Orleans to Angers, Loire Valley, France
11 days – Guided
Luxury Chateaux & Country Retreats
Following the grandest of rivers, this French masterpiece will delight and entertain. Meander past the oldest of vines, the quaintest villages and wonderful rural scenes. Stay in chateaux where kings once roamed and enjoy the finer things in life. Vive La France!
This is a dynamic tour, with cyclists moving on most days from the city of Orléans in the east of the department of Loiret, and travelling westward through the rolling farmland to Amboise, where Da Vinci is buried. Past cereal fields bordered by popular trees, we come further west to the favourite kings of Anjou country, Chinon. We then move into the mysterious county of Saumur with its burial tombs, and great collection of stone megaliths, to take a lovely cycle down the Loire to finally arrive at another fascinating stop and our final destination of the trip, Angers with its famous Apocalypse Tapestries, chateau and a special atmosphere to itself. The terrain is rolling with some climbs and takes the cyclist through many towns and villages of the area.
1 May 2023 to 31 Oct 2023
1 May 2024 to 31 Oct 2024
Easy Going to Moderate
50KM Daily Average
- Encounter enchanting quaint villages in dramatic castle settings
- Visit two of France’s most famous Chateaux, Chambord and Chenonceau
- The Loire River is a bird lovers paradise with visions of egrets, herons and songbirds
- Tread in the footsteps of Kings and Queens and visit Leonardo da Vinci’s home.
- Tempt your taste buds with the French fare of fresh produce straight from the gardens and orchards
Cycle a region we just love to explore. Our guides will show you the insider’s secrets of this magical zone
Bike choice! – a carbon road or pedal assist electric bike is offered on this cycle tour
Stay in luxury chateau castle hotels, fit for royalty
Wear one of our special Loire Valley cycling jerseys – complimentary and a great souvenir
Thank you for making our cycling holiday so fantastic. We really enjoyed the route and the accommodation. We wish you all the very best.
Day 1. Orléans
We meet in the venerable city of Orléans, once capital of medieval France, home to one of the world’s most famous female warriors, Joan of Arc but also the gateway into the most romantic area of the Chateaus. Settled in the virtual heart of France, its own streets are full of historic monuments including the most austere cathedral, a sister to Paris’ Notre Dame and with most interesting circular bell towers. It´s annual festival commemorating Joan of Arc´s freeing of the city from the British is a highlight for this small town and shows her importance here still!
Day 2. Chambord
Travelling out of the city, we ride into the Loire Valley, where its white stone houses and grazing sheep our companions for the afternoon until we end in the small town of Thoury, Here, we can’t possibly miss one of France’s most famous Palaces and place of mystery, intrigue and fascinating architectural mixes, Chambord. Take a tour of the Palace with its soaring drawing rooms and fine furniture and even a complex Helix staircase, designed by Da Vinci before going back to the hotel and enjoying its tranquil atmosphere.
Day 3. Amboise
Today’s cycle follows the Loire River cycle path, and lets you enjoy what is most recognizable about this area, and what importance the river has played on the development of this region. Take your time exploring these little villages and lunch in Blois with its handsome Eglise St. Nicolas spires seen around town and its regal Château with its famous tales of bloody court intrigue. Continue on to Amboise, which is a bustling market town and in which Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked (creating and perfecting some of his masterpieces including the Mona Lisa) thanks to the patronage of King Francois 1st.
Day 4. Amboise Loop
An optional rest day for those who want to visit the town of Amboise more, or even take some of the walking trails out of town and discover the Loire Valley by foot. Keen cyclists can do a circular ride that takes in the photogenic and historic 16th century Chateau de Chenonceaux, which was through many years, the prized possession of queens and king’s mistresses – several times over! The ballroom, built by Catherine de Medici is staggering and Louise of Lorraine’s mourning room for her husband is particularly moving, painted in black with silver stars.
Day 5. Luynes
We move on today with more miles to head west travelling through the byways of the area to pass through the prosperous vineyard region of Vouvray. The wineries here create many varieties including a crisp white which goes perfectly with the meat products of sausages and pates (“charcuterie”), well known in this area of steep valleys, caves and plateaus. Don´t imbibe too much as we need to get back on the bike!
Day 6. Rest Day
A rest day for cyclists who wish to explore this area or just enjoy the chateau, or for those those who want, continue to the University town of Tours, known as one of the main towns in the Loire and which has a lovely Cathedral. A turbulent history of Gaulish, Roman and even Viking occupation, today’s quiet cafes and public parks (with their mulberry trees attesting to one time silk industry) are a marked change.
Day 7. Chinon
A good day of cycling and we’ve packed a lot in. Breeze past, Château Ussé, which over-looks the Indre, reputedly the inspiration for the castle in Sleeping Beauty and continue on to Chinon, a handsome town with a castle resting above the river. Its sturdy walls turn a rich ochre in the sunset. Beloved by King Henry the 2nd, (crowned King of England in 1154), who married Elenor of Aquitane and whose son was Richard the Lionhearted. Stay in an incredible chateau tonight in Chinon.
Day 8: Chinon
Start the day with a hearty breakfast before heading out to explore this important and celebrated city. There are many things to fill the day here and of course many fine things to taste and drink!
Day 9: Saumur
Today we hug the Loire for a while, taking side trips away from it and passing through the interesting villages and towns of the area. Arrive at Saumur, a fascinating and wealthy regal place with a wide variety of architectural styles spanning all centuries. Its old quarter harbours a 12th century church with lovely 15th century wooden carvings and the close by 5,000 year Bagneux dolmen is one of Europe’s most important.
Day 10: Angers
Our last cycle ride today keeps us moving in the north west direction towards Angers and along the way we take our last views of the river banks and villages, with each one having their own peculiarities, fascinating museums and some wonderful local treats.
Angers is a special place to end and its white walled Chateau, moat and gatehouses are once again a treat to wander. Here the visions of the impressive Apocalypse Tapestries are treasures alone worth the visit. End the trip by taking in relaxed feel of the city and their summer outdoor life and enjoy the joie de vivre that is what the Loire is all about. We will end the evening with a farewell group dinner in a local restaurant, no doubt sampling some more of the famous local cuisine and fine wines of this beautiful valley.
Day 11: Angers and Onwards
Unfortunately, this is where we must say goodbye and our tour ends here for early afternoon transfers to the train or bus station where we wish you au revoir!
Leisure – Guided – Easy to Moderate
Bikes – Hybrid / Road / E-BIke
Route: Orleans / Blois / Amboise / Tours / Chinon / Saumur / Angers
Custom/Private Group Size: 8+
Easy to Moderate – distances are a daily average of 50km. The terrain is mainly flat with a couple of small hills. Good surfaced roads on quiet country routes (busier near the bigger cities and towns of Orleans, Blois, Angers, Chinon). Suitable for hybrid, road and Electric bikes.
10 Nights Luxury Historic Chateaux / Historic Manor Houses / Attractive 4 star hotels All bedrooms are en-suite
All 10 breakfasts 4 Dinners of 3 courses, including 2 in Chateaux
- Welcome drink at introduction
- Private guided city walking tour of Orleans
- Entrance and guide to Chambord
- Quality 24-27 speed TREK hybrid bike with front handlebar bag / map carrier.There is the option to switch to a – Orbea Alu Carbon Road bike for an extra 250 Eur – TREK Carbon 350 Eur – or EBike 400 Eur
- Cycling Country Loire Valley Cycling Jersey
2 or 3 experienced guides
Orleans is easily accessible from Paris being only an hour away.
The Loire valley is known as the Garden of France for a reason, the lushness of the scenery and its most lovely shady trees, rich pastures and stunning flowers. As Claude Monet, the French artist wrote, “My garden is my most beautiful masterpiece” Nestled into this beautiful verdant surrounding are some quite fine castle chateaux, their gleaming white stone a stunning contrast to this greeness. On this bike tour the providing of accomodation goes a lot way further than a comfortable bed to lay your head, the elegance, the ambience of the nobles past, the history of these buildings of convents, 16th century manor homes and 15th century chateaux will get you longing to take on a second job in order to stay in this luxury forever!
“Our group was well looked after and expertly guided in France. The hotels and castles we stayed in were magnificent, and the dinners excellent. Thank you all for making this such a memorable experience for our group”
J. Kloon, Phoenix, USA – June 2017
“Wow. It was a blast. Loire was always on the cycling bucket list and that was a big tick. Great stuff.”
D. Jesper, B.C., Canada – May 2016
Testimonials from previous cyclists are always available and we enjoy receiving the feedback after tours. It helps us improve our services and offer you an even better experience. Please feel free to contact us if you would like a reference to talk to. Others have also posted reviews on the independent travel website .
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