Jewels of the Loire Valley

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Orleans - Angers

 

11 days / 10 nights, Guided

 

Chateaux & Country Retreats

 

FROM

€2,995

Following the grandest of rivers, this French masterpiece will delight and entertain. Meander past the oldest of vines, the quaintest villages and wonderful rural scenes. Stay in chateaux where kings once roamed and enjoy the finer things in life. Vive La France!

This is a dynamic tour, with cyclists moving on most days from the city of Orléans in the east of the department of Loiret, and travelling westward through the rolling farmland to Amboise, where Da Vinci is buried. Past cereal fields bordered by popular trees, we come further west to the favourite kings of Anjou country, Chinon. We then move into the mysterious county of Saumur with its burial tombs, and great collection of stone megaliths, to take a lovely cycle down the Loire to finally arrive at another fascinating stop and our final destination of the trip, Angers with its famous Apocalypse Tapestries, chateau and a special atmosphere to itself. The terrain is rolling with some climbs and takes the cyclist through many towns and villages of the area.

 

YOU CHOOSE!

custom dates

 

Route Map

itinerary
Day 1. Orléans 

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We meet in the venerable city of Orléans, once capital of medieval France, home to one of the world´s most famous female warriors, Joan of Arc but also the gateway into the most romantic area of the Chateaus. Settled in the virtual heart of France, its own streets are full of historic monuments including the most austere cathedral, a sister to Paris´Notre Dame and with most interesting circular bell towers. It´s annual festival commemorating Joan of Arc´s freeing of the city from the British is a highlight for this small town and shows her importance here still!


Day 2. Chambord

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Travelling out of the city, we ride into the Loire Valley, where its white stone houses and grazing sheep our companions for the afternoon until we end in the small town of Thoury, Here, we can´t possibly miss one of France´s most famous Palaces and place of mystery, intrigue and fascinating architectural mixes, Chambord. Take a tour of the Palace with its soaring drawing rooms and fine furniture and even a complex Helix staircase, designed by Da Vinci before going back to the hotel and enjoying its tranquil atmosphere.

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Day 3. Amboise 

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Today´s cycle follows the Loire River cycle path, and lets you enjoy what is most recognizable about this area, and what importance the river has played on the development of this region. Take your time exploring these little villages and lunch in Blois with its handsome Eglise St. Nicolas spires seen around town and its regal Château with its famous tales of bloody court intrigue. Continue on to Amboise, which is a bustling market town and in which Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked (creating and perfecting some of his masterpieces including the Mona Lisa) thanks to the patronage of King Francois 1st.


Day 4. Amboise Loop

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An optional rest day for those who want to visit the town of Amboise more, or even take some of the walking trails out of town and discover the Loire Valley by foot. Keen cyclists can do a circular ride that takes in the photogenic and historic 16th century Chateau de Chenonceaux, which was through many years, the prized possession of queens and king´s mistresses – several times over! The ballroom, built by Catherine de Medici is staggering and Louise of Lorraine´s mourning room for her husband is particularly moving, painted in black with silver stars.


Day 5. Luynes 

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We move on today with more miles to head west travelling through the byways of the area to pass through the prosperous vineyard region of Vouvray.  The wineries here create many varieties including a crisp white which goes perfectly with the meat products of sausages and pates (“charcuterie”), well known in this area of steep valleys, caves and  plateaus. Don´t imbibe too much as we need to get back on the bike!


Day 6. Rest Day

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A rest day for cyclists who wish to explore this area or just enjoy the chateau, or for those those who want, continue to the University town of Tours, known as one of the main towns in the Loire and which has a lovely Cathedral.  A turbulent history of Gaulish, Roman and even Viking occupation, today´s quiet cafes and public parks (with their mulberry trees attesting to one time silk industry) are a marked change.


Day 7. Chinon 

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A good day of cycling and we´ve packed a lot in, so hopefully we´ll have time for the saddle.  Breeze past, Château Ussé, which over-looks the Indre, reputedly the inspiration for the castle in Sleeping Beauty and Continue on to Chinon, a handsome town with a castle resting above the river. Its sturdy walls turn a rich ochre in the sunset.  Beloved by King Henry the 2nd, (Crowned King of England in

1154), who married Elenor of Aquitane and whose son was Richard the Lionhearted.


Day 8: Chinon

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Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading out to explore this important and celebrated city. There are many things to fill the day here.


Day 9: Saumur

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Today we hug the Loire for a while, taking side trips away from it and passing through the interesting villages and towns of the area. Arrive at Saumur, a fascinating and wealthy regal place with a wide variety of architectural styles spanning all centuries. Its old quarter harbours a 12th century church with lovely 15th century wooden carvings and the close by 5,000 year Bagneux dolmen is one of Europe´s most important.


Day 10: Angers

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Our last cycle ride today keeps us moving in the north west direction towards Angers and along the way we take our last views of the river banks and villages, with each one having their own peculiarities, fascinating museums and some wonderful local treats.

Angers is a special place to end and its white walled Chateau, moat and gatehouses are once again a treat to wander.  Here the visions of the impressive Apocalypse Tapestries are treasures alone worth the visit. End the trip by taking in relaxed feel of the city and their summer outdoor life and enjoy the joie de vivre that is what the Loire is all about. We will end the evening with a farewell group dinner in a local restaurant, no doubt sampling some more of the famous local cuisine and fine wines of this beautiful valley.

Day 11: Angers and Onwards

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Unfortunately, this is where we must say goodbye and our tour ends here for early afternoon transfers to the train or bus station where we wish you au revoir!

Trip details
Tour Style

Discovery - Guided - Easy

Bikes - Hybrid / Road / E-BIke

Route: Orleans / Blois / Amboise / Tours / Chinon / Saumur / Angers

Group Size: 8+

Activity Level

Easy - distances are a daily average of 50km. The terrain is mainly flat with a couple of small hills. Good surfaced roads on quiet country routes (busier near the bigger cities and towns of Orleans, Blois, Angers, Chinon). Suitable for hybrid-touring and road bikes.

Accommodation

10 Nights Luxury Historic Chateaux / Historic Manor Houses / Attractive 4 star hotels All bedrooms are en-suite

Food

All 10 breakfasts 4 Dinners of 3 courses, including 2 in Chateaux

Extras

Staff

1 representative will meet and greet in Blois and give an introduction to the area and route. They will also provide daily luggage transfers.

Getting Here

Orleans is easily accessible from Paris being only an hour away.

Lodgings

The Loire valley is known as the Garden of France for a reason, the lushness of the scenery and its most lovely shady trees, rich pastures and stunning flowers. As Claude Monet, the French artist wrote, “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece” Nestled into this beautiful verdant surrounding are some quite fine castle chateaux, their gleaming white stone a stunning contrast to this greeness. On this bike tour the providing of accomodation goes a lot way further than a comfortable bed to lay your head, the elegance, the ambience of the nobles past, the history of these buildings of convents, 16th century manor homes and 15th century chateaux will get you longing to take on a second job in order to stay in this luxury forever!

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Reviews

"Our group of 8 recently completed the 8 day Enchanted Andalusia tour with Cycling Country. Geoff and Maggi organized a fantastic itinerary that included 6 days of biking and 4 walking tours on our route from Seville to Granada.

The biking was fantastic. We had a great mix of ride profiles, fantastic scenery and, thanks to Geoff and Maggi's local expertise, very little vehicle traffic for the vast majority of the ride.

The walking tours were very interesting and informative, culminating with the Alhambra in Granada.

Cycling Country offers a perfect blend of professional organization while maintaining a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere throughout the trip. Geoff and Maggi are very knowledgeable about the area and enthusiastic about their bike tours."

Dale S. - November 2017

 TripAdvisor

Testimonials from previous cyclists are always available and we enjoy receiving the feedback after tours. It helps us improve our services and offer you an even better experience. Please feel free to contact us if you would like a reference to talk to. Others have also posted reviews on the independent travel website .

 

DATES & RATES

 

Single Supplement – € 525

CUSTOM DATES: If booking with a group of 8+ people.
This tour is available throughout the year given availability.
Pick your start date!

Price includes all local taxes. Please note we transact in Euros.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Encounter enchanting quaint villages in dramatic castle settings
  • Visit two of France´s most beloved Chateaux, Chambord and Chenonceau
  • The Loire River is a bird lovers paradise with visions of egrets, herons and songbirds
  • Tread in the footsteps of Kings and Queens and visit Leonardo da Vinci´s home.
  • Tempt your taste buds with the French fare of fresh produce straight from the gardens and orchards

THE CC ADVANTAGE

Cycle a region we just love to explore. Our guides will show you the insider's secrets of this magical zone

Bike choice! - a carbon road or pedal assist electric bike is offered on this cycle tour

Wear one of our special Loire Valley cycling jerseys - complimentary and a great souvenir

 

Thank you so much for making our Cycling holiday so happy and enjoyable. We wish you all the best and are sure that your company will go from strength to strength with all the hard work that you put in...

Claire & Madeleine

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