EUR 859.00

France - Cycling along the Loire - Castles and La Route Royale. 8 days

- La route royal -

The Loire Valley – the quintessence of the romantic France! The rural charm of this region is in no way inferior to the cultural wealth of its cities. But of course, the castles on the river Loire are the reason, above all else, why this region is so famous. Kings, feudal lords and ladies of the court, seduced by the beautiful natural setting of the Loire Valley, had there, in the ‘garden of France’, several hundred castles, manor houses and dreamy residences built. Villandry, Langeais, Ussé, Chinon,  Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceaux, Chambord, Blois, just to name the most important ones. Each one of them would be worth a separate holiday, however together they truly display a one of a kind route of dreams as far as architecture and scenery is concerned. A first class cycling holiday in every way.

About the route
Mainly flat on cycle paths and low traffic secondary roads with almost consistently very good signposting. The terrain in the vineyards is somewhat more hilly and there are also a few short ascents to tackle.  

Highlights while cycling along the Loire

  • Splendid palaces, noble stately homes and oppulent gardens
  • Scenic and cultural splendor
  • Loire wines
  • The charm of the French „savoir-vivre“

 

Free cancellation

Itinerary See all daysClose all days

Day 1 Arrival in Tours

Already discover the historic centre Touraine today, the highly-praised ‚Garden of France‘.

Category A+B - Hotel (example): Ibis Styles Centre
 

Day 2 Tours – Chinon

The river Cher leads you directly to the castle Villandry with its terraced gardens. Certainly, you should not miss paying a visit to this famous installation. Every visitor will be amazed by the shadowy footpaths, the flower-bedecked bowers, the fountains and the artistically laid out vegetable gardens. Some kilometres further on you will exchange the bank of the Cher for the bank of the famous Loire. And again you will be tempted by the next castle – Langeais. From the top of the fortified tower (this castle exclusively served for military purposes) you will see the river and its whole surroundings lying in front of you. On the verge of the dark and mysterious forest of Chinon rises the castle of Ussé, the castle of the Sleeping Beauty. Via small villages and on side roads you will reach today’s destination – Chinon.

Distance: approx. 55km
Category A - Hotel (example): Diderot
Category B - Hotel (example): St. Jacques

Day 3 Loop tour Fontevraud l´Abbaye

The Vienne escorts you first in the small village Candes-St-Matin. A grandiose and romantic church was built at the place of death of the holy St. Martin. In Montsoreau conflate the Vienne with the powerful Loire – a impressing natural spectacle. These ‘cave gardens’ are approx. 800 km long. Your cyclist calves take you first to Fontervraud l’Abbey. Nowhere else in this world, you will find a medieval monastery that is so entirely preserved like the one in Fontervraud. You pass the birth house of Francois Rabelais, the famous author and also through the valley, where his story line of the book “Gargantua” takes place.

Distance: approx. 55km
Category A - Hotel (example): Diderot
Category B - Hotel (example): St. Jacques

Day 4 Chinon – Azay-le-Rideau

You leave Chinon with its medieval alleys, which crowd between the river and the rocks, towards the north. The tour leads you through vineyards and lonely villages. Like Crissay, once entirely deserted – it is now resettled by artists and people who always know how to make the best of things. But don’t be afraid – there will also be a castle for admiration today: to be precise, one of extremely high quality – Azay-le-Rideau. Balzac wrote about it “a diamond with thousand facets, set by the Indre”. What could we add to this? You will spend the night in town and have, therefore, the chance to enjoy the magic of the castle with its cultural events.

Distance: approx. 40km
Category A - Hotel (example): de Biencourt
Category B - Hotel (example): Val de Loire

Day 5 Azay-le-Rideau – Chenonceaux

There is another highlight in store: this time concerning nature. Through the romantic river landscape, steadily following the Indre, you will reach Montbazon. A short ascent awaits you. By pedalling really hard over a mountain ridge you reach the Cher Valley. On meadow paths and along the Cher you go to Bléré, a small market town. For many visitors the Castle of Chenonceaux is the topping on the cake. A magnificent, double floored bridge gallery goes over the river. But before the lovely palace garden will enthuse your eyes. But see and discover on your own.

Distance: approx. 60km
Category A - Hotel (example): La Roseraie
Category B - Hotel (example): Logis Le Relais

Day 6 Chenonceaux – Blois

Today you have to choose between two tour variants: the shorter stage takes you through the lovely landscape of the Touraine to the Castle Chaumont, and then on romantic paths along the Loire to Blois. After moving into your hotel room you will go out on reconnaissance! The Castle Blois with its galleries, projected balconies and bay windows could be your destination.
Or there is the second, longer variant for all lovers of the Loire Castles: via Montrichard, Cheverny, Villesavine to the Castle Chambord. As far as the eye can see the ‘Domaine de Chambrod’ stretches here. Already from a distance, you can see the walls of the biggest and most magnificent residence on the Loire shimmering through the trees. It is the immortal legacy of a disloyal king. You are spoilt for choice!

Distance: approx. 50-80km
Category A - Hotel (example): Anne de Bretagne 
Category B - Hotel (example): Le Monarque

Day 7 Blois – Tours

The river flows between the gold shimmering sandbanks in a leisurely manner. Typical of this area are the rock housings, which are directly built into the soft lime stones. Sometimes, only the rising smoke reveals their existence. You cross the Loire in order to appreciate the most royal of all the Loire Castles: Castle Ambois. It accommodated five kings and a Roman emperor. In addition, a genius of the 16th century attracts your attention – Leonardo da Vinci, who spent his last years in Ambois. On the Loire Cycle Path you keep cycling on to Tours. Alternatively take the train (independently) from Amboise and hence cut the stage short by about 30 km.

Distance: approx. 75km (can be shortened by about 30km by taking the train)
Category A+B - Hotel (example): Ibis Styles Centre

 

Day 8 Departure or extension

This tour is now over. During the morning you check out from the hotel. It is possible to book extra nights after the tour if you prefer.

Price includes

Not included
  • Transportation to/from France
  • Tourist tax (if due)
  • Handling fee (EUR 20)
  • optional: Bike rental, including bike insurance
EUR 859.00

Practical info

General information

The price is based upon two people sharing. It is also possible travel alone in a single room. Simply choose "1 person" in the booking form and it will automatically add the single room surcharge.

On this tour you will be on your own supplied with maps, route descriptions and luggage transfers. That means that your time is your own and you have plenty of time to enjoy the stages in your own pace.

Check the price quickly
You can quickly check the price of your desired trip without having to fill in anything. Here's how:

  1. Choose your desired start date
  2. Click on the green button "See price and reserve your holiday" and go to the booking form
  3. Select number of people, add any optional extras and see the price at the bottom of the page (you don't have to fill in anything on the form).

Get a quote
For example, if you want a flight included or changes to the trip, you can order a quote for this using the "Get a quote" button. Remember to describe in detail what, if anything, you want changed.

The process of your booking
When you book, we will start booking hotels and arranging all the practical details of the trip. This process typically takes 2-5 working days, but some bookings may take longer. If you are arranging your own transport, we recommend that you wait until we have confirmed your booking before arranging this.

Dates
If you can select the date in the tour calendar at the top of this page, this is a possible start date. We continually update the tours with sold-out dates, after which those dates will turn red and cannot be selected.

Transportation / Flights

The flights to/from Paris are not included in the price. You can easily find a suitable flight via a flight booking engine such as Momondo or Skyscanner.

Notice: we recommend that you book with us and wait for the confirmation before you book your flights.

It works like this:

  1. You book your chosen holiday with us
  2. We confirm your holiday (usually within 2-5 working days)
  3. You arrange your transportation

Book a quote
If you prefer that we handle your flight, then we would be happy to arrange this for you. You simply book a quote below the map on this page and we will return with a quote as soon as possible (usually within 48 working hours). Please note that we add a handling fee of 45 euro to each flight and this means that the flight will be cheaper if you book it yourself.

Bike rental

On all our cycling holidays it is possible bring your own bike but it also possible to rent a bike for the tour. The bikes you can rent are all perfectly suited for the tour and the local terrain and all bikes are perfectly maintained. If you want to rent a bike on your holiday, then you select this on the booking form where you can also see the price. Remember to write your height in the message field when you book so that we know which size bike you need.

PHOTOS OF THE BIKES ARE BELOW THIS TEXT

On this tour it is possible to rent the following bikes:

  • Unisex 21-gear bike – with free wheel
  • Unisex 7-gear bike – with back pedal breaks
  • Gents bike 21 gear – with free wheel
  • PLUS gents bike 27 gear – with free wheel
  • Unisex ebike – with backpedal breaks

 

Equipment included in the bike rental:

  • Saddle bag (water repellent)
  • Handlebar bag (water repellent)
  • Service-set with tools and extra bicycle tube
  • Combination lock

 

Roadside assistance

All bikes are equipped with puncture resistant tyres which means that it is virtually impossible to puncture. No rule without exceptions, so should you experience a punctured tyre then you can quickly fix it by using the tools in the service-set. If the damage is greater than a simply puncture then you simply call us and we make sure that your bike is fixed or you will be supplied with a new bike as quickly as possible.

 

Insurance is included

Insurance against theft and damages are included in the bike rental. Should you have any problems of this nature then all you have to do is to let us know and we will supply a new bike as quickly as possible. Naturally, careless or mischievous behavior is exempt from this.  

Unisex 21-gear bike – with free wheel / Unisex 7-gear bike – with back pedal breaks

Bike rental Cycling holidays standard bike

Gents bike 21 gear – with free wheel

Gents bike standard bike cycling holiday

PLUS gents bike 27 gear – with free wheel

Plus bike rental for cycling holiday

Unisex ebike – with backpedal breaks

Ebike rental cycling holiday with ebike

Accommodation

On this tour you will be accommodated in 3-star hotels (Category A) or in 2-star and 3-star hotels (Category B)

In the itinerary you can see some examples of the hotels we use on this tour. Notice that the hotels are examples and you may end up staying in different hotels. It depends on availability when you book the tour.

Food & Drink

Breakfast is included every day. It is easy to find lunch in the small villages before the walks and you will have plenty of choices for dinner in the many restaurants.

Luggage transfer

Luggage transfer is included on this tour. Upon arrival at the first hotel you will be given luggage tags along with the rest of the welcome package. You fill out the luggage tags and put them on your bags where they will remain for the duration of the tour.

Your luggage is picked up from the hotel lobby around 9am every morning and will arrive at your next hotel at 6pm at the latest (often long before that). If there are any special exceptions to the luggage transfer you will be notified upon arrival.

Luggage transfer includes one bag per guest and the bags can weigh 20kg each.

Route & Difficulty

This tour has difficulty grade 2.

Grade 2
For cyclists who like hilly terrain and a bit longer distances. You cycle on good roads, which usually don’t have much traffic. The distance is between 35 – 60 km or 20 – 38 miles. If you are capable of riding a bike and you have a normal good health, you should not worry about going on these tours.

Read more about our Grading System

Route and elevation profile

Here you can get an overview of the entire route and the elevation profile for each day. The data shows the data from the GPX-files related to the tour. Notice that the routes are sometimes updated, which means that there might be small variations.

Se a map of the whole route

Se the elevation profile

Colors
Blue routes: The route as normal
Red routes: Variations/options (such as shortened or extended routes)

Tour documentation

You will recieve the following documentation

Upon booking
You recieve practical information about the tour in a digital format

One month before arrival
You recieve your hotel list and your voucher (hotel list is often supplied upon booking)

Upon arrival
You recieve the welcome package which contains the printed version of the road book, luggage tags, local specific vouchers and if you have rented bikes then they will also be delivered and fitted at the first hotel.

Children's discount and shared rooms

On this trip there is a discount for children and people sharing a room with "two fully paying adults". The discount depends on the child’s age, as follows:

Children under 5.99 years: free of charge
Children between 6 and 11.99 years: 50% discount
Children between 12 - 14.99 years: 25% discount
People from 15 years and up: 10% discount

Example 1
2 adults and 1 child. In this case it’s very easy because you are staying in the same room. The child will receive a discount in relation to the above prices.

Example 2
2 adults and 2 children (age 5 and 13 years old): in this case you have two options. If you want to stay in two double rooms, then we apply the full price for all participants. If you want to sleep in the same room (eg. a family room), both children will receive a discount (respectively free or 25%)

Example 3
2 adults and 3 children (age: 7, 13 and 15 years). Here you will probably need two double rooms, where the youngest child is sleeping with the parents.  Therefore, there will only be a discount for the youngest child of 7 years who will receive a 50% discount.

Example 4
3 adults who want to sleep in the same double room. Then extra adult will receive a 10% discount.

Notice
On our booking form you can only choose "adults" because our website cannot calculate children's discount by itself. Therefore, you should simply enter the details of the children's age, date of birth and, if desired, the room distribution in the notification area when you book the trip. Then we arrange and adjust the price later after.

It is important that you understand that it is your own responsibility when you choose to bring your children on the trips. You should check the difficulty levels descriptions and from there, consider whether the specific trip is suitable for your child. In general, we do not recommend that children under the age of 15 participate in trips where the difficulty is over 2.

Climate

It can be hard to plan your trip according to the weather, but to give an idea of the local climate, you can see the data below:
The statistics are from yr.no.

Climate in Tours

The Travel Guarantee Fund

Travel Guarantee Fund

We are members of the Travel Guarantee Fund (nr. 2529) and have all available insurances. Read more about that here.

Have any questions?

Call our experts on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Phone: +44 20 3936 1208

Or write to us at

[email protected]

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