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Duration
13 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 8 nights in 3 star
  • 6 nights in 2 star hotels
Meals
  • 12 Breakfasts

Price

$2410USD

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Overview

Trip Code: ULV

Trip highlights


  • Cycling from the heart of the Loire Valley, along the Loire river, to the Atlantic coast
  • Discovering many historical towns such as Blois, Tours and Chinon
  • Exploring the many grand chateaux
  • Sampling some of the many excellent wines in the local vineyards
  • Enjoying the culinary specialities of the region

An epic cycle journey of nearly 500km following the banks of the Loire River from Orléans to the Atlantic Coast, following the cycling path 'Loire à vélo'. Discover the royal valley as you cycle along the majestic river where thousands of treasures await including numerous chateaux, wonderful landscapes and regional gastronomic delights. Discover the charms of the western part of the Loire valley, from Angers all the way to St Brevin Les Pins. A chance to visit the typical countryside of vineyards and chateaux, of salterns and marshes, and to finally 'take the plunge' into the Atlantic Ocean.

Trip Grading

introductory to moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

On your arrival in Orléans make your way to the first hotel. Dependent on your arrival time, we recommend spending time exploring the old historical centre. Orléans is situated between the large countryside fields of the Beauce area and the green pastures, ponds and forest of Sologne.

Meals:  Nil

Follow the wild river banks today, and cycle in calm and serenity to the charming town of Beaugency. This afternoon you can visit the Hall of Honour, in the town hall, with its 8 impressive embroidered wall hangings dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. Other notable sites include Chateau de Dunois, the Abbey church and the clock tower.

Meals:  B

Today you will leave Beaugency along the river banks, passing the prestigious château of Chambord, the widest château in the Loire Valley and a Renaissance masterpiece. Continue cycling towards Blois, known for its light facades and blue roofs, its pedestrian streets gracefully preserving the flavour of lost centuries, and its serene atmosphere. The château in Blois offers an excellent illustration of the evolution of French architecture from the Middle Ages to the 17th century.

Meals:  B

Cycle to the chateau of Chaumont, overlooking the Loire river. It is worthwhile stopping here, and the grounds are usually open to the public. The Chateau itself is famous for its luxurious stables and there is often free wine tasting at the base of the driveway. The cycle continues to Amboise and its royal chateau dating from the 15th and 16th centuries. Nearby you can also visit Clos Lucé, Leonardo da Vinci's last home.

Meals:  B

Today's cycle will take you via the vineyards of Montlouis to discover the numerous cellars offering sweet white or sparkling wines. Enjoy a break to sample the local offerings. Continue to the lovely Château de la Bourdaisière, the birthplace of Gabrielle d'Estrées, a favourite mistress of King Henry IV. On to Tours and discover the old quarters that shelter the famous 'Place Plumereau' and the picturesque half-timbered houses.

Meals:  B

Cycle to Savonnières and visit the 'Petrifying Grottoes'. These limestone caves are used to create quite interesting ceramics. You will then proceed to Villandry with its chateau and famous gardens. These gardens are unmatched in Europe and have three superposed terraces. Continue to Sache and visit the house of the famous novelist Honoré de Balzac. You will eventually arrive in Azay le Rideau where you can admire its Renaissance chateau set over the Indre river.

Meals:  B

This morning you will cycle towards Langeais and its 15th century chateau, a typical medieval fortified castle where you can admire wonderful tapestries and furniture. Then ride towards the 'Sleeping Beauty' chateau in Ussé which inspired the famous fairy tale by Perrault. Overnight in the medieval city of Chinon, founded on the Vienne river. It is possible to visit numerous cellars and sample the famous red wine appreciated by Rabelais.

Meals:  B

Today you will cycle towards the impressive Abbey of Fontevraud, one of the greatest monastic cities in Europe from 1101 to 1804. Eleanor of Aquitaine spent her last days here and it is the necropolis of the Plantagenet sovereigns. Napoleon saved the abbey from destruction in 1804, transforming into a penitentiary and it remained a prison until 1985. Continue to the lovely town of Saumur.

Meals:  B

Follow the Loire river before cycling through the vineyards of Anjou. You will reach the peaceful city of Angers and its chateau housing the famous Apocalypse Tapestry.

Meals:  B

Today you will cycle from the heart of the vineyards of Anjou along the banks of the Loire via Chalonnes, at the confluence of the Loire and Layon rivers, riding through typical small villages and natural landscapes, where life runs in rhythm with the river. Continue via Montjean to Saint-Florent-le-Vieil in Mauges-sur-Loire, where you stay overnight. Or with the upgrade option our usual hotel is across the river in Varades.

Meals:  B

The cycle today is quite peaceful as you follow the cycling path to the town of Champtoceaux, which marks the boundary between Anjou and Brittany. From here continue to ‘Les Folies Siffait’ a former romantic gardens where plants and stone buildings still remain - a peaceful place with wonderful views over the Loire river. Continue along the river until you reach the capital of the western area, Nantes. This dynamic city offers a large choice of sights to visit, including a chateau, Ile de Versailles and its Japanese gardens, and the giant elephant. You can enjoy sightseeing through the numerous pedestrian and cycle-friendly streets.

Meals:  B

Leave Nantes via a small boat across the river and continue on the cycling path of 'Loire à vélo'. Later in the day you will follow a narrow canal for a peaceful cycle through marshlands and countryside. This will bring you to the estuary of the Loire river at St Brevin les Pins. St Brevin is a seaside resort with a large sandy beach surrounded by sand dunes and pine tree forest - an ideal place to relax after a long cycling day.

Meals:  B

The trip concludes in St Brevin after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 12 breakfasts - breakfasts are continental style and consist of croissants, breads, jams, cheese, yoghurt, coffee, tea and juices.
  • 12 nights in 2 and 3 star hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (upgrade to 3-4 star hotels - supplement applies)
  • Luggage transfer (1 piece of max 20kg per person)
  • Information pack including route notes, maps and tourist information per room (GPS data files available on request)
  • 21 speed mens or ladies bike (electric bike available on request - supplement applies) equipped with a pannier, helmet, bike lock, map holder and repair kit
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Orleans and from St Brevin
  • Lunches, dinners and drink
  • Entrance fees
  • Tour guide - this is a self guided cycle
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel insurance

Bike information


Grading

introductory to moderate  

INTRODUCTORY to MODERATE – GRADE 2 Daily cycles are between 26 and 60km / 16 and 37.5mi on flat to undulating terrain. The cycling is on a combination of dedicated cycle paths and low traffic side roads. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a reasonable level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Apr to 31 Oct

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season is 1 Apr to 15 May and 24 Sep to 31 Oct - supplement applies.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$2410USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Electric Bike SupplementUSD$170
  • Upgrade supplement - 3-4 star hotelsUSD$500
  • Single Supplement - standard hotelsUSD$710
  • Single Traveller Surcharge - standard hotelsUSD$920
  • Single Supplement - Upgrade hotelsUSD$1030
  • Single Traveller Surcharge - Upgrade hotelsUSD$1100
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

Videos

Cycling the Loire Valley & Burgundy | France Tours | UTracks

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