Cycling in Loire Valley is the ideal holiday. The wonderful atmosphere of this 8-day trip is created by one of the last wild rivers in Europe, and the idyllic landscape of its tributaries and lakes. The fascinating historical framework of the tour is built around the famous royal castles and Medieval towns you will visit.
- Red wines and Crémants of Saumur
- Castle of Ussé
- Chambord Castles
- Sainte Croix Cathedral
- Tranquil river loops and parks
- Exquisite French dining including gourmet midday picnics featuring regional delicacies prepared by your tour leader with fresh products. Cheese, ham, bread, and desserts form part of the artfully displayed buffet along with wine, beer, or alcohol-free drinks.
Bike and dine your way through the garden of France!
Day 1: Arrival to Angers
Day 2: Angers - Saumur, 24 mi. (39 km)
Day 3: Saumur - Beaumont-en-Veron, 32 mi. (52 km)
Day 4: Beaumont - Azay-le-Rideau, 27 mi. (44 km)
Day 5: Azay-le-Rideau - Chenonceaux, 21 mi. (34 km)
Day 6: Chenonceaux - St. Dye su Loire, 19 mi. (31 km)
Day 7: Sologne, 24 mi. (38 km)
Day 8: St. Dye-sur-Loire - Orléans, 5 mi. (8 km) and departure
All distances are approximate. Due to circumstances beyond control, such as weather conditions or provisions issued by the local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during your holiday. For example, along the way, you may find temporary deviations/detours caused by roadwork not reflected in your route book or GPS tracks. In this case, please follow the directions posted locally.
Day 1: Arrival to Angers
Arrival on Saturday in Angers. Your room will be available at 2 pm at the Best Western Plus Hotel d’Anjou, near the railroad station. Spend the afternoon strolling around the old city - declared a UNESCO world heritage site - and along the Maine River.
Day 2: Angers - Saumur, 24 miles (39 km)
A short walk will bring you to the medieval defensive castle of Angers, which houses the world-famous tapestry series depicting the "Apocalypse of St. John". Starting the bike tour nine miles outside the town, you will follow along quiet and peaceful routes near the Loire River. In the early afternoon, you will arrive in the village of Cunault, with an unexpectedly large Romanesque church. An hour further lies Saumur, famous for the National Horse Riding School and the breed of noble horses. With luck, you will see some officers and horses at work. On the last kilometers to Saumur, also known for its aromatic red wines and Crémants, you will certainly be attracted by Tuffeaux caves, the city's former quarries, now used as wine cellars or for the cultivation of mushrooms, but also as apartments and restaurants. Right in the center of Saumur, the comfortable Hotel St. Pierre awaits you. You will have dinner in one of the town's best restaurants.
Day 3: Saumur - Beaumont-en-Veron, 32 miles (52 km)
After breakfast, you will take a walk through the historic center to Saumur castle. Since the partial collapse of its walls, it has been under meticulous restoration and can only be admired from the outside. From the castle hill, you will cycle to Fontevraud Abbey, where the Plantagenet kings, among them Henrich II. and Eleonore of Aquitania, found their last resting-place. Also noteworthy is the "Tour d'Evraud", a kitchen edifice that masterfully combines practical and artistic considerations. In the afternoon, you reach Chinon, the birthplace of Rabelais, which has admirably maintained its medieval character. The fortress complex is a site of great historical importance to the French as it was the stage for the meeting of Joan of Arc and Charles VII. A few kilometers further, you will be received at the Manoir de la Giraudière, nestled in the vineyards which produce the famous Chinon red wine.
Day 4: Beaumont - Azay-le-Rideau, 27 miles (44 km)
Cycling along quiet country roads and forest paths, you travel along the wide valley of the Loire and Indre rivers. Today's first sightseeing objective is the fairy-tale Castle of Ussé (visit from the outside) with its numerous towers and turrets. Following the Loire river, you are soon in Langeais. Before visiting this castle, where the marriage between Anne de Bretagne and Charles VIII took place, it is a must to savor the chocolate at Langeais' famous confectionary. After an hour on the bikes, the "day of castles" ends with a guided tour of one of the jewels among the royal edifices in the Loire valley, the castle of Azay-le-Rideau. Tonight, you are the guest at Le Grand Monarque, a charming hotel in the style of a Touraine country-house.
Day 5: Azay-le-Rideau - Chenonceaux, 21 miles (34 km)
After a short climb, the route leads past orchards and extended forest areas along the river Loire to Villandry. You will visit the famous gardens of the castle which have regained their original Renaissance appearance only at the end of the 19th-century. From here, you will take a cab to Amboise. The castle here was initiated according to the Italian Renaissance through Charles VIII and completed by Francis I. After lunch, you will visit Clos Lucé, the last domain of Leonardo da Vinci. You will pass a primary hilly route and get through forests before reaching the Hotel Du Bon Laboureur, a Relais de Silence-hotel with the best cuisine. The exquisite restaurant has been awarded a star from the Guide Michelin.
Day 6: Chenonceaux - St. Dye su Loire, 20 miles (31 km)
In the morning, you will walk through the enchanting castle complex of Chenonceau, beautifully straddling the river Cher. Legendary among the castles of the Loire valley, its destiny was primarily determined by females, earning it the nickname, "Castle of the Six Women". During the Enlightenment, Chenonceau found new life through visits by Voltaire, Montesquieu, and Rousseau, who sang the praises of its hospitality. A short transfer takes you to a height above Montrichard where you will mount your bike. The village is located on the banks of the Cher river and home to one of the largest defensive towers in France. Lovely paths through fields and forests lead you to the next castle: Blois, the "Versailles of the Renaissance". It was the showplace of intrigues and political influence in the Middle Ages. A taxi takes you the rest of the way to the superbly situated Manoir Bel Air, renowned for its excellent cuisine, where you will spend the last two nights of the tour.
Day 7: Sologne, 24 miles (38 km)
After breakfast, you will cycle through the northern part of the varied landscape of the Sologne region. The lonely path leads along isolated moorland, lakes as well as deciduous and pine forests, hiding a labyrinth of over 3000 ponds, a preferred nesting area for ducks, egrets, and snipes. In this unspoiled nature, you will cycle past quaint villages with thatched-roof or red-brick houses. Hunting parties are still a tradition, their origin leading back to the Second Empire (1852-1870) when 340 hunting lodges had been built for the purpose. In the afternoon, the route leads to Chambord, the crowning glory of the Loire Castles. Charles V considered it "the embodiment of what human art can create". Even the approach to Chambord is striking. The exquisite cuisine of the Manoir Bel Air provides an appropriate finish to your Loire experience.
Day 8: St. Dye-sur-Loire - Orléans, 5 miles (8 km) and departure
In the morning, you will cycle through the floodplains of the Loire River to the railroad station of the Mer Village. If you prefer not to cycle the five miles on the day of your trip home, we will arrange for a transfer. A suburban train takes 30 minutes to arrive to Orléans. In this city, Joan of Arc's triumphal procession over the English power started with the end of the siege of Orléans on the 8th of May 1429. This date is synonymous with the awakening of the French national consciousness. On a stroll through the historic center, you will visit the mighty cathedral Ste Croix, the house of Joan of Arc, and Place de Martoi with the famous monument dedicated to the "Virgin of Orléans". About noon, the trip comes to an end at Orleans train station. By train, you can reach Paris Airport Roissy CDG in two hours with one change. Alternatively, we can arrange a private transfer to the airport (price on request).
Hotels & Bikes
- Accommodations for 7 nights
- 6 multi-course dinners with water
- Touring bike
- Cycling tour guide
- Luggage transfer
- All visitor and tourist taxes
- All interim transfers as mentioned in the tour description
- All entry fees as mentioned in the tour description
- Additional city guides in Angers and Blois
- Service bus throughout the tour
- 1 wine tasting
Dates & Pricing
July 3 and July 10, 2021
*Minimum 8; maximum 19 participants
Double/twin: $ 2800 £ 1559 $ 2,697 € 1760 NZ$ 3015 kr 18189 $ 2,157 Single: $ 3468 £ 1930 $ 3,340 € 2180 NZ$ 3734 kr 22530 $ 2,672
Electric bike: $ 286 £ 159 $ 276 € 180 NZ$ 308 kr 1860 $ 221 Transfer from Orleans to Paris CDG airport: on request
Angers/Orléans: on request
Skill Level — Easy
Mostly relaxed biking on paths and small roads, only occasional contact with traffic. Four easy and three a little more demanding legs, altogether an easy rated tour. Total distance of 152 mi. (246 km).
Fly to Paris Roissy-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) or Nantes Airport (NTE).
From CDG airport, you can take the TGV-train to Angers. The total trip time is around 3 hours.
From Nantes Airport to Angers, the travel time is 30 minutes.
The climate in the Loire Valley is favorable most of the year, the river often acting as a line of demarcation in France’s weather between the northern climate and the southern. The river has a significant effect on the microclimate of the region, adding a few degrees of temperature. The climate can be cool with springtime frost while wine harvest months may have rain. Summers are hot, however, influences from the Atlantic moderate the temperature with breeze. A good website to visit to research regional weather including average high/low temperatures, average rainfall, and more weather-related information is weatherbase.com. Below you will find the average weather for Amboise.
Before booking your flight, please make sure that the minimum number of participants has been attained. It may not be possible to obtain a refund on your flights when the journey has been canceled due to the minimum number of participants not being attained.
Gourmet picnics consisting of the best local produce, cheeses, meats, breads, and desserts as well as wine, beer or soft drinks will delight you at midday. The presentations and the locations are carefully selected and the costs are added and shared among the participants at the end of the tour.
Important to know
Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.
*Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.
This tour is run by Rotalis.
We value the strong relationship we have with our local partners and the services we provide.
We are not a broker.
We do not inflate tour prices.
We are simply travelers helping travelers.
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