A Glaudax cycle tour
6 days of cycling
5,400 metres of climbing
2 fluent French-speaking tour guides
Free luggage transfer from Portsmouth
Are you ready for the challenge?
2024 tour dates starting from and returning to St Malo ferry terminal:
Sunday 5 – Saturday 11 May
Sunday 26 May – Saturday 1 June sold out
Sunday 8 – Saturday 14 September sold out
NB: you must book your own ferry crossings with bicycle
Tour price: £1,125
Single room supplement: £260
Payable by bank transfer or credit/debit card.
Set off on Sunday morning from the ferry terminal at St Malo for six days of gloriously scenic riding on the quiet lanes and off-road cycle paths of Brittany, pan-flat in parts and less so in others! Days 1 and 2 use the high quality coastal EuroVelo 4 route and afford fine clifftop views aplenty. On day 3 we strike inland and climb into the heart of Brittany. Days 4, 5 and 6 are much flatter making much use of canal and riverside routes as well as former rail links, and you will finish back where you started in St Malo on Friday afternoon. Fine dining awaits in the splendour of the walled city before the return ferry on Saturday morning. In total you'll cover some 600 km (375 miles) with around 5,400 m of climbing. You will need a good level of cycle fitness to enjoy this tour.
A warning about French road surfaces... prepare to be amazed!
French tarmac is generally super smooth, even in the most remote rural areas, and a real joy to ride. About 25% of this tour is off-road, using river, canal-side and former rail routes, but even most of these sections compare favourably to potholed British roads. Ideal for gravel bikes, a road bike with new sturdy tyres will also be fine for this tour.
Don't forget your passport!
Your passport must be issued less than 10 years before the date you enter France and valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave. More info here
The maximum group size is just 12 riders, assuring you of a highly personalised service from the moment you first contact us right through your Glaudax experience.
The 6-day schedule
Stage 1, Sunday: St Malo to St Brieuc
distance 98 km; climb 1,000 m
We will meet you off the overnight ferry in the ferry terminal at St Malo, where we will take your luggage, give you some breakfast and a briefing and set you off when you are ready. Today's route starts with a short ferry ride across the Rance estuary to Dinard, where you'll pick up our GPS-mapped recommended route heading west on the splendid Velomaritime EuroVelo 4 coastal cycle route. Pretty seaside resorts offering decent croissant/coffee and lunch opportunities pop up with gratifying frequency. The riding is mostly on quiet roads with some car-free sections on former railway lines.
Night 1: Hôtel de Clisson
Stage 2, Monday: St Brieuc to Perros-Guirec
distance 107 km; climb 1,100 m
Monday is market day at Saint Quay Portrieux! Grab an early coffee and cake here before taking on another rugged coastal day on the EuroVelo 4 where magnificent maritime views abound as we thread our sinuous passage from one clifftop to the next. We'll pass through pretty Paimpol for lunch and take the former route du petit train... "at that time (early 20th century) there existed a small railway of local interest, a little local train famous for its low speed and the frequency of its stops, which, in my eyes, gave it a certain charm..." wrote St Brieuc-born writer Louis Guilloux. A few more kms up the road we traverse the stunning Petite Cité de Caractère of Tréguier with its splendid 12th century cathedral and pretty waterside harbour, also known as the birthplace of St Yves, patron saint of lawyers.
Night 2: Hôtel Le Nautica
Stage 3, Tuesday: Perros-Guirec to Loudéac
distance 113 km; climb 1,500 m
With 13 metres climbing per km, this is the Queen Stage of the tour. Leaving the coast, we head south, climbing steadily into the heart of Brittany via Guingamp at 50 km, another Petite Cité de Caractère, with a diverse religious, ducal and military heritage. Many buildings are from the 17th century, e.g. the Augustinian monastery (now the town hall) and the Ursuline monastery. Notre-Dame de Bon Secours cathedral features three architectural styles and dates back to the 11th century. After that we're on quiet undulating lanes linking a succession of small Breton villages through to our overnight stop at Loudéac, a town of many typical historic Breton chapels and St. Nicolas church in beautiful blue Breton stone.
Night 3: Brit Hôtel Les Voyageurs
Stage 4, Wednesday: Loudéac to Redon
distance 105 km; climb 500 m
By comparison with previous days, today's stage is almost a rest-day. The pedalling is considerably easier, trending downhill and including, mostly towards the end of the day, over 30 km of gravel paths, firstly by the River Oust and then switching to the Canal de Nantes à Brest. These are fine, smooth, high quality EuroVelo standard routes providing car-free and carefree pedalling for mile after mile – cycling does not get any more zen than this! But you'll want to pay attention to our coffee and lunch-stop recommendations as we're now in the remote Breton interior where grazing opportunities are few and far between.
Night 4: Bel Hôtel
Stage 5, Thursday: Redon to Rennes
distance 86 or 93 km; climb 500 or 650 m
We're heading back north today, and almost half our ride is off-road by the River Vilaine. There's a route choice to be made: flatter but longer (following the meandering river more closely) or cutting some corners and doing some hills. Either way you'll be spending much of the day riding the easy-rolling gravel of the V42 Voie Verte cycle route with plenty of cafes, boulangeries, creperies and restaurants to tempt you off your bike probably all too often - just as well it's a short day!
Night 5: Hôtel Anne de Bretagne
Stage 6, Friday: Rennes to St Malo
distance 93 km; climb 700 m
Our final day is another easy-going pootle, threading our way westwards out of town through the Rennes university and hospital suburbs on the local cycle network, then swinging northwards into open country and quiet lanes up to Vignoc and Tinteniac, both with cafes and boulangeries for that all-important second breakfast and caffeine shot. Shortly after that we rejoin the V42 Voie Verte du canal d'Ille-et-Rance and wend our way up via Evran and Léhon (Petite Cité de Caractère) to le port de Dinan, a fabulous spot for lunch. Here we offer an optional, but highly recommended, detour and bonus climb (11% on cobbles!) up into the walled medieval town of Dinan. Enclosed by nearly three kilometres of ramparts, Dinan and its 14th-century castle afford fabulous views of the Rance river and port far below. The half-timbered and gabled houses testify to the town’s wealthy past. From the 14th to 18th centuries, it was busy with weavers and tanners. Saint-Sauveur basilica, built in the 12th century, blends Byzantine, Persian and Romanesque influences. Moving on, we soon join an old railway route which steers us up to the seaside resort of Dinard for the short ferry trip across the Rance estuary into St Malo.
Night 6: Hôtel de la Cité
Congratulations, you've completed Glaudax Internationale!
We acknowledge www.brittanytourism.com/ for some of the information above.