Caen cycle tour route
About this cycle tour in France
Approximately 198 miles (total climb of 9,500 feet).
A mainly flat route with a few undemanding hills. It takes you through lush pastureland, cider orchards and unspoilt hamlets. In the north the route stays on quiet, rural roads to avoid the busy coastal towns.
The eastern part follows the beautiful Risle valley for 50 miles with many half timbered houses. There are numerous museums and chateaux on or near the route.
Getting to Caen
Brittany Ferries offers regular departures from Portsmouth to Caen.
View an interactive google map of this cycle tour on bikeroutetoaster.com.
A. Ouistreham - arrival port, north of Caen. To avoid busy D515, leave the ferry, keep left (cycle path) and immediately take the lock gate road over the canal to your left. The coastal road (D514 and D513) to Honfleur can be very busy. A quieter route is inland via Bavent, Putot-en-Auge, Beaumont-en-Auge, Tourville-en-Auge and Fourneville. 40miles to Honfleur.
B. Honfleur - picturesque old port with great atmosphere. Stay outside if on a budget although campsite is reasonable. Hotels and campsite. 17 miles to Pont Audemer.
C. Pont Audemer - medieval town with river and narrow canals. Good for overnight stop. Tourist information office, hotels, campsite. Fifty miles idyllic cycling from here to Rugles following the river Risle on a clearly marked cycle route. Just off the route, 2.5 miles north of Brionne (hotels and camping) is the Abbaye de Bec-Hellouin. 28 miles to Beaumont le Roger.
D. Beaumont le Roger - peaceful village. Coaching inn. If the flat river route feels too easy you can detour and climb to Conches-en-Ouche with hotels and campsite. Opposite its church is a building with extensive 11th century cellars. 22 miles to Rugles.
E. Rugles - small town with two noteworthy churches. Campsite to south west and hotel. Hotel and restaurant in St Evroult du Bois, a pretty hamlet with lake. 20 miles to Gacé.
F. Gacé - Unassuming small town but good overnight stop. Hotels and campsite. 27 miles to Falaise.
G. Falaise - large, attractive town with imposing castle keep. A good overnight stop. Musée des Automates. Musée Août 44 (story of Battle of Normandy). Tourist Information office, hotels, campsite. Fancy a challenge? For some hills, try the Suisse Normande to the West of Falaise. Perhaps return to the port via Bayeux for an additional 60 miles. 16 miles to Mézidon-Canon.
H. Mézidon-Canon - small town with hotel. En route north is Crèvecoeur-en-Auge with a hotel and re-created medieval village. 12 miles to Beuvron-en-Auge.
I. Beuvron-en-Auge - extremely pretty, colourful village - a tourist honeypot. 17 miles to Ouistreham.
Ouistreham - departure port.
Download tour details
Useful Information for your cycling holiday
High visibility jackets - It is now a requirement for cyclists to wear a high visibility jacket when outside town at night or if the daytime visibility is poor.
Maps. Buy maps that are no more than 3 miles to one inch. 2 miles to 1 inch will make it much easier to find quiet country roads. Satellite navigation is useful and likely to be well used.
Cycle Routes - France has many voies vertes (cycle routes). These are well marked (different signs for each French department) and can be paths or quiet roads shared with other vehicles. Pick up the invaluable Cycle La Manche guide from a tourist information centre to see all cycle routes in the Cotentin area.
Roads. The main D roads are more direct and very well signed but often very busy. Un-numbered roads, or small D or C roads connecting small hamlets are much quieter. These are often shown as white roads on maps. Approach roads to any large town and main coast roads can be busy depending on the time of day and year. Drivers are generally courteous.
Bikes. This route is suitable for any type of bike. Tourist information offices (Office du Tourisme) have maps for cycle routes and accommodation and camp site lists.