Loire Valley, France

Captivating charm and historic grandeur

Loire Valley, France

Captivating charm and historic grandeur

Loire Valley, France

Captivating charm and historic grandeur

Loire Valley, France

Captivating charm and historic grandeur

Loire Valley, France

Captivating charm and historic grandeur

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Highlights

    • Custom start date and tour length, personal itineraries and service
    • Local expert guides who live in the area delivering superior insight
    • Relatively flat terrain with much of the riding on designated bike paths
    • France’s most extravagant castles and fortresses
    • A captivating blend of bucolic charm and historic grandeur
    • Beautifully preserved towns, including a UNESCO World Heritage site

Seasons

Spring, Summer and Fall

Starting / Ending City

Start: Orléans
End: Tours

Tour Length

3 to 10 days

Trip Types

◊ Self-Guided
With our Self-Guided tours an expert local guide takes care of your transfers, route briefing, luggage moves, and planned transfers. They are also available should you need mechanical assistance, help with a dinner reservation, or general questions. You have a GPS unit, maps, and a detailed guidebook to help you select your route, choose where you eat, and, generally, explore the area.

◊ Guided Group
Our Guided tours allow your group to explore a destination with an expert local guide with a dedicated support vehicle. You will also have GPS units, maps and a detailed guidebook to help learn about both the major sights and the hidden gems. Your guide takes care of both you and all the logistics – from route advice to bottle washing.

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Private Loire Valley Cycling Tours

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    Where do you want to stay?

    Budget

    Two Star Silverton Inn Suites

    Simple B&Bs and more modest hotels but all well-kept with en suite facilities

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    Classic

    Four Star accommodation

    Smaller hotels or luxurious B&Bs with very personal service often including wine tasting

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    Luxury

    Luxury accommodation

    Some of the nicest full-service hotels in the area. Typically include a pool and a good restaurant

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    Sample Itinerary

    Lorie_Valley_Castle

    Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Loire Valley is an outstanding cultural landscape with châteaux, vineyards, and historic towns. The area has some of France’s most extravagant castles and fortresses, each telling a tale of regal grandeur and architectural opulence. The area is also known as the Garden of France for its rich agricultural lands and vineyards.

     

    The Loire Valley is relatively flat and much of the riding is along dedicated bike paths. These combine to make this a great destination for intermediate, leisure, and family cycling.

    TOUR LENGTH

    6 Days / 5 Nights

    ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

    Budget  

    Classic  

    Luxury  

    START & END

    Start: Orléans

    End: Tours

    SERVICE HIGHLIGHTS

    • Private transfer from Orléans with bike set up and route briefing at the start of your ride 
    • Bilingual guides delivering superior service 
    • Handpicked accommodations with breakfast 
    • On-call roadside assistance 
    • Luggage moved between lodgings and optional participant transfers along the routes 
    • Personalized GPS app and guidebook 
    • Private transfer back to the city of Tours at the end of your tour 

    OPTIONAL EXTRAS

    • Alternative start/end location in Tours/Orléans 
    • Castle tours, wine tours, hot air balloon rides, boat tours, and kayaking 

    BIKE AVAILABILITY

    DAY-BY-DAY FLOW

    Day 1: Orléans to Blois

    Day 2: Blois Loop Day

    Day 3: Blois to Amboise

    Day 4: Amboise Loop Day

    Day 5: Amboise to Montbazon

    Day 6: Montbazon Loop Day

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    Day One - Orléans to Blois

    The Intermediate ride starts with a van transfer to the charming medieval town of Beaugency. From here you ride on a bike path following the curves of the Loire River. The highlight of today’s ride is Château de Chambord, the largest castle in the Loire. The route from Chambord to Blois is on cycle routes that travel through numerous small villages.

    Leisure riders are transferred to the village of Muides-sur-Loire where they join the Intermediate route two miles before Château de Chambord.

    Challenge riders begin just outside Orléans following a dedicated cycle route to the south of the Loire River before crossing back over the river at Meung-sur-Loire, with its stunning castles and gardens. Soon after Meung-sur-Loire, you join the Intermediate route in Beaugency.

    The Road route – that avoids unpaved bike paths – begins in Beaugency and takes a meandering course on small lanes through pretty villages and open fields, crossing over the Loire River at Meung-sur-Loire. It then takes a direct route through a forest to Château de Chambord. Occasionally the road route joins the other routes where the bike paths are paved.

    The highlight of today’s ride is Château de Chambered, the largest castle in the Loire

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure

    20 miles with 600 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    30 miles with 850 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    30 miles with 1,200 feet of climbing

    Road
    30 miles with 1,000 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Blois

    Blois sits on a rocky outcrop on the northern bank of the Loire River. It is a captivating city rich in history and architectural splendor, including the majestic Château de Blois. The city suffered heavy damage during WWII but still exudes charm with its cobblestone streets, medieval timbered houses, and vibrant culture.

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    Day Two - Blois Loops or Rest Day

    The Intermediate ride is a pleasant loop on mostly flat bike paths that pass through a handful of quaint villages. The highlight of the ride is the spectacular 17th-century Château de Cheverny. This elegant castle has a strikingly simple exterior contrasting with the sumptuous interiors and impressive art collection. Dog lovers should visit the impressive kennels. On your return to Blois, you have the option to visit a second castle: Château de Beauregard. There is then a stunning ride through a forest back to Blois.

    Leisure riders take a shorter route to Château de Beauregard. From here you return to Blois taking a direct route on quiet bike paths through a forest.

    The Challenge route departs from the Intermediate route at Mont-près-Chambord where it makes a longer loop to the south through farmlands. You pass the occasional vineyard and enjoy a long section through a beautiful, forested estate. You then rejoin the Intermediate route at Cheverny.

    The Road route is similar to the Intermediate route but takes a longer loop to the west, avoiding the unpaved bike path through the forest and bypassing Château de Beauregard.

    Ride through quaint villages and return to Blois on a stunning trail through a forest

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    20 miles with 700 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    30 miles with 1,000 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    45 miles with 1,400 feet of climbing

    Road
    30 miles with 900 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Blois

    Blois sits on a rocky outcrop on the northern bank of the Loire River. It is a captivating city rich in history and architectural splendor, including the majestic Château de Blois. The city suffered heavy damage during WWII but still exudes charm with its cobblestone streets, medieval timbered houses, and vibrant culture.

    a

    Day Three - Blois to Amboise

    All today’s routes pass by Château de Chaumont: an extraordinary castle boasting exquisite gardens, art exhibitions, and panoramic views.

    The Intermediate route leaves Blois on the cycle route adjacent to the river. The route winds south, firstly through farmland and then through forests. After Château de Chaumont, the route continues inland on country lanes past vineyards and through pretty villages. The short descent into Amboise passes Château du Clos Lucé, the former home of Leonardo Da Vinci.

    Leisure riders are transferred to the village of Candé-sur-Beuvron, where they join the Intermediate route, five miles before Château de Chaumont.

    The Challenge route splits from the Intermediate route at Château de Chaumont, where it turns south to the village of Montrichard Val de Cher, famous for its wine and its mushroom caves.

    The Road route follows the Intermediate route to Château de Chaumont but explores deeper into the countryside, avoiding the rougher sections of the bike paths.

    Château de Chaumont: an extraordinary castle boasting exquisite gardens, art exhibitions, and panoramic views

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    20 miles with 700 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    25 miles with 1,000 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    45 miles with 1,700 feet of climbing

    Road

    35 miles with 1,100 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Amboise

    A harmonious blend of Medieval and Renaissance charm on the southern bank of the Loire River. The skyline is dominated by the Château d’Amboise, the residence of Charles VIII. The town is the final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci. There are breathtaking views of the Loire River from the hillside.

    a

    Day Four -Amboise Loops (A) or Rest Day

    All today’s routes visit Château de Chenonceau, one of the most elegant castles in the Loire Valley.

    The Intermediate loop starts on a dedicated bike path through the Forêt d’Amboise after which you exit into vineyards with fine views of the Cher River. After crossing the river into Bléré the route continues to Château de Chenonceau. The return route to Amboise alternates between forest and open country lanes.

    The Leisure route is a direct out and back to Château de Chenonceau, using country lanes and forest roads.

    Challenge riders follow the Intermediate route to Château de Chenonceau, where the routes diverge and there is a short climb onto a plateau with rolling farmlands and quiet villages. The route turns west, just south of Château de Chaumont and descends on country lanes through vineyards and pretty villages, back to Amboise.

    Road riders split from the Intermediate route at Château de Chenonceau, heading east and north like the Challenge route but not as big a loop.

    Château de Chenonceau is one of the most elegant castles in the Loire Valley

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    20 miles with 900 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    30 miles with 1,200 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    45 miles with 1,600 feet of climbing

    Road

    35 miles with 1,300 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Amboise

    A harmonious blend of Medieval and Renaissance charm on the southern bank of the Loire River. The skyline is dominated by the Château d’Amboise, the residence of Charles VIII. The town is the final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci. There are breathtaking views of the Loire River from the hillside.

    a

    Day Five -Amboise to Montbazon

    The Intermediate route is a leisurely cruise south and west; a blend of bucolic charm and historic grandeur. The route features three rivers: you start out on the Loire River, cross over the Cher River, and finally follow the Indre River into Montbazon. En route you have the opportunity to visit the Château de Nitray, a 16th-century gem nestled amidst lush greenery. Approaching Montbazon, the terrain transitions to dense woodland before reaching Montbazon and its grand fortress.

    The Leisure route follows the Intermediate route to Château de Nitray, where it splits and takes a slightly more direct path to Montbazon.

    Challenge riders explore a longer southern loop after Château de Nitray, taking in more of the lush countryside, rustic farmsteads, and charming cottages.

    A leisurely cruise that is a captivating blend of bucolic charm and historic grandeur

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    20 miles with 800 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    25 miles with 1,000 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    40 miles with 1,700 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    Montbazon

    A quiet community situated along the Indre River surrounded by verdant landscapes. The town’s iconic fortress, Château de Montbazon, rises up dramatically from the town and has panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. The town also has a small selection of charming shops and good restaurants.

    a

    Day Six - Montbazon Loops – Last Day

    The first point of interest on the Intermediate route is the majestic Domaine de Cande. The castle was made famous in 1937 as the location for the marriage of the Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIII of England) and Mrs. Wallis Simpson. The route continues through open farmland to the river Cher where riders can visit the “Petrified Caves”, a limestone quarry from the Middle Ages with impressive stalactites and stalagmites. The final feature of the route is the Château de Villandry, one of the most famous of the Loire Valley castles with stunning geometric gardens.

    Leisure riders enjoy a shorter loop to the castle of Domaine de Cande, returning to Montbazon via fields and scenic forests.

    The Challenge route follows the Intermediate route to the Cher River where it crosses over for a pleasant eight-mile loop on a quiet, peaceful “island” that nestles between the Cher River and the Loire River.

    Château de Villandry is one of the most famous Loire Valley castles with stunning geometric gardens

    RIDE OPTIONS

    Leisure
    15 miles with 600 feet of climbing

    Intermediate
    30 miles with 1,100 feet of climbing

    Challenge
    40 miles with 1,300 feet of climbing

    OVERNIGHT TOWN

    None

    As this is the last day of your tour, there is no overnight accommodation unless explicitly requested on booking.

    Blois:

    Anne de Bretagne
    This is a simple, modern, and functional hotel in a nice location – on the edge of town by the Château Royal de Blois. Rooms are modern, clean, and comfortable – many with great views of the castle. The staff are warm and welcoming. Note that there is no air conditioning.

    Amboise:

    Hôtel la Brèche
    This hotel is located just north of the Loire River in a quiet part of the town – 20-minute walk into the center. There is a warm welcome and good quality service. This hotel has an exceptional restaurant on site that is very popular with locals and tourists alike. The rooms are clean and pleasant. Note that there is no air conditioning.

    Montbazon:

    Logis du Lièvre d’Or

    This first-rate B&B has simple, spacious, and comfortable rooms. The owners are wonderfully hospitable and welcoming. Outside, the property has a pretty garden with a pool. It is a 20-minute walk through a suburban area to the center of Montbazon. Note that is no air conditioning.

    Holland budget hotel features

    ACCOMMODATION NOTES

    Properties in our Budget category are typically simpler B&Bs and more modest inns or hotels. However, all the properties are well-kept with en suite facilities.

    Mix & Match
    You can choose accommodation in different categories in different towns. Please ask for prices.

    Blois:

    La Perluette
    An impressive 19th-century mansion. Hosts Dominique and Georges are charming and knowledgeable, and welcome guests with great warmth. The rooms are individually and tastefully decorated with most having views of the Loire River. The location makes it an easy 5-minute walk to the center of town.

    Amboise:

    Le Clos d’Amboise
    This sumptuous 17th-century house was converted into a charming boutique hotel in 2003. It features elegant rooms, gourmet dining, and a tranquil garden with pool. The hotel also boasts one of the best restaurants in the town. It is set in the heart of Amboise, close to the shops, points of interest and restaurants.

    Montbazon:

    Domaine de la Tortinière
    A boutique château-hotel located just north of Montbazon in a vast park stretching over forty acres with the river Indre flowing through it. The bedrooms combine classic style with modern comforts, and many have magnificent views over the Indre valley. There is a pool and an excellent restaurant.

    Holland classic hotel features

    ACCOMMODATION NOTES

    Properties in the Classic category are typically smaller hotels or luxurious B&Bs with very personal service sometimes including wine tasting or evening hors d’oeuvres.

    Mix & Match
    You can choose accommodation in different categories in different towns. Please ask for prices.

    Blois:

    Fleur de Loire
    This truly exceptional hotel, located on the banks of the Loire River, was once a 17th-century manor, opening as a hotel in 2022. It is the life work of 2-star Michelin chef Christophe Hay. There are two excellent restaurants (to be expected), a patisserie kiosk, a spa, and swimming pool. A unique blend of storied past with modern indulgence.

    Amboise

    Le Manoir les Minimes
    This converted 15th-century convent is located by the river near the center of Amboise. The rooms are spacious and exquisitely decorated. There are magnificent views of both the river and the Château Royal from the terraces and some rooms.

    Montbazon:

    Château d’Artigny
    A Belle Époque castle in a 60-acre park with marble statues, woodwork and trompe l’oeil frescos. This elegant hotel is located 1.5 miles from Montbazon. Most rooms have views over the river or the gardens. The property includes a pool, a spa, and an excellent restaurant. Note, air conditioning is only available in the rooms in the main building.

    Holland luxury hotel features

    ACCOMMODATION NOTES

    Properties in our Luxury category are some of the nicest full-service hotels in the area. They typically include spa facilities and a good restaurant.

    Mix & Match

    You can choose accommodation in different categories in different towns. Please ask for prices.

    BIKE CHOICES

    Hybrids bikes, a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike

    Hybrids bikes are a cross between a mountain bike and a road bike. They have a relaxed riding position and are great for beginners and intermediate riders. A typical model is the Trek 7.3 FX with Shimano components and high-pressure road tires for better cycling efficiency than your typical hybrid.

    Road bikes, a racing style bike with drop handlebars

    Our road bikes are a racing style bike with drop handlebars. The road bikes are faster bikes than the hybrids with less upright riding position. A typical model is the Émonda ALR 5 with aluminum frame, carbon forks, and Shimano 105 components. (NOTE: Some of the smaller roads in Puglia can be a little rough making a hybrid bikes a better choice for some riders.)

    eBikes, designed to give you a little extra assistance when climbing hills

    Our eBikes are designed to give you a little extra assistance when climbing hills. The ride position is very similar to our hybrids. We typically rent Scott E-Sub equipped with a 250W E-drive Bosch motor. If one rider in a couple is stronger than the other, an eBike can be a great choice for the less-strong rider.

    Your Own Bike, if you have a favorite bike, we can help you get it to your destination as well as set it up once it is there

    If you have a favorite bike, we can help you get it to your destination as well as set it up once it is there. Please ask about options for bike shipping and assembly.

    group of cyclists

    OPTIONAL EXTRAS

    Receiving & Assembly
    per bike charge to receive bike from shipper, assemble the bike and repack it and deliver it to a shipper at the end of the tour.

    Bike Boxes 
    a per box charge for the extra logistics needed to handle bike boxes during a tour. Note: this fee can be avoided if you leave your box with your start/end hotel.

    Tandem Bike 
    a per bike fee for the extra logistics to handle a tandem bike that is brought by a guest.

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