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Ref CN52

Backroad cycling FranceTOUR OF THE LOIRE CHÂTEAUX A superb cycling tour that takes you from chateau to chateau along the Loire River from Tours to Angers

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, Langeais, Ussé, Chinon, Saumur, Angers... 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 585€ - Details Duration : 7 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…

Description

Comments

  • This trip exists in 2 versions : V1=1 wheel / V2=2 wheels
  • E-bike rental on this tour available.
  • Special offer for private groups. Please ask us for a quotation.

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 Angers 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. 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 where we settle into our lodgings for the next two nights.

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

Day 5: Saumur - Saumur

Today's itinerary has a strong troglodyte theme, with visits of Rochemenier and Denezé-sous-Doué. These troglodyte hamlets and farms offer a fascinating insight into 18th and 19th century rural life in the area. The sites are superb examples of dwellings and utility rooms dug into the "tuffeau", a chalk specific to the Loire Valley and notably used for the construction of buildings during the Renaissance. We pass through Doué-les-Fontaines, "the town of roses". Optional tour of the Rose Museum, which includes a demonstration of the rose water manufacturing process. Our itinerary takes us once again past numerous charming country houses before we arrive in Saumur for a second night in our lodgings.

Distance covered: approx. 40 km / Altitude gain: approx. 250m

Day 6: Saumur - Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire

We join the Loire once again, riding through the Loire-Anjou-Touraine regional natural park. The entire day's stage is spent on the banks of the wild and fast-flowing Loire, which grows larger and larger with each passing kilometre. Our route takes us past a succession of antique machinery and abandoned hamlets of the once prosperous, but recently closed Trélazé slate quarries. To finish the day's ride, we head off on a loop to discover the Manoir de la Caillère and its troglodyte caves, now transformed into an art gallery by the painter Richard Rak. Night in Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire.

Distance covered: approx. 40 km / Altitude gain: approx. 400 m

Day 7: Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire - Angers

We ride along the Loire once again, before bidding it farewell at its junction with the Maine, where the confluence of the two rivers offers us a picture postcard image. We follow the Maine upstream and into the heart of Angers where we discover the old town and its château, the "Maison d'Adam" (a 15th century half-timber house) and the spectacular cathedral.

Distance covered: approx. 35 km / Altitude gain: approx. 100 m

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

Itinerary end: The tour ends on the last day at Angers SNCF railway station.

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

This tour has not yet received any reviews.

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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