Arrive into Orleans and spend the afternoon exploring this beautiful town’s historic centre or stroll over the Loire on one of its 5 bridges.
This morning you will start your ride down this majestic river. A cycle through villages, vineyards and bright sunflowers give you a taste of the Loire Valley as you hug the Loire veloroute. As you cycle along the river, there are plenty of points to stop for a coffee, take in the majesty of one of the famous chateaux or even enjoy an afternoon glass of crisp white wine. Cycle paths will lead you to your first stop in Beaugency.
Today’s route will take you along quiet lanes before stopping at the famous Chateau Chambord. This magnificent 16th century chateau took fifteen years to build and is Europe’s largest walled estate. Take a look inside and discover the magnificent rooms and its incredible double revolving staircase. The real gem of the chateau though is its gardens. After 14 years historical research into what the gardens looked like in the 16th century, not to mention the €3.5 million spent on it, the gardens are a sight to behold. You can have a sneak preview of the gardens here.
Next, its time to cycle to Blois, the capital of Loir-et-Cher department. Explore this beautiful historic town, located on the banks of the Loire river. It was home to French Kings during the renaissance period.
Today you will cycle through the Pays des Chateau (Land of Castles) to Amboise, a fascinating medieval town. Leonardo da Vinci lived here for his final three years and his tomb now lays in Chateau d’Amboise, which is central to the town. It formally belonged to Catherine de Medici, the Queen of France between 1547-1559.
You will explore another chateau today, as around the half way point is the Chateau Chaumont-sur-Loire. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped into a castle straight from a fairy-tale with its high walls and drawbridge.
If you happen to be visiting between April and October you’ll be in for a treat as the gardens of this chateau play host to the International Garden Festival.
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the hotel before departing for your homeward travel. If you prefer to spend more time in the Loire, we can easily extend your trip.
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.