Cycle route from Coutances to Cherbourg

98 km from station to station to discover the Cotentin peninsula
Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Get set for an adventure taking you to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin! Travel 98 km along greenways and shared roads through the heart of the bocage and marsh landscapes. Starting in Coutances, a picturesque little town, the route takes you through the centre of the Cotentin peninsula, exploring its heritage all the way to the port town of Cherbourg. Hop on your bike for a sporty ride or a leisurely family outing in two or three stages!

Stage 1: from Coutances to La Haye - 39 km

We recommend you arrive the day before by train. You can spend the day discovering Coutances, exploring its cathedral, visiting the Quesnel Morinière museum, and strolling in the streets and the public park. In the evening, there are plenty of great restaurants, including Côté St Pierre, Kalamansi and Les Pipelettes.

First, you need to head out of Coutances and get on the greenway that will take you directly to La Haye, your destination for the day. The route is relatively flat and shady, crossing through marsh landscapes. You'll go through Saint-Sauveur-Lendelin, the opportunity for a short stop to discover the Manoir du Grand Taute. You can visit this fortified manor house, built in the 16th century, from 1 July to 31 August.

Lessay is the perfect place to stop for lunch. After a visit to the famous Réo camembert shop, you can picnic by the lake. Before you head off again towards La Haye, why not visit the magnificent Sainte Trinité Abbey? And if your trip coincides with the date of the centuries-old Sainte-Croix country fair, be sure you don't miss it (second weekend in September). Now you just have 9 km more before reaching your destination, with no particular difficulties on the way.

Where to stay on this stage

When you get to La Haye, the swimming pool at Camping L’Etang des Haizes awaits you after the efforts of the day. Next to the lake, this four-star campsite offers equipped safari tents for overnight stays for cyclists.


Stage 2: from La Haye to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin - 59km

Prepare for a great day on your bike! From La Haye, you’ll follow the Vélomaritime route all the way to Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. Along greenways and little country roads, the heritage of the Cotentin peninsula unfolds before your eyes. First Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte and its medieval castle, which was besieged twice during the Hundred Years’ War. Travel back to the Middle Ages during a guided tour of the keep and the old hall. Next, Bricquebec and its castle, which was rebuilt numerous times. The grounds are freely accessible, and you can also opt for a guided tour.

If you have a sweet tooth, Lait Douceur de Normandie in Saint-Sauveur-le-Vicomte is a dream come true! Treat yourself to their caramels, sweets, chocolates or jams in the shop, or sample some goodies in the tea room next door. And at the Epicerie Parisienne in Bricquebec-en-Cotentin, you’ll find homegrown fruit, artisan cheeses and Normandy cider: ideal for a 100% local picnic.

Between Bricquebec and Cherbourg, the route is safe and enjoyable, and winds its way to the port town, where you'll follow cycle paths to the end of this second stage.

Where to stay on this stage

Marie-Pierre welcomes you to her 19th century bourgeois house in the centre of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin. Upstairs, you'll find four comfortable and cosy rooms for an overnight stay or more. Relax in the reading room or the pretty tree-lined garden.


What to do in Cherbourg

After a good night's sleep, it's time to explore the port town. In the centre, you’ll find some great shops near the Sainte-Trinité basilica and the Thomas Henry museum. Close by, the Fort du Roule watches over the port and its huge artificial harbour. If it's raining, why not head to the Cité de la Mer or the Cherbourg umbrella factory?

Our suggestions for visiting Cherbourg

Photo, © Xavier Lachenaud

Why not in three days?

This stage is suggested in two parts, covering 39 and 59 km, but you could also do it over three days, which is ideal for families. If so, you could break up the second stage with a stopover in Bricquebec.

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