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Loire Valley

2-week bike trip in the Loire Valley, from Orléans to the ocean

Discover most of the Loire cycle route from Orléans to Saint-Brévin. The itinerary of this self-guided journey balances biking and visiting, for the ones who have already done a previous bike trip.

Reference L1402
  • Itinerant trip
  • 14 days
  • Moderate
  • From April to October
  • Minimum age From 14 years old
GPSGPS-app available
1590€ / pers.
  • Itinerary
  • For those who are interested to experiment fully the Loire cycle route, this trip covers most of the itinerary from Orléans to the sea. During 2 weeks, bike about 600km along this beautiful river. You will be amazed every day by the landscapes, the cultural heritage, the gastronomy and the authenticity of the places on your way.

    The daily distances and visits are balanced, that’s why some stages are longer than others. From the land of the French kings to the land of the dukes of Brittany, to the inlands of France to the seaside, from peaceful villages to the active cities of the West, discover different sides of France and chapters of the French history. In one word, spend memorable holidays!

    Day 1

     
     

    Arrival in Orléans

    Orléans was a very flourishing city during medieval times and has hosted many famous figures such as Saint-Aignan, Calvin and of course Jeanne of Arc. Discover its rich history by visiting the Sainte-Croix Cathedral, the crypt of Saint-Aignan, the restored house where Jeanne of Arc stayed and the many manisions like Hôtel Groslot or Hôtel des Créneaux.

    Day 2

     
     

    Orléans - Beaugency

    Bike
    39km
    Ride leisurely on the river banks surrounded by a lush vegetation to Cléry St André basilica, where the French King Louis XI is buried. You go further along the river to Meung-sur-Loire. This small medieval town was the residency of the archbishops of Orléans and inherited a nice collegiate church. Stop at the castle and stroll aroung the historic center before heading to your final destination of the day, Beaugency overlooked by its 11th century dungeon.

    Day 3

     
     

    Beaugency - Blois

    Bike
    49km
    You continue your ride to Blois, enter chateau de Chambord’s magnificent forest and take a peek at the sculpted salamanders engraved on the walls of Loire’s most extravagant castle. You pass through quiet villages before getting back along the river and enjoying a wonderful view on Blois old town. Discover the charms of the chateau de Blois, which was the stage of many court plots. Look carefully at the spiral staircase and be amazed by this architectural marvel.

    Day 4

     
     

    Blois - Amboise

    Bike
    50km
    Continue your journey towards Amboise on cycle paths along the Loire river and low-traffic country roads. In Chaumont-sur-Loire, you can still see the traditional flat-bottomed boats, called "toues", swinging beneath the impressive castle. Take a break to stroll around the many ephemeral creations of the International Garden Festival in the park of the castle. Cycle further on the hillsides to Amboise. History buffs will linger at the castle, while science lovers will visit the Clos Lucé where an incredible collection of inventions by Leonardo da Vinci is on display.

    Day 5

     
     

    Day trip to the castle of Chenonceau

    Bike
    45/70km
    2 route options
    Your tranquil bike route today leads you through idyllic natural beauty with rivers and forests, leading to the most iconic Chateaux de la Loire, the "Chateau de Chenonceau". This historical castle had an almost uninterrupted succession of women who built, restored and saved the castle. Today it is one of the most photographed castles in France. If you like, continue riding along the banks of the Cher River until you reach the underground city near Bourre. This suberranan city can be viewed to experience what life was like living in a cave-structure. You’ll see an amazing reconstruction of an underground city.

    Day 6

     
     

    Amboise-Tours

    Bike
    26/34km
    2 route options
    Today you have a choice about which wine route to take to get to the charming town of Tours. Both routes offer great scenery and pleasant ride! One route leads you through Vouvray’s sparkling wine vineyards with picture-postcard scenery. The other route leads you through the Montlouis-sur-Loire stunning white wine region.

    Day 7

     
     

    Tours - Azay

    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.

    Day 8

     
     

    Azay - Chinon

    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 9

     
     

    Chinon - Saumur

    Bike
    35/48km
    2 route options
    You continue to ride along the Vienne River and enjoy the view on the wild Loire banks. You arrive in the gorgeous small village of Candes-Saint-Martin built with freestone. You can stop to admire the XIIth century foundation church. Keep on to Montsoreau which is one of the “Loveliest Villages in France” built around its castle. From there, you have the option to 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. Otherwise ride straight to Saumur. On your yay you admire the cave house villages and stop to taste Saumur wines in the numerous wine cellars. Discover Saumur and its castle with impressive dungeons at the end of this idyllic ride.

    Day 10

     
     

    Saumur - Angers

    Bike
    66km
    You exit Saumur and ride along peacefully the Loire through peaceful villages with a rich heritage. Do not miss the medieval churches in the villages on your way. In Treves, you can see the famous 30m high tower, the last remnant of a fortress built in the 15th century! Before reaching Gennes, ride through a forest and along a pond, which offers one of the most beautiful areas of the Loire to picnic and relax. Then, you cross the Loire and the Loiret in Ponts-de-Cé and ride down the Loire to the confluence of the Maine. Finally, Angers appears with its castle, its fortress and its lively streets.

    Day 11

     
     

    Angers - Ancenis area

    Bike
    66km
    Retrace your track out of Angers along the Maine river to the confluence with the Loire. Continue away from the river on the slopes of the prestigious Savennières vineyard. After crossing the island of Chalonnes, one of the biggest of the Loire Valley, ride on the South bank of the river. Do not hesitate to ride uphill to explore the perched village of Montjean-sur-Loire and a few kilometers further in Saint-Florent-le-Vieil to visit the abbey on top of Mont Glone. Continue your ride on country roads surrounded by groves. Cross the Loire river for the last time of the day to proceed into Ancenis and admire its impressive medieval castle.

    Day 12

     
     

    Ancenis - Nantes

    Bike
    39km
    Start the day reaching the lovely town of Oudon and its impressive dungeon guarding the city. You get to the left bank of the river to Champtoceaux, old medieval fortress. Riding along the river and its islands, you’ll cross the first lamb’s lettuce fields near Nantes.

    Eventually, a nice shady cycle path will take you to the Dukes’ city. Pass by the former LU biscuit factory, nowadays cultural and artistic center. Your itinerary ends in front of the beautiful Ducs de Bretagne castle, in the historical center of Nantes.

    Day 13

     
     

    Nantes - Saint-Brévin

    Bike
    70km
    This stage takes the South bank of the Loire estuary. You cycle out of Nantes passing on the island and its artistic site, Les Machines de l’Ile. You ride further to the colourful neighborhood of Trentemoult, then through the shopping and residential areas before going through typical villages of the estuary hills. After Le Pellerin, you cycle along the canal de la Martinière and at the end, arrive in the port of Paimboeuf. You can already feel the fresh sea air. You finish the day with a breathtaking view on the bridge of Saint-Nazaire, at the entrance of Saint-Brévin.

    Day 14

     
     

    Departure from Saint-Brévin

    After breakfast, you leave for your next destination or extend your stay as you wish.
  • Accommodation
  • Category A

    You’ll enjoy staying in these clean and cozy 2-Star hotels that give you a pleasant rest after your day of biking. Breakfast is included when you spend the night in these friendly and family-run hotels.
    * Example of the type of accommodation

    Category B

    You’ll get a good night’s sleep when you stay in these 3-Star hotels or Bed and Breakfasts. All properties have been selected for their cleanliness, style and friendliness of the staff. A hearty breakfast is included!
    * Example of the type of accommodation

    Category C

    You’ll have a wider selection of accommodations when you choosing this 3/4-Star category. Some nights you’ll stay in guaints hotels, and other times you might be in a charming Bed and Breakfast. Enjoy the "vie de chateau" atmosphere in an exceptional environment. Properties are selected for their high standards and impeccable service. Don’t forget...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 (+1m55).

    You can of course also bring your own bikes, in this case a reduction will be applied (see the Tariff tab)


    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

  • Practical information
  • To get to departure point:

    • By plane: flight to Paris or Tours and then train to Orléans.
    • By train: inter-regional trains from Paris-Austerlitz station to Orléans Centre. The estimated duration of the trip is 1h05. From Tours, you can take a regional train to Orléans Centre. The approximate duration of the trip is 1h15. To plan your trip, www.raileurope.com.


    Parking

    If you drive to Orléans, you can park your car in a secured car park located in the city center, close to your accommodation and the train station. The rate from 8 to 14 days is 50€. 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 20.10€/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.

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