Loire to Atlantic Coast Cycling Holiday

  • Category

    Cycle Touring
    Self Guided
  • Grade

    Leisurely
  • Duration/s

    5, 9 or 13 nights
  • Start / Finish

    Orléans, Tours or Angers / Tours, Angers or St Brevin les Pins
  • Distance

    301 miles/485 kms
  • Themes

    EbikeRivers and LakesWine Lovers
  • Accommodation

    Comfort to Deluxe
  • Tour code

    027-106CFR
Price From £503

Overview

This versatile and exciting cycling holiday leads riders from Orléans in the Loire Valley, along the Loire River, via medieval riverside towns and fantastic chateaux all the way to the Atlantic Coast. Do the whole route in 14 days or combine one or two stages for a shorter holiday.

The Loire is one of France’s greatest rivers and tracing its path westwards makes for a truly unforgettable journey. Along the way you’ll enjoy fantastic overnight stops in wonderful medieval towns such as Blois, Tours and Saumur. You will see some of the Loire’s most famous chateaux and cycle through some truly idyllic countryside. But it’s the rhythm of the river that will really get into your soul, as you gradually make your way down the ever-widening river to the nature-filled salt marshes at the coast. Choose to take on the whole route in 14 days or opt for one or two stages – see the tour itinerary for full details.

Saumur - Loire France

Saumur

You’ll be covering around 30 miles a day on this tour. Much of it is on dedicated cycle paths with the remainder on quiet lanes and roads. Its mainly level with some slightly hilly sections but nothing too strenuous and well within the reach of anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

Itinerary & Map

You’ll be covering around 30 miles a day on this tour. Much of it is on dedicated cycle paths with the remainder on quiet lanes and roads. Its mainly level with some slightly hilly sections but nothing too strenuous and well within the reach of anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

You can choose to do the whole route or any of the sections listed below.

Route A = 5 nights from Orléans to Tours
Route B = 5 nights from Tours to Angers
Route C = 5 nights from Angers to Saint-Brévin
Route AB = 9 nights from Orléans to Angers
Route BC = 9 nights from Tours to Saint-Brévin
Route ABC = 13 nights from Orléans to Saint-Brévin (the whole route)

View larger map

Day 1: Arrive Orléans

Orleans

Beautiful Orleans

If you have opted for routes A or AB or ABC

On arrival in Orléans make your way to your first hotel. After check-in you are free to explore this historic city, surrounded by the countryside of the Beauce and the Sologne forests.

We recommend a visit to the house of Joan of Arc who liberated the town in medieval times. The St. Croix Cathedral and lavish City Hall are also worth visiting.

Day 2: Orléans – Beaugency, 16 miles/26 kms

Loire River - France

Loire River

Your first day’s ride breaks you in gently with an easy cycle along the banks of the peaceful Loire River. It’s a relatively short stage on quiet lanes and cycle paths and you’ll soon arrive in the charming old town of Beaugency where you will spend the night.

Day 3: Beaugency – Blois, 29 miles/46 kms

Blois - France

Blois

Leave Beaugency heading south on a lovely cycle path beside the river. After a while you detour away from the river to visit the sensational Château de Chambord the largest and probably the most impressive Chateau in the Loire Valley. From there it’s a short ride to the medieval city of Blois on the banks of the Loire River where you will spend the night.

Day 4: Blois – Amboise, 27 miles/42 kms

Amboise - Loire - France*

Amboise

More idyllic riverside riding today, half on cycle paths and half on quiet roads. Just past the midway point you will see the impressive Chateau of Chaumont standing guard over the river. Today’s destination is the riverside town of Amboise. After checking in to your hotel take a stroll through this charming little place. Be sure to visit the Royal Castle as well as the house where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final days.

Day 5: Amboise – Tours, 17 or 19 miles/27 or 31 kms

Tours

Tours

You’ll be riding through the Montlouis vineyards today, known for their fine whites and sparkling wines. Perhaps stop off at a cellar to sample and buy a bottle before continuing on to the city of Tours. After checking in, stroll through the atmospheric streets of the old town to  ‘Place Plumereau’, a lovely old square graced with fine old half-timbered town houses.

If you have opted for routes B or BC this the arrival Day 1 in Tours.

Day 6: Tours – Azay le Rideau, 25 miles/41 kms

Chateau de Azay-le-Rideau - Loire - France*If you have opted for route A then your holiday finishes after breakfast today.

Leave Tours, cycling along the banks of the Cher River to Savonnieres where you can visit some interesting caves. Then it’s on to Chateau de Villandry and its impressive terraced gardens before following the River Indre to Azay le Rideau and its lovely Renaissance chateau. You will overnight in the village.

 

Day 7: Azay le Rideau – Chinon, 22 miles/35 kms

Chateau Usse - Loire Valley - France*

Chateau Usse

This region of France is dotted with unique chateaux, and today’s ride showcases two more fantastic fortresses. Riding north you meet the River Loire at Langeais, a pleasant village with a stunning castle at its heart. A little further downstream you arrive in Usse and here you can visit an even more impressive castle. This one may look slightly familiar as it is said to have been the inspiration for the fairytale ‘Sleeping Beauty‘. From here its a relatively short ride to the charming town of Chinon on the River Vienne. Be sure to visit a wine cellar to taste the very good red wines produced around this area. Overnight in Chinon.

Day 8: Chinon – Saumur, 22 to 30 miles/36 to 48 kms

Saumur - Loire France

Saumur

Leave Chinon cycling west along the Vienne River. Cross the river at the pleasant village of Candes-Saint-Martin and ride on quiet lanes to the beautiful Abbey of Fontevraud where Richard the Lionheart is buried. The route leads you back to your old friend the Loire River and after following its course on lanes and cycle paths you reach the lovely town of Saumur. The old town’s narrow streets are lined with half-timbered buildings and the views from the hilltop castle are definitely worth the climb.

Day 9: Saumur – Angers, 35 miles/57 kms

Loire River near Angers - France*

Riverside cycle path near Angers

More scenic riverside cycling today as you follow the river north west to Angers. You will be cycling past the Anjou vineyards – famous for producing a variety of high quality wines – and a succession of small pleasant riverside towns and villages. Angers is the regional capital and this small historic city is dominated by its huge Plantagenet castle, which houses the famous Apocalypse Tapestry.

If you have opted for route C then this is the arrival Day 1 in Angers.

Day 10: Angers – Montjean sur Loire, 23 miles/37 kms

Loire valley - Loire river - France

The peaceful Loire River

If you have opted for routes B or AB then your holiday finishes after breakfast today.

Today you’ll be heading through Anjou first to the confluence of the Rivers Loire and Layon at Chalonnes. This is the Loire Valley at its best, where the rhythm of life is slow and the landscape simply stunning. Pass through small, peaceful villages to arrive in Montjean sur Loire where you will spend the night.

Day 11: Montjean sur Loire – Champtoceaux, 25 miles/40 kms

Take a break

There’s always time for a break

Ride along the southern riverbank of the Loire River through lovely open countryside. Cross the river at the town of Ancenis and ride along a peaceful riverside lane until recrossing the river at Champtoceaux. You are now very close to Brittany and that means the Atlantic Ocean is not far away.

Day 12: Champtoceaux – Nantes, 20 miles/32 kms

Nantes - France*

Nantes

Continue westward along the Loire River to Nantes, once part of Brittany and now capital of the Pays de la Loire region. Nantes, spread across both banks of the Loire, is one of France’s largest cities and a bustling centre of culture and commerce that makes for a different and dynamic break to your journey. Visit the tranquil and entertaining Jardin Des Plantes Park or, if you are not castled out, visit the History Museum in the Castle of the Dukes of Brittany. The covered galleries of the Passage de Pommeraye in the centre are also worth seeking out.

Day 13: Nantes – Saint-Brévin, 36 miles/58 kms

Fishing hut at St Brevin

Fishing hut at St Brevin

Leave the big city behind, crossing the Loire by river ferry with your bikes to pick up the cycle path and head back into the countryside. You’re now cycling through marshlands as the Loire widens into an estuary. Your destination today is the seaside town of Saint-Brévin at the mouth of the river opposite St Nazaire. This seaside town is blessed with a wide sandy beach and sea views.

Day 14: Departure

If you have opted for routes C or BC or ABC
After breakfast it’s time to check out and head for home or your next adventure.

Dates & Prices

2019 Arrival Dates
Daily arrivals 01 April to 15 October

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2019 Prices

 

027-106CFR
Per person
A: 5 Nights
B: 5 Nights
C: 5 Nights
AB: 9 Nights
BC: 9 Nights
ABC: 13 Nights
 
Comfort category
Double/twin £563 £520 £744 £968 £1064 £1524        
Single £768 £750 £974 £1367 £1470 £2104        
Triple £544 £503 £719 £936 £1029 £1473        
Solo cyclist £925 £871 £1264 £1645 £1784 £2540        
Superior category
Double/twin £684 £617 £859 £1179 £1282 £1935        
Single £1034 £931 £1210 £1784 £1875 £2866        
Triple £661 £597 £830 £1140 £1239 £1871        
Solo cyclist £1191 £1052 £1500 £2062 £2189 £3301        
Deluxe category
Double/twin £895 £780   £1518            
Single £1367 £1216   £2352            
Triple £865 £754   £1467            
Solo cyclist £1524 £1337   £2630            
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Deposit per person £125

Price Includes

5, 9 or 13 nights accommodation in your chosen category. See practical information
5, 9 or 13 x Breakfast. 1 x Dinner ( tour C, tour BC & tour ABC only, in Montjean sur Loire)
Luggage transfer
Maps & route information
Local assistance

Price Excludes

Flights and transfers
Bike hire (see supplements)
Entrance fees to monuments

Supplements

Bike with pannier & lock, 5 nights. See practical information (£71)
Electric bike with pannier & lock, 5 nights (£117)
Bike with pannier & lock, 9 nights. See practical information (£111)
Electric bike with pannier & lock, 9 nights (£217)
Bike with pannier & lock, 13 nights. See practical information (£152)
Electric bike with pannier & lock, 13 nights (£298)

Reductions

20% for children 5-11 years sharing with 2 adults

Practical Information

Bikes

Unisex hybrid with panniers and map holder

Unisex hybrid with panniers and map holder

The bikes provided on this tour are modern, alloy framed hybrid models with 21 speeds and comfortable gel saddle with upright riding position.

The bikes also come equipped with a rear pannier, handlebar bag or map holder, high-visibility jacket, repair kit, lock and odometer.

E-bikes are also available to rent.

We suggest you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene reasons. Alternatively, helmets are supplied on arrival.

Children under the age of 12 are required to wear a helmet in France and we always advocate their use for riders of all ages.

Accommodation

Below you will find examples of the types of accommodation typically used on this tour. Please note that the hotels we book for you may differ slightly from those described but they will certainly be of a similar standard. The hotel list below is for the complete tour.

Comfort: Comfortable hotels, guesthouses and inns.

Orleans: Hotel Escale Oceania
Beaugency: Hotel Relais des Templiers
Blois: Hotel Le Monarque
Amboise: Hotel Le Breche
Tours: Hotel Le Criden
Azay Le Rideau: Hotel Au Val de Loire
Chinon: Hotel Les Plantagenets
Saumur: Hotel Kyriad
Angers: Hotel Continental
Mont Jean/Loire: Auberge De La Loire
Champtoceaux: Hotel Le Champalud
Nantes: Hotel Duquesne
St Brevin Pins: Hotel Le Petit Trianon

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Orleans: Hotel d’Orleans
Beaugency: Hotel Ecu De Bretagne
Blois: Best Western Blois Chateau
Amboise: Hotel le Bellevue
Tours: Le Grand Hotel
Azay Le Rideau: Hotel de Biencourt
Chinon: Hotel De France
Saumur: Hotel le Londres
Angers: Hotel De France
Mont Jean/Loire: Auberge De La Loire
Champtoceaux: Hotel Le Champalud
Nantes: Hotel de France Oceania
St Brevin Pins: Hotel Du Beryl

Deluxe: First class hotels and guesthouses.

Orleans: Empreinte Hotel
Beaugency: Hotel Ecu De Bretagne
Blois: Hotel le Mercure
Amboise: Hotel Au Charme Rabelaisien
Tours: Hotel Oceania L’Univers
Azay Le Rideau: Hotel le Grand Monarque
Chinon: Hotel De France
Saumur: Hotel Anne D’Anjou
Angers: Hotel De France

Local taxes: Some hotels have started to charge a local/tourist tax. These taxes are not included in the sale price of the tour and must be paid directly by you at check-in or checkout at the hotels. The fee varies and is frequently changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

Getting There

Fly to Paris or take the Eurostar and from Paris take the train to your starting point.

Research flights from the UK here

Research Eurostar from UK here

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