We tried out the local Velo Rail at Commequiers while on holiday in the Vendee. There are a number of Velo Rails throughout France and they were developed to make use of railway tracks which were no longer needed. To find out if there is one near where you are holidaying have a look at http://www.veloraildefrance.com/
We enjoyed our trip through the Vendeen countryside and as it was mostly under trees we were sheltered from the heat of the afternoon sun. However, be warned ! We were given two and a half hours to travel the 10 kms to Coex and the 10kms back. At Coex, the velo carriage can turn on the turntable. It would be easy to blame the elderly travellers in front but in fact I don't think we could have made the journey in that time without an Olympic effort. And in High Season you get even less time for the journey. So, what you have to do to return to Commequiers is to lift the whole velo carriage off the track and turn it ! The same is the case if you meet a carriage travelling in the opposite direction - the one travelling from Coex has priority ! We struggled as a group of four to lift the carriage so if you are travelling as a couple of adults, unless you are very strong, you would have to hope you meet at least two strong adults travelling in the opposite direction... So, if you try out a Velo Rail, enjoy your trip but make sure and find out a bit more about it beforehand or you may become a case of "The next train to Commequiers is half an hour late !"
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