Arrive into Orleans and check-in to your centrally located hotel before spending the afternoon exploring this beautiful towns historic centre or stroll over Loire on one of its 5 bridges. Your bike will be delivered today.
You will leave your bags at the hotel for collection each day before you start your journey heading downstream along the majestic Loire river.
Today’s ride takes you to the beautiful town of Beaugency via small villages, vineyards and fields of sunflowers. Take a coffee break by the banks of the river as you take in the peacefulness and beauty of this region. Then, as you roll along quiet paths and roads you will almost be able to taste the wonderful local wines and food that you will discover in Beaugency this evening.
After starting your day with a traditional French breakfast, leave your bags at the hotel for collection before heading downstream towards one of the largest and most impressive chateaus in the region.
Our route will take you along mostly car free paths and, after a couple of hours of taking in the beauty of the Loire valley, you will arrive at Chateau Chambord. Taking 15 years to build in the 16th century, it is surrounded by a vast hunting park alive with wildlife and it is the largest walled estate in Europe. Once inside, you will discover its magnificent rooms and its incredible double revolving staircase.
After your visit to the chateau, you will head towards Blois, the capital of Loir-et-Cher department. You will stay in a centrally located hotel. This is the ideal base to explore the beautiful historic town and its Chateau that was home to French Kings during the renaissance.
Today offers another stunning day of riding through the Pays des Chateau (Land of Castles) towards the Leonardo da Vinci town of Amboise, a stunning medieval town that clusters around its central Chateau.
The Chateau in Amboise is not the only chateau you will come across today as the Chateau Chaumont-sur-Loire sits at the half way point, providing a great place to stop and have lunch. Its impressive fairy-tale architecture, drawbridge and high towers will draw you in, but it is the grounds that will really impress you. Each year, from April to October, they play host to the International Garden Festival where artists and landscape architects from all over the world ‘compete’ with others on some thirty plots. A delight for all the senses.
You have two choices today on your way to Tours. Either ride the short route of 25km along the river to Tours or head south and visit Chenonceau Chateau. In our opinion the extra 20km’s are well worth it.
Once you arrive in Tours you can explore and wander round its old town and marvel at sites including the cathedral, Saint-Gatien, with its flamboyant Gothic facade and 12th century towers.
You will stay in the centre of Tours this evening with many restaurants near by.
After leaving Tours, you will follow the Cher to see the Chateau and Gardens of Villandry. Famed for its fabulous ornamental gardens that are themed differently each year but always in perfect harmony with the architecture of the chateau.
After Villandry the route will take you through several small villages before arriving at what is regarded as the most romantic chateau of the Loire at Montsoreau.
Between Montsoreau and Saumur you will come across many fine examples of the Troglodyte Caves of the Loire Valley. These cave dwellings, built into the side of the limestone cliffs on the banks of the river, offer a fascinating insight into the history of the area.
After a great day in the saddle you will roll into Saumur for your evenings accommodation and instantly be impressed by its chateau high on the hill overlooking the town. With two museums, a fortress and links to the nearby world famous Cadre Noir National Riding School, an evening stroll is a must.
Your final day will see you ride towards Angers. As you take in your last day on the tranquil banks of the Loire, there could be nowhere better to finish your trip and to savour the delights of the Angevin lifestyle than in Angers.
Spend your last afternoon wandering around Place du Ralliement with its cafe terraces the perfect place to enjoy the flavours of the local gastronomy. As the sun begins to drop we recommend a stroll to the chateau to enjoy the panoramic view from its 17 towers.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before departing for your homeward travel.
The Loire Valley is a captivating, quintessentially French region famous for its picturesque villages, wineries and chateaux. The valley extends for 280 kilometres and comprises approximately 800 square kilometres including an area designated as an UNESCO World Heritage Site . With its flat terrain ‘The Garden of France’ is cycling holiday heaven.