Loire - Orleans to Saumur Cycling Holiday

Cycle the Loire valley from Orléans to Saumur through what is known as the ‘Garden of France’. Along the way you’ll have the chance to stop and explore some of the country’s most exquisite chateaux like Château de Chambord and Château Chenonceaux. This fairy-tale-like route will also unveil gorgeous old towns such as Blois, Amboise and Tours.

This is a part of France where the cuisine is first class and the wines excellent. Picture-perfect châteaux dot the landscape as you travel downstream and westwards, along the gently curving river.

Château D'Usse

You’ll love the towns and cities you’ll visit along the way, from medieval Beaugency to the royal towns of Blois and Amboise. You'll also have the chance to visit some of the regions most celebrated castles such as Château Chambord, Château Chenonceaux and Château D'Usse.

The route covers around 30 miles each day, and while there are a few hills, this tour is not particularly demanding. You’ll be riding mainly on quiet back roads with some sections on dedicated cycle paths so won’t encounter much traffic.

Loire - Orleans to Saumur Cycling Holiday

Cycle the Loire valley from Orléans to Saumur through what is known as the ‘Garden of France’. Along the way you’ll have the chance to stop and explore some of the country’s most exquisite chateaux like Château de Chambord and Château Chenonceaux. This fairy-tale-like route will also unveil gorgeous old towns such as Blois, Amboise and Tours.

This is a part of France where the cuisine is first class and the wines excellent. Picture-perfect châteaux dot the landscape as you travel downstream and westwards, along the gently curving river.

Château D'Usse

You’ll love the towns and cities you’ll visit along the way, from medieval Beaugency to the royal towns of Blois and Amboise. You'll also have the chance to visit some of the regions most celebrated castles such as Château Chambord, Château Chenonceaux and Château D'Usse.

The route covers around 30 miles each day, and while there are a few hills, this tour is not particularly demanding. You’ll be riding mainly on quiet back roads with some sections on dedicated cycle paths so won’t encounter much traffic.

Itinerary

Day 1 : Arrive Orléans

On arrival in Orléans make your way to your first hotel. After check-in you’re free to relax or explore the riverside capital of France’s Centre region. Joan of Arc is revered here as she liberated the town in medieval times – her house is open to the public and well worth a visit. The ornate City Hall and Sainte-Croix Cathedral are also worth visiting.

Day 2 : Orléans – Beaugency/St. Dyé
19 to 31 miles/30 to 50 kms

Orléans is on the northern bend of the Loire, and your cycle trip will start by following this famous waterway downriver and south westwards through pleasant open countryside. You’ll have the chance to visit Clery St Andre Cathedral just before reaching the medieval town of Beaugency.

Day 3 : Beaugency/St. Dyé – Blois
20 to 32 miles/30 to 50 kms

Continue along the delightful Loire Valley enjoying beautiful riverside scenery punctuated by graceful châteaux around almost every corner. Ride into a huge park to admire the magnificent Château de Chambord Castle. A short ride further south brings you to the equally stunning Château de Cheverny and finally an enjoyable forest ride delivers you to Château Beauregard. From there it’s a short ride to the royal, riverside town of Blois, with its elegant old bridge spanning the waters of the Loire.

Day 4 : Blois – Amboise
28 miles/45 kms

Today you’ll be riding through a forested landscape to Onzain, from where you can venture up to Château Chaumont for great views along the Loire. You’ll then head to Amboise for the night, famous as the town where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last days. You’ll be charmed by the narrow streets and impressive castle of this French market town.

Day 5 : Amboise – Tours
34 miles/55 kms

Today the route leads you south through the Forest of Amboise and away from the Loire to Château Chenonceaux, another magnificent renaissance castle, this time in a stunning setting on the River Cher. You’ll then follow this tributary of the Loire all the way to Tours, where you’ll spend the night. On the way you can stop at the celebrated wine cellars of Nitray.

Day 6 : Tours – Chinon
37 miles/60 kms

Make sure you take the time to explore Tours, with its flamboyant Gothic cathedral, before heading onwards between the paths of the Loire and Cher to Château Villandry, near the point where the two rivers meet. Villandry is also well known for its gardens, so you may want to stop here or continue downriver to break your journey in the city of Lageais. Then leave the Loire once more to cycle to Chinon on the River Vienne. Chinon’s sprawling castle was once home to kings of France and England.

Day 7 : Chinon – Saumur
22 miles/35 kms

Cycle west out of Chinon to the confluence of the Vienne and Loire rivers to reach Château Montsoreau, where you can admire the views across to Fontevraud Abbey. From here it’s only a short stretch of riverside riding to Saumur – the ‘pearl of Anjou’ and your final destination. It’s a city well known for its beauty as well as its fine food and wines, a fitting place for the last night of your tour.

Day 8 : Saumer - end of trip

After breakfast it’s time to check out and 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 available for rent at the time of booking.

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.

Orléans: Orléans Park Hôtel

St. Dyé: Le Manoir de Bel Air

Blois: Novotel Blois Centre Val De Loire

Amboise: Novotel Amboise

Tours: Le Grand Hotel Tours

Chinon: Best Western Hotel De France Chinon

Saumur: Hotel Adagio

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. This fee varies and is ever 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 train. Then take a train to Orleans.

Research flights from the UK here

Research Eurostar from UK here

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