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Cycling in the Loire Valley is a pleasure with over 2000 km of biking paths or “véloroutes”. La “Loire a velo” created in 1995 is a combination of 800 km between Cuffy (cher) and Saint-Brevin-les-Pins (loire atlantique) and is a member of the eurovéloroute of the fleuve (eurovelo 6) which goes from the Atlantique to the black see on 3600 km.
Known as the garden of France, the Loire Valley makes our Loire Valley bike tours some of the easiest trips out of all our Europe bike tours. The Loire valley is an enchanted land of architectural wonders but also fine dining and delectable wines. Loire Valley wines tend to exhibit characteristic fruitiness and the Loire Valley is France’s third largest wine region.
On all our Loire Valley bike tours, you will discover that the historic towns of Amboise, Blois, Chinon an the region world famous castles such as Chenonceaux, Azay-le-Rideau and Chambord make it one of our most historically oriented destination out of all our bike tours in France. Those exclusive castles were build during the renaissance for the kings of France as the Loire Valley was the “command center”. During the French revolution many of those chateaux where destroyed until the “command center” was transferred to Paris.
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Bienvenue in the Loire valley a region known as the “Playground of Kings“. Start your journey at the chateau of Chaumont sur Loire where you have lunch at one of the chateau restaurants.
Then, while your trip leaders get the bikes ready take the time to visit the chateau whose name means “bald hill”. Founded in the 10th century by Odo I and rebuilt in the 15th century by Charles I d’Amboise, it is filled with the perfume of Catherine de Medicis and the numerous astrologers she entertained here around 1560.
Following the visit, you start the week with a pleasant ride through the countryside until you arrive in Amboise. Once the headquarters of the Royal Court, this town is today well-known for its manors, Clos Lucé and Le Manoir Saint Thomas among them. Le Manoir Saint Thomas is an intimate luxury hotel, where you spend the night.
The first dinner of the week is at a nice restaurant in town.
Today’s Ride: 19 miles with 500 feet of climbing
You start your second day with breakfast. Enjoy excellent food and learn what breakfast is really about with a kingly breakfast that is the key for a beautiful day. Then you take a nice and easy route through the forest to the Château of Chenonceau. The Renaissance castle goes over the Cher River and boasts vast gardens, galleries, 16th century Flemish tapestries and paintings by famous painters like Rubens. You meet again Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers, Henry II’s favorite. Nowadays, the place is known as the “Chateau of Six Women.” You are delighted by a self-guided visit of this epic place, after which you lunch at a local restaurant on your own.
Back on your bike, you go back to Amboise in order to visit the Clos Lucé, where Leonardo da Vinci spent the last four years of his life. It is also a museum that consists of models and designs conceived by the prolific scientist, including an airplane, a helicopter, a parachute and a turning bridge.
Tonight you are on your own to explore the many different dinning options in town, ask you leaders for the best places.
Today’s Ride: 28 miles with 1,100 feet of climbing
Short Option: 19 miles with 700 feet of climbing
This morning shuttle 45 minutes to the Château de Villandry, to visit some of the most beautiful gardens in France. This 16th century treasure was bought in the early 1900s by Joachim de Carvallo, thanks to whom you can enjoy the original Renaissance grandeur of the gardens. Today, his grandson takes care of the domain. It includes a water garden, an ornamental flower garden and some chic vegetable gardens. From there and after a tour of the chateau, you embark on another venture, this time for Crissay-sur-Manse, one of the most beautiful villages in France.
In the afternoon, you continue riding through the countryside, cycling by the chateau du Rivau, before reaching the Château de Marcay, which host you in its 15th century rooms for the next two nights. Modern facilities such as a heated pool mingle with towers, turrets and period furnishings.
Today’s Ride: 36 miles with 1,400 feet of climbing
Short Option: 17 miles with 700 feet of climbing
Long Option: 43 miles with 1,700 feet of climbing
Your fourth day in this land of wonders starts from your hotel. You bike along the Indre River to arrive at another chateau, Azay Le Rideau, a jewel of Renaissance architecture. The castle is famous for the fact that its base is right in the Indre river. That is why Balzac called it “a diamond cut in facets” and “framed” by the river.
Lunch is on your own today in the town of Azay-le-Rideau as there are plenty of places you can choose from, whether a gourmet restaurant, a bistro or a boulangerie.
You are back on your saddle and cycle by the Château de Rigny Usée, that Charles Perrault thought of when he wrote The Sleeping Beauty. Then you pass the beautiful town of Chinon, well-known for its wines. There is a chateau there too, which you can explore. If you prefer to get to your hotel, you continue your riding to the Château de Marçay, where the cellars are waiting for you.
Tonight’s dinner is at the hotel’s gourmet restaurant.
Today’s Ride: 47 miles with 1,000 feet of climbing
Short Option: 23 miles with 800 feet of climbing
Long Option: 52 miles with 2,100 feet of climbing
On your fifth and final day of biking you leave the Chateau de Marcay behind and ride to Candes St. Martin, which is considered to be one of France’s most picturesque villages.
Once in the town, don’t forget to grab something to eat at a local eatery. Situated near the Vienna River, the village takes its name from St. Martin who is buried here in one of the chapels of the church.
On your way to Saumur, you encounter what are called troglodytes. These are dwellings carved in the soft stone of the slopes you see around. The constant temperature of the troglodytes makes them a great living space.
This evening you get to stay at the Chateau des Verrieres. The chateau, which used to be a winery, allows you to enjoy the serenity of the area and experience the elegance of the past that has been preserved in both the furniture and the atmosphere.
Dinner is served at a local restaurant in Saumur where you have the privilege of tasting French specialties accompanied by the exquisite wines of the area and great stories about the extraordinary sights you encountered during your journey through the wonderful Loire Valley.
Today’s Ride: 31 miles with 1,400 feet of climbing
Short Option: 21 miles with 900 feet of climbing
Long Option: 37 miles with 1,700 feet of climbing
Enjoy breakfast at the Chateau de Verrieres one last time before meeting up with your trip leaders. From here, a short drive to the train station of Tours marks the end of the tour and of this unforgettable trip through the Loire Valley region.
We loved our trip with both of your trip leaders, Sam and JP. Very professional and enjoyable to work with. We got the help we needed for us to have the best experience possible. I would recommend them both to any future clients.
Our cycling trip through the Loire was great — it exceeded my expectations on every level — the food, the wine, the accommodations, the wine tasting, the chateau visits. We defintely would use Digngo for another trip. Thank you!
This bicycling tour was very well planned, executed according to plans. I would advise future participants that the bikes have very narrow seats and I highly recommend either a seat cover or a padded bike short.
Our cycling trip was amazing. We had great tour leaders and we had a great time.
I want you to know how a wonderful second bicycle trip we had. We are sure that you are headed for great success. Thank you again!!!!