Luxembourg Palace & Gardens is a popular park in Paris, France. Photo via Flickr:Kosala Bandara

Notre Dame gargoyle in Paris, of course! Photo via Flickr:Moyan Brenn

Loire River Valley and Paris

France Bike + Barge Tours

A bike and boat tour in France’s Loire River Valley

The small region in Burgundy between La Charité and Paris within the Loire Valley is well-suited for both cycling and boating. Following the flow of the Loire River, this Loire Valley bike and barge tour gently rolls through green countryside with charming little villages sporadically intermingled. The rich landscape bears many fruitful vineyards. Of particular fame are the wines from Pouilly-sur-Loire and Sancerre; and of course there are the Burgundy (Bourgogne) wines, said to be among the most prestigious in the world.

Highlights:

  • Pouilly and Sancerre wine
  • Complex of locks in Rogny
  • Castle of La Bussiere
  • Montargis with its canals and bridges
  • The rocks of Nemours
  • Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte near Melun
  • Paris

Be sure to check out all of our bike and barge tours in France.

Tour Dates

15 Day Tours

Paris to La Charité-sur-Loire: June 24, 2017
La Charité-sur-Loire to Paris: July 8, 2017

8 Day Tours

Paris to Montargis: June 24, 2017
Montargis to La Charité-sur-Loire: July 1, 2017
La Charité-sur-Loire to Montargis: July 8, 2017 
Montargis to Paris: July 15, 2017

Skill Level

Participants should be in good physical shape and comfortable with cycling around 25 miles before the tour. Most of the cycling is on relatively flat roads and in river valleys, but to enjoy the tour fully, guests should be able to manage (moderate) slopes of up to about max. 2 kilometers. Cycling distances are in general between ca. 30 and 60 km. and can be adapted when circumstances require.

Where You’ll Stay

On board the Feniks, originally built in 1928 as a freighter on the Dutch, Belgium and French waters. She is a very strong vessel with many years of service and is known because of her beautiful line and speed.

What’s Included

  • 7 or 15 nights accommodations
  • 21-speed bicycles with pannier, lock and water bottle
  • Multilingual tour guide
  • Route program with city maps
  • 7 x breakfast, 7 x lunch package and 6 x dinner a week
  • Coffee, tea and biscuits
  • Afternoon snacks
  • Cabin with private bathroom including bed linen and fresh towels
  • Shampoo, shower gel and soap
  • Daily check of your cabin, once a week extra cleaning
  • Service for personal laundry
  • Ferry fares

What’s Not Included

  • Gratuities
  • Entrance fees
  • Travel or cancellation insurance
  • Meals other than mentioned
TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillModerate
Length8–15 days
From1010 Rates
Client Reviews

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Day-To-Day Itinerary

Loire River Valley and Paris Map

La Charité to Paris

Day 1: La Charité/La Chapelle Montlinard, 8 miles (12 km)
Day 2: La Chapelle Montlinard - Ménétréol, 28 or 31 (45 or 50 km)
Day 3: Ménétréol - Beaulieu, 25 or 50 miles (40 or 80 km)
Day 4: Beaulieu - Briare, 19 miles (30 km)
Day 5: Briare - Rogny-les-sept-Ecluses, 31 miles (50 km)
Day 6: Rogny – Chatillon Coligny, 25 or 28 miles (40 or 45 km)
Day 7: Chatillon-Coligny – Montargis, 31 miles (50 km)
Day 8: Montargis rest day (end of first half of tour, beginning of second half of tour)
Day 9: Montargis - Néronville, 25 or 28 miles (40 or 45 km)
Day 10: Néronville - Nemours, 31 miles (50 km)
Day 11: Nemours – St. Mammes, 22 or 31 miles (35 to 50 km)
Day 12: St. Mammes - Melun, 28 miles (45 km)
Day 13: Melun - Evry, 22, 31, or 37 miles (35, 50, or 60 km)
Day 14: Rest day Paris
Day 15: Departure from Paris

Day 1: La Charité/La Chapelle Montlinard, 8 miles (12 km)
You are expected on board around 2pm. After arrival and welcome to the ship at the mooring place, you can start for a short try-out bike ride in the countryside of some 12 km.

Day 2: La Chapelle Montlinard - Ménétréol, 28 or 31 (45 or 50 km)
The bike ride starts with an easy ride in the river plain on quiet country roads. In Pouilly, wine center, there is a quaint coffee stop where you can take a rest. Rolling country with vineyards is the next part of the itinerary. After lunch, back in the Loire-valley, you will head to Sancerre, the town of wine on its hilltop, surrounded by vineyards. The slope in general is moderate, with a few tougher parts but the views are rewarding! The ride downhill to the mooring place is exciting.

Day 3: Ménétréol - Beaulieu, 25 or 50 miles (40 or 80 km)
Today, you have choice for an easy ride in the river valley with visit to the town of Cosne. This region is also famous for its Chavignol (goat) cheese. A visit to a goat farm is an option. An alternative is the opportunity to visit a very special building site near Guédelon, where dozens of people are building a medieval castle with old fashioned means and tools. The ride is beautiful and has several hills, most of them with a moderate slope. The ride back is easier, towards the Loire valley. 

Day 4: Beaulieu - Briare, 19 miles (30 km)
The Loire river, as many other smaller streams in France, is not easily navigable, so in the past centuries canals were dug parallel to some of the rivers to connect natural waterways. It’s an experience to be on board while the ship uses the famous pont-canal, a kind of aquaduct. Briare will be the mooring place today. It has an enamel and shipping museum.

Day 5: Briare - Rogny-les-sept-Ecluses, 31 miles (50 km)
Today you cycle along the river to the town of Gien (faience). Today's destination is Rogny, with its famous ‘stairs’ of 7 locks. In spite of being out of use now, they are still a major touristic attraction. The ships find it's way through the canal by means of newer locks. After dinner, perhaps you'd like to play petanque, a traditional French game!

Day 6: Rogny – Chatillon Coligny, 25 or 28 miles (40 or 45 km)
Today, Chatillon Coligny is your goal. It’s a picturesque medieval town charged with a unique history, which came into the scientific era with four generations of physicists and chemists. On your way to this town, a visit to the castle of La Bussiere with garden and park is recommended. Lunch can be had in the park. Mooring place in or near Chatillon.

Day 7: Chatillon-Coligny – Montargis, 31 miles (50 km)
Ride in beautiful countryside, in morning and afternoon. Coffee and lunch stop in Chateau Renard, nice small town. The last kilometres you will follow the canal to Montargis, an interesting town (ca. 15.000 inh.) to visit. It’s famous for its many canals and bridges.

Day 8: Montargis rest day (end of first half of tour, beginning of second half of tour)
The day wil be spent in Montargis. There are two markets, a museaum, and lots of pretty scenery to occupy your time. You can opt to do a 35 km bike ride in the afternoon.

If you are planning on ending your travels today, you will depart after breakfast.

If you are planning on joining the tour today, you will meet up with the barge between noon and 2pm.

Day 9: Montargis - Néronville, 25 or 28 miles (40 or 45 km)
The bike tour starts with a nice ride in an old forest to the east of Montargis. Further on the ride to the north, never far away from the canal, Ferrieres (castle, abbey) and Dordives (glass museum) can be visited on the way to Néronville, nearby you'll see the small town of Chateau-Landon on a hilltop.

Day 10: Néronville - Nemours, 31 miles (50 km)
Along nice country roads, you will find yourself on the way to the town of Nemours, a small town on the Loing-river. Today's highlights are the old covered market of Egreville and the prehistoric museum and castle/museum at Nemours.

Day 11: Nemours – St. Mammes, 22 or 31 miles (35 to 50 km)
From Nemours, the ship sails to St. Mammes where the Loing meets the Seine river. The Loing is the narrow river, which gives its name to the parallel canal. On the way, you will see some of the famous rocks in this forested area. After lunch, you can choose a shorter ride with visit to Moret, well situated on the Loing. A longer option is a ride in a nice river valley with a quaint tea stop halfway. After some short slopes and nice views, this option also visits Moret. From there to the mooring place is just a few kilometers.

Day 12: St. Mammes - Melun, 28 miles (45 km)
The canals with the many locks are behind you now. Sailing downstream, the ship can cover longer distances in shorter time! You are almost to Paris. There will be more traffic here and there. This area has an abundant history as many places near the capital witnessed events dealing with the war and aftermath. This region is also home to quite a number of castles, used by French kings and nobles. The immense castle of Fontainebleau and the artists village of Barbizon (19th century) are not to be missed. Today finished with a nice ride in the forest of Fontainebleau and ride along the Seine into the town of Melun.

Day 13: Melun - Evry, 22, 31, or 37 miles (35, 50, or 60 km)
Near Melun are Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte, another fine example of a 17-century French chateau-building with French style gardens, and the impressive medieval castle of Blandy. Because of the distance today only one castle can be visited but you can choose! You will follow narrow roads and visit villages as you get nearer to the big city. A boat trip, after the bike ride, offers an easy and pleasant way of travelling into suburban Paris.

Day 14: Rest day Paris
The day is at your disposal to explore this amazing city! The Feniks will moor at Port de Plaisance (near Place de la Bastille) or Bassin de la Villette (1,5 km. east of Gare du Nord).

Day 15: Departure from Paris
After breakfast your bike and boat trip from the heart of France into the capital comes to an end.

Paris to La Charité

Day 1: Arrival to Paris
Day 2: Rest day Paris
Day 3: Every - Melun, 22, 31, or 37 miles (35, 50, or 60 km)
Day 4: Melun - St. Mammes, 28 miles (45 km)
Day 5: St. Mammes - Nemours, 22 or 31 miles (35 to 50 km)
Day 6: Nemours - Néronville, 31 miles (50 km)
Day 7: Néronville - Montargis, 25 or 28 miles (40 or 45 km)
Day 8: Montargis rest day (end of first half of tour, beginning of second half of tour)
Day 9: Montargis - Chatillon-Coligny, 31 miles (50 km)
Day 10: Chatillon-Coligny - Rogny, 25 or 28 miles (40 or 45 km)
Day 11: Rogny-les-sept-Ecluses - Briare, 31 miles (50 km)
Day 12: Briare - Beaulieu, 19 miles (30 km)
Day 13: Beaulieu - Ménétréol, 25 or 50 miles (40 or 80 km)
Day 14: Ménétréol - La Chapelle Montlinard, 28 or 31 (45 or 50 km)
Day 15: La Charité/La Chapelle Montlinard departure

If France isn't your thing, be sure to check out our comprehensive list of bike and boat tours as well as our featured bike trips!

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Loire River Valley and Paris Boats + Barges

Feniks Photo

Feniks Belgium, Netherlands, France Standard Plus Class Boat Originally, the Feniks was built in 1928 as a freighter on the Dutch, Belgium and French inland waters. In 1992, the Feniks was converted to a hotel passenger ship and put in service for various sailing holidays. Since then, she has undergone several renovations to keep up-to-date with all modern facilities.

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