Châteaux of the Loire
CHÂTEAUX OF THE LOIRE CYCLING TOUR
Famous for its outstanding castles, manors and vast expanses of natural Gallic beauty, the Loire region lends itself perfectly to a cycling holiday. Loire is an enormous region with much to explore from two wheels, so get on your bike with our partner Saddle Skedaddle . for the adventure of a lifetime.
You’ll be staying at specially picked hotels and guesthouses on your tour, with your luggage transported from place to place for you. We’ve summarised the tour below, but you can find out more on the Saddle Skedaddle website
Day 1 & 2
Day 1 – Arrival into tours: Once you’ve reached your hotel in Tours you’ll be given your bike if you’re hiring, as well as your route notes and maps. You’ll be briefed by a local representative where you will have the chance to answer any last minute questions. If you arrive early, you’ll also be able to explore the historic centre of Tours.
Tours to Chinon - 38 miles: Follow the River Cher to Château de Villandry with its exquisite landscaped gardens. From there head towards River Loire and passed Château de Langeais, another fairy-tale establishment. The Gothic and Renaissance tapestries inside, alongside the well-preserved furniture, make for a fantastic walk around. Cycle onward to Château d’Ussé, named Sleeping Beauty’s castle, before reaching Chinon where you’ll be spending the night
Day 3,4 and 5
Chinon to Fontevraud - 34 Or 43 miles: Today poses several options. You can cycle from Chinon to the imposing yet beautiful Abbaye de Fontevraud, founded in 1101 and Europe’s largest remaining monastic city. You’ll then venture to Saumur, a beautiful and majestic Gallic town. Take repose in the stunning gardens before you head back to Chinon.
Day 4 – Chinon to Azay-le-Rideau - 22 miles: Cycle through vineyards and villages through Crissay, home to artists and artisans. From there head to Azay-le-Rideau and visit the Château Azay-le-Rideau, a castle islanded in the middle of a river. Stay out a little later for the gourmet night market and tred the ancient cobbled streets.
Day 5 – Azay-Le-Rideau To Chenonceaux – 37 miles: This route is one of the most romantic river routes in Europe. Begin by following the River Indre than, after a brief ascent, follow the downhill slope to join River Cher. The route will take you through meadow paths to Bléré, a quaint market town. Cross the river to the Château de Chenonceaux which bridges the river with elegant archways.
Day 6,7 and 8
Day 6 – Chenonceaux to Blois – 47 miles: Cycle through Montrichard, a charming market town, towards Château de Cheverny, a completely symmetrical structure, before visiting the grand Château de Chambord. Surrounded by forestry, discover Château de Chambord as it emerges from between the trees. The final ride of the day takes you to your accommodation in Blois. Make sure to visit the Château de Blois while you’re here.
Day 7 – Blois to tours - 47 miles: On your journey back to Tours from Blois try to spot the dwellings that exist in the riverside cliffs, dug into the limestone. You’ll pass through the medieval town of Amboise, as well as the Château d’ Amboise where Leonardo Da Vinci spent his sunset years. There is a museum here dedicated to his work. From here you’ll pass through vineyards before reaching Tours.
Day 8 – Departure from tours: Explore the rest of Tours, from beautiful gardens to medieval architecture, on your final day before the drive back to Dieppe, Dunkirk or Calais for your ferry back to England.