Since spring 2018, Roannais has offered an additional opportunity to hike with the Véloire. A 25 kilometer greenway that is secure, marked and prohibited to motorized vehicles, the Véloire is an undeniable asset for the Roannais. Cyclists, walkers, people with reduced mobility or even rollerbladers, all benefit from a space adapted to each practice.

Pause sur la voie verte : la véloire dans un champ de coquelicots
Break on the veloire in a field of poppies © Max / Les Zed / RT

The Véloire route, Roannais greenway

Departing from the Port of Roanne, the route follows the towpath of the Roanne à Digoin canal, nicknamed "the quiet canal", to Charlieu via the Briennon marina. Along the way, many discoveries are available to you:

  • The canal, its marinas and its locks,
  • A bridge over the Le Sornin river, an Eiffel-type metal structure built in 1880,
  • The views over the Loire between Pouilly-sous-Charlieu and Saint-Pierre-la-Noaille,
  • Or even Charlieu, Village of Character in Loire, ranked among the “100 Most Beautiful Detours in France”.
Carte et itinéraire de la voie verte, la Véloire

The different steps of the green way

Know that on the Véloire, many starting possibilities are available to you. Car parks are set up on each departure to allow you safe access. It's up to you to find the course that best suits your practice and your desires.

  • Saint-Pierre-la-Noaille / Pouilly-sous-Charlieu: 5,7 kilometers

Points of interest : views over the Loire with a landscaped area towards Saint-Pierre-la-Noaille, ideal for your picnic break or afternoon tea, picnic area also at a place called Cul du Sornin.

  • charlieu / Pouilly-sous-Charlieu: 4,9 kilometers

Points of interest : the Eiffel-type metal bridge built in 1880, Charlieu, a city labeled Village of Character in the Loire and its Benedictine abbey.
Nearby : the Cordeliers convent in Saint-Nizier-sous-Charlieu

  • Pouilly-sous-Charlieu / Briennon: 1,2 kilometers

Points of interest : marina and circuit between Halage and Rivage in Briennon, discovery trail Les Chambons in Pouilly-sous-Charlieu

  • Briennon / Mably (le Merlin): 7,7 kilometers

Points of interest : Merlin pond and its picnic area, Cornillon lock, Briennon marina
Nearby : the cistercian church of La Bénisson-Dieu, the Bird Gravel Pit in Mably

  • Mably (the Merlin) / Roanne: 6,3 kilometers

Points of interest : Roanne marina with picnic areas, the Merlin pond and its picnic area
Nearby : the city center of Roanne and the bird gravel pit in Mably

Bloggers' words

“Itinerary covered in 3 days, we escaped on the Véloire route with pleasure. What we really liked during this micro-adventure was the unspoiled nature of the place. Those who have been following us for a while know it: a green landscape, a little water, birds singing and we are in heaven. The Loire is therefore a destination that totally fits our state of mind and that we had in mind since 2019! »

A world on a bike

Staff picks

And if you still hesitated to get started, we share our favorites with you:

  • Roanne marina located in the heart of the city,
  • The journey on the towpath of the quiet canal with the discovery of the locks on the way,
  • The Briennon river stop and the views of the church, listed as a Historic Monument,
  • The views over the Loire between Pouilly-sous-Charlieu and Saint-Pierre-la-Noaille,
  • The connection with the greenway leading to Charlieu labeled village of character,
  • And of course, the local specialties to take with you for your picnic or your afternoon snack: the Pralulin®, the cheeses of the Mons House, Charlieu's andouille, the wine of the Côte Roannaise ...
Balade en famille sur la voie verte : la Véloire
Family walk on the Véloire © Clovis Huet / RT

La Véloire south of Roanne, on a shared route

La Véloire is also a 78 km route south of Roanne, on a shared route.
From Roanne, you follow the course of the river on small roads through the Loire gorges and then the Loire bocage to the spa resort of Montrond-les-Bains.
This section, on a shared road, requires greater vigilance than the northern portion, since the cyclist shares the road with motorized vehicles.
Ultimately, it is planned that the Véloire will be extended by the creation of a route as close as possible to the Loire river, which, initially, will bring the cycle tourist to the gates of the Saint-Etienne metropolitan area, then, secondly, will allow him a connection with the ViaRhôna.

Extend the pleasure of the greenway beyond Roanne

At the heart of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the green way will take you, at the option of a stroll in slow attitude, from Roanne to Charlieu. The Saône-et-Loire is very close. Moreover, the Véloire is connected to the network of greenways of this department in Iguerande. This link offers multiple possibilities for bicycle roaming and allows connection to a national and international roaming network. Thus, you can reach Marcigny, Digoin and Paray-le-Monial by bike. A great way to discover the neighboring Brionnais.

Since 2020, a continuation of the Véloire has been created by cycle route, over more than 50 kilometers, (on shared roads) to Montrond-les-Bains, the only spa resort in the Loire department. The route will soon lead to the gates of the Saint-Etienne metropolitan area and will eventually join the Via-Rhôna.

Rent a bike

Bicycles are available for hire on the course. Several professionals offer bicycle rental. Traditional or electric bikes, child or adult, baby seat, trailer ... They have all the necessary equipment to allow you to have a good time on this greenway.

True paradise for lovers of "slow" like me, the canal welcomes a greenway on its banks: the Véloire. You pedal at your own pace and carefully choose the little corner of your picnic break (or nap!). A real joy.

Fanny, tourist


Leaning against the main axis that is the Véloire, 8 cycle loops are marked out. They criss-cross small roads with little traffic, rich from a tourist point of view and whose distances and levels allow everyone to find their favorite route. As a bonus you will find below a loop starting from Saint-Jodard, a town in Forez, which passes through the famous castle of la Roche.

Below is the list of cycle loops:

R1 – From Charluais to Brionnais
R2 – From one colored roof to another
R3 – From water to stone
R4 – Grand Couvert rural loop
R5 – From one port to another
R6 – From water to the tree
R7 – From water to vines
R8 – From one dam to another
F1 – Meet at the castle

Other existing or future secure routes

In 2019, the old Arsenal railway line became a greenway where walkers and cyclists can stroll. It is a new area of ​​freedom of 3,8 kilometers in the heart of Roannais. It connects the Pontet in the town of Riorges to Boulevard Valmy in Roanne and consequently, the Véloire.

At the start of 2021, the banks of the Loire were inaugurated in Roanne. A footbridge has been installed to span the Renaison and connect the banks of the Loire at the towpath. The objective is to create a link with the greenway.

Currently, other projects are also underway between Charlieu and the municipality of Saint-Denis-de-Cabanne and between Renaison and the municipality of Saint-André-d'Apchon.

Balade à vélo sur la Véloire
Bike ride on the Véloire © fauregeraldine

Key dates

  • June 2018 : Inauguration of the first 21-kilometer section of this route included in the national cycle route / greenway scheme under the title V71.
  • Summer 2020 : Staking out to Montrond les Bains.

L'avis de Frédérique

Frederique's opinion

For me, the Véloire is THE essential family outing. At your own pace, you will enjoy the beauty of the landscapes and the calm to spend a moment of pure happiness with your toddlers. It is here that my daughter made her first bike rides and that she decided to give up her small wheels. Since then, she has been able to string together the kilometers with her brother who encourages her from the baby seat. You will see, the children want more!
What I also like about our greenway is the kindness and goodwill of the people who use it... A smile, a hello... So many feelings which remind me that Roannais is a welcoming territory where life is good .

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