Cycling In The Charente
The Charente has something for all cyclists – whether you want to take a cycling tour through beautiful traditional French villages or simply cycle to the boulangerie for your daily baguette!
The gently rolling countryside is a patchwork of fields of bright sunflowers and rows of ripening vines dotted with impressive chateaux.
The Charente river, which runs throughout the department, was described by both King Henry IV and King François I as “the most beautiful stream in France" ideal for a riverside bike ride with a visit to a local bistro for delicious food and amazing French atmosphere.
As the Charente is the second ‘sunniest’ region in France with very low rainfall you can enjoy cycling without having to worry about bad weather!
How To Use This Guide
We aim to provide a guide to each of the routes described below, however, as there are so many great routes this may take some time.
You can check out the routes close to where you are holidaying on the map to the right of the page. By clicking on the location you are interested in you can see more information about difficulty levels, route length and areas passed through.
For detailed information on each route please click on the route name in the list below. The link will either take you to our English language guide and detailed map or, if we haven’t created a guide yet, to information in French. Please keep checking back as we aim to cover all routes as soon as possible!
EuroVelo Route - Charente
The EuroVelo network consists of 14 cycling routes stretching 70,000 km across Europe. EuroVelo 3, or the Pilgrims Route, crosses through the Charente. The entire route is just over 5122 km long and connects Trondheim in Norway to Saint Jacques de Compostela in Spain.
The Pilgrims Route passes through the centre of the Charente region from the north of the region (from Poitiers) down to the south of the department where it heads towards Bordeaux.
For further information visit the European Cyclist Federation.
View Charente Cycle Routes in a larger map
Mountain Biking Routes
The Charente features over 1000 km of marked mountain bike trails helping you to discover the beautiful countryside of the region.
The Mountain Bike routes vary from 6 km to 50 km in length, from 65m to 850m altitude and through a variety of difficulty levels which means that they are suitable for everyone from children up to the experienced off road cyclist!
South Charente – 10 routes
Aubeterre, Bellon, Brie sous Chalais, Brie Bardenac, Brossac, Chalais, Courlac, Laprade, Les Essards, Medillac, Passirac, Pillac, Saint Romain, Saint Severin, Rioux Martin, Yviers
Lavalette – 11 routes
Blanzaguet, Bouex, Charmant, Dignac, Dirac, Edon, Fouquebrune, Gardes le Pontaroux, Juillaguel, Ronsenac, Sers, Torsac, Villebois Lavette, Vouzan
Le Chambon – 9 routes
Ecuras, D’Eymouthiers, Feuillade, Le Chambon, Marthon, Rouzede, Soudat, Souflrignac, Varaignes
Lakes of Upper Charente – 11 routes
Chassenen, L’Ezignac Durand, Massignac, Mouzon, Pressignae, Saint Quintin sur Charente, Verneuil
Le Confolentais – 9 routes
Brigueuil, Brillac, Confolens, Esse, Montrellet, Saint Germain de Confolens, Saint Christophe
Local Charente Loops
The Charente department is focussed on providing safe, interesting cycle routes across the region. The ‘Bike Charente’ initiative consists of 37 local cycle loops over 500 kms. Each loop has three circuits;
- Family circuit – usually easy going over 4 km to 10 km
- Discovery circuit – longer routes over 20 km to 40 km
- Exploration circuit – more challenging routes of between 40 km to 70 km
Each loop is well marked out with signs featuring small black bicycles.