Very relaxing trip on cycle paths and quiet roads through the world famous 'Pays des Châteaux', the most splendid cultural part of the Loire Valley. Along magnificent/grand castles : Blois, Amboise, Villandry…. Crossing the Anjou-Touraine natural reserve with its beautiful wild river landscapes and nice stops during the day to taste one/some of the excellent wines of the region.
You follow the well-marked route of 'La Loire à Vélo' on cycle paths and quiet roads along the last wild river in Europe. A self-guided cycling trip through nature: deserted beaches, immense sandbanks and dead river arms. It is the home of terns, grebes, ospreys, blue herons, beavers ... a world with exceptional fauna and flora.
You individually travel to Orléans, the entrance/gateway to the heart of the famous Loire valley. Once it was a capital in the early French Middle Ages, but nowadays it’s a lively, modern town with a beautiful historic centre. An ideal place to start this route along Europe’s last wild river: the Loire.
Once you have left the city noise behind, you soon reach the confluence of the Loiret and the Loire. A part of the day you follow the high banks with beautiful views of the surrounding undulating countryside. Don’t miss the charming and historic town Meung-sur-Loire. Finally arrive at historic Beaugency where you can admire the beautiful old Loire bridge. In 1429 Jeanne d'Arc's army was crossing this bridge to liberate the smal town. You will find her statue here on a prominent spot.
Challenge : 29 km, 12 m ascent, 32 m descent
Leave charming Beaugency behind you and follow the wonderful, flat track along the river bank from Tavers to Averay. It leads you in a very relaxed way into the unique landscape of the world famous ‘Pays des Châteaux’: Chambord, Blois, Amboise, Tours... Choose one of the different routes available. Although the original ‘Loire à Vélo’ route is the fastest, other more winding circuits make it possible to admire also other splendid 'chateaux' before you enter the historic city of Blois.
Challenge : 46 km, 78 m ascent, 101 m descent
Departure right along the south bank of the river. Admire the monuments of local white tufa, such as the church of Cunault and the St-Maur abbey. Once in Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire you have the choice whether you take the train to your final destination Angers or you will cycle 25 km extra to reach this city. You then follow the north bank of the Loire through a former swamp area that was drained in the Middle Ages. Later you will see tracks of the old slate quarries of Trélazé. Then, taking a small ferry, you cross the Authion river. Faraway your destination Angers, situated on both sides of the river Maine, attracts your attention.
Challenge : 59 km, 192 m ascent, 190 m descent
Tourist tax included