Based on our classic Chteaux and Vineyards itinerary, this new itinerary for 2020 harnesses the power of e-bikes to make it easier for you to see even more of this beautiful corner of France. Saddle up on our excellent Trek e-bikes and relax as you ride along the rivers, past the chteaux and through the vineyards of the Loire valley. This is the perfect tour for the history buffs, the wine lovers and the foodies who want to squeeze as many interesting experiences as possible into their holiday.
Day 1 | Arrive at Tours or Poitiers
Explore the streets of this history rich town and perhaps sample a glass of the areas lovely, light red wines.
Day 2 | Optional Round Trip to Richelieu
Your first day on the bike starts by crossing the Vienne river and picking up a brand-new traffic free cycle path, following it to the town of Richelieu. The route of the cycle path follows an old railway line, making for easy, flat cycling, perfect for acclimatising your electric bikes. Richelieu was founded by its namesake, Cardinal Richelieu, who at the time was the most powerful man in France. Be sure to explore the ruins of his palace and the charming town square. On your ride back to Chinon, we suggest a visit to Chateau du Rivau, a picturesque, privately owned castle just off the cycle path.
Day 3 | Chinon to Saumur
Its time Its time to leave Chinon for now and head west along the Vienne river. The route for the first half of the day is pan flat and takes you twisting through farmers fields and small villages, up to the confluence of the Loire and Vienne rivers at the beautiful hamlet of Candes-St-Martin. Be sure to stop here for some memorable holiday photos. From here you reach Montsoreau in no time, before heading away from the river and into seemingly endless vineyards. Youll then pass through the troglodyte dwellings of Turquant and Parnay before a grand arrival in Saumur, passing the entrance to its imposing chteau.
Day 4 | Optional Round Trip to Montreuil-Bellay
The optional route today loosely follows the path of the Thouet river, south to the famed town of Montreuil-Bellay. The 15th century chteau here is an interesting visit and its grandeur, along with the fortified walls, demonstrates the historical importance of this town. The gardens and wine cellars are particular highlights of a visit to the chteau. To get back to Saumur, the route takes you past another grand chteau in Brz, famed for its elaborate underground fortifications and another very interesting visit.
Day 5 | Saumur to Villandry
The fourth day of cycling on the tour is also the flattest of all thanks to the route sticking close to the banks of the Loire for most of the day, terrain that your electric bike will see you gliding over without breaking a sweat. Highlights of the route include the Sleeping Beauty chteau at Rigny-Uss, the charming riverside town of Brhmont and the fortified chteau in Langeais, each of which are worth exploring. On arrival in Villandry you will glide up the only hill of the day, overlooking the gardens of Chteau Villandry, to your hotel.
Day 6 | Optional Round Trip to Tours and Montlouis-sur-Loire
For those looking to ride again today, we suggest a lovely round trip route that takes in the city of Tours and the world-famous wine town of Montlouis-sur-Loire. The route follows the Loire a Vlo cycle route on bike paths and low traffic roads and if flat all day. The city of Tours is a mix of medieval history, Victorian grandeur and youthful energy. The route takes you up and down the grandiose Avenue de Grammont, a mini Champs Elyses. Montlouis-sur-Loire sits a little further along the river and is littered with wine caves and producers offering direct sales and tastings, all in a very picturesque setting. Whilst this is the longest route on paper, it can easily be shortened into a 27mile (44km) round trip to Tours only.
Day 7 | Villandry to Chinon
Your last day of cycling takes you back to Chinon, passing yet more iconic chteaux and pristine vineyards. First up is Azay-le-Rideau, with its castle that sits within the flow of the Indre river, a perfect place for a first pit stop. From here you follow the Indre a Vlo cycle route to Sach, a peaceful village that is home to the Balzac museum, dedicated to the French novelist and playwright. From here you turn towards Chinon, rolling back into town after a stretch of vast vineyards along the banks of the Vienne.
Day 8 | We say au revoir
Trip extensions are available upon request.
- Delightful 3-star and 4-star hotels
- Bed & Breakfast accommodation
- Fully serviced e-bikes with panniers water bottle and repair kit
- Detailed route information through the Ride With GPS app
- Expert on the spot support
- Luggage transferred between your hotels
- 100% financial security through ABTA and ATOL