Imagine yourself cycling through a picturesque countryside dotted with romantic châteaux…just like in a fairy tale. The Loire Valley also known as the “Garden of France” is a charming land of vineyards, flowers, rolling green hills, and luxuriant natural landscapes. It also has more than two hundred medieval castles! And while you marvel at the abundant natural beauty and medieval splendor, on this trip you’ll also have opportunities to try the region’s sumptuous cuisine and famous wines.
On your own, any dates you choose, or with a group…all options are open…including a special tour for families with children. Here’s the day-by-day breakdown of the classic tour.
Classic Tour from Orléans to Saumur – 8 days/7nights*
*A 6-day, 5-night version of this trip is also available, ending in Tours. See below for more details.
Day 1. Orléans
The trip starts in Orléans, an historic, military stronghold and homeland of Joan of Arc, a patron saint of France, honored for her role in breaking the siege of Orléans. It is only an hour south of Paris by train, and Rome2Rio will help you get there from anywhere on the planet! With so much to see and do, you might want to arrive a day early and have an opportunity to visit le Parc Floral de La Source and its world-renowned butterfly greenhouse.
Day 2. Orléans – Beaugency/St. Dyé (30/50 km)
Today you can ease yourself gently into the pace of the Loire, pedaling east with the river’s flow, to the charming town of Beaugency. Here, the 14th century château and its hanging gardens are beautiful, poignant reminders of historical symbols of wealth and pleasure. On the way to the lovely town of St. Dyé, an ancient river harbor where you will spend the night, you might want to stop at a café for a homemade tarte tatin et crème anglais, because…well, after all…you are in France.
Day 3. Beaugency/St. Dyé – Blois (50/30 km)
Spend some time enjoying St. Dyé, one of the most charming villages on the banks of the Loire, before continuing your cycle-tour along the border of the forest of Boulogne. Soon you will see the distinct profile of Blois, your destination. This is another town with an impressive chateau and cathedral worth visiting.
4. Blois – Amboise (45 km)
On your way, again, cycling along the Loire toward Amboise, you’ll have an opportunity to explore Château d’Amboise, the grand 15th-century residence of King Charles VIII. In addition to visiting the royal chambers, gardens, and underground passageways (imagine what must have gone on here) you’ll also be able to see Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb! The Château du Clos Lucé, where da Vinci spent the last years of his life, is just outside of town and houses a small museum displaying working models of his designs.
5. Amboise – Tours (55 km)
This is another full day! After crossing le Foret de Amboise on your way to Tours, you can choose to stop a visit at le Chateau de Nitray with its famous wine cellars and a wine tasting experience. But before that, you will have an opportunity to visit Chenonceaux, known as the “Castle of the Three Ladies.”
NOTE: This is the end of shorter, 6-day version of this trip. Additional details for the longer, 8-day trip follow.
6. Tours – Chinon (60 km)
This is a fabulous day. After cycling between the Loire and the Cher rivers, you will come to the chateau and fabulous gardens of Villandry. Then, cycling along the Loire, you’ll come to Langeais, a lovely town to explore and take a break. (It’s also a long day, but by now you will be in great shape!)
Before arriving in Chinon, where you spend the night, you can stop in Ussé to see the chateau that inspired Charles Perrault to write his classic fairy tale, “Sleeping Beauty”.
7. Chinon – Saumur (35 km)
The tour continues along country roads beyond the confluence of the rivers Loire and Vienne, where you’ll arrive at Savigny en Vèron and the wonderful village of Candes St-Martin. A few kilometers away you’ll see the Chateau de Montsoreau from which you can enjoy the landscape over the Fontevraud Abbey. At the end of day you will arrive in Saumur, considered the “Pearl of Anjou”.
Departure after breakfast.
PLEASE NOTE. Due to organizational reasons, weather conditions or provisions issued by local authorities, the itinerary may be subject to some changes before and/or during your holiday. For example, along the way you may find temporary deviations caused by roadworks, which cannot be foreseen; in this case please follow the indications you will find on site.
The cost per person depends on the time of travel, how many people are going and if you would like an e-bike, single supplement, or upgraded accommodations. It’s also possible to book an extra night’s stay in any of the towns.
- Base Price for 8 days: $1,366/person* (includes bike & helmet)
- Single Supplement: $157
- Third person in a double room: $930
- E-bike: $215
- Transfer back to Orléans (Saturdays only): $143
- Extra night in Orléans (with breakfast): double-$86/single-$157
- Extra night in Saumur (with breakfast): double-$86/single-$143
*Assumes room shared by two people
Please contact us if you are interested in this trip, either alone or as part of a group. Be sure to let us know the dates you are interested in and which trip! (Hint: Loire Valley cycling.)