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Syndicat mixte du
Pays Loire Val d’Aubois
3 Place de la Mairie
18150 GERMIGNY-L’EXEMPT

Tél. : +33 2 48 74 23 93
Fax : +33 2 48 74 03 89

Office de tourisme du Pays Loire Val d'Aubois
1 place auguste Fournier
18150 La Guerche/l'Aubois

Tél./ Fax :
+33 2 48 74 25 60

e-mail

The Loire by Bike

- From La Guerche sur l’Aubois to Apremont sur Allier
- From Apremont sur Allier to Cuffy (Le Guétin)
- From Cuffy to Cours les Barres (Givry)
- From Cours les Barres (Givry) to Marseilles les Aubigny
- From Marseilles les Aubigny to Argenvières
- From Argenvières to La Chapelle Montlinard (Passy)
- From La Chapelle Montlinard (Passy) to Herry
- From Herry (Les Vallées) to the Pays Sancerre Sologne

THE ORIGIN AND CONCEPT OF THE PROJECT

The Loire by Bike route, which starts in the Pays Loire Val d’Aubois, is a major inter-regional project between the Centre and Pays de la Loire Regions. This project, a link of the European bicycle route connecting Nantes with Budapest, consists of the progressive development of a cycling route nearly 600 kilometres long between Cuffy and Saint Brévin les Pins.
The objective of the Centre and Pays de la Loire Regions is to create, with the Loire by Bike project, the leading European cycling destination, as the Loire valley has a great many positive points for a cycling project, including:

  • a tourist destination of international repute designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO
  • the leading cycling destination in France
  • renowned gastronomy and vineyards
  • protected and enhanced nature
  • suitably mild climate
  • relatively flat land
THE LOIRE BY BIKE ROUTE IN THE PAYS LOIRE VAL D’AUBOIS

The Loire by Bike route in the Centre Region starts at the Le Guétin canal bridge, near Le Bec d’Allier in the commune of Cuffy. A branch to La Guerche sur l’Aubois and its railway station and to Apremont sur Allier, ranked as one of the most beautiful villages in France, has been included.
The route follows alternately the towpath of the lateral canal along the Loire, the service paths on the main floodbanks, or levées (levée d’Espagne, levée Napoléon…), and the quiet minor roads. There are also connections with the towns of the neighbouring département of Nièvre (La Charité sur Loire…), which has undertaken to ensure the continuity of the Loire by Bike route to Nevers.

The Pays Loire Val d’Aubois has 8 route sections which are currently more or less passable, as some use existing surfaced or unsurfaced roads.
Therefore the sections described below do not yet meet the development and safety criteria which will govern the final infrastructure, although they reflect well the ambience of the route proposed in the Pays Loire Val d’Aubois.

From La Guerche sur l’Aubois to Apremont sur Allier

The inclusion of the main canton town of the Pays and the village of Apremont sur Allier in the Loire by Bike route was indispensable. This 10-kilometre long section goes through the deciduous woods (tall trees and coppices) of Apremont. It follows the minor roads RD 200 (from La Guerche) and RD 100, where, however, it is necessary to pay attention to the speed of motorists.

 See description no. 1

From Apremont sur Allier to Cuffy (Le Guétin)

Rated as one of the most beautiful villages in France, Apremont sur Allier receives many visitors during the tourist period. This 10-kilometre long section follows the minor road RD 45 towards Cuffy, and reaches the water take-off point of Les Lorrains. Thence, the route wood follow the Les Lorrains canal (east side) to offer a very beautiful junction between the River Allier and the lateral canal along the Loire near a place known as La Grenouille, and then join the towpath of the lateral canal.

 See description no. 2

From Cuffy to Cours les Barres (Givry)

This 7-kilometre section uses both the towpaths of the lateral canal and the floodbank up to the hamlet of Givry. It offers an interesting of variety of sights, and the port of Le Guétin has gone through a first phase of repair and improvement work to establish it as the entrance to the Loire on Bike in the Centre Region. From Givry, the route offers a possible connection with the town of Fourchambault via the metal bridge.

 See description no. 3

From Cours les Barres (Givry) to Marseilles les Aubigny

This 8-kilometre long section uses again the floodbank north of Givry with a new connection to the lateral canal, from Le Poids de Fer for the gradual discovery of the activity of the port of Marseilles les Aubigny, along the Mahaut embankment. Work will have to be done to make the crossing of the RD 45 north of Marseilles les Aubigny safer.

 See description no. 4

From Marseilles les Aubigny to Argenvières

This 8-kilometre long section, which is nearly straight, follows the levée d’Espagne. This route normally barred to motorists is ideal because it is safe and very close to the Loire. Connections will serve the shops of the villages of Beffes, Saint Léger le Petit, and Argenvières.

 See description no. 5

From Argenvières to La Chapelle Montlinard (Passy)

This section offers interesting views towards La Charité sur Loire and the Île du Faubourg and is 12 kilometres long. It uses the levée d’Espagne from Argenvières to the intersection with the main road RN 151 at La Chapelle Montlinard, which will have to be made safe. North of this junction, there is a need for a bicycle lane on the west parapet of the RD 7 up to the intersection leading to the place known as Passy for cycling and motoring traffic separation.

 See description no. 6

From La Chapelle Montlinard (Passy) to Herry

Past the hamlet of Passy, the route follows the large Napoléon embankment to maximise cycling traffic separation and contact with the Loire and the lands classified as natural reserve.

 See description no. 7

From Herry (Les Vallées) to the Pays Sancerre Sologne

The route continues north via the large Napoléon embankment and minor roads towards the Pays Sancerre Sologne, and especially the tourist antenna of Sancerre. It then follows the viaducts of an old railway, gently rising up towards the Sancerre escarpment dominating the Val de Loire. From the hamlet of Les Vallées, it is possible to go to Pouilly sur Loire and the vineyard area.

 See description no. 8