Reader Q&A: Cycling from Carcans to Hourtin

Published by Lyn on 20 January 2016

Kerry wrote to ask about cycling around Carcans on the French Atlantic Coast. Here's our email exchange.

Cycling holidays in Carcans

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Hi Lyn, 

A quick question for you. I am planning a camping holiday in August with the family. We are staying at Carcans and would like to use the bikes to cycle to the beach and Lac d'Hourtin. 

Would a road bike (with commuter tyres) be suitable for negotiating the cycle paths or would I be better off with a mountain bike? 

Also do you have any recommendations on maps and/or guide books for the area?
Thank you in advance.

Kind regards


I wrote back:

Cycling path at CarcansHi Kerry,Thanks for using my site.

Have you seen this page on cycling around Lacanau?

I've cycled the paths to the south of Carcans, around Lacanau but the general feel of them is the same. They are a mix of tarmac shared footpaths and the type of forest path you see in the link above. See also the pic on the right thanks to ro_lo_be. 

You can also see the quality of some of the paved stretches hereSome are better than others re cracks and potholes but they are generally very good for such a long stretch of coastline.

I don't think it's very practical on a regular road bike (there are some sandy sections closer to the beaches), but you should be OK if you can run wider tyres – say 28s with a bit of grip.

I don't think a mountain bike is necessary as plenty of people ride these routes on touring and commuter bikes (it's part of La Vélodyssée, the Atlantic Coast EuroVelo route. 

We used fairly bog standard hybrid rentals while we were there and they were fine. I'd have no hesitation taking my road bike back with 28 tyres.

In the first link above there is also a map of the area with a link to enlarge and print. The map is also available from local tourist offices.

I hope that helps. Please shout if I can help further.


PS I sometimes (when I have time) post reader questions on the blog in case they can help others. I never use any identifiable info or contact details. I find posting questions saves me answering the same questions twice and helps people to find info easier. I hope this is OK with you

Kerry wrote back:

Hi Lyn,

Thank you very much for your reply, very helpful. I will stick with my road bike and just add some different tyres to it. Typically, I sold my hybrid through lack of use!

Your website is brill, and has so much information. I did actually read your Lacanau blog after I sent the email to you. 

I am more than happy for you to post my question on your site.

Thank you very much.

Kind regards,

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