The Channel by bike? A good idea for discovering this department which is made up of groves and coasts with cliffs, beaches, moors or marshes. Several routes for cyclists cross it, which allows you to discover its beauties, in particular those of its precious pearl that is Mont-Saint-Michel.
The Tour de Manche by bike
Le Channel Tour toured the Manche department, but not only! This road goes from Havre (Seine-Maritime) to Roscoff (Côtes-d'Armor) and also extends into the south west england (Dorset and Devon).
This 1 km long route is part of the EuroVelo 4 route which goes from Ukraine to Brittany, passing by the coasts of the North Sea, the Bay of Somme, the Alabaster coast, the D-Day landing beaches ... It crosses in all seven countries and a total of more than 4 km!
In the English Channel, the route takes you from Cherbourg au Mont-Saint-Michel, via Carentan, Saint-Lô, Vire, Mortain, in other words some of the main historic towns of the department. It also forms a loop in the Cotentin.
The section that goes from Carentan to Cherbourg is part of the Coastal cycle route, currently under construction, which should eventually make it possible to travel the Normandy coast from Mont-Saint-Michel to Tréport.
Connections with D-Day Landing Beaches Cycle Route at Mont Saint-Michel and the Veloscenia.
The D-Day Landing Beaches Cycle Route at Mont-Saint-Michel
Crossing the departments of Calvados and Manche over 230 km, this route combining history and nature presents three points of departure or arrival on the beaches of the Manche where terrible fighting took place in 1944, when the Allied troops gathered. confronted with German forces.
These are those of Port-en-Bessin-Huppain (Omaha Beach), Arromanches-les-Bains (Gold Beach) and Sainte-Marie-du-Mont (Utah Beach).
The first two, located in Calvados, are connected to Vire in the Manche by Bayeux. From the third, we reach Vire, passing by Carentan et Saint-Lô. The route continues through Mortain, Saint-Hilaire and Ducey before reaching the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel.
In addition to seascapes, the cycle route makes you discover those of the Norman bocage and the Cotentin marshes, along greenways or small roads.
Connections with the Channel Tour and La Veloscenia.
La Veloscenia leads you from Paris to Mont-Saint-Michel. This marked route, stretching over 450 km, takes you along greenways, cycle paths and small roads.
From the capital, you notably go through Versailles, Rambouillet, Maintenon, Chartres, Nogent-Le-Rotrou, Alençon, Bagnoles-de-l'Orne et Domfront (Orne).
The following stages, in the Channel, are Barenton, Mortain, Saint-Hilaire-du-Harcouët, Ducey and finally the Mont-Saint-Michel. Not presenting any great difficulties, the journeys take you through the Norman bocage before reaching the sea.
Connections with the Channel Tour and the Cycle route from the Landing beaches to Mont-Saint-Michel.
The Tatihou - Le Mont-Saint-Michel mountain bike route
This great crossing of the department of Manche has for "terminus" the couple formed by Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue et Tatihou Island (Vauban towers) to the northeast, and the Mont-Saint-Michel at the South West.
The route, which cumulates 285 km, leaves the coast to enter the bocage by taking you through Valognes, Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte, the Marais de la Sangsurière Nature Reserve and Adriennerie (bogs, birds, etc.), Périers, Saint-Sauveur-Lendelin, Coutances.
In Montmartin-sur-Mer and Hauteville-sur-Mer, you will find the waves of the Channel, which you follow along the coast of Havres (Regneville-sur-Mer, Vanlée) before arriving at Avranches and the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel.
Other mountain bike circuits
The Manche department has many routes suitable for mountain biking. Here are a few.
The way of Tancred, between Saint-Sauveur-Lendelin and Coutances, winds through the bocage in the heart of the Regional Natural Park of the Cotentin and Bessin Marshes (21 km).
The circuit of Hotels does not invite you to visit accommodation to spend the night, but to discover beautiful residences on the Feugères side (31 km).
The circuit of Three valleys, to the south of Saint-Lô, leads you through the meanders of the Vire, Joigne and Hain in the countryside. Be careful, it is deemed difficult (36 km)!
Between dunes and harbors : this circuit takes you to the seaside, to see Hauteville beach, the harbor of Regnéville-sur-Mer, the village of Montmartin-sur-Mer, the harbor of Vanlée, the dunes of Annoville ... (23 km).
Near Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, the Bay of Veys is an estuary where the rivers Douve, Taute, Vire and Aure meet, which come from the Cotentin and Bessin marshes. Here you have beaches and mudflats. In the Beauguillot nature reserve, you can observe migratory birds (30 km).
The circuit of Cap de la Hague is borrowed from the extreme north of the department. It offers you, among other things, sumptuous panoramas of the sea (33 km).
From Quettehou, you have access to balconies of the Val de Saire, set made of wood and cultivated land which offers views of Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue and the island of Tatihou (26 km).
Find all the tips, addresses and practical information in Routard Normandie in bookstores.
Consult our Normandy online guide
- Cycling reception. National brand set up under the aegis of France Vélo Tourisme which indicates which accommodation, bicycle rental companies and repairers, places of visits or tourist offices provide quality services: www.francevelotourisme.com
- EuroVelo routes: www.eurovelo.com