Stopping to visit a chateau - photo courtesy of Loire Valley Travel
Fine wines every day! Photo via Wikimedia Commons:pra

See many chateau amongst vineyards as you cycle France. Photo via Wikimedia Commons:John
4.2/5 (6 ratings)

Loire Valley

France Bike + Barge Tours

Burgundy by bike!

The small region in Burgundy between Montargis within the Loire Valley and Nevers is well-suited for both cycling and boating. Following the flow of the Loire River, this Loire Valley bike tour gently rolls through the 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.

The first full day of this Loire bike tour will take you to the Château of Apremont, dating back to the 12th century and lavishly surrounded by gardens. The ancient Roman town of La Charité-sur-Loire follows with a 16th century stone bridge. Wine-tasting in the region of the Pouilly Fumé wines and the Sancerre vineyards will not be missed, followed by a trek through St. Brisson Forest. With the forest's fresh air, you will next cycle to the Château of Pont Chevron. Through a beautiful region of lakes and past a few more castles you will cycle the Loire and visit Chatillon-Coligny and it's famous market. You will spend some extra time Rogy-les-Sept-Ecluses and this is also where the tour comes to an end.

Be sure to view all of our bike tours in France.

Where You’ll Stay

On the Standard Plus class boat, the Anna Maria IV

What’s Included

  • Accomodations for 7 nights on board the Anna Maria IV
  • Breakfast, packed lunches, and 3-course dinners
  • 24-speed hybrid bicycle with bike bag
  • Tour guide
  • Visit to castle
  • Visit to winery
  • Transfer from Paris/Gare du Nord to ship (and v.v)

What’s Not Included

TourBike+Boat
TypeGuided
SkillModerate
Length8 days
From915 Rates
Client Reviews

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Tour Dates

2017 Dates
May 6, May 13, May 20, May 27, June 3, June 10, June 17, June 24, July 22, July 29, August 5, August 12, August 19, August 26, September 2, September 9, September 16, September 23, September 30, 2017

Skill Level

This is a moderate guided tour with average of 25 miles per day. Routes follow the Loire, are slightly hilly at times, but mostly flat.

Tour Boats

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Loire Valley Map

Day 1: Transfer by bus from Paris/Gare du Nord train station - meet at station at 3pm. Arrival in Cours-les-Barres.
Day 2: Cours-les-Barres, round tour, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 3: Sailing to Beffes, Cycling to Ménétréol, 34 mi. (55 km)
Day 4: Ménétréol - Beaulieu-sur-Loire, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 5: Beaulieu-sur-Loire - Briare, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 6: Briare - Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses, 28 mi. (45 km)
Day 7: Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses round trip, 31 mi. (50 km)
Day 8: Departure by bus to Paris - Gare du Nord (train station).

*All distances are approximate. The above-planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.

Below is the daily itinerary for the route from Cours-les-Barres to Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses. With each following departure date, the route will run in reverse (i.e. from Rogny to Cours-les-Barres) and thus have a slightly different itinerary.

Day 1: Arrival
During the afternoon, you will be picked up at the Gare du Nord train station in Paris and taken to the ship for boarding in Cours-les-Barres. It is recommended to arrive at Gare du Nord by 3 in the afternoon, the bus transfer must leave at 3:30. Upon arrival at the barge, you'll meet your tour guide for the week as well as the rest of the crew on board ship, who are there to make your stay as comfortable as possible. After settling in, dinner will be served on board.

Day 2: Cours-les-Barres, round tour, 31 mi. (50 km)
From Cours-les-Barres, the boat will sail over an aqueduct over the Allier River. After passing two impressive locks both measuring about 9 meters high, the boat will head in the direction of Apremont, where you will have the opportunity to visit the 12th-century castle and surrounding fabulous gardens. After, you will continue to town of Nevers where there are many sites to see including the winding streets filled with houses dating back from the 14th to 17th century. At the end of today's cycle tour, the barge will be waiting in Cours-les-Barres.

Day 3: Sailing to Beffes, Cycling to Ménétréol, 34 mi. (55 km)
While breakfast is being served, this morning will begin by sailing to Beffes. Upon arrival, you will hop on your bikes and begin the days cycling tour to La Charité-sur-Loire, an ancient Roman town. Crossing the 16th century stone bridge to the center, there is a splendid view overlooking the town and its Notre Dame church. Then you will enter the region of the Pouilly Fumé wines. In Ménétréol, situated under the Sancerre vineyards, will be an opportunity to try some wine before returning to the ship.

Day 4: Ménétréol - Beaulieu-sur-Loire, 31 mi. (50 km)
To start off, you will visit Sancerre and then take a picturesque route right across the Sancerre vineyards. The tour will continue past a few of the wine villages that are situated in the impressive scenery. 

Day 5: Beaulieu-sur-Loire - Briare, 25 mi. (40 km)
Today, as you cycle, you will pass the historical locks of Châtillon-sur-Loire and further on, cross the aqueduct over the Loire River. After passing through St. Brisson, where you will pass an impressive medieval castle, you will cycle back to the Anna Maria IV, while enjoying the fresh forest air in the For't de St. Brisson. This evening, the boat will cross the Loire through the magnificent aqueduct and stop for the night in Briare.

Day 6: Briare - Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses, 28 mi. (45 km) 
The morning will allow some time to explore the town of Briare. Today will lead us to the castle of 'Pont Chevron,' situated on a small, picturesque lake. Via Ouzouer-sur-Trézée, you will cycle through a region of lakes to the 16th-century castle near Bléneau. The cycling day will end in the village Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses, known for its historical seven locks.

Day 7: Rogny-les-Sept - Ecluses round trip, 31 mi. (50 km)
Today, enjoy a trip to the market in Châtillon-Coligny, from where you will continue to the castle in La Bussière. Via Escrignelles, the tour will end back in Rogny, which is right next door to Châtillon-Coligny.

Day 8: Departure by bus to Paris - Gare du Nord (train station)
In the morning, you may wish to go for a stroll around Rogny. At approximately 11:00 AM, you will say farewell to the guide and crew and be transported by bus back to Paris. You should reach Gare du Nord by 3:30 PM.

If you’re looking for a different flavor, check out our full list of bike tours in Europe or view all our featured bicycle tours, specials, and news.

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Customer Feedback

  • Jennifer M. 3 months ago

    We knew the barge was old, but weren't prepared for the very tiny, cramped cabin space which was definitely not the one advertised!
    Most of the bicycles were in fairly good condition, but my husband got one on which the chain kept coming off and had a fall because of that.
    The barge operators, Stephan and Florence, were lovely and worked very hard to provide a good experience, cooking traditional French meals each evening complete with dessert. The tour guide, Jan, did an excellent job keeping the cycling group on track and adjusting our days to accommodate the extreme temperatures during the hottest week of the summer!

    Boat: Anna Maria IV

    • Jehiel 3 months ago

      Hi Jennifer!
      Thank you for sharing feedback for this tour. I'm sorry you found the cabins too small for your liking but we mention on the boat page that the "...ship is especially suited to motor the narrow French" and provide pictures of the cabins and dimensions. I am glad you had a great trip and enjoyed Stephan, Florence, and Jan. We hope to help you orgainize your next trip!

      Boat: Anna Maria IV

  • T. Gihring 5 months ago

    Sorry, it rained the entire trip. Route and scenery would have been fine if not for that. Barge has seen better days. Staff (Stephan and Florence) are very pleasant.
    Suggestion: Give the tour riders a sew-on patch to remember the tour.

    Boat: Anna Maria IV

  • Sharon Kravitz 1 year ago

    The trip was organised very well. The international crew made the trip more interesting. We were glad that Peter had some flexibility in what we experienced. He was an excellent guide. We would have liked to stop at a few more wineries. Also we always seemed to be pulling into villages as they closed for lunch.

    Boat: Anna Maria IV

  • Carmel Manley 1 year ago

    We are return users of Tripsite, we have found both the service from Tripsite and the tours (now 3 in total) have all been excellent. Great tours because of the combination of places, organisation and staff. Am looking forward to taking part in more in the future.

    Boat: Anna Maria IV

  • Bruce Belman 1 year ago

    Great trip. Everything we were hoping for.

    Boat: Anna Maria IV

  • Laurie Frarey 1 year ago

    There seemed to be tension between the owners of the barge and guy doing the cooking, cleaning and maintenance. The guy was trying to do the job of more than 2 people by himself. One day when he needed help with a cranky generator the captain was in a bar. We did not get clean towels half way through as promised. I have been on 2 bike and barge trips and this had the worst staff. The guide was good but left slower riders at several critical junctures. It did not happen often. Seems the system works best when the owner is captain. Means he is present and accountable.

    Boat: Anna Maria IV

  • Lorraine 2 years ago

    We did this trip in Sept. 2014. Great biking, but barge has seen better days.

    Boat: Anna Maria IV

  • Bob hartley 5 years ago

    We had a wonderful time. Martine and Margery were the best. Loved the trip

    Boat: Anna Maria IV

  • Kris Byrns 5 years ago

    We did this tour in 2008 and had a wonderful time.

    Boat: Anna Maria IV

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Loire Valley Boats + Barges

Anna Maria IV Photo

Anna Maria IV France Standard Plus Class Boat The Anna Maria IV was built specifically for the French canals with it's length, width, and height all adjusted to sail the narrow waterways of the country. She sails in the Loire Valley region during the season. You will feel right at home in the relaxed atmosphere of this barge. Total 7 cabins (2 with private facilities) are equipped with a sliding window and an electrical fan. On board limited WIFI access.

PWPC