The 172km Véloroute du Littoral de la Côte d'Albâtre bike route in Normandy forms part of EuroVelo 4. Here's an overview.
The Véloroute du Littoral de la Côte d'Albâtre (sometimes also called the Véloroute du Littoral en Seine-Maritime) runs along the Côte d'Albâtre (Alabaster Coast) in the Seine-Maritime region of Normandy.
It covers a total distance of 172km, linking Le Tréport and Le Havre, via Dieppe, Saint-Valéry-en-Caux and Fécamp.
More than 80% of the route is on motor traffic-free routes or very small backroad bike routes.
The route follows the coast as per the map from voiesvertes.com. The AFV3 website also has more in French.
Normandy Tourism has this downloadable brochure of the entire route; it is also available from the Seine-Maritime site, or by emailing email@example.com.
The Véloroute du littoral en Seine-Maritime forms part of the international EuroVelo 4 bike path from Roscoff to Kiev (see here for a rundown of EuroVelo routes in France).
The bike route
As the route follows the coastline, it does include some steep climbs (of 10% gradient or more) after dipping down to sea level. From east to west, it can be roughly divide into the following sections, which can be done as day rides or combined to form longer itineraries:
Tréport to Dieppe (36km)
A steep climb (12%) leaves the port, leading towards the cliffs overlooking the sea. Beautiful views of Mesnil-sur-Val and the beach at Creil before heading on to Dieppe.
Dieppe to Saint-Valéry-en-Caux (38km)
The large fishing harbour of Dieppe and its beach are often overlooked, with Dieppe sometimes viewed as little more than a ferry port and thoroughfare into France. It is, however, worth a closer look. It is also where the EuroVelo 4 links up with the Avenue Verte London to Paris bike route. This route covers some beautiful countryside and takes you past some wonderful panoramic views, especially on your way out of Dieppe and towards the beach at Pourville. ping the Cliff Upstream ) .
Saint-Valéry-en-Caux to Fécamp (46km)
Saint-Valéry-en-Caux is a small resort town. There are fewer climbs on this stretch and some lovely countryside to ride through. We see beautiful mansions. Consider a small detour to spend some time in the Valleuse of Eletot (or Val Ausson) a reserve covering some 50 hectares between Veulettes-sur-Mer and Fécamp.
Fécamp to Le Havre (52km)
See Hilde Morris' report of this ride here.
Accessing the route
DFDS Seaways and Brittany Ferries both run ferries from Portsmouth to Le Havre. Le Havre, Dieppe and Tréport are all served by trains (inlcuding to Rouen and Paris). See voyages-sncf.com for train times and tickets.
Cycling accommodation in Seine-Maritime
The Normandy Tourism brochure mentioned above includes bike-friendly places to stay. It's worth cross-referencing these against a website such as booking.com to get the best deals. See also our accommodation in France page for more links and advice on finding accommodation for cycling in France. For places to stay in the countryside, it's also worth checking out local tourist board websites (see links below).
Bike hire in Seine Maritime
See our Normandy bike hire listings for links to bike hire outlets across the region.
Seine-Maritime tourist information
Local tourist offices on the route:
Eu - Vallée de la Bresle: www.eu-tourisme.fr
Criel sur Mer: www.crieltourisme.com
Plateau de Caux Maritime-Saint Valéry en Caux: www.plateaudecauxmaritime.com
Canton de Valmont: 02 35 27 49 30 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Le Havre: www.lehavretourisme.com
Cycling in Normandy
For other ideas for cycling veloroutes and voies vertes in Normandy, see here.