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Cycling castles and vineyards of 3 valleys : Loir, Loire and Cher
Cycling castles and vineyards of 3 valleys : Loir, Loire and Cher
hybrid :
e-bike :
Duration :
7 days
Comfort :
period:
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Code:
FRSB435
Wine Riverside Nature City
From € 755
Cycling castles and vineyards of 3 valleys : Loir, Loire and Cher
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Bike Tour: Cycling castles and vineyards of 3 valleys : Loir, Loire and Cher - 7 days

You will discover 3 different cycle routes : 

- The "Saint-Jacques à Vélo" cycle route follows as closely as possible the centuries-old paths taken by pilgrims heading through western France to Spain’s Santiago de Compostela. Using cycle paths and small country roads along the Loir river, enjoy an epic historic, cultural and sporty route!

- The "Cher à Vélo", alternating cycle paths and quiet roads traveling from heritage to discovery along the Cher river. This is what awaits you along the « Coeur de France à Vélo », you will travel through pretty villages, with the opportunity to visit troglodyte houses and other beautiful sites. 

- The famous "Loire à Vélo" route through the world famous Pays des Châteaux’, the most splendid cultural part of the Loire Valley. ’Along magnificent/grand castles : Blois, Amboise,Chenonceau,…. and beautiful wild river landscapes, nice stops during the day to taste one/some of the excellent wines of the region

Highlights :

  • Cycle along 3 majestic rivers : Loir, Cher and Loire
  • Explore the beautiful natural surroundings 
  • Taste the lovely local wines from the area
  • Discover the delicious French gastronomy
FRSB435
Route
Day 1: Arrival in Tours
Day 2: Tours - Château-Renault
Day 3: Château-Renault - Vendôme
Day 4: Vendôme - Blois
Day 5: Blois - Amboise
Day 6: Amboise - Chenonceaux - Tours
Day 7: Departure from Tours

Day 1:    Arrival in Tours

You travel independently to Tours. Check in at your hotel. If you have arrived early, take a stroll through the town centre of the friendly capital of what is called ´the Garden of France. 

 

Day 2:    Tours - Château-Renault
39 km

This Saint-Jacques à Vélo stage alternates between quiet country roads and greenways, running beside waterways lined by fields and pastures. Starting by crossing what the French describe as the last great wild river in Europe, the Loire awaits you with a lovely cycle path along the north bank. Cross the Pays du Vouvray, where Touraine’s famed vineyards yield a fine array of white wines. Halfway, you enter the Pays Gâtine Tourangelle to end your day in the peaceful town of Château-Renault. 

Challenge : 39 km, 283m ascent, 241m descent

 

Day 3:    Château-Renault - Vendôme
51 km

Today, start in the countryside, through the cultivated valleys of Castelrenaudais, between the Loir and Loire valleys. Continue on to the North, where the route winds along a tributary of the Loir for a few kilometers. Change banks at Lavardin, “Most beautiful villages in France” nestled at the foot of the ruins of its castle, and reach Montoire-sur-le-Loir, a town with a medieval heritage and old residences bordering the river. Further on, your route passes through the nautical base of Villiers-sur-Loir, it is a great opportunity to cool off before cutting through the Vendôme countryside. End of the stage in Vendôme, a city with a rich heritage, ideal for a historic, cultural and gourmet break!

Challenge : 51 km, 293m ascent, 305m descent

 

Day 4:    Vendôme - Blois
51 km

Today you will discover the landscapes of South Vendômois and North Blaisois, between the Cisse valley and Petite Beauce. From village to village, crossing fields and woods, through the Grand Pierre et Vitain Nature Reserve, admire the wealth of small local heritage, which will take you on a journey from Prehistory to the Middle Ages. When you arrive in Blois, take a walk around the town which is known for its pale-coloured stone facades and slate roofs, its pedestrian streets gracefully preserving the flavour of lost centuries and its serene atmosphere. Also worth a visit is the Royal Chateau de Blois, the residence of several French kings. 

Challenge : 51 km, 293m ascent, 299m descent

 

Day 5:    Blois - Amboise
43 km

From Blois you follow the southern bank of the Loire. Between rolling hills with vineyards, you cycle to Candé-sur-Beuvron. Cycle back along the Beuvron to the majestic Loire. High on the bank is the elegant castle of Chaumont-sur-Loire surrounded by beautiful gardens. You are in the historic region Touraine. Visit a wine grower and taste a local ‘sauvignon blanc´. Enjoy the grandeur of the Château Amboise and Clos-Lucé where Leonardo da Vinci once stayed.

Challenge : 43 km, 265m ascent, 295m descent

 

Day 6:    Amboise - Chenonceaux - Tours
55 km

Leave the medieval atmosphere of Amboise behind you and cycle to the famous “Château de Chenonceau” which straddles the Cher River with its five distinctive arches. It was this chateau which was given by King Henri II to his mistress Diane de Poitiers and later recovered, after his death, by his widow Queen Catherine de Médicis. Continue your cycling day to the region of the prestigious ´Montlouis’ wines. The ideal microclimate, close to where the Loire and Cher unite, produces grapes of a unique quality. Discover this for yourself during a visit to a wine cellar or a lunchbreak. A fine track brings you back to Tours. Here great experiences are awaiting you like the magnificent cathedral and basilica, the famous Place Plumereau, Olivier Debré Art Centre, Botanical Garden, flavors of the markets. 

Challenge : 55 km, 195m ascent, 203m descent

 

Day 7:    Departure from Tours

End of your trip after breakfast. We advise you to extend your stay in order to take the time to visit the beautiful city of Tours.

Accommodation

All accommodations are carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. 

We choose comfortable 2*/3* where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom and every morning breakfast are included.

Hotel Mirabeau ** (Tours)
Hotel Le Lurton** (Château-Renault)
B&B Les Tourterelles Vendôme
B&B Les Tourterelles (Vendôme)
 Hotel Anne de Bretagne *** (Blois)
Hotel Anne de Bretagne *** (Blois)
Hotel Le Chaptal*** (Amboise)
Bike rental

If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us. Our touring bikes are at least 21-speed gear. You can find all the information regarding our rental bikes below.

You will find your rental bikes waiting for you at your first hotel. The hotel reception staff will give you the keys for your bikes and direct you to the bicycle shed. All bikes are provided with chain locks. 
The frame and saddle height are set to your height, although you might want to adjust your saddle to be in the most comfortable position. We also recommend doing a first small test drive of couple of hundred meters to be comfortable with gears, brakes etc. If you have an issue with your bike, you can contact the service provider (name of bike rental in your reservation) directly. Or you can always call us on our emergency phone number.  

Instruction video hybrid bike and e-bike

Please note: Depending on the trip, different models apply

 

Our hybrid bikes have at least 21-gears with hand brakes. 

The hybrid bikes are very good quality. Depending the trip, different model apply: Scott, Giant, Trek, Koga, ...

 

Whenever there is a big difference in level of ability, experience the many benefits of an electric bike on your cycling holiday. An e-bike will help you keep up with your fellow cyclists and give you a gentle boost up hills. An e-bike makes a bike trip more achievable. The e-bikes have a small electric motor and battery, which can be charged at the hotels. You still have to pedal: it just makes pedaling much easier. Some experience with e-bikes is recommended, as the bikes accelerate faster and are heavier than regular bikes because of the electric motor.

The E-bikes are very good quality. Depending on the trip, different models apply: Scott, Giant, Trek, Koga, ...

 

For some trips, we can give you the possibility to rent a Racing bike, more details on request.

For some trips, we can give you the possibility to rent a Tandem bike, suitable for two adults only. More details on request.

For children who are at least 125 cm, we can also arrange bikes (these are 24”or 26” for children that are bigger than 140 cm). The child bikes come with at least 7-gears and hand brakes. The maximum body height for a child’s bike is 155 cm. 

Please note: for some tours, different models apply.

A tag-along bike is a good option for children between approx. 100 cm and 125 cm, as they can pedal themselves and at their own pace but don’t have to worry about other traffic.

The tag-along bikes cannot be rented for all our tours

Please note: depending the trip, different models apply.

Child trailers can be rented for a maximum of two children who are up to 100 cm (max. 35 KG in total).

Please note: for some tours, different models apply.

 

 

Bell

All our rental bikes come with a bell.


Brakes

All our adult bikes come with hand brakes. 


Childseat

For children older than 30 months (max. 22 kg) it is possible to rent a rear child seat. This is also possible with e-bikes.


GPS

For some tours, it is possible to rent a GPS device, more details on request.


Helmet

Helmets are not mandatory in France (if the cyclist is over 12 years old) but strongly recommended. The helmet is mandatory for children under 12 years. If you rent a bike with us, helmets are included. Please advise us, if you bring along your own.


Lights

All our rental bikes come with lights.


Locks

All our rental bikes come with a lock.


Pannier

All our rental bikes come with at least a rear pannier and a front card holder to put the roadbook/maps.


Pedals

The rental bikes come with regular pedals, so no click-in/SPD pedals. On request we are able to supply these pedals on certain trips. 
If you wish to bring your own click-in/SPD pedals, please let us know prior to booking too.


Quickrelease

All our bikes come with a quick release system, which makes it very easy to adjust the height of the saddle and the handle bars. 


Repairkit

There is one small puncture kit included, which can be found in the pannier. If a rental bike has another problem, we always advise you to go to a bike repair shop.


Saddle

Saddles can be adjusted in height.
Our saddles don’t come with a gel cover. If you usually cycle with this, we recommend you bring them with you.


Water bottles

French Bike Tours does not provide water bottles. We can also not guarantee that there are bottle holders on the bikes. You will always receive at least 1x pannier, so you can always store your water bottle in your pannier.


Article 1 Bike Rental Price

The bike rental price is determined by the rates mentioned on the French Bike Tours website at the time of the booking; or as subsequently agreed.

Article 2 Payment

a. The rental price and any other due sums regarding the rental agreement must be paid before the bike is handed over to you.

b. If, for whatever reason, you cannot make use of the bike(s) you have rented, French Bike Tours will not be held responsible for any resulting expenses or damage.

c. In the case of the article 2b, the client remains obliged to pay the full rental price and any other amounts mentioned in the invoice, in accordance with our General Terms and Conditions of Booking, unless the client can prove that his not being able to use the bike was the consequence of a defect that was already present at the beginning of the rental period.

Article 3 Rental Period

a. The rental period runs from the morning of the first cycling day (day 2) to the end of the holiday (last cycling day), as stated in the booking confirmation.

b. Extension of the rental period is possible only after approval by us and according to the (extension) rates as mentioned in article 1.

c. No refunds are possible after the rental period begins. If you return the bike(s) to us before the end of your holiday, the rental agreement will automatically be terminated and you will not get any of your money back.

d. At the end of the last cycling day of your holiday, the bike(s) must be returned to the hotel from where it was/they were issued, no later than the time stated in the booking confirmation.
If you book a one way tour tour you can leave the bike at the last hotel of the trip. 

e. If the bike(s) is /are not returned by the return time stated in the booking confirmation, we will continue to charge you rent until such time as the bike(s) is/are returned to us or is/are received by us. In the event of late return, the rates as mentioned in article 1 will continue to apply, plus a fine of €25 per day. We also reserve the right to demand payment for any costs and/or damages suffered by us due to late return of our rental bike(s).

f. Notwithstanding the preceding paragraph, in the event of late return of our rental bikes, we reserve the right to dissolve the rental agreement without judicial intervention and immediately claim back our bicycles where ever they may be and from whomever has them. French Bike Tours also holds this right in the event that the client does not comply with any of the other conditions stated in this rental agreement.

Article 4 Improper Use

a. The bicycle(s) may only be used for its/their intended purpose and only by the cyclists listed in the rental agreement.

b. The bike(s) must be returned to us in the same (clean!) state in which you received it/them.

c. You must take excellent care of the bicycle(s), as if it/they were your own. You must take every precaution against damage, loss or theft.

d. The bicycle may not be used on the beach; or on sandy paths in the dunes unless a paved path is unavailable.

Article 5 Damage, Loss and Theft

The renter will be held responsible for damages to or loss of the bicycle(s) or parts of it, as well as bicycle keys and chains and locks, for such an amount as is determined by us according to standard market prices. You must understand that you are not insured for damage to the bicycle(s) or for any damages to third parties.

Article 6 Costs During the Rental Period

Any charges and taxes regarding the rental bicycle(s), such as fines and ferry tickets, are to be paid by you. You will also be required to pay all costs ensuing from the use of the bicycle(s) such as parking fees, maintenance and repairs. 

Practical info

6 Nights included

2/3 Star Hotels

Tourist tax included

Breakfast included, Halfboard optional on request

Maps and tourist information on all the places of interest

24/7 Bilingual Emergency hotline

Luggage transport to your next accommodations. Luggage accepted per person: 1 suitcase or travel bag (20 kg maximum)

For time tables and further information check the website of SNCF or rome2rio for all French National trains (SNCF).

We strongly advise you to download the sncf mobile app prior to departure.

If you want to travel on a train with your bike, you can find more information via this link.

Parking informations on request

We will supply the directions of this trip with a personalized code which gives you access to our travel App.

Arrival info

The international Paris airports Charles de Gaulle in the North and Orly in the South are served by a large number of scheduled and low cost airlines.They are connected with Paris by metro and bus services. From Paris you can take a train to Tours, see below.

You can get to Tours by train. On the end of your trip you can take a train from Tours. 

For timetables and further information check the website of SNCF or rome2rio for all French National trains (SNCF).

From Paris to Tours (approx. 2h40 - 240 km/150 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.

Reviews

01-06-2023

The hosts at Chateau Renault were lovely and house and gardens were beautiful. Also lovely hosts at Vendôme with a lovely room. Only downside was the long walk to get dinner. We really enjoyed Chaumont despite the steep incline to reach it.

Very good trip with mainly centrally located accommodation. It would be good if the app directed to your accommodation rather than the centre of the town. The last day the notes were inaccurate as we were on the wrong side of the river to access the Guingettes.

Good information about châteaux passes and how to obtain. Codes for app on front page of FBT would be better.

Top floor rooms in hotels with no lifts. After a long day of cycling and chateau visiting this was a heart sink. 

Pamela D-M.

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