City view
Cyclists
Castle Azay-le-Rideau
(2)

Castles on River Loire

La route royal

The Loire Valley – the quintessence of the romantic France! The rural charm of this region is in no way inferior to the cultural wealth of its cities. But of course, the castles on the river Loire are the reason, above all else, why this region is so famous. Kings, feudal lords and ladies of the court, seduced by the beautiful natural setting of the Loire Valley, had there, in the ‘garden of France’, several hundred castles, manor houses and dreamy residences built. Villandry, Langeais, Ussé, Chinon, Saumur, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceaux, Chaumont, Blois, Chambord and all the rest of them. Only in one day, the atmosphere of the river can change completely: the foggy-sullen melancholy, called ‘grisaille’ by the French (which still sounds poetic in French), can suddenly give way to a glorious sunset, bathing the countryside in soft pastel shades. What can be more obvious than exploring the most fascinating region in France by bike?

Fair Weather Cyclist

Fair Weather Cyclist
  • 8 Days / 7 Nights
  • Self-guided tour
Angelika Spindler
Angelika Spindler
+43 6219 7444 145 Contact

Itinerary

In the late afternoon is the welcome briefing and handing over of rental bikes (if booked).

The river Cher leads you directly to the castle Villandry with its terraced gardens. Certainly, you should not miss paying a visit to this famous installation. Every visitor will be amazed by the shadowy footpaths, the flower-bedecked bowers, the fountains and the artistically laid out vegetable gardens. Some kilometres further on you will exchange the bank of the Cher for the bank of the famous Loire. And again you will be tempted by the next castle – Langeais. From the top of the fortified tower (this castle exclusively served for military purposes) you will see the river and its whole surroundings lying in front of you. On the verge of the dark and mysterious forest of Chinon rises the castle of Ussé, the castle of the Sleeping Beauty. Via small villages and on side roads you will reach today’s destination – Chinon.

The Vienne escorts you first in the small village Candes-St-Matin. A grandiose and romantic church was built at the place of death of the holy St. Martin. In Montsoreau conflate the Vienne with the powerful Loire – a impressing natural spectacle. These ‘cave gardens’ are approx. 800 km long. Your cyclist calves take you first to Fontervraud l’Abbey. Nowhere else in this world, you will find a medieval monastery that is so entirely preserved like the one in Fontervraud. You pass the birth house of Francois Rabelais, the famous author and also through the valley, where his story line of the book “Gargantua” takes place.

You leave Chinon with its medieval alleys, which crowd between the river and the rocks, towards the north. The tour leads you through vineyards and lonely villages. Like Crissay, once entirely deserted – it is now resettled by artists and people who always know how to make the best of things. But don’t be afraid – there will also be a castle for admiration today: to be precise, one of extremely high quality – Azay-le-Rideau. Balzac wrote about it “a diamond with thousand facets, set by the Indre”. What could we add to this? You will spend the night in town and have, therefore, the chance to enjoy the magic of the castle with its cultural events.

There is another highlight in store: this time concerning nature. Through the romantic river landscape, steadily following the Indre, you will reach Montbazon. A short ascent awaits you. By pedalling really hard over a mountain ridge you reach the Cher Valley. On meadow paths and along the Cher you go to Bléré, a small market town. For many visitors the Castle of Chenonceaux is the topping on the cake. A magnificent, double floored bridge gallery goes over the river. But before the lovely palace garden will enthuse your eyes. But see and discover on your own.

Today you have to choose between two tour variants: the shorter stage takes you through the lovely landscape of the Touraine to the Castle Chaumont, and then on romantic paths along the Loire to Blois. After moving into your hotel room you will go out on reconnaissance! The Castle Blois with its galleries, projected balconies and bay windows could be your destination.

Or there is the second, longer variant for all lovers of the Loire Castles: via Montrichard, Cheverny, Villesavine to the Castle Chambord. As far as the eye can see the ‘Domaine de Chambrod’ stretches here. Already from a distance, you can see the walls of the biggest and most magnificent residence on the Loire shimmering through the trees. It is the immortal legacy of a disloyal king. You are spoilt for choice!

The river flows between the gold shimmering sandbanks in a leisurely manner. Typical of this area are the rock housings, which are directly built into the soft lime stones. Sometimes, only the rising smoke reveals their existence. You cross the Loire in order to appreciate the most royal of all the Loire Castles: Castle Ambois. It accommodated five kings and a Roman emperor. In addition, a genius of the 16th century attracts your attention – Leonardo da Vinci, who spent his last years in Ambois. Then you bike on concealed paths through vineyards and past wine cellars, via Rochcorbon, to Tours.

C’est la vie – it’s funny the way things turn out. But today your biking tour to the Loire Castles is finished. After having a last substantial breakfast you have to say goodbye to the most delightful region in France!

Tour character

                              You bike on small and seldom-used country lanes or side roads through the mostly flat and slightly uneven Loire Valley and Indre Valley. Some shorter ascents can easily be overcome by pushing the bike. Some condition should be present that you can enjoy the landscape.


 

Prices and events

All data for 2018 at a glance
Season 1
Apr 12, 2018 - Apr 20, 2018
Sep 22, 2018 - Oct 6, 2018
Arrival Saturday and Sunday
Season 2
Apr 21, 2018 - Jun 29, 2018
Aug 25, 2018 - Sep 21, 2018
Arrival Saturday and Thursday
Season 3
Jun 30, 2018 - Aug 24, 2018
Arrival Saturday and Thursday
Castles on River Loire, 8 days, Cat. A, FR-LORTT-08A
Base price
Surcharge single room
Surcharge half board
Castles on River Loire, 8 days, Cat. B, FR-LORTT-08B
Base price
Surcharge single room
Surcharge half board
733,00
222,00
178,00
645,00
176,00
159,00
776,00
222,00
178,00
683,00
176,00
159,00
797,00
222,00
178,00
704,00
176,00
159,00
Season 1
Apr 12, 2018 - Apr 20, 2018
Sep 22, 2018 - Oct 6, 2018
Season 2
Apr 21, 2018 - Jun 29, 2018
Aug 25, 2018 - Sep 21, 2018
Season 3
Jun 30, 2018 - Aug 24, 2018
Tours A comfort
Extra night p.p. dbl/bb
Extra night sgl/bb
Tours B Standard
Extra night p.p. dbl/bb
Extra night sgl/bb
56,00
86,00
45,00
70,00
56,00
86,00
45,00
70,00
56,00
86,00
45,00
70,00
Price
Rental bike 21-gear
Electric bike
21-gear gents-bike
75,00
170,00
75,00

Services and infos

  • Accommodation in your selected category
  • Breakfast buffet or an extensive breakfast
  • If half board is booked: every day a 3 course meal
  • Welcome briefing
  • Luggage transfer between the hotels
  • Well elaborated route
  • Detailed travel documents
  • Signpostings
  • GPS-data is available
  • Service hotline

Arrival / Parking / Departure

  • Tours Train station
  • Multi-storey car park costs € 36 per week, to be paid for at the time, no reservation possible/necessary
  • Good flight connections to Paris, also by low cost carrier. Good train connections from Paris to Tours (about 250 km).

This tour has 1 more variant

Angelika Spindler
"I will help you with the planning of your holidays with advice and action"
Angelika Spindler, Customer service

Ratings

4.5 of 5 Stars (2 Ratings)
4 stars
Gerhard Böttcher DE | 26.06.2018
Loire
5 stars
Hansruedi Reinle CH | 10.07.2017
Tour hält was sie verspricht
Die Routenwahl ist sehr ausgewogen. Die Distanzen erscheinen zuerst groß, die Tagesetappen sind aber gut machbar. Die letzte Etappe, von Blois nach Tours, haben wir mit dem Zug gemacht, nachdem wir gleichentags, trotz Aussicht auf Regen, den Ausflug nach Chambord gewagt hatten. Hat sich gelohnt. Dabei erwähnenswert wäre noch, dass für die Zugfahrt nicht unbedingt eine Rushhour gewählt werden sollte. Der Platz für Fahrräder im Zug ist sehr beschränkt!

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