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Loire Valley - from Orléans to the Atlantic Coast
Loire Valley - from Orléans to the Atlantic Coast
hybrid :
e-bike :
Duration :
13 days
Comfort :
period:
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Code:
FRSB495
Culture Coast Wine Riverside Gastronomy
From € 1.425
Loire Valley - from Orléans to the Atlantic Coast
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Bike Tour: Loire Valley - from Orléans to the Atlantic Coast - 13 days

Cycling along 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 castles : Blois, Amboise, Villandry…. Crossing the Anjou-Touraine natural reserve with its beautiful wild river landscapes and nice stops during the day to taste some of the excellent wines of the region. Then experiencing the immense changes in nature when approaching the ocean!

Highlights :

  • Cycle historic town to town with their prestigious castles
  • Enjoy the varied lanscapes form the wild riverbanks and the final Atlantic coast destination
  • Pass through most beautiful towns along the Loire: Orléans,Tours...
  • Discover natural sites: caves/troglodytes, mushroom houses, gardens
  • Try different regional dishes accompanied by delicious local wines

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. 

 

FRSB495
Route
Day 1: Arrival in Orléans
Day 2: Orléans - Beaugency
Day 3: Beaugency - Blois
Day 4: Blois - Amboise
Day 5: Amboise - Tours
Day 6: Tours - Azay-le-Rideau
Day 7: Azay-le-Rideau - Chinon
Day 8: Chinon - Saumur
Day 9: Saumur - Angers
Day 10: Angers - Ingrandes
Day 11: Ingrandes - Nantes
Day 12: Nantes - Saint-Brévin-les-Pins
Day 13: Departure from Saint-Brévin-les-Pins

Day 1:    Arrival in Orléans

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.

 

Day 2:    Orléans - Beaugency
28 km

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 small town. You will find her statue here on a prominent spot.

Challenge : 28.2 km, 159 m ascent, 172 m descent

 

Day 3:    Beaugency - Blois
46 km

Today you will leave Beaugency along the river banks, passing the prestigious château of Chambord, the largest château in the Loire Valley and a Renaissance masterpiece. Continue cycling towards Blois, known for its light facades and blue roofs, its pedestrian streets gracefully preserving the flavour of lost centuries, and its serene atmosphere. The château in Blois offers an excellent illustration of the evolution of French architecture from the Middle Ages to the 17th century.

Challenge : 45.9 km, 328 m ascent, 345 m descent

 

Day 4:    Blois - Amboise
42 km

From Blois you follow the southern bank of the Loire. Between rolling hills with vineyards, you cycle to Cande-sur-Beuvron. Continue cycling along the Beuvron river to the majestic Loire river. 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 : 42.5 km, 337 m ascent, 343 m descent

 

Day 5:    Amboise - Tours
56 km

Leave the medieval atmosphere of Amboise behind you and cycle into 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 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'. Here great experiences are awaiting you like the magnificent cathedral and basilica, the Olivier Debré Art Centre, the Botanical Garden, the flavors of the markets...

Challenge : 55.6 km, 419 m ascent, 434 m descent

 

Day 6:    Tours - Azay-le-Rideau
41 km

Touraine is known as “Le Jardin de la France” and Tours is a perfect central gateway for exploring it. This Loire à Vélo stage leads you along the south bank of the Cher River to the Château de Villandry, a major stop, with its world-famous gardens, before reaching Azay-le-Rideau and its castle. Many people believe this château to be the most beautiful in the whole Loire region, even though technically it sits by the Indre river, and not the Loire. Its elegant silhouette is reflected in the water of its huge moat, looming up like a huge stone ship. This stage proves extremely enjoyable.

Challenge : 41.1 km, 336 m ascent, 339 m descent

 

 

Day 7:    Azay-le-Rideau - Chinon
32 km

This is a star-studded Loire à Vélo stage, taking you from the glorious Château d’Azay le Rideau, on via the confluence of Loire river to the Fortress of Chinon via the fairytale Château d’Ussé. On this stage, you cycle along a raised levée beside the Loire, allowing you wonderful views of the great river. Today is marked by atmospheric islands in the Loire colonized by birds. At the Indre River’s confluence with the Loire, the setting is unspoilt. Today go and discover the charming medieval town of Chinon on the banks of the Vienne river. An impressive fortress, the historic quarters and small shops provide a really authentic feel.

Challenge : 32.2 km, 276 m ascent, 292 m descent

 

Day 8:    Chinon - Saumur
45 km

Take some time in the morning to visit the world-famous abbey of Fontevraud. The vast Royal Abbey with its delightful architecture. Then you cycle to Montsoreau: its magnificent castle overlooking the Loire, enjoy a river boat ride in a traditional wooden boat or bargain at the monthly ‘brocante’ and ‘puces’ market. The delightful village of Candes St Martin is worth a detour too, walk up to the panorama to look out over the Loire and Vienne rivers. Your destination today is Saumur, with its famous castle and Cadre Noire horse riding school. In summer horse drawn carts and river boats provide alternative ways of transport too. Saumur boasts the biggest tank museum in the world. Don’t forget the well-known sparkling wine either!

Challenge: 44.6km, 491m ascent, 458m descent

 

Day 9:    Saumur - Angers
58 km

Go right along the southern bank of the river. Admire the monuments of local white tuff stone, such as the church in Cunault and St-Maur Abbey. Once in St-Mathurin-sur-Loire you follow the northern bank of the Loire through a former swamp that was drained in the Middle Ages. Some time later you see tracks of the old slate quarries of Trélazé. Then enjoy crossing the Authion River via a little chain ferry.  Your destination Angers, situated on both sides of the river Maine, attracts your attention.

Challenge: 58.5km, 695m ascent, 680m descent

 

Day 10:    Angers - Ingrandes
42 km

In the heart of Anjou, this Loire à Vélo stage goes from opposite Angers’s central castle out via the green setting of the Lac de Maine.
This urban stage is startling, avoiding motorized traffic, taking you through parkland and alongside the Maine River. Bouchemaine is great for a stop, for its typical quayside restaurants or a picnic beside the Loire.
Continue to La Pointe, in a tremendous setting in the heart of Anjou, where the Maine River joins the Loire. A bit west, this magical Loire à Vélo stage allows you glimpses of the prestigious vine-covered slopes of Savennières. You follow the wild Loire closely here. Don’t miss Béhuard Island before going on to cross Chalonnes’s island, one of the largest on the Loire. Nearby, along the south bank, are the celebrated Coteaux du Layon vineyards, then the pretty perched villages of Montjean-sur-Loire and Ingrandes.

Challenge: 42km, 348m ascent, 360m descent

 

Day 11:    Ingrandes - Nantes
64 km

From Ingrandes, you quickly reach the village of St-Florent-le-Vieil, with its great views of the Loire Valley, this Loire à Vélo stage goes on to Champtoceaux, a historic fortified site with further tremendous river views, standing on Anjou’s frontier with the Pays d’Ancenis on the north bank. It’s worth conquering the heights of St-Florent and Champtoceaux for the panoramas! The route is along quiet roads and greenways.
Designated European Green Capital in 2013, the city of Nantes comes into view, a shaded towpath offering a gentle way into town.
The new Tabarly Bridge leads over to L’île de Nantes, home to extraordinary outsized machines you can ride on, and to the Malakoff Quarter, being completely renovated. This island makes for a great introduction to the joyous tumult of the largest city along the Loire à Vélo cycle route.

Challenge: 64.4km, 442m ascent, 447m descent

 

Day 12:    Nantes - Saint-Brévin-les-Pins
58 km

Surprising works of art at unusual places enliven the start of this trip along the mouth of the Loire. After Le Pellerin the Martinière canal acts as your guide. You cycle along small, quiet roads through landscapes belonging to the mouth of a big river: broad marshes and meadows. From Paimboeuf you follow a part of the coastal route ‘Velodyssée’. You will notice the strong influence of tides and currents on the Loire. Your trip ends in Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, a lively seaside resort on the Atlantic coast.

Challenge: 58.3km, 337m ascent, 335m descent

 

Day 13:    Departure from Saint-Brévin-les-Pins

Breakfast marks the end of the trip. You can travel back to Orléans by train. Some time left? We advise you to extend your stay in order to take the time to visit the beautiful Atlantic Coast.

 

Accommodation
Comfort
Hotel Escale Océania
Hotel Escale Oceania *** (Orléans)
Hotel Relais des Templiers
Hotel Relais des Templiers** (Beaugency)
Hôtel Anne de Bretagne
Hotel Anne de Bretagne *** (Blois)
Hotel le Chaptal
Hotel Le Chaptal*** (Amboise)
Hotel Mirabeau
Hôtel Mirabeau** (Tours)
Hotel de Biencourt
Hôtel de Biencourt*** (Azay-le-Rideau)
Hôtel Diderot - Chinon - FBT
Hotel Diderot*** (Chinon)
Hotel Ibis Style Gare Centre
Hotel Ibis Style Gare Centre *** (Saumur)
Hotel le Progrès
Hotel le Progrès *** (Angers)
Au Poisson d'Argent Ingrandes
Hotel Au Poisson d'Argent*** (Ingrandes)
Hôtel Voltaire Opera *** (Nantes)
Hôtel Voltaire Opera *** (Nantes)
Hotel Petit Trianon
Hotel le Petit Trianon ** (St-Brevin-les-Pins)
Comfort +
Empreinte Hôtel**** (Orléans)
Empreinte Hôtel**** (Orléans)
Hôtel de la Sologne*** (Beaugency)
Hôtel de la Sologne*** (Beaugency)
Hôtel Mercure Blois Centre**** (Blois)
Hôtel Mercure Blois Centre**** (Blois)
Hôtel Le Clos d'Amboise**** (Amboise)
Hôtel Le Clos d'Amboise**** (Amboise)
Grand Hôtel de Tours**** (Tours)
Grand Hôtel de Tours**** (Tours)
Hôtel de Biencourt*** (Azay-le-Rideau)
Hôtel de Biencourt*** (Azay-le-Rideau)
Hotel Diderot*** (Chinon)
Hotel Diderot*** (Chinon)
Hôtel Anne d'Anjou**** (Saumur)
Hôtel Anne d'Anjou**** (Saumur)
Hôtel de France**** (Angers)
Hôtel de France**** (Angers)
Hôtel Au Poisson d'Argent (Le Mesnil en Vallée) 
Hôtel Au Poisson d'Argent (Le Mesnil en Vallée) 
Oceania**** Hôtel de France (Nantes)
Oceania**** Hôtel de France (Nantes)
Hotel le Petit Trianon ** (St-Brevin-les-Pins)
Hotel le Petit Trianon ** (St-Brevin-les-Pins)
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

12 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)

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

GPS tracks are available on request

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 Orléans, see below.

You can get to Orléans by train. On the end of your trip you can take a train from Saint-Nazaire.

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

From Paris to Orléans (approx. 1h50 - 135 km/84 mi). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.

Reviews

15-07-2023

The chain ferry on the trip to Angers was hilarious!!

Comfort Comfort +
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