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Ref CN42

Backroad cycling FranceRIVER LOIRE CHÂTEAUX A superb cycling tour that takes you from chateau to chateau along the Loire and Cher rivers

A charming circuit in the heart of the Loire, this tour follows the wonderful Loire River, as well as the Indre, the Cher and the Vienne, taking in numerous Unesco World Heritage classified châteaux along the way: Amboise, Chenonceau, Villandry, Azay-le-Rideau, Langeais,... An enchanting cycle tour that makes the most of a superb cycle network along tranquil waterways, all the while discovering the immense cultural and architectural heritage of the region. An opportunity to visit the area’s many wine cellars and vineyards, as well as the troglodyte caves of Turquant and Souzay-Champigny. To top it all off, the majority of the itinerary is on green lanes and dedicated bike routes.

Self-guided tour: from 225€ - Details Duration : 3 or 4 days | Level : Customer satisfaction : - 0 reviews
+33 458 140 435 A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.
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Highlights

  • The famous châteaux of Chenonceau, Amboise, Langeais and Villandry.
  • An exceptional cultural and architectural heritage.
  • A circuit that takes us off the beaten track, into the heart of a well-preserved rich natural environment.
  • The Loire, the last major wild river in France…
  • Easily accessible from Paris and the regions.
  • A sporty yet leisurely weekend, just waiting to be discovered!

Description


Day 1: Tours - Chenonceau

Itinerary start: The tour begins at 10 am on the first day at Tours/Saint-Pierre-des-Corps SNCF railway station.

On request we can book the previous night's accommodation for you in Tours.

A secure car park is available next to the train station. The "sud" section offers the cheapest tarifs. For more info:  www.resaplace.com. If you arrive by car, a train service is avalable in order to return to Tours from Monts/Azay-le-Rideau at the end of your trip.

Beginning in the city of Tours, we follow the magnificent Loire River, taking the time to appreciate the many châteaux and charming country manor houses along the way. The tranquillity of this great river, the longest in France, quickly works its charm with its thickets and leafy hedgerows, its fields and pastures, its isolated hamlets and farms. The river is also an oasis for a large variety of maritime and continental birds. As we reach Montlouis, the small amount of elevation gained so far is enough to offer beautiful panoramic views of the Loire. After 25 kilometres or so, we reach Amboise, the first notable historical site of our tour. The town has a rich and colourful past with its Royal château and the Clos Lucé, former residence of Leonard de Vinci. The charming cobblestoned streets and street side cafés offer plenty of opportunities to explore and relax. We gain a little altitude in order to reach the forest of Amboise which we cross in order to join the fabulous Château de Chenonceau, built in 1513. Depending on our time of arrival, we visit the château at the end of the day or the following morning. Night in Chenonceau.

Distance covered: approx. 40 km / Altitude gain: approx. 300 m

Day 2: Chenonceau - Villandry

A superb day's cycling awaits us between these two magnificent Loire châteaux! We begin the day on a little known route that offers an unforgettable view of the Château de Chenonceau from the banks of the Cher. We follow the river along its quiet banks bordered with weeping willows, vegetable gardens, charming country houses and "chalands" (small flat-bottomed barges) on riverside moorings. From Bléré, an optional 2 kilometre loop offers us the chance to visit the Aigremonts Windmill, with its recently restored large white blades. The Cher leads us on to Tours, where we skirt round the south side of the city, following the banks of the river, before winding our way through fields and pastures to reach Villandry and its 16th century château, famous for its splendid geometrical gardens. Depending on our time of arrival, we visit the château at the end of the day or the following morning. Overnight stay near Villandry.

Distance covered: approx. 50 km / Altitude gain: approx. 100m

Day 3: Villandry - Monts

This morning we join the “Bec du Cher”, meeting point of the Cher and Loire rivers. We find ourselves once again on the banks of the Loire, which seems surprisingly large after the previous days riding along the comparatively narrow Cher... The "chalands" drift peacefully on the slow current of the river, accompanied by a wealth of birdsong from the abundant birdlife to be found along the river's banks. A short detour takes us to a small suspension bridge, enabling us to cross the Loire and join the village and château of Langeais. An optional visit of the Château de Langeais and a stroll through the narrow lanes of the village, dominated by the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church, before we continue our journey along the banks of the Loire. A welcome break in the small port of Bréhémont, with panoramic views from the terrace of its café, before we leave the Loire behind us and join the Indre. Fields, hedgerows and thickets of leafy trees give way now and then to reveal splendid country manor houses. We visit the Dufresne Museum, home to an impressive collection of vehicles, machines and antique objects from the 1850's through to the middle of the twentieth century. A little further on, and in a completely different style, we arrive at the Château de l'Islette on the banks of the Indre. The many “barques” entice us to take a boat tour on the water. The château was host to the tumultuous love affair between the two famous sculptors Camille Claudel and Auguste Rodin, who produced some of their greatest work here. A few more pedal strokes take us to the magnificent Château d'Azay-le-Rideau. Built on an island in the middle of the Indre, the château is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture, built under the reign of François the 1st. We hop on our bicycles once again and continue to make our way up the pretty Indre Valley. Optional visit of the Troglodytic Valley of Goupillères, home to peasant cave dwellers during the Middle Ages. We then head off along the “Route des moulins et des belles demeures” (Route of the windmills and manor houses). We're now in Balzac country! Possible detour to visit the Balzac Museum at the Château de Saché, before passing the Balzac Mills at Pont-de-Ruan. We make our way to Monts, final destination of our tour, along tracks and quiet roads (possible return to Tours by train; see rendez-vous/separation paragraph).

Distance covered: approx. 50 km / altitude gain: approx. 150 m
Note: if you feel this day's itinerary may be too long for you, it is possible to shorten the route by about 10km. From the Troglodytic Valley of Goupillères, return to Azay-le-Rideau, where it is possible to take a train to Tours.

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

Itinerary end: The tour ends on the last day at Monts (or Azay-le-Rideau) SNCF railway station: please specify your choice when booking.

Day 1: Tours - Chenonceau

Itinerary start: The tour begins at 10 am on the first day at Tours/Saint-Pierre-des-Corps SNCF railway station.

On request we can book the previous night's accommodation for you in Tours.

A secure car park is available next to the train station. The "sud" section offers the cheapest tarifs. For more info:  www.resaplace.com. If you arrive by car, a train service is avalable in order to return to Tours from Saumur at the end of your trip.

Beginning in the city of Tours, we follow the magnificent Loire River, taking the time to appreciate the many châteaux and charming country manor houses along the way. The tranquillity of this great river, the longest in France, quickly works its charm with its thickets and leafy hedgerows, its fields and pastures, its isolated hamlets and farms. The river is also an oasis for a large variety of maritime and continental birds. As we reach Montlouis, the small amount of elevation gained so far is enough to offer beautiful panoramic views of the Loire. After 25 kilometres or so, we reach Amboise, the first notable historical site of our tour. The town has a rich and colourful past with its Royal château and the Clos Lucé, former residence of Leonard de Vinci. The charming cobblestoned streets and street side cafés offer plenty of opportunities to explore and relax. We gain a little altitude in order to reach the forest of Amboise which we cross in order to join the fabulous Château de Chenonceau, built in 1513. Depending on our time of arrival, we visit the château at the end of the day or the following morning. Night in Chenonceau.

Distance covered: approx. 40 km / Altitude gain: approx. 300m

Day 2: Chenonceau - Villandry

A superb day's cycling awaits us between these two magnificent Loire châteaux! We begin the day on a little known route that offers an unforgettable view of the Château de Chenonceau from the banks of the Cher. We follow the river along its quiet banks bordered with weeping willows, vegetable gardens, charming country houses and "chalands" (small flat-bottomed barges) on riverside moorings. From Bléré, an optional 2 kilometre loop offers us the chance to visit the Aigremonts Windmill, with its recently restored large white blades. The Cher leads us on to Tours, where we skirt round the south side of the city, following the banks of the river, before winding our way through fields and pastures to reach Villandry and its 16th century château, famous for its splendid geometrical gardens. Depending on our time of arrival, we visit the château at the end of the day or the following morning. Overnight stay near Villandry.

Distance covered: approx. 50 km / Altitude gain: approx. 100 m

Day 3: Villandry - Chinon

This morning we join the “Bec du Cher”, meeting point of the Cher and Loire rivers. We find ourselves once again on the banks of the Loire, which seems surprisingly large after the previous days riding along the comparatively narrow Cher... The "chalands" drift peacefully on the slow current of the river, accompanied by a wealth of birdsong from the abundant birdlife to be found along the river's banks. A short detour takes us to a small suspension bridge, enabling us to cross the Loire and join the village and château of Langeais. An optional visit of the Château de Langeais and a stroll through the narrow lanes of the village, dominated by the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church, before we continue our journey along the banks of the Loire. A welcome break in the small port of Bréhémont, with panoramic views from the terrace of its café, before we leave the Loire behind us and head to the Château d'Ussé, known as the "Sleeping Beauty". Charles Perrault was supposedly inspired by the image of the château when he wrote the fairy tale of the same name. An optional visit of the château for those who aren't frightened by fairy tales and legends :-). Our route then takes us back to the Loire shortly before leaving it once again and heading to the River Vienne. We skirt along the edge of the forest of Chinon before arriving in the small town of the same name. The late afternoon light and views from above the town offer a superb panorama… Chinon is set in an exceptional location, built on a rocky outcrop dominating the Vienne Valley. The royal fort and the old town testify to the rich and colourful history of Chinon. Add to this its reputation for great wine, and all the ingredients are there for a great overnight stop!

Distance covered: approx. 45 km / Altitude gain: approx. 200 m

Day 4: Chinon - Saumur

Following the Vienne, we ride through the forests, vineyards and farmland of the Loire-Anjou-Touraine regional natural park. After a dozen or so kilometres, we rejoin the Loire and follow it all the way to Turquant, famous for its troglodyte caves dug in to the chalk cliffs. Some of these former mines and cave dwellings have been transformed into craftsman’s workshops, while others serve as wine cellars. Turquant is at the heart of the largest troglodyte network in the world, and we take ample time to discover the site before continuing our route! A few kilometres further on we reach the tuffeau chalk galleries of Souzay-Champigny, which we can even ride through on our bikes! A unique experience… A few more pedal strokes and we arrive in Saumur, “town of art and history”. The Château de Saumur is an impressive sight, built at the top of a hillside dominating the Loire, and visible from miles around… The town's narrow lanes and small squares are also full of hidden gems just waiting to be discovered, but not before a final fifteen kilometre loop leads us to the Cadre Noir national equestrian school. An opportunity to discover this prestigious training school and spend some time with the centre's horses. Return to Saumur, the final destination of our tour (possible return to Tours by train; see rendez-vous/separation paragraph).

Distance covered: approx. 50 km / Altitude gain: approx. 300m

Distances and altitude gain are an indication only and may vary.

Itinerary end: The tour ends on the last day at Saumur SNCF raliway station.

On request we can book the following night's accommodation for you in Saumur.

This tour has not yet received any reviews.

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Your email will not be communicated to any third party or company outside France Bike Trips / Velorizons. You may receive occasional emails from France Bike Trips, with the possibility to unsubscribe at any time. CNIL (French National Commission for Data Protection and Liberties)

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What is My France Bike Trips?

"My France Bike Trips" allows you to:
  • Update your contact details
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  • Manage your photo albums created on our website
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You can prefix chosen words with the '+' sign to make them mandatory, or with the '-' sign to avoid results containing this word from appearing, e.g. west +nepal -canada

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A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.


Phone number: +33 458 140 435
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Contact us

A dedicated team of travel specialists is available to offer you expert advice Monday to Friday from 9 to 12:30 AM and 13:30 to 6 PM (French time) on the phone, or by email.

Send the message