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Loire Valley

A cycling week from Tours to Saumur: our favorite in the Loire

Follow the cycling paths of "Loire à vélo" and discover the prestigious situation Saumur vineyards, the magnificent castles of the Loire Valley and the cave houses.

Reviews (22) :
4.67 / 5
Reference L0702
  • Itinerant trip
  • 8 days
  • Easy
  • from april to november
  • Minimum age 1 year
769€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • Encounter the breathtaking beauties of the Loire valley by riding on the “Loire à vélo” route between Tours and Saumur. Meandering between the Loire valley and the Vienne valley, the route goes on little country roads passing by the most prestigious castles in Loire such as Villandry, Azay-le-Rideau or Ussé, the castle of the Sleeping Beauty. You will not only admire the changing colors of the Loire River, the traditional boats swinging between the sand banks, but also the vineyards of Chinon and Saumur or the Fontevraud Abbey. You will also see many cave houses all along the way. Give in to the magic of a cycling holiday in Loire.

    DAY 1

     
     
    Discover the charming old neighborhood in Tours boasting many half-timbered houses. Stroll around and visit Saint-Gatien cathedral, the Wilson bridge and Plumereau square.

    DAY 2

     
     
    Bike
    35km
    You wind on the cycling path along the Loire to leave Tours and reach the château de Villandry with its beautiful French gardens. Enjoy the banks of the Loire Valley before riding up through forests towards the château d’Azay-le-Rideau.
       

    Château de Villandry 2h


    6,50 € / teen
    10,50 € / adult

    DAY 3

     
     
    Bike
    27km
    You can either enjoy a rest day in Azay-le-Rideau to quietly visit the castle or explore the surrounding villages on beautiful country roads. You start by learning all about the wickerwork in Villaines-les-Rochers, then go through Saché and its castle, famous for regularly hosting the French writer Honoré de Balzac. Then, you ride down to Pont-de-Ruan, village at the confluence of several rivers that flow into the Indre. You can visit the miller’s house in order to discover the history of the mills of the village.
       

    Château Azay-le-Rideau 2h

    6,50 € / adult

    DAY 4

     
     
    Bike
    32km
    Keep on cycling on « Loire à vélo » and ride on the dike to get to the château d’Ussé which inspired the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. You enter into Chinon overlooking the old town. Enjoy the labyrinth of medieval narrow streets when you ride down the Vienne River.

    DAY 5

     
     
    Bike
    38km
    You can choose to spend your day chilling in the medieval town and visiting the fortress, or choose to ride your bike in the surrounding vineyards and hills. If so, don’t miss the former house of the French writer Rabelais which is called “La Devinière”. Don’t forget to stop in one of the local wine cellars to taste the Chinon wines.

    DAY 6

     
     
    Bike
    20/27km
    TWO OPTIONS :

    You can choose to exchange your bicycle for a canoe and float along the Vienne River to Montsoreau or continue cycling to Fontevraud and visit its beautiful abbey.
       

    OPTION 1 : Canoe ride to Montsoreau 3h

    Enjoy a canoe ride to discover the beauty of the Loire valley from the river side. You arrive in the gorgeous small village of Candes-Saint-Martin built with freestone. Keep on to Montsoreau which is one of the "Loveliest Villages in France" built around its castle. You land right next to the castle. (From 6 years on and able to swim only. If you are not able or if you do not want to do this activity, you will keep on with your bike to Montsoreau).
    Included

    OPTION 2 : Biking to Fontevraud 3h

    Ride first along the Vienne river through the beautiful white freestone villages of Candes-Saint-Martin and Montsoreau. Keep on the hills to Fontevraud which is worth visiting for its magnificent abbey which shelters the tombs of Richard the Lionheart and Eleanor of Aquitaine.

    The extra charge is due to the entrance ticket to Fontevraud Royal Abbey.
    7,50 € / teen
    11,00 € / adult

    DAY 7

     
     
    Bike
    15/21km
    Today’s route alternates between cave houses and vineyards. Then, you can choose to ride along the Loire or through the hills. Both paths lead to the village of Souzay-Champigny where you ride among beautiful cave houses. Stop by to taste the wines of Saumur. At the end of this charming route, you discover the city of Saumur and its castle with impressive dungeons.

    DAY 8

     
     
    Discover the charming old neighborhood of Saumur and the imposing castle over the city. This city is the capital of equestrian art and a main spot of French cuisine and in the center of a very rich wine region

    If you want the regional train takes you back to your starting point or you can also extend your stay.
  • Accommodation
  • Category A

    You stay in hotels with ** standards offering all the necessary comfort after a day outdoors. These family hotels welcome you warmly. Breakfast is included.
    * Example of the type of accommodation

    Category B

    You stay in hotels with *** standards or bed & breakfasts selected for their style and quality. Breakfast is included.

    * Example of the type of accommodation

    Category C

    You stay in small castles, ****hotels or charming bed and breakfasts where you can enjoy the "vie de château" in an exceptionnal environment. They are selected for their impeccable service. Breakfast is included.



    * Example of the type of accommodation
  • Bikes, luggage and documents
  • Bikes

    On your arrival day, we provide you with:

    • a touring bike adjusted to your size or a tandem
    • equipped : front rack pack with an integrated file compartment, saddlebag, helmet (on demand), reflective vest, repairing toolkit with patches etc.

    We also provide you with the appropriate equipment for your children : baby seat, bike trailer or trailer bike depending on their age and size.

    Electric bikes are also available for adults.


    Luggage

    Our services include luggage transport in order to let you enjoy your trip comfortably and without stress :
    • We transport your luggage from one accommodation to the next using a private vehicle.
    • Your luggage is directly delivered in your accommodation before you arrive.
    • We provide a saddlebag for the things you shall need during the day.

    Our word of advice : as we know from experience, we strongly recommend you to avoid wearing a backpack during your cycling trip.


    Travel documents

    A cycling holiday is the best way to explore a region and discover its culture, landscapes and local traditions.

    Your tour is self-guided to give you the freedom to ride at your own pace. You will be provided all the information you need to enjoy peacefully the itinerary and its interesting sites.
    You will have in your travel documents :
    • a detailed map (A4 format) of the itinerary that we drew at the easiest scale to follow for a bicycle rider
    • a step-by-step description of the itinerary (bound A5 format) giving the direction to follow at each intersection
    • a tourist leaflet containing a brief presentation and useful practical information (opening time, price, contact) about the points of interest along the way

    Example of a map and a step-by-step description


    GPS tracks


    For this trip, we also provide the GPS tracks on demand in the .gpx format at no extra cost.

  • Practical information
  • To get to departure point:

    • By plane: flight to Paris or Tours.
    • By train: you need to get to Tours Centre. You can take inter-regional trains from Paris-Austerlitz station. The duration of the trip is about 2h00. Or TGV (fast trains) from Paris Montparnasse (direct or connection in Saint-Pierre-des-Corps). The duration of the trip is between 1h15 and 1h45. To plan your trip, www.raileurope.com.


    Parking

    If you drive to Tours, you can park your car in a secured car park located in the city center, close to your accommodation and the train station. The daily rate is 10€ and decreases depending on the duration. The location and contact details of the car park will be given in your travel documents.


    To get back to starting point:

    Regional trains take you back to your starting point if you wish. They are accessible without booking in advance and bicycles are free. You have to buy your ticket on spot (full rate 12€/adult). There are several trains per day. You will find the timetable in your travel documents.

    We can also organise a transfer in a private vehicule on demand.


    Meeting time:

    The first day is an arrival day without cycling. You arrive whenever you want depending on from where you come. Please note that rooms are usually available in the middle of the afternoon depending on your accommodation. We thank you to advise us if you plan to arrive late.


  • Reviews
  •   Memory of the trip  

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    22 bike travelers reviews 4.67 / 5

    “ Brian ”

    On the 2017-07-18 by brian
    Great

    “ La Loire cycling ”

    On the 2017-06-14 by Kevin and Robyn
    Great trip, well organised, excellent touring, sites, food and wine.

    “ Doulce Touraine ”

    On the 2017-05-05 by Jean-Claude
    Superbe parcours très agréable

    “ A perfect vacation ”

    On the 2016-09-26 by M and M
    We will be talking about our cycling trip from Tours to Saumur for years to come! Everything was taken care of for us. All we had to do is get on the bikes (which were great) and ride. We were both sad when we had to turn the bikes back in. Can't wait to book our next trip!

    “ Loire Valley - a great ride ”

    On the 2016-09-24 by Rowan
    We really enjoyed this eight day cycle in the Loire Valley. The itinerary was well balanced with interesting landscape and cycle routes. The map books were excellent along with the cycles provided. Apart from the accommodation at Hotel Plantagenet in Chinon all the rest were excellent. This was our second trip with Velo Voyageur and on both occasions we have found them very good to deal with.

    “ Lovely family tour ”

    On the 2016-07-13 by Elisabeth
    We had a wonderful week with cycling along and near the Loire. It was very nice with some options on the route (long and short), and also the possibility of taking one day off when we had two nights in the same hotel. The option with the canoe was also a success. It was the first time we travelled with Le Vélo Voyager, and we were very impressed with friendly service and help up front, and everything was perfect organized. We travelled with a child (9 years old), and we had all a very nice "Tour da France"!

    “ No hesitation ! ”

    On the 2016-06-27 by Mihail
    excellent organization, no weak points, no problems.

    “ La Loire à Vélo, un régal ! ”

    On the 2016-06-08 by ANNICK
    Comme en 2014, entre Blois et Amboise, nous avons été enchantées par notre périple de cette année entre Tours et Saumur. Une organisation au top, des itinéraires très agréables évitant au maximum la moindre petite route ; la région est vraiment faite pour les cyclotouristes et les pistes cyclables sont partout ! Les hébergements étaient très accueillants et réparateurs ! Les vélos de grande qualité étaient parfaitement équipés. Nous plébiscitons Le Vélo Voyageur !! Un grand merci et à dans deux ans !

    “ Maggra ”

    On the 2016-05-22 by Maggra
    * Very good bikes and paniers. A trouble free ride. * Excellent hotels. * Faultless baggage and bike deliveries. * Lots of interest and variety along the route. * Velo Voyageur pre-tour organisation impressive. * A few mysteries in the directions but we never got lost. * Well done Velo Voyageur

    “ Just the right mix of sport, pleasure (wine) and culture ”

    On the 2015-09-16 by Christian, Dorte, Jakob and Anton
    We had a gorgeous holiday with velovoyageur. Everything was well organised with a lot of love to detail like the travel documents, the chosen places to stay (lovely family rooms, very tasty and large, breakfasts one was looking forward to). We were very pleased with the quality of the bikes and the equipment, everything was nearly new and we had no problems at all during the trip. Most of the rides were off the main path which left us cycling on our own most of the week which was extremely relaxing and peaceful. The length and difficulty of the daily trips were just perfect for a family with kids. Though some bits were hilly the boys (8 and11) managed well, there was not a day they moaned. We arrived in the new place around 4 pm and after a shower and a little rest we had enough energy to explore the towns and surroundings/cultural sites. The canoe trip was a great change after a few days of cycling though it was harder than we thought. We will definitely plan another holiday with velovoyageur. Thanks for planning such a lovely week!

    “ Claire ”

    On the 2015-09-14 by Claire
    La prestation est d'un très bon niveau. Le transport des bagages est très appréciables, la réactivité en cas de crevaison était excellente et la sélection des hôtels de charmes très agréable. Organisme à recommander !

    “ La Loire en Vélo ”

    On the 2015-08-30 by didier
    première expérience de vacances en vélo, parcours intéressant. visites suggérées (châteaux) appréciées, par contre visites vinicoles ( particulièrement cave de La Herpinière sans intérêts) étape en canoë entre Chinon et Montsoreau très sympa.

    “ luc ”

    On the 2015-08-30 by Luc
    J'aurai une remarque à vous faire était-il indispensable de prendre des hôtels 3 étoiles ? Surtout en vélo c'est la décontraction . Il serait plus sage de faire un peu plus simple surtout la dernière nuit nous avons eu une grande chambre a deux grands lits, à part ça tout était parfait.

    “ Québéquois a la découverte de la loire ”

    On the 2014-09-28 by Manon et Robert
    Nous avons vraiment apprécié notre séjour a vélo dans ce magnifique coin de pays.La beauté des villages et l`architecture nous a vraiment enchanté. Nous avons eu du beau temps en prime !! Un vrai coup de coeur. Manon et Robert

    “ Super! ”

    On the 2014-08-15 by Laurence
    Bonjour, J'ai été très satisfaite de mon séjour. Tout était très bien organisé et correspondait parfaitement à mes attentes. Les itinéraires étaient bien faits et bien balisés. Je recommanderai ce style de vacances à mes amis. Merci à vous. Mme PILLOT

    “ Bravo Vélo Voyageur ! ”

    On the 2014-08-05 by Camille
    Des vacances en plein air, des découvertes et aucune prise de tête pour l'organisation ! Des vraies vacances, accessibles à tous, même aux non-entraînés !

    “ La Loire à vélo ”

    On the 2014-07-31 by Yves
    Très beau parcours, bonne organisation, séjour des plus agréables. Merci.

    “ Magnifique tour! ”

    On the 2014-07-18 by Nils
    C'est un tour de vélos que je conseille à tout le monde! Tous c'est passé comme sur des roulettes! Le vélo voyageur a fait un superbe boulot. Nous nous sommes régalés dans la vallée de la Loire: dégustations de vins, châteaux, visites de villes, cyclisme, simplement parfait!

    “ Berges de Loire et châteaux ”

    On the 2014-05-05 by C&J
    Les étapes sont équilibrées, on a encore de l'énergie pour visiter les châteaux, jardins et villages troglodytes. Bon choix d'hôtels et de petits restos du soir. L'organisation est parfaite et bien pensée, on sent que c'est du vécu. Grand merci à Eugénie et Bérangère , nous rêvons déjà de repartir.

    “ Zauberhafte Radreise im Loiretal ”

    On the 2014-04-22 by Hedi und Janne
    Es war eine herrliche Radreise in einer wunderbaren Landschaft, sehr schönen Hotels, gutem Essen, ausführlichem und gutem Kartenmaterial, wonach wir alles gefunden haben, guten zusätzlichen Besichtigungstipps. Wir haben unser Ziel immer erreicht, die Steigungen waren auch für mich "Ältere"(fahre zu Hause nur selten und wenn, dann nur bei schönem Wetter) zu schaffen. Wir haben jeden Tag ein Schloss besichtigt - am besten hat uns auf unserer Route "Villandry" gefallen. Wir fanden es auch schön, so allein zu reisen und Ziele, Pausen etc. selbst bestimmen zu können. Vielen Dank für die Ausarbeitung und wir reisen bestimmt noch einmal mit Vélo Voyageur.

    “ Quand pédaler nous enchante... ”

    On the 2013-05-20 by Tulipe72
    Excellent séjour au bord de la Loire, original et varié ! Peu sportifs, nous avons apprécié les trajets en vélo sur un terrain plat et dans un environnement enchanteur, à l'abri de la circulation. Les étapes proposées sont riches en visites et découvertes ! C'est sûr, nous retournerons pédaler lors de nos prochaines vacances !

    “ Expérience inoubliable en famille ”

    On the 2012-12-11 by Donatienne
    Expérience inoubliable en famille! Très bien organisée, très bien adapté à des enfants au delà de 6 ans. Mix très agérable entre visite culturelle et balade à vélo. Au rythme de l'eau et du vélo.
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