stop at Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei, a quaint hamlet listed among Normandy’s ‘most beautiful villages in France’, where time seems to have stood still – the perfect place to enjoy a gourmet picnic with local treats!

 

ENJOYING THE VÉLOBUISSONNIÈRE AT YOUR OWN PACE (ORNE)
Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei © P. Beltrami / Sarthe Tourisme

Useful information

La Vélobuissonnière
61000 Alençon
15km cycle route

4.

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MADAME BOVARY (SEINE-MARITIME)

Riding a bike and reading a book are two hobbies that you shouldn’t do at the same time. However, you can combine them on a literary cycling tour that traces the steps of Emma Bovary, the main character of famous French writer Gustave Flaubert’s novel, Madame Bovary. The cycle route begins on the Place Flaubert in Ry and takes you through some of the quintessential villages and sites of interest closely linked to the literary masterpiece. One of our favourite stops along the way is the Château de Martainville and its breathtaking Renaissance-inspired gardens.

 

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MADAME BOVARY (SEINE-MARITIME)
Cycling Emma Bovary's way © Ry Trois Vallées Tourist Office

Useful information

A literary cycle tour inspired by Flaubert's masterpiece, Madame Bovary
76116 Ry
66km cycle route

5.

VENTURING ALONG THE VELOSCENIC TO THE MONT-SAINT-MICHEL (MANCHE)

Starting from Ducey-les-Chéris, the final stage of the Veloscenic, the long-distance cycle route from Paris to the Mont-St-Michel, takes some beating in the beauty stakes. Follow the signposted route through the dreamy meadows of the Bay of the Mont-Saint-Michel, a landscape of hedgerow-lined fields known as the bocage. The traffic-free, smooth and flat route reveals views of the spectacular abbey rising up in the bay and leads right to the foot of the impressive Mont-Saint-Michel. For a snack along the way, make a quick stop at the Gonfroy bakery in Pontaubault, famous for its delicious brioche.

VENTURING ALONG THE VELOSCENIC TO THE MONT-SAINT-MICHEL (MANCHE)
Le Mont-Saint-Michel © E. Berthier

Useful information

Veloscenic
50220 Ducey-Les-Chéris
25km cycle route

6.

EXPLORING THE TRANQUIL SEINE VALLEY ON THE SEINE-EURE GREENWAY (EURE)

The Seine-Eure Greenway running between Pont-de-l’Arche and the village of Pinterville offers a safe cycle through beautiful Normandy landscapes and quaint hamlets along the river. This short traffic-free route provides plenty of heritage to keep you entertained on the way, and passes by the Léry-Poses leisure park for a refreshing stopover (swimming and watersports), making it a perfect choice for a family day out.

EXPLORING THE TRANQUIL SEINE VALLEY ON THE SEINE-EURE GREENWAY (EURE)
© Normandie-photo.com / Seine-Eure Tourist Office

Useful information

Seine-Eure Greenway
27340 Pont-de-l'Arche
30km cycle route

7.

CONQUERING THE SUISSE NORMANDE (ORNE)

For the more adventurous cyclists, the Suisse Normande is a wild, hilly stretch of land around the Orne River that certainly lives up to its name. The rolling terrain of ‘Norman Switzerland’ is a superb spot to explore on two wheels if you enjoy uphill and downhill challenges. Starting from La Forêt-Auvray, this cycle route showcases the region’s stunning scenery and exceptional panoramas, while featuring some sharp ascents and descents to test your mettle! La Roche d’Oëtre, one of the highlights of the route, is a listed natural site perched at 118 metres high on a rocky belvedere offering stunning panoramic views over the wooded Rouvre gorges.

CONQUERING THE SUISSE NORMANDE (ORNE)
La Forêt Auvray, Suisse Normande © CD Orne / Tourisme 61

Useful information

Cycling in the Suisse Normande
Departure from the church carpark in La Forêt Auvray
61339 Putanges-le-Lac
24.5km cycle route

8.

MOUNTAIN BIKING IN THE PAYS SOURDIN (MANCHE)

Experience by bike the steep hills and valleys of the Pays Sourdin, then head for Villedieu-les-Poêles, a town famous through the centuries for making copper pots and pans! This mountain bike trail rewards cyclists with picture-perfect views of the Normandy bocage and impressive panoramic views of the area surrounding the town. Along the way, visit the Ferme de Grémi in Sainte-Cécile, a perfect pitstop for a gourmet break and a chance to see the Bayeux pig, a rare, local breed from Normandy.

MOUNTAIN BIKING IN THE PAYS SOURDIN (MANCHE)
Villedieu les poêles © C. Cartier / Villedieu-les-Poêles Tourist Office

Useful information

Cycling around Villedieu-les-Poêles
50800 Villedieu-les-Poêles
Bicycle hire available (JP Cycles)
25km cycle route

9.

CYCLING THE CHARENTONNE VALLEY (EURE)

The disused railway line next to the Charentonne river in Eure’s Charentonne Valley is a truly lovely place to cycle. This pretty cycle route runs from Bernay to Broglie, two small towns renowned for their charming timber-framed houses. The Voie Verte de la Vallée de la Charentonne (Charentonne Valley Greenway) has a bit of everything: a gentle pedal through the valley and miles of scenic hilly countryside to marvel at.

CYCLING THE CHARENTONNE VALLEY (EURE)
Broglie © R. Bresson / Eure Tourisme

Useful information

Charentonne Valley Greenway
27300 Bernay
13km cycle route

10.

RIDING THROUGH THE PAYS DE FALAISE (CALVADOS)

Starting from the historic centre of Falaise, cycle through the countryside surrounding the birthplace of William the Conqueror. Discover the Pays de Falaise at your own pace on this fairly easy route using quiet lanes running through a variety of landscapes. On the way, a slight detour allows cyclists to see the Chapelle Saint-Vigor in Saint-Martin de Mieux, known as the ‘Chapelle aux pommiers’ (the apple tree chapel). Dating back to the 13th century, the religious building was transformed into an art masterpiece by the Japanese artist, Kyoji Takubo, who first visited in 1987 and fell under its spell.

RIDING THROUGH THE PAYS DE FALAISE (CALVADOS)
Chapelle Saint-Vigor © J. Basile

Useful information

Circuit vélo Falaise Saint Vigor
14700 Falaise
22km cycle route

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Cycling in Normandy