St Malo to Nice 3 week trip with Saddle Skedaddle

Note: this is my brief summary of the trip. For a more in depth day by day account, have a look at this rider’s great blog!

Arriving straight off the Pyrenees trip in to St Malo, it was back to the start, getting preparations done. Checking bikes, doing shopping and finding a laundrette dominated the first day.

Famous for crepes, this seemed to be the natural thing to have for lunch.

Crepes by the beach
Crepes by the beach
St Malo sunset
St Malo sunset

Working our way through Brittany, the first few days of the route are relatively flat. Field after field of cereals occupy the land here, supporting the huge agricultural economy.

Public art in Chateaubourg
Public art in Chateaubourg
Riding through the north of France
Riding through the north of France

There are many old châteaux along the route, some in ruin, others make wonderful places to stay the night.

Ruined chateau
Ruined chateau
Renovated chateau
Renovated chateau

Travelling the length of France on bike is the perfect way to absorb the changing terrain from north to south. As the route makes its way south, the flat fields of Brittany give way to more undulating terrain. Modern structures mix with the centuries old edifices.

Hillier terrain as the route heads south
Hillier terrain as the route heads south
Viaduc de la Colagne
Viaduc de la Colagne

The small villages were sometimes quiet and sleepy while others had vibrant displays of summer celebration.

Vibrant village
Vibrant village

The warm evenings were perfect for strolling around town.

Mende
Mende

Further south, the classic fields of sunflowers sweep out around the route. The iconic lone peak of Mont Ventoux rises up beyond.

Mont Ventoux behind fields of sunflowers
Mont Ventoux behind fields of sunflowers
Sunflowers and busy bees
Sunflowers and busy bees

A detour on the route to take in the summit of Mont Ventoux is highly recommended. Get an early start to avoid the severe heat in this part of the country.

Early morning on Mont Ventoux
Early morning on Mont Ventoux

As well as rolling past acres of lavender fields, the landscape becomes creased by gorges. The Ardèche, la Nesque, and the Verdon are traversed.

Rows and rows of lavender
Rows and rows of lavender
Gorges de la Nesque
Gorges de la Nesque
Moustiers Ste Marie, gateway to the Verdon Gorge
Moustiers Ste Marie, gateway to the Verdon Gorge
Climbing towards the Verdon Gorge
Climbing towards the Verdon Gorge
Verdon Gorge
Verdon Gorge
Towards the top of the Verdon
Towards the top of the Verdon

This remarkable landscape and the epic journey as a whole reach a conclusion at the Mediterranean Sea and Nice.

The end of this journey, the Mediterranean Sea
The end of this journey, the Mediterranean Sea

Arriving in Nice on Bastille day, the end of this trip came with emotion, the national celebrations being so sadly brought to an end. Having completed the journey, my love of France is reaffirmed and my thoughts remain with the people of Nice.