Loire - Chateaux Cycling Holiday

A leisurely cycling holiday through the Loire Valley taking in historic towns, gorgeous countryside, idyllic villages and of course the splendid and elegant Châteaux for which the region is famous. Dedicated cycle paths and quiet lanes lead you through a patchwork of vineyards, riverside meadows and shady forests to spectacular palaces all with an incredible story to tell.

The Loire Valley could have been designed with leisurely cycling holidays in mind, not only does it offer a beautiful rolling landscape peppered with historic towns and delightful villages but it also boasts some of the country’s most famous and elegant Châteaux, all within an easy ride of each other.

Château de Chenonceaux

To top it off, the forward thinking locals have made sure that cycling here is a real pleasure by installing dedicated cycle paths wherever possible. Also, just in case further encouragement is required, bear in mind that the region produces some world class wines and is revered – in a country that takes its food pretty seriously – for the quality of its local dishes.

This trip will suit cyclists with a reasonable level of fitness. The route is pretty flat and you will average about 45km per day. The few hills you encounter along the way will be short and gradual.

Loire - Chateaux Cycling Holiday

A leisurely cycling holiday through the Loire Valley taking in historic towns, gorgeous countryside, idyllic villages and of course the splendid and elegant Châteaux for which the region is famous. Dedicated cycle paths and quiet lanes lead you through a patchwork of vineyards, riverside meadows and shady forests to spectacular palaces all with an incredible story to tell.

The Loire Valley could have been designed with leisurely cycling holidays in mind, not only does it offer a beautiful rolling landscape peppered with historic towns and delightful villages but it also boasts some of the country’s most famous and elegant Châteaux, all within an easy ride of each other.

Château de Chenonceaux

To top it off, the forward thinking locals have made sure that cycling here is a real pleasure by installing dedicated cycle paths wherever possible. Also, just in case further encouragement is required, bear in mind that the region produces some world class wines and is revered – in a country that takes its food pretty seriously – for the quality of its local dishes.

This trip will suit cyclists with a reasonable level of fitness. The route is pretty flat and you will average about 45km per day. The few hills you encounter along the way will be short and gradual.

Itinerary

This trip will suit cyclists with a reasonable level of fitness. The route is pretty flat and you will average about 45km per day. The few hills you encounter along the way will be short and gradual.

The itinerary below reflects the 7 night holiday. If you opt for the 5 night holiday then days 3 and 6 are omitted

Day 1 : Arrive Blois

Upon arrival make your way to your hotel and check-in. The rest of the day is yours to relax and explore the city. Blois is steeped in history with some truly awe inspiring architecture. Explore the narrow streets, paved squares and winding pathways running through this attractive town. Be sure to visit ‘Château de Blois’, once occupied by King Louis XII, a perfect example of how French architecture evolved between the Middle Ages and the 17th Century. Also take a stroll along the banks of the River Loire to the 18th Century stone bridge for a panoramic view of Blois.

Day 2 : Blois – Amboise
27 miles/42 kms

Leaving Blois behind, easy cycle paths lead you downstream alongside the Loire River into The Land of Castles. You will pass a succession of small riverside villages before arriving at the impressive 15th Century ‘Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire’ which enjoys a commanding position on a hill overlooking the river. Continue along the ‘Loire à Vélo’, a well-signposted route through glorious wild-flower meadows and vineyards. Your destination today is the charming town of Amboise, famous for the ‘Châteaux d’Amboise’, where the greatest kings of France resided, as well as being the place where Leonardo da Vinci lived, and ultimately died.

Day 3 : Roundtrip to Vouvray
28 miles/45 kms

This day is omitted if you opt for the 5 night holiday.

Today’s route leads you away from the river for a while to explore the picturesque Vouvray vineyards, famous for producing some superb white wines. In Vouvray itself you can marvel at the troglodyte houses carved out of the hillside. During the ride you’ll also pass the Renaissance Château de Valmer (private) and the enchanting Château de Jallanges. Stop at one of the vineyards to sample the local produce before completing the circle back to your hotel in Amboise.

Day 4 : Amboise – Chenonceaux
28 miles/ 44 kms

This morning you will set off through the serene ‘Amboise Forest’, home to many rare species of plants and wildlife, to ‘Château de Chenonceau’. This stunning Château enjoys an idyllic setting straddling the River Cher. It was the scene of a famous love feud between Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici, one the mistress the other the wife of King Henry II of France. Currently owned by the Menier family, famous for their chocolates, it is the second most visited château in France after the ‘Palais de Versailles’. Stroll through the beautiful gardens, one named after Diane de Poitiers, and of course the other after Catherine de Medici. You’ll spend the night in the charming village of Chenonceaux nearby.

Day 5 : Chenonceaux – Chitenay or Cheverny
25 or 34 miles/ 40 or 54 kms

Today’s ride leads you along the banks of river Cher to the medieval town of Montrichard. You then pedal through the Touraine vineyards to the medieval ‘Château de Fougeres sur Bievre’. This hidden gem, which is a bit off the beaten track, attracts fewer crowds but doesn’t disappoint as it’s a perfect example of 15th Century architecture. Continue on to the ‘Château de Troussay’, a Renaissance style chateau with wonderful landscaped gardens. The final destination is the sumptuously furnished ‘Chateau de Cheverny’, which was an inspirational backdrop to the Belgian comic book creator Herge, for scenes for his Tintin stories. Spend the night in Chitenay or Cheverny.

Day 6 : Roundtrip to Beauregard and Sologne
29 miles/47 kms

This day is omitted if you opt for the 5 night holiday.

Today you have an enjoyable ride on quiet lanes through the enormous ‘Russy Forest’, a protected woodland area, to ‘Chateau de Beauregard’. This 16th century chateau, besides being a very attractive building, houses a notable collection of portraits depicting the great and good of France between 1328 and 1643. The route then leads you into the rich and mysterious ‘Sologne’. With its vast expanses of forest, moors and lakes, this region of the Loire Valley has a small private chateaux hidden behind vineyards, giving the area special character and charm. Return to Chitenay or Cheverny where you will spend a second night.

Day 7 : Cheverny or Chitenay – Blois
25 or 32 miles/40 or 50 kms

On this penultimate day you are in for a treat as you will be visiting a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ‘Château de Chambord’. This masterpiece of French Renaissance architecture, was built during the reign of King François I, and has over 400 rooms, 282 fireplaces and 84 staircases. It is one of the best known chateaux in the world, and was the inspiration for the Beast’s castle in the 1991 animated Disney film ‘Beauty and the Beast’. After exploring the Château you have a short ride to Blois where you will spend the last night of your tour.

Day 8 : Blois - end of trip

After breakfast it’s time to check-out and head home or onto your next adventure.

Bikes

Regular bikes provided are modern alloy framed models with 27 speeds. The bikes come equipped with pannier, lock and a repair kit with pump.

Electric bikes are also available.

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

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.

Comfort: Comfortable hotels and guesthouses.

Blois: Best Western Blois Chateau

Amboise: Hotel Le Bellevue

Chenonceau: Hotel la Roseraie

Chitenay: Auberge du Centre

Blois: Best Western Blois Chateau

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Blois: Hotel Mercure

Amboise: Hotel Le Clos D’Amboise

Chenonceau: Hotel le Bon Laboureur

Cour Chevernay: Relais des Trois Chateaux

Blois: Hotel Mercure

Local taxes


Getting there

Fly directly to Tours or Paris or take the Eurostar to Paris

Research flights from the UK here.

Take the train to Blois

Research trains in FranceSome hotels in some countries 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. This fee varies and is ever changing but as a guide, you may be asked to pay between €1-€4 per person per night.

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