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Your cycling holiday in France

Rivers of the Loire | Self Guided

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 châteaux in France and to sample the produce of several world-famous wine making areas, including Vouvray, Chinon and Saumur.

What not to miss

  • The breathtaking architecture of the Loire Valley châteaux
  • Sampling the produce of the regions different wine appellations
  • The spectacular dressage shows of the Cadre Noire of Saumur

Extras

  • Extra nights available at start or end of tour.

Map

Your cycling holiday in France

Rivers of the Loire | Self Guided

Package Prices (Flights and Transfers Included)

2018 Departure Dates Nights Adult Price Child Price (Under 12)
May to September   7  £1495 £1425

Tour Only Prices

2018 Departure Dates Nights Adult Price Child Price (Under 12)
May to September  7  £1265 £1195

2019 Dates and Prices

Package Prices (Flights and Transfers Included)

2019 Departure Dates Nights Adult Price
April - September 7 £1495

Tour Only Prices

2019 Departure Dates Nights Adult Price
April - September 7 £1275

Please contact one of our Activities Experts on 020 7471 7750 for 2019 child prices.

Single Supplement: £60 per night

Ebike: £20 per day

Your cycling holiday in France

Rivers of the Loire | Self Guided

7 Night Tour

Day 1

Arrive at Tours or Blois.

Transfer to Blois if arriving in Tours, or a it’s 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 château.

Day 2

Round trip to Château de Chambord | Distance 26 miles (42km).

Arguably the most spectacular of the Loire valley châteaux, Château de Chambord is your destination on today’s round trip cycle. Your route heads inland to meet the river Cosson for a flat run to the château. A tour of the château 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 | Distance 27 miles (44km).

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 Château 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 Château de Chenonceau | Distance 16 miles (27km).

Today’s 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 château at Chenonceau which sits atop the river itself. Take the time to learn about the château’s rich and varied history before a leisurely spin back into Amboise in time for dinner in one of the town’s many restaurants.

Day 5

Amboise to Villandry | Distance 31 miles (50km).

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 Chateau famed for its extensive and beautiful gardens.

Day 6

Round trip to Azay-le-Rideau | Distance 16 miles (27km).

Today’s round trip takes you to the charming town of Azay-le-Rideau, situated on the river Indre. The towns own château is one of the most well known in the region and is well worth a visit. A little further along your route is Château de l’Islette, a less heralded but mesmerizingly beautiful château that was once the home of Auguste Rodin. The return to Villandry takes you through picturesque orchards and vineyards.

Day 7

Villandry to Saumur | Distance 40 miles (63km).

A final westward stage takes you along the riverside for the first half of the day, passing by Château d’Ussé, the inspiration for Charles Perrault’s ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Soon after Ussé, 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.

Day 8

We say “au revoir” before transferring you directly to Tours, or you can depart from Saumur by train.

Your cycling holiday in France

Rivers of the Loire | Self Guided

Take a break from the bike and delve into the world of wine, with a one-day guided tasting and vineyard tour. Your hosts for the day upped sticks and moved from the UK to the Loire valley in 2006, after spending their lives studying and working in wine. Since moving they have become close friends with numerous local producers and have gained a world class understanding of this regions vibrant and varied vintages. Your tour will be relaxed and personal, with groups usually less than 7 people, giving you the chance to tap into the knowledge of your hosts.

Wine tasting experience

1 Day Tour Add-On

Morning

Train transfer from Saumur to Angers, departing at 8.45, before being collected by your hosts from Angers station at 9.20. You will be transferred to their charming rural farmhouse before starting a tutored tasting. This tasting consists of six different wines, from six different Loire valley appellations and your hosts will run through a presentation that will have you talking of terroirs and tannins in no time at all.

Lunch

A three course lunch is included in your tour and is served in a traditional tuffeau wine cellar. The wines from your morning tasting will be at the table too, giving you the chance to see how their characteristics change when combined with food.

Afternoon

After lunch, you will be taken to a local vineyard for a private tour. Your hosts are good friends with an eclectic mix of characters from the local wine production community, so you can expect an experience with heaps of personality. This part of the day will let you get hands on with the vines and to gain an understanding of the agricultural side of the art of wine. There is also the chance to purchase some of your favorite vintages at cellar door prices, just make sure you can carry it all home! You will be transferred back to Angers in time for the 6 o’clock train back to Saumur, which will get you back with time to freshen up before hitting the town for dinner.

What’s Included

  • Train tickets and transfers
  • Tutored wine tasting of 6 Loire valley wines from 6 different appellations
  • Three course lunch, served in an atmospheric wine cellar
  • Guided tour of a local vineyard
  • Expert tuition from experienced, English speaking hosts

This tour is operated by our preferred local partner.

Extra nights’ accommodation in Saumur available upon request.

Your cycling holiday in France

Rivers of the Loire | Self Guided

Note: The accommodation listed below is indicative, it is not guaranteed and is subject to availability. Alternative accommodation of an equal standard may be used.

Best Western Blois Chateau

4-star

Situated in the heart of town, a short walk from the famous château, cathedral and historical town center. The charming staff and well-equipped rooms will make you feel right at home.

Hotel Anne d’Anjou

4-star

This 18th century mansion, sitting on the south bank of the river Loire, has a rich history as the home of a variety of aristocrats. Since 1983 this protected building has been one of the most reputable hotels in this charming town.

Hotel le Haut de Lys

3-star

A real haven of peace, situated on the outskirts of the village of Villandry, a short walk from its magnificent château. The jacuzzi here is a wonderful way to refresh your muscles after a day of cycling and there are massages available too. Pascal and his team look forward to welcoming you.

Manoir les Minimes

4-star

Sitting between the river Loire and the fortified walls of Château d’Amboise, this award-winning hotel is the place to stay in Amboise. With beautiful antique furniture throughout and characterful rooms, coupled with friendly, accommodating staff, it’s no wonder that it gets rave reviews from guests.

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