Orléans to Tours
6 days – Self Guided
Quality Hotels & Country Retreats
Discover the Loire by bike!
Start your Loire Valley cycling adventure from Orléans, in the Loiret region. Its stately buildings and graceful curve around the Loire river, weaving away from the adopted home of Joan of Arc (they still call her “la pucelle d’Orléans, the maid of Orléans). Bike to the magnificent vista of impressive 16th century chateaux, Chambord and tour its labyrinth of rooms. Enjoying the tranquil countryside of this area as you pedal to the attractive market town, Amboise, before heading off deeper into the winding routes of France’s most famous castles.
On a French cycling trip like this, you can not pass up missing this most fascinating area with Amboise´s own turreted castle and the close by magical Chateau de Chenonceau, another lovely vision of French Renaissance. The Kings and Queens of France didn´t build their royal residences around here by accident, so lovely is this landscape. Bike around the famous villages and make your way to Tours, home of its famous charcuterie meat products, hidden leafy mansion estates and timber framed homes within tiny villages set in the rolling countryside. A French bike tour for architecture lovers!
1 Mar 2023 to 31 Oct 2023
1 Mar 2024 to 31 Oct 2024
40KM Daily Average
- An unrivalled area of superb French wine and cuisine
- Visit world famous châteaux and their wonderful gardens
- Tranquil cycling alongside the meandering River Loire
- Journey through the passage of time, following in the footsteps of Kings and Queens
- Explore a mix of medieval villages and traditional market towns
Charming locally run hotels, located near to all the sights
A delightful route for the A to B orientated Cycle Tourist! Combine it with the Tours to Angers self guided tour to make an epic Loire journey!
Enjoy reading the history of the region with our CC included guidebook
Wear a custom made CC France Loire Valley jersey!
We had a wonderful time. Of course we drank too much of that wine, but we reckoned we deserved it! Thanks again for a memorable cycle down the Loire.
Day 1. Orléans
Arrive in Orléans, an interesting and ancient town to explore, and where you start cycling the Loire. This was once capital of medieval France and 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 Chateaux. Settled in the virtual heart of France, its own streets are full of historical monuments including the most austere cathedral, a sister to Paris’ Notre Dame. It’s a very impressive Gothic monument and also depicts Joan of Arc’s battle efforts in its large stained-glass windows. The annual festival commemorating her freeing of the city from the British in 1429 is a highlight and shows her importance here still.
Day 2. To Beaugency (or Tavers)
Ride: 26 km | Elevation Gain: 80 m
Arrive in the lovely city of Beaugency after a pretty cycle down France’s most peaceful, but longest river. Cycle along the wild riverbanks, enjoying the bird life and the river’s serenity. Beaugency, overlooked by it’s imposing 11th century dungeon, has kept it’s charm of being a small medieval city with its many flowers and gardens.
Day 3. Beaugency (or Tavers) to Blois
Ride: 45 km | Elevation Gain: 67 m
Leave Beaugency, it is a tranquil start, cycling the Loire riverbanks on a quiet path. You can’t possibly miss one of France’s most famous Palaces and place of mystery, intrigue and fascinating architectural mixes, Chambord. Rumoured to have hidden great works of art during WW2, it has many a story in its turbulent history with people such as Da Vinci to the Sun King, Louis 14th as resident. It lies inside a huge park surrounded by the largest wall in France, all 32 km of it! Due to its former use as a hunting lodge and now nature reserve, it is still possible to see daylight feedings of deer and wild boar.
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 leaving.
Then, continue your ride towards Blois, it’s famous château, a marvel of architectural styles.
Day 4. Blois to Amboise
Ride: 40 km | Elevation Gain: 58 m
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. Enjoy the countryside, passing lovely villages and even the formidable chateau of Chaumont overlooking the Loire River, before reaching Amboise (a bustling market town) and its royal castles from 15th and 16th century. Go a few streets further on, you will find a great historic surprise. It is the last home of Leonardo Da Vinci: Manorhouse of ‘Clos Lucé’, where he worked and died in 1519 and created and perfected some of his masterpieces including the Mona Lisa, thanks to the patronage of King Francois 1st.
Day 5. Amboise to Tours
Ride: 30 km (53km visit Chenonceau) | Elevation Gain: 48 m
Leave Amboise, cycling past beautiful manor houses, listening to river birdsong and through the vineyards of Montlouis, whose many wine cellars offer delicious sweet white or sparkling wines. An optional extension, visits the historic 16th century Chateau de Chenonceau, 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. Continue to the heart of the University town of Tours, which has had a turbulent history of Gaul, Roman and even Viking occupation and enjoy its ‘Place Plumereau’ with its picturesque medieval timbered houses.
*Ride Option to go via Chenonceau Castle
Day 6. Onward Travels
Enjoy your last moments here in the Loire Valley before making your onward journey to other parts of this lovely country. (Or extend cycling the Loire river further west from Tours to Angers on our sister tour, Loire Valley Villages.)
Merci and à bientôt!
Leisure Tour – Self Guided
Bikes – Hybrid or e-bikes
Group Size – 1+
Route – Orléans, Beaugency, Blois, Amboise, Tours
Easy – distances are a daily average of 40km. The terrain is mainly flat with a couple of small hills. Good surfaced roads on quiet country routes (busier near the bigger towns).
Historic and comfortable 3 and 4 star hotels
- Luggage delivered to your next hotel
- Emergency support and contact details
- Pre-tour pack
- Tour guidebook, T-shirt & Tags
- 5% off your next Tour with us!
Extras Not Included
- Lunch and dinners
- Drinks, visits and other personal expenses
- Hybrid Bike Rental: 135€ Scott Sport or similar
- Electric Bike Rental: 190€ Scott e-Sub Active or similar
- Helmets: we don’t provide helmets anymore, so please bring your own!
- Jersey: Receive a Cycling Country custom designed Loire Valley Cycling Jersey, delivered to your first destination: 60€ per jersey inc p&p
Other extras to tempt
Châteaux experience, featuring entrance fees to these sites: Château de Meung sur Loire, Park Leonardo Da Vinci in Amboise, Domaine de Chambord (château + gardens), Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire (château + Garden Festival): 75€ per person.
Orléans and Tours are both connected by good bus and train connections.
- From Paris to Orléans – Austerlitz train station to Orléans train station (about 1:15h)
- From Tours to Orléans – Tours train station to Orléans train station (about 1:20h)
- To Paris from Tours – Tours train station to Paris Montparnasse station (about 1h)
If you have been trying the famous Loire Valley wine then you will appreciate a good bed at the end of the day! The hotels will not disappoint. They are all set in convenient places and close to sights. Good quality 3 and 4 star lodgings will be a welcome place to come to after each day’s cycle. Lay your head and dream again of all the things you have seen that day.
Both Kate and I had similar views on both the accommodation and the friendliness of the staff at the venues.
In all they were excellent and their ratings reflected their quality, in room offerings, extra services sometimes like pool and spa and dressing gowns, their cleanliness, generally full buffet breakfasts and their convenient and accessible locations in the town centres where we were staying that night.
We found the maps and directions pretty good and with the well marked velo signage along the way it made it a very enjoyable tour. The added booklet for chateaux visits, accommodation vouchers and luggage transfers worked very well. Our luggage turned up on time every day.
The bikes were very good and fit for purpose for the tour.
We hope this feedback helps with your future planning and again thank you for our Cycling Country jerseys and T shirts.
P. Crossman – Australia, September 2022
With great hybrid bikes, fantastic scenery, luxury and historic hotels, great food but above all excellent directions, maps, gpx and information notes this holiday delivered on every level. We will be back! Thank you Cycling Country
Sandy Evans – London, April 2018
Hi Maggi and Jeff,
Our last day of cycling went just as well as the preceeding ones. Thanks again for the great trip! We‘ll recommend your tours to anybody showing the slightest interest in cycling. 🙂 Have a good time!
Antoine Brédif – Canada, June 2017
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 .
DATES & RATES
LOIRE VALLEY CASTLES – FROM ORLÉANS TO TOURS
6 DAYS / 5 NIGHTS
SINGLE SUPP € 525
Choose your date: Any date between 1 March and 31 October given availability
Continue on along the Loire from Tours to Angers (6 more days) by combining with our Loire Valley Villages.
Make it a classic French cycling adventure! Contact us for discounts.
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