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Take your pick from: 6 "véloroutes" and 14 networks looping through the Loire Valley, Touraine, Sologne, Perche and Berry ...

Accueil Vélo

Accueil Vélo is a national accreditation that guarantees high-quality services and facilities for cyclists along cycling trails.

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FAQ

FAQ

THE WEBSITE

Which trails are listed on the website marandoavelo.fr ?

All of the trails listed on the website are included in the French Regional Directory of Cycle Paths and Greenways (SRVVV) and are of an acknowledged interest for tourists. To date, there are some one hundred different trails for cyclists, including six special "véloroutes" or long-distance cycle paths: There are 5,000 km worth of cycling trails on the website! And other trails are on their way ...

Where have the routes from the marandoavelo.fr website come from? 

On marandoavelo.fr, you can access information on all the cycling trails in the Loire valley. Map-related information is taken directly from the Geographic Information System of the Loire valley Council, which ensures a precise definition of the routes and their regular updating. The actual cycle paths, intended for easy, safe use, are all signposted. Interactive maps inform you of the type of path you're on: exclusive site (no motor vehicles allowed) or shared site (with motor vehicles, but under 1000 vehicles a day). The distances are shown in the description that comes up for each of the trails.

Which tourist information is available on the website marandoavelo.fr?

With the interactive maps you can consult all of the tourist information and services within easy reach of your cycle route, and therefore find all the practical tips you need for planning a successful trip: accommodation, bike rental companies, tourist information offices, restaurants, tourist sites, activities and events. The tourist options selected can be added to the "My trips" online binder. You can choose to select solely those professionals that have been awarded the "Accueil Vélo" accreditation. Situated less than 5km from a cycling trail, these service providers guarantee facilities and services specially tailored to cyclists.

Why create an account on marandoavelo.fr? 

There are lots of different functions on the marandoavelo.fr website. By creating an account, you'll be able to do more things, in particular: 
• Import existing trails, select the stages you're interested in or create your own trail,
• Plan your stages depending on how leisurely you wish to go,
• Add those tourist services you're interested in to your trail (accommodation, bike rental companies/service providers, tours, activities, etc.),
• Import the selected GPS traces,
• Save the trip you put together on the website in "My trips",
• Share your experience, photos and so on under "My trip journal", when you get home or why not en route!
To create an account, simply click on "Log in" in the top right-hand corner of the home page and then on "sign up".

How does the "My trips" online binder work?

The "My trips" online binder is only accessible when connected, and can be used to save all of the information concerning the trip you've just created on marandoavelo.fr. Route, stages, distances, tourist information – keep it all in "My trips".

How do you put together a trip ?

There are two options under "My trips": either import the whole of an existing trail, or part of one before selecting the stages that interest you, or create your own trail from scratch by entering your start and end town/city. To do that, select a place directly on the map or type the name of a town/city in the search field.

it possible to share a route?

Yes! You can share your route under either "My trips" or "My trip journal", when you're signed in to your account. Under "My trip journal" you can also personalise your trip by adding a comment, photo or video. You can choose to keep these comments private, or make them public. You can amend or delete your journal at any time.

Where can the GPS traces be found?

You can retrieve the GPS traces in two ways: download them either from the description page of the trail selected or from the "My trips" online binder. Two formats can be accessed: GPX and KML. 

THE TRAILS

Can the trails be accessed by road bikes, roller blades and wheelchairs?

Not all of the trails are accessible to road bikes, roller blades or wheelchairs, as these all need good quality road surfaces.Aside from greenways which are for the exclusive use of non-motorised users, most of the time the trails alternate between quiet minor roads, cycle paths, lanes and greenways. This is why we recommend riding a hybrid bike, which is designed for all types of road surface.That said, to find out which type of road you're on (an exclusive road or shared road) and to identify which trails are "exclusive sites", have a look at the interactive map and select "Show the cycling trails by road type". Exclusive sites, which means motorised vehicles cannot use them, are shown in green. People using roller blades or wheelchairs should stick to these trails, but check that the quality of the road surface is good enough all the same (not a dirt track for example).

Do you need to be an experienced cyclist to enjoy the cycling trails in the Loire valley? 

The trails in the Loire valley can be enjoyed by everyone because they are mostly fairly flat, there are lots of rest areas dotted along them and you can choose how far you want to go. They are therefore perfect for enjoying with the whole family. Parents and children can stop off at all sorts of sites that organise fun visits for kids. You don't need to bring along a compass to find your way as the trails are well signposted. For family outings with small children, opt for round-trip trails that loop back to the start, as well as "car-free trails". The topos guides also give tips and information about the trails.

When is it best to go cycling in the Loire valley? 

At any time of year! But the best period for cycling is between April and October, for the weather is generally nicer and warmer, any river flooding will have ended and the surrounding scenery will have taken on beautiful red or green colours depending on the season.

What is a "véloroute"? Or a greenway?

A "véloroute" is a continuous medium- or long-distance cycle path (that runs without interruption, even in towns) which is signposted and has been made safe for cycling. They run along all types of safe routes, including greenways. • A greenway is "a road set exclusively aside for use by non-motorised vehicles, pedestrians and horse riders" (French road traffic regulations). They can be accessed by everyone, and require no particular physical ability. Pedestrians, cyclists and people on roller blades or using wheelchairs can use them for leisure, tourism or in their daily to-ing and fro-ing. Motorised vehicles cannot use greenways. They have been laid out alongside disused railways, along river banks, woodland trails or country lanes for example...
French Source : http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/-Les-veloroutes-et-voies-vertes,7573-.html

SERVICES AND EQUIPMENT

How can I reach the trails?

You could take the train instead of the car, as there are many Regional Express Train (TER) services running to and from the different towns and cities in the Loire valley. Lots of these towns (Chartres, Vendôme, Orléans, Blois, Tours, Vierzon, Bourges, etc.) are situated less than 2 hours from Paris. The train is also an effective means of travelling between different stages when you've organised a longer trip over several stretches.

Can you board the train with your bike?

More and more trains are accepting bikes, with or without prior booking. For example, they are accepted free of charge, without prior booking, in the TER train – up to six bikes per carriage. What's more, in the summer, you can take your bike on the Train Vélo Loire free of charge and without prior booking from Orléans all the way to Le Croisic. Some TGV, Intercités and Interloire trains also have special areas for bikes if they've been booked on. Go to "How can i reach the trails?"

Do you need to bring your own bike? 

Not necessarily. You can hire them from bike rental companies signed up to the "Accueil Vélo" charter. Some of these companies also offer to deliver your bike, and allow you to leave your bike at another rental point to avoid having to bring it all the way back.
Find out everything about bike rental

Is it possible to rent a bike in one town and return it elsewhere?

Yes, you can rent a bike in one town, or have it delivered to the train station for example, and return it to another rental point, partnered with the company you booked the rental with. Pinpoint some bike rental companies and where they are located in relation to the trail you'd like to follow on the interactive maps of marandoavelo.fr.

What do I do with my luggage? 

For seasoned light travellers, there is a luggage transfer service available along some trails, run by specialist service providers. Your luggage will follow you around in the safe hands of a company that will pick it up and drop it off at each accommodation point along your trip. If you'd rather not be separated from your things, you can also hire pannier bags or trailers from bike rental companies to be able to carry your luggage around with you.

Is it easy to stop for breaks along the trails?

Rest areas have been laid out all along the routes, particularly the "véloroutes", so that you can take breaks and soak in the scenery around you. Some have picnic areas, drinking water fountains and areas for parking your bike. Other so-called "nature spots" are there to encourage some time-out to enjoy the views. 

Are there places to stay that are specially kitted out for cyclists? 

Professionals holding the "Accueil Vélo" accreditation guarantee special facilities and services for cyclists. These centres can be found less than 5 km away from a trail. In addition to specific services (such as an energy-boosting breakfast), these centres provide a secure cycle shelter and basic repair tools. You can therefore be sure to receive a warm welcome!Read the "Accueil Vélo" charter by clicking here

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