Family trip with a 3-month-old baby and his older brother aged 1 and a half, from Chinon to Saint-Brevin-les-Pins

  • © Gang of croissants

Six stages from Chinon to the Atlantic Ocean with luggage and two small children.

From Chinon to Gennes-Val de Loire (57km)

First bit of cycling along small shady roads in the forest until the Indre/Loire confluence in Candes-Saint-Martin. 

Then a long path alongside the Loire before turning inland to follow the troglodyte trail through caves and tunnels in Souzay-Champigny. 

Arrival in Saumur via the riverbank, a necessary detour to admire the view of the château! 

Quick stop in the Tourist Office to get our stamp for our Loire à Vélo Passport, before heading off out of the city. 

After that our route to Gennes followed the Loire (alternating between roads and paths). 

It was an ideal stretch for a snack break with an unspoilt view of the river. 

Our accommodation for the night was a “Trek Tent” at the Au Bord de Loire campsite. The view of the river was perfect and the fouées (a local speciality) sold at the travelling food truck were delicious! 

© Gang of croissants © Gang of croissants

From Gennes-Val de Loire to Rochefort-sur-Loire (57km)

That morning, our breakfast was delivered straight to our tent. Very thoughtful! 

A quiet, shady and smooth road took us to the first bridge of the day, between Saint-Rémy-la-Varenne and Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire. 

As we crossed, we had a panoramic view of the sand banks and neighbouring villages. The stunning scenery stayed with us for the next few kilometres as we cycled along the levee, before dropping down to turn inland and pass through a long series of fields (an alternative route of the Loire à Vélo). 

Arrival at the Chevalerie ferry over the Authion, a small ferry open seasonally that took us to Trélazé. The crossing took just a couple of minutes and was very enjoyable. 🙂 

In Trélazé, which is famous for its slate mines, we took a path past the quarries, first amid trees and then through the quarry park, and then on to Angers. 

We rode through Angers to the Tourist Office (to get our passport stamped!) before quickly leaving the city through the large park of the Maine lake. 

The following section was undoubtedly our favourite part of the journey: a path reserved for cyclists and walkers through a tunnel of trees along the river. It was well worth discovering! 

When we arrived at La Pointe, we chose the option that climbed up through the vineyards in order to admire the view before returning to the Loire at Savennières and crossing to Rochefort-sur-Loire. 

© Gang of croissant © Gang of croissant

From Rochefort-sur-Loire to Saint-Florent-le-Vieil (47km)

The day began with a series of riverside paths, quiet roads along the levee and sections through pretty fields of sunflowers. 

When we arrived in Chalonnes-sur-Loire, we added a stamp to our passport and took a break in the pretty Café Bondu. 

Montjean-sur-Loire and its large headstock marked the end of the island of Chalonnes and the start of a long, straight stretch to Saint-Florent-le-Vieil. 

In the village, the climb to the panoramic view in front of the Abbey was worth the effort, before heading out into the fields along quiet roads. 

Our destination, Les Babins campsite, was a wonderful surprise. The site was unspoilt, welcoming and family-friendly with its open-air cafe and vintage caravan full of children’s toys. The accommodation was mostly handmade and was amazing. We definitely recommend it! 

© Gang of croissants © Gang of croissants

From Saint-Florent-le-Vieil to Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire (43km)

The paths to Ancenis with its Brittany-Anjou bridge ran along the edge of a forest and took us past the oxbows of the Loire. 

We crossed Oudon along roads that often had cycle paths.
Quick detour to Champtoceaux to admire the Loire with its four dykes from Promenade de Champalud and add another stamp to our collection. It was the perfect spot for a picnic! 

Next, a succession of countryside landscapes via small, quiet roads to Mauves-sur-Loire then Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire. 

© Gang of croissants © Gang of croissants

From Sainte-Luce-sur-Loire to Nantes (20 km)

A road with traffic for this section between Sainte-Luce and Nantes.
As we approached the city, the landscape became busier and increasingly urban. However, there were plenty of cycle paths in Nantes, making it pleasant to ride through. 

This stage was shorter because we had planned to stop in Nantes for a day’s break to visit the Ile de Nantes with its machines. 

We saw Les Nefs and the Carrousel des Mondes Marins then had a ride on the Giant Elephant. The glass roof in Les Nefs is fascinating. 

Our Airbnb accommodation, “La laiterie de la Plume”, was just a few kilometres away and was the perfect end to the day. It was a real haven of greenery in an urban setting, with free-range chickens in the garden that provided plenty of entertainment! 

© Gang of croissants © Gang of croissants

From Nantes to Saint-Brevin-les-Pins (70 km)

The last and longest stage of our journey. 

We left Nantes early via pleasant cycle paths. 

The little roads that followed were hilly and partly shared with cars, although they were very quiet and took us through pretty villages such as Bouguenais, La Montagne and Saint-Jean-de-Boiseau, before we joined the Loire in Le Pellerin. A few kilometres of cycle paths later, we joined the straight banks of the La Martinière canal and continued to Migron. 

We could start to smell the sea air with an increasingly strong headwind. 

The route quickly took us to Paimboeuf. Here, we reached the estuary and the Loire was much wider. 

We enjoyed visiting the Jardin Étoilé before arriving at Port de la Maison Verte in Corsept, where we saw our first lift nets of the trip! There was no doubt about it, the ocean was not far away. Last few pedal strokes along the pretty banks of the canal with the Saint-Nazaire bridge on the horizon. 

Before we knew it, we had crossed the Kilometre 0 mark and picked up our final stamp! 


© Gang of croissants © Gang of croissants

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