Arrival in Tours
In the late afternoon is the welcome briefing and handing over of rental bikes (if booked).
The river Cher leads you directly to Villandry palace with its terraced gardens. Visiting these renowned grounds is a must. Paths to stroll on in the shade, archades covered in floral splenour, fountains and the ornately arranged vegetable garden amazes each and every visitro. A few kilometres onwards you swap the Cher-riverbanks with the Loire, and again the next palace beckons: Langeais. A glance from the fortified tower (this palace was exclusively used for military purposes) and in front of you spreads the river and the entire surrounding region. At the edge of the dark and mysterious forest of Chinon rises Ussé palace, the ‚Sleeping Beauty Palace‘. Via little villages and side roads you approach today’s Day Finish Chinon.
The river Vienne initially leads you into the little village of Candes-St-Martin. At the place of death of Saint Martin an amazing Romanesque church was built. In Montsoreau the river Vienne joins the mighty river Loire – an impressive nature spectacle. The ‚Cave Gardens‘ feature a length of over 800 km. You cycle through neat vineyards to Fontevraud l'Abbaye. Nowhere else in the world will you come across a medieval monastery complex so completely preserved as Fontevraud. Now follows a ‚literary return journey‘ to Chinon. Your route leads you past the birth place of the distinguished author Francois Rabelais, as well as through the valley where the plot of his famous book "Gargantua" takes place.
You leave Chinon with its medieval alleyways clustered between river and castle headed North. The route leads you through old vineyards and remote villages to Crissay, with its houses dating back to the 15th century it is considered one of the most beautiful villages in France. Naturally again today you get to marvel at yet another palace, in fact a grade A specimen: Azay-le-Rideau, a Renaissance palace featuring peak perfection. ‚A diamond with a thousand facets, set by the river Indre‘, according to the words of Balzac. What else is there to say? You spend the night directly in the village and hence have the opportunity to enjoy the magic of the palace together with its cultural events.
A scenic highlight lies ahead: Through the romantic river landscape always following the river Indre you reach the pretty little town of Montbazon. A short ascent awaits, a few hard pushes into the pedals and you have tackled the little ridge into the Cher-river valley. Along path across meadows you cycle along the river Cher to Bléré, a little market town and then onwards to your history-charged Day Finish with palalce, Chenonceaux. Chenonceau palace is probably the most beautiful of all the Loire palaces and rises from a one-of-a-kind location. A splendid, two-storey bridge-gallery spans across the river and before that is the stunning castle garden to marvel at ... but please discover yourself.
Now the flair of the villages slowly starts to change, the old houses are more and more built with bricks as are the roofs, you cycle through vast forests, agriculture is less intensive, the sois sandy. This area situated in close vicinity of the royal residences was once a popular hunting ground of the nobility, however offered people few opportunities and hence remaind sparsely populated. The livelier the town of Blois presents itself, built on top of several hills. Apart from the palace you also particularly worth visiting are the cathedral here, the perfectly restored historic centre and the stone bridge across the Loire.
Today is mostly dedicated to Chambord palace. Already from a distance this largest and most stupendous residence on the river Loire is shimmering through the trees. You get a very good idea of the incredible dimensions of the complex if you cycle around the palace along the canal. Just the park is a large as the 20 districts of Paris and is surrounded by a 35 km long wall. Half a millennium of French history in Chambord has left its mark: built in the Renaissance are under the art-loving King Francois I., venue for glittering parties and hunting festivities under ‚le Roi Soleil‘ Ludwig XIV., plundered during the French Revolution and today after Versaille the second most visited palace in France. It will be very easy for you to find lots of good reasons for it. .
The Loire-cycle path leads you from Blois to Chaumont-sur-Loire. The palace here has never been a royal residence and is hence a bit of an insider tip. It is a sight to see mainly due to the giant park, the annual venue for an international garden show. You end your day in Amboise, whose palace is an especially early example for Renaissance architecture in the Loire-valley. One of the greatest artists of this era found his final resting place here: the town house Clos Lucé attached to the castle is very much dedicated to the memory of Leonardo da Vinci.
The final stage of your cycling tour leads you once more into the vineyards on the slopes above the river Loire, into the wine-growing area Montlouis-sur-Loire and the little town witht the same name with its idyllic location on the river. Here we recommend a short break before you continue again along the riverbank back to Tours. Seize the remaining time after this rather short cycle tour to again thoroughly explore Tours. There are plenty of options: the basilica Saint-Martin, the botanical gardens, the historic town centre with ‚Place Plumereau‘, only to name a few.
Departuer or extension
You cycle on side roads as well as cycle paths and dirt roads on flat terrain and gently curving Loire-valley. The terrain in the vineyards is somewhat more hilly and there are also a few short ascents to tackle (max. over a distance of 500 metres).
- Accommodation in your selected category
- Breakfast buffet
- Welcome briefing (German, English)
- Luggage transfer between the hotels
- EUROBIKE developed route
- Detailed travel documents 1x per room (German, English with route maps, route description, local attractions, important telephone numbers)
- GPS-data is available
- Service hotline
- Half-board evening meal (mostly multi-course, sometimes outside the property, payable with voucher, in Tours only B&B)
- Bike rental, including rental bike insurance
Arrival / Parking / Departure
- Tours train station
- Paris airport
- Hotel garage, costs approx. EUR 50 to EUR 60 for 10 days. no reservation possible; to be paid for at the time
Tings to note
- Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price!
- Further important information according to the package travel law can be found here!