Follow the river Loire and the picturesque riverside cycle route as it wends westwards from Blois to Saumur. This is the perfect route for those hoping to visit the most celebrated chteaux in France and to sample the produce of several world-famous wine making areas, including Vouvray, Chinon and Saumur.
Day 1 | Arrive at Blois
Transfer to Blois if arriving in Tours, or a its a short walk from Blois station to your first hotel. Here you will meet your representative for a welcome meeting and to be provided with your bike. After this you are free to explore the town. We suggest taking in the view from the south side of the Loire before strolling through the medieval streets of the old town towards its impressive renaissance chteau.
Day 2 | Round trip to Chteau de Chambord
Arguably the most spectacular of the Loire valley chteaux, Chteau de Chambord is your destination on todays round trip cycle. Your route heads inland to meet the river Cosson for a flat run to the chteau. A tour of the chteau is a must, but this is a sight best viewed from afar. Some great photographs can be taken by capturing the reflections of the vast water features. When the time comes, a gentle ride back to Blois along the riverside is a calming end to the day.
Day 3 | Blois to Amboise
Another leisurely ride is on the cards today, tracking the Loire on its southern side and crossing the smaller Beauvron river before reaching your halfway point at Chaumont-sur-Loire. We suggest a stop here to visit Chteau de Chaumont, be sure to take the time to explore its breath-taking gardens, where landscapers from all over the world come to show off their creativity and skill. From here on the route follows rural roads before entering Amboise and dropping back down to the riverside, a good spot for a glass of the local wine.
Day 4 | Round trip to Chteau de Chenonceau
Todays suggested shorter ride provides the opportunity to explore medieval Amboise, the final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci. Back on your bike you will follow the river Loire and the river Cher, the round trip takes you to the unique chteau at Chenonceau which sits atop the river itself. Take the time to learn about the chteaus rich and varied history before a leisurely spin back into Amboise in time for dinner in one of the towns many restaurants.
Day 5 | Amboise to Villandry
An almost entirely flat day of cycling takes you through the cycle-friendly city of Tours, famed for its grand cathedral and medieval quarter. Before leaving, a coffee on the grandiose Avenue de Grammont by the spectacular Hotel de Ville will provide some extra impetus for the remainder of your ride to Villandry, which tracks the river Cher towards its point of confluence with the ever-present Loire. Villandry is a small riverside town with an impressive chteau famed for its extensive and beautiful gardens.
Day 6 | Round trip to Azay-le-Rideau
Todays round trip takes you to the charming town of Azay-le-Rideau, situated on the river Indre. The towns own chteau is one of the most well known in the region and is well worth a visit. A little further along your route is Chteau de lIslette, a less heralded but mesmerizingly beautiful chteau that was once the home of Auguste Rodin. The return to Villandry takes you through picturesque orchards and vineyards.
Day 7 | Villandry to Saumur
A final westward stage takes you along the riverside for the first half of the day, passing by Chteau dUss, the inspiration for Charles Perraults Sleeping Beauty. Soon after Uss, the route heads south and follows the Vienne river to Candes-St-Martin, before re-joining the Loire and passing through charming troglodyte villages, carved into the hillside. Saumur awaits, a large town with a welcoming atmosphere, where a glass of the local sparkling wine will serve as the perfect oenological pat on the back.
We say au revoir before transferring you directly to Tours, or you can depart from Saumur by train.
- Fully serviced bikes water bottle and accessories
- Bed & breakfast basis as standard
- 3 & 4 star accommodation (unless otherwise stated)
- Tour information pack upon arrival
- Detailed navigational material often including GPS maps
- Local support whenever needed
- E-bikes available on request
- Flights and transfers not included as standard but available on request
- Full financial protection through ABTA and ATOL