Easy and relaxed cycling on shaded riverside paths and quiet country lanes
Explore the elegant Royal towns of Blois and Amboise
Visit the fairy-tale châteaux of Amboise, Chambord and Chenonceau
Enjoy relaxing riverside picnics with a glass or two of the excellent local wines
Self-guided cycling holiday in the Loire Valley
The Loire valley was a strategically important region throughout French history. As a highway between the Atlantic and the heart of France, it was home to kings, queens, dukes and nobles. They left behind a legacy of castles and palaces so impressive that the entire area is now an enormous Unesco World Heritage Site. The region is also famed for its excellent wines and gastronomy and is often referred to as the ‘garden of France’.
There is no better way to explore this enchanting region than by bike. On this leisurely cycling holiday, you will discover some of France’s finest fairy-tale chateaux, such as Amboise, Chambord, Cheverny, Chenonceau. You will also discover many lesser-known gems as you follow easy cycle paths through the vineyards and gently rolling countryside.
This trip is rated as easy-moderate and is suitable for all ages and abilities.
|6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS||From €560 per person sharing*
*Discounts available for groups of 3 in a triple room. Please enquire for prices
|BIKE RENTAL||If you don’t bring your own, you can rent a bicycle from us. Our touring bikes have a minimum of 21-speed gears. It is also possible to rent an electric bike.
You will receive your rental bike at the start of your holiday and return it before you go home. We deliver the bicycle at your first accommodation (morning of day 2) and pick it up from your last accommodation after your last cycling day. You just need to give us your body length, so that you receive the correct bike size, and we take care of everything else.
Bicycles are equipped with pannier, handlebar bag, spare tube, tools, pump, helmet and lock.
|ACCOMMODATION||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. The standard hotels of this trip are listed below. In case any hotels are unavailable, we will book one of a similar standard and inform you of the change. You can also book additional nights at any of the hotels along the way.
For more comfort, we can upgrade the hotels to 3/4 * category on request (supplement applies, please enquire for details and prices).
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April 1st and October 31st.|
Day 1: Arrival in Blois
Blois is easily reachable by train from Paris. Take a walk around the charming old town which is known for its light facades and blue roofs. The atmosphere of bygone centuries is gracefully preserved in its pedestrian streets. A visit to the Royal Château de Blois is also a must. This one-time feudal seat of the powerful counts of Blois is a perfect example of the evolution of French architecture between the Middle Ages and 17th century.
Day 2: Blois to Amboise
Distance: 43 km | Ascent: 265 m | Descent: 295 m
From Blois you follow a lovely riverside path along the southern bank of the Loire. You leave the river to cycle between rolling vineyard-covered hills to Cande-sur-Beuvron. From here, you 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, known as the ‘Garden of France’ for its excellent food and wine. We highly recommend visiting a local wine grower to sample the superb ‘sauvignon blanc´. In Amboise, enjoy the grandeur of the Châteaux Amboise and Clos-Lucé, the final resting place of legendary artist Leonardo da Vinci.
There are some short climbs along the route today.
Day 3: Amboise to Chenonceau
Distance: 41 km | Ascent: 315 m | Descent: 316 m
Today’s cycle takes you via the ancient town of Montlouis-sur-Loire to the famous “Château de Chenonceau”; one of France’s most spectacular castles, straddling the Cher River on its five distinctive arches. Known as ‘the ladies chateau’, its design was largely influenced by women. The arches over the river and the formal garden were added by Diane de Poitiers, mistress of Henri II.
End in the charming village of Chenonceau, situated on the banks of the Cher river. There are two cycle routes to choose from: one is direct, while the other takes you on a scenic route along the Loire and Cher River valleys with options to visit more chateaux and villages en route.
Day 4: Chenonceau to Chitenay
Distance: 35 km | Ascent: 298 m | Descent: 264 m
You leave the Cher Valley behind today the and enter the Touraine area, via the château of Gué Péan and the medieval château of Fougère sur Bièvre; a perfect example of traditional 15th Century architecture. Your night’s accommodation is at a charming rural hotel with a lovely garden.
Day 5: Chitenay to Blois
Distance: 50 km | Ascent: 178 m | Descent: 200 m
During this final cycling day, you will have the opportunity to discover the sumptuously furnished Château de Cheverny. The castle was an inspiration for Hergé when he was writing The adventures of Tintin, and today has a permanent exhibition devoted to Tintin.
There is still one more castle to explore; the prestigious Château de Chambord, regarded as one of the crowning achievements of French Renaissance architecture. With 426 rooms, 282 fireplaces and 77 staircases, Chambord is the largest, grandest and most visited château in the Loire Valley.
You finally return to charming Blois, where you will have one more night to explore the medieval streets surrounding its hilltop château.
Day 6: Departure from Blois
Your Loire Valley cycling holiday comes to an end after breakfast this morning, unless you have booked any additional services with us.