Are you itching for a new sporting and sensory adventure? If so, this page is for you. We take you along the tow-paths of the Mayenne, the banks of the Loire and into the vineyards of the Layon and Aubance valleys, where you’ll find scenery, historical sites and opportunities to taste local delicacies ... of both the solid and liquid kind! And if you need ideas of where to stop for a good bite to eat, you’ll find them here too.
Mayenne river circuit
This first bike ride takes you along the river Mayenne, via one of the pretty tow-paths that run along the region’s different rivers. Setting off from Angers, you begin by following the Maine which takes you gradually out of town.
Once you arrive at the fork for Ile Saint-Aubin, if you like, you can take the passenger ferry. A boatman will pull you across the Mayenne by hand, transporting you to the island in just a few minutes. Take a short ride around the island on your bike and discover the fields and free-roaming cows, followed by a coffee at the waterside café at the harbour, before setting off again towards Cantenay-Épinard. This ride beneath the trees is especially nice when the weather is hot and the next recommended eatery isn’t far away: La Cabane du Chat-qui-Pêche greets you on your left as soon as you enter the village. The stunning view of the Mayenne river and the great food are all the reasons you need to take a seat at one of the wooden tables on the grass. If you happen to be there at the end of the day, you’ll be able to enjoy the sunset and a spectacle of fabulous colours all evening long.
A little further along this circuit, after continuing along the tow-path, you come to Montreuil-Juigné. For a rest, we recommend the lovely green setting of the guinguette La Rainette, which is perfect for a drink near the river before slowly making your way back.
The Loire by Bike Circuit around Angers
This second 40-kilometre circuit follows the Loire by Bike cycle route. From Angers, the route takes you through the Parc des Ardoisières in Trélazé, a former slate quarry which has returned to nature. You’ll then take the self-pulled ferry in La Chevalerie which you operate by hand to reach the opposite side of the Authion river. Once you reach the banks of the Loire and the little village of La Daguenière, you’ll deserve a break. In summer, you’ll find refreshments and tasty food at L’Embardée, in Port Maillard, with its views of the Loire.
The next part of the ride takes you back towards Angers via Les-Ponts-de-Cé, Sainte-Gemmes-sur-Loire and Bouchemaine. This section, too, has plenty of places to stop and eat. For an excellent lunch or dinner with a view, we recommend the Guinguette de Port Thibault in Sainte-Gemmes-sur-Loire or the Auberge de Chanteclair in Bouchemaine. Or if you’d rather wait until you are back in Angers for a coffee or a drink, the waterside café Héron Carré is the perfect spot. You’ll find it on the banks of the Maine with a superb view of the city and the castle to add.
Loire and Aubance Circuit
On this 52-kilometre bike ride, you’ll never venture very far from the Loire. If you set off from La Daguenière and you like seeing the sunset over water, you might want to plan your time so that you cross the bridge in Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire in the evening. The Loire river is truly stunning at this time of day. However you organise your time, though, some beautiful and extremely varied scenery is in store for you on this route, including the Loire, the countryside and the vineyards. You’ll also pass through some pretty little villages, like Juigné-sur-Loire, Saint-Sulpice and Saint-Rémy-la-Varenne.
During your trip, we recommend stopping for lunch on the terrace of Bistrot de Saint-Sat in Saint-Saturnin, or for a coffee at La Caillotte/Toute la maison en parle, an interior decoration store and tea shop. The garden with its age-old walnut tree is a lovely place for a coffee. Alternatively, if you fancy a drink or lunch beside the river, the traditional guinguette Chez Jojo isn’t far away either. And if you do happen to be in Saint-Mathurin at the end of the day, the terrace of the restaurant Reflets de Loire or that of La Riviera on the opposite bank are both good options for drinks with a view. For a great lunch or dinner, the restaurant La Luciole, opposite the station, comes highly recommeded.
Loire-Layon-Aubance Vineyard Circuit
This 87-kilometre route, starting in Chalonnes-sur-Loire or in Angers, packs in Anjou’s most stunning sights, between the Loire and the Coteaux du Layon wine region. This slightly tougher ride than the previous ones will take you to discover numerous villages and a great variety of scenery.
Along the route, there are plenty of places to stop and eat. For a well-deserved break near the Loire, the restaurant La Table des Trois Lieux in Ponts-de-Cé is always a good option, as is the riverside café La Croisette on Béhuard island in Savennières. You can stop there to drink a coffee, or have lunch or dinner, with a fantastic view of the Loire. In the church square in Savennières, the terrace of the restaurant Le Chenin is also very nice, with its menu of refined cuisine. Not far from here, in La Pointe in Bouchemaine, the Café des Pipelettes and the Monkey Bar are perfect for a drink on the water’s edge.
So, bon voyage and bon appetit!