Loire - Orleans to Angers Cycling Holiday

This leisurely route showcases the Loire Valley in all it’s stunning glory. Ride through the Garden of France past vineyards, fruit orchards and romantic, ornate castles. Explore the beautiful old towns of Orléans, Blois, Tours, Saumur and Angers. Easy scenic cycling, following the course of the Loire River downstream.

If you want to get to know the Loire valley by bike and see many of its highlights along the way then this is the trip for you. It combines two of our shorter cycling breaks to create one itinerary that leads from one end of the Loire valley to the other.

Amboise and the Royal Château

Each day you’ll enjoy leisurely rides along quite roads and cycle paths as you follow the course of the Loire River westwards. Along the way you’ll visit and stay in beautiful towns including Joan of Arc’s Orléans, medieval Blois, charming Amboise, bustling Tours with its beautiful Place Plumereau square and Azay le Rideau, home to an impossibly romantic island castle.

Of course, this region is also famous for its many Châteaux and this route serves up a veritable procession of beautiful old palaces and fortresses. Some of the more famous ones along the route include the ornate Château Chambord, impressive Château Chaumont, and the fairytale inspiring Château Ussé.

The cycling is leisurely and well within the abilities of anyone with a reasonable fitness level. Much of it is on cycle paths with a few sections on quite roads and country lanes. E-bikes are an available option and recommended for anyone concerned about being able to complete the daily distances comfortably.

Loire - Orleans to Angers Cycling Holiday

This leisurely route showcases the Loire Valley in all it’s stunning glory. Ride through the Garden of France past vineyards, fruit orchards and romantic, ornate castles. Explore the beautiful old towns of Orléans, Blois, Tours, Saumur and Angers. Easy scenic cycling, following the course of the Loire River downstream.

If you want to get to know the Loire valley by bike and see many of its highlights along the way then this is the trip for you. It combines two of our shorter cycling breaks to create one itinerary that leads from one end of the Loire valley to the other.

Amboise and the Royal Château

Each day you’ll enjoy leisurely rides along quite roads and cycle paths as you follow the course of the Loire River westwards. Along the way you’ll visit and stay in beautiful towns including Joan of Arc’s Orléans, medieval Blois, charming Amboise, bustling Tours with its beautiful Place Plumereau square and Azay le Rideau, home to an impossibly romantic island castle.

Of course, this region is also famous for its many Châteaux and this route serves up a veritable procession of beautiful old palaces and fortresses. Some of the more famous ones along the route include the ornate Château Chambord, impressive Château Chaumont, and the fairytale inspiring Château Ussé.

The cycling is leisurely and well within the abilities of anyone with a reasonable fitness level. Much of it is on cycle paths with a few sections on quite roads and country lanes. E-bikes are an available option and recommended for anyone concerned about being able to complete the daily distances comfortably.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Orléans

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

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

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 Château 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

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

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.

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

Today’s ride leads you along the banks of the beautiful and meandering Cher River, a tributary of the Loire. In the village of Savonnieres you may wish to take a break and descend underground to the “Les Grottes Pétrifiantes” (Petrified caves). Then it’s on to Château de Villandry and its impressive terraced gardens before following the River Indre to Azay le Rideau and its lovely Renaissance château. You will overnight in the village.

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

The Loire valley is of course famous for its many chateaux, and today’s ride showcases two more fantastic fortresses. Riding north you meet the Loire River at Langeais, a pleasant village with a stunning castle at its heart. A little further downstream you arrive in Ussé 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 or 30 miles/36 or 48 kms

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 Château de Saumur are definitely worth the climb.

Day 9 : Saumur – Angers
35 miles/57 kms

More scenic riverside cycling for your last day in the saddle as you follow the Loire 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.

Day 10 : Departure

After breakfast it’s time to head for home or 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. 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 Chaptal

Tours: Hotel Le Criden

Azay Le Rideau: Hotel Au Val de Loire

Chinon: Hotel Les Plantagenets

Saumur: Hotel Kyriad

Angers: Hotel Continental

Superior: Good quality hotels and guesthouses.

Orleans: Hotel d’Orleans

Beaugency: Hotel Ecu De Bretagne

Blois: Best Western Blois Chateau

Amboise: Hotel Au Charme Rabelaisien

Tours: Le Grand Hotel

Azay Le Rideau: Hotel de Biencourt

Chinon: Hotel Diderot

Saumur: Hotel le Londres

Angers: Hotel De France

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 or take the Eurostar to Paris and then a train to Orléans. Return to Paris by train from Angers at the end of the trip.

Research flights from the UK here

Research Eurostar from UK here

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