Cycling through the countryside around Saint-Gilles-Croix-de-Vie is one of the best ways to explore the region with all its charm. There’s a network of nearly 350 km of quiet cycle paths.

Whether you cycle along the edges of the forests or dunes or the Vendée cornice, through marshes or vineyards, the trails are varied, offering endless opportunities for long or short trips at whatever pace you choose.

Coastal trails also run alongside the dunes past all the beaches – and there aren’t any summer traffic jams at the end of the day.

Today I followed a Brétignolles-sur-Mer circuit to the Pierre Levée dolmen, associated with Saint Radegonde and Rabelais, and to the twelfth century Romanesque church at La-Chaize-Giraud.

Tomorrow I plan to cycle to the Moulin des Gourmands at Saint-Révérend to visit a miller and a baker, and try all the good food.