Biking a part of the famous ‘Loire à Velo’ route 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.
The total ‘Loire à Vélo’ route runs from Nevers to ‘l'Océan‘, let's say from ‘source' to mouth. The route can be divided into 3 various stages which can also be booked separately. You can add additional detours during this trip. This excellently marked second stage varies from flat, slightly sloping to an occasional small climb.
The route descriptions we have made for this trip will be supplied via a travel app, for “GPS” navigation with visual/audio guidance (reading of the track on your smartphone). When you book this self-guided cycling holiday, we will send you explanations on how to use this app and send you an access code.
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 in the country you soon reach the confluence of the Loiret and the Loire. A great part of the day you follow the high banks with beautiful views of the surrounding undulating countryside. Don’t miss the historic towns Meung-sur-Loire and Beaugency. These old towns and the modern power station of St. Laurent-des-Eaux very clearly show how important the Loire has always been. A wonderful, flat track takes you, in a very relaxed way, to the special and unique landscape of the world famous ‘Pays des Châteaux’.
Challenge: 62.7km, 389m ascent, 419m descent
From Blois you follow the southern bank of the Loire. Between rolling hills with vineyards you cycle to Cande-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. There are some short climbs on the way.
Challenge: 42.2km, 341m ascent, 345m descent
Today you go to the wine 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 yourself during a visit to a wine cellar or a lunchbreak. A fine track leads to Tours, the friendly capital of what is called ´the garden of France´. Continue along the beautiful southern bank of the Cher to the castle of Villandry, with its gorgeous gardens. Here, close by the modest Cher flows out in the broad Loire.
Challenge: 49.7km, 421m ascent, 446m descent
Via the ‘Bec du Cher’ along the Loire to the Château of Ussé. On the high bank you have beautiful views of the river and its islands full of water birds. The landscape is unspoiled where the Indre flows out in the Loire. Enjoying the magnificent panoramas you go on to the lovely Candes-St-Martin where the Vienne and Loire confluent. This is Anjou, known for its wines and troglodytes. Choose the track close to the Loire or follow the higher, more exciting but also more strenuous track across the vineyards. Both end at the castle of Saumur.
Challenge: 63.6km, 554m ascent, 557m descent
Breakfast marks the end of the trip. Have you got some time left, then visit the horse town Saumur, the home base of the prestigious riding academy Cadre Noir where the elite of the French horsemen is trained. Enjoy the beautiful houses with their white tuff stone fronts in the centre. Admire the proud castle and all the other beautiful classified monuments. You can travel back to Orléans by train.
All accommodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services.
We choose comfortable 2*/3* hotels or B&Bs where all rooms have private en-suite bathroom and every morning breakfast are included.
For this trip you can choose between Comfort and Comfort +. The accommodations for a Comfort+ trip, will be in 3*/4 * hotels wherever possible (supplement applied).
The bike rental includes the drop-off fee for the bike’s return
5 Nights included
2/3 Star Hotels or 3/4 Star Hotels (supplement applied)
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)
Parking informations on request
We will supply the directions of this trip with a personalized code which gives you access to our travel App.
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 Orléans, see below.
From Paris to Orléans (approx. 1h45 - 135 km/80 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.
My girlfriend and I really enjoyed our cycling trip in the Loire (France) last year. I highly recommend French Bike Tours, clear communication and good accommodations. Robbert Ter Heegde