You follow the northern part of the royal valley by cycling along the majestic river from Orléans to Tours and discover France’s most prestigious Chateaux de la Loire: Blois, Chambord, Amboise, Cheverny, Beauregard, Chaumont, Le Clos-Lucé, Chenonceau...This trip combines historical heritage, wonderful landscapes of different natural areas and delicious French cuisine !
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.
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 Avaray. It leads you in a very relaxed way into the unique landscape of the world famous ‘Pays des Châteaux’: 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
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 km, 173 m ascent, 163 m descent
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 lunch break. 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 : 42 km, 163 m ascent, 173 m descent
Breakfast marks the end of the trip. Have you got some time left? Visit the beautiful historic centre of Tours, the 'ville d'art et d'histoire'. Travel back to Orléans by train.
Tourist tax included