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Loire Valley Classic

Shortest Day - 60 km / 38 miles
Longest Day - 91 km / 57 miles
Total: 8 days total / 6 days cycling; 429 km / 268 miles

What you can expect

Whatever your reason for visiting the Loire Valley superlatives do not suffice and you will not be disappointed. The amazing architecture with the backdrop of the powerful river combine to make this one of France's best loved areas. As usual, we take you along quiet roads whilst still visiting the well-known sights as well as some just as fine less-visited ones. The name actually refers not only to the area of the Loire itself, but also the Indre, Loir, Vienne and Cher. Seeing so many beautiful buildings can lead to ‘chateau burnout’ so we have tried to include other places of interest, as well as some fine cycling along pretty roads through the vineyards, cornfields and forests. 6 days' cycling; 6 nights’ half board with wine; 1 night bed and breakfast; luggage transport, full back-up and assistance throughout the day.

More detail

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FULLY SUPPORTED AND SELF GUIDED OPTIONS

The Loire Valley could have been invented for a cycling holiday as it has all the important ingredients; lots to see, fantastic countryside and a good climate. The topography is sympathetic to riding a bike and whilst there are a couple of longer days these are not hard riding - this trip has been enjoyed by many people with no previous cycling experience.

As well as the famous chateaux we aim to show you other aspects of this lovely region often by-passed by the coach loads of tourists on fixed timetables to get to the next chateaux and cross it off on the list; the vineyards, the troglodyte caves and the forests and the pretty small villages are just some of those attractions off the beaten track.

Day 1: Meet at Tours TGV station or Tours airport (if you drive, this is a good place to leave your car). Transfer to Amboise for overnight stay and evening meal below the castle walls.

Day 2: Heading east from Amboise you will visit the chateau at Chaumont before reaching the Royal City of Blois, built on the hillside adjoining the Loire, before continuing to Chambord for the night where we can see the floodlit chateau from our hotel. (65 km / 41 miles).

Day 3: From Chambord we ride to the chateau of Cheverny, the model for Captain Haddock’s Marlinspike Hall in the Tintin books. This chateau is still in private hands (unlike many which are state owned) and so has an intimate feel to it. Cutting across country the jewel in the crown awaits, as Chenonceau, perhaps the best known of all, sits astride the river Cher. (70 km / 44 miles).

Day 4: After the renaissance delights of yesterday we head away from the river valleys to see some of the other fine sights the area has to offer. The ancient abbey town of Montresor lies on the route to Loches, a superbly preserved old town. The cornfields on either side and wide open vistas are a real feature of today’s ride as you discover that the area extends beyond the river itself. (61 km / 38 miles).

Day 5: From Loches another gem awaits in the form of Richelieu. Planned and built by Louis XIV’s cardinal of the same name on a grid pattern, the white stone and intricate carvings make this walled town with its central square a real pleasure. From here we head north back to the Vienne river where Chinon awaits, one of the major Loire Valley towns with its impressive fortress where Joan of Arc met the Dauphin and convinced him to take on the English during the Hundred Years’ War. A longer day, but the terrain is made for cycling. (91 km / 57 miles).

Day 6:  Our route from Chinon to Saumur cuts inland again away from the river, through quiet villages with ancient houses and still a great many chateaux. We ride through Montreuil Bellay before descending back to the river at Saumur, one of the most pleasing of Loire Valley towns. (61 km / 38 miles).

Day 7: Our last full day is an orgy of beauty, as we ride first through the vineyards of Saumur and Champigny to arrive at Fontevraud, burial place of Richard the Lionheart, and then ride back to the river through what must be one of the prettiest villages in France at Candes sur Martin. Then it's to Usse - whose flamboyant turrets inspired The Sleeping Beauty - small but perfect Azay le Rideau and on to Villandry with its superb gardens. It’s hard to believe a week has passed and so there has been so much to take in. As always we have an end of tour dinner to reminisce with new friends about the sights you’ve seen and to compare notes. (79 km / 49 miles).

Day 8: Depart from Tours TGV station.

Transfers to / from Tours TGV and regional train stations.

Requested Single Supplement (see our FAQ page): £325

BOOK ONLINE NOW

or enquire about specific dates by clicking 'Booking Enquiry' below.

Current dates for this tour:

Starts:
16.09.17
Ends:
23.09.17
Rating:
Easy
Price:
£1,295
Starts:
12.05.18
Ends:
19.05.18
Rating:
Easy
Price:
£1,295

Travel Information

Start: Tours
Finish: Tours

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