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Castels of the Loire valley

Bike tour along the Loire valley

La Route Royale

This cycling tour leads you into the romantic Loire valleys and its tributaries, into the ‚Garden of France‘ and is totally characterised by royal residences built here centuries ago. Kings, overlords and court ladies seduced by the scenic allure of the region, took up residence here – and left their marks, which are best followed by bike: Villandry with its marvellous grounds, the ‚Sleeping Beauty Palace‘ Ussé, the royal abbey of Fontevraud, which was at times used as a prison, the spectacular Chenonceaux palace, built on top of the foundations of a watermill situtated directly into the river Cher … One fascinating, one-of-a-kind building followed by the next. Inbetween vineyards and wine villages oozing rural charm cover the area.

Adventurous cyclists get their money’s worth and take plenty of time escpeically for Chambord palace and the numerous sights of Blois and Amboise. Without any pressure you cycle from palace to palace, delight in the stupendous architecture and revel in the royal sense of life of a region, where the wealthy and powerful of days gone by used to abnadon themselves to idleness and where you too will feel just like you live in clover.

France
Easy to Moderate
  • 8 Days / 7 Nights
  • Self-guided Tour
Vera Lambrecht
Vera Lambrecht
+49 (0)441 485 97 37 Contact
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Itinerary

Arrival in Tours, in the historical centre of Touraine, the famous „Garden of France“. In the afternoon you will receive detailed tour information (in German and English) and also your bikes (should you have rented one in advance).

The river Cher takes you on your way to Castle Villandry with its terraced gardens. Don’t miss the chance to visit the famous gardens! The shady paths, arbours decorated with flowers, fountains and the artistically arranged vegetable garden will impress even the most critical visitor. A few kilometres further on your route takes you from the banks of the Cher for to the banks of the Loire, where the next castle, Castle Langeais, awaits you. The fortified tower [this castle was used exclusively for military purposes] has a commanding view of the river and the surrounding countryside. At the edge of the dark, mysterious forest of Chinon lies Castle Ussé - „The Sleeping-Beauty-Castle“. Your journey continues along small villages and along side roads to Chinon.

Cycling along the river Vienne you reach the village of Candes-Saint-Martin. At the spot where Saint Martin died a splendid Romanesque church was erected. In Montsoreau the Vienne joins the mighty Loire – an impressive natural spectacle! Your journey continues through well-tended vineyards to Fontevraud l‘Abbaye. Nowhere else in the world will you encounter such an extensive, well-preserved medieval monastery as in Fontevraud. The return journey to Chinon takes you along literary paths. On the way you pass the birthplace of the famous author Francois Rabelais, as well as cycling through the valley which was the setting for his famous work, “Gargantua”.

You leave Chinon with its medieval alleys, and continue northwards. The route takes you through ancient vineyards and isolated villages to Crissay, which, with its 15th-century-houses, is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Today’s route also includes a castle, one of the finest. Azay–le-Rideau – the perfect Renaissance-castle!
Balzac described it as „a diamond with a thousand facets, set in the river Indre“. What more is there to say? You spend the night here, directly in the village, and have the opportunity to enjoy the magic of the castle with its impressive cultural events.

Today’s journey includes a scenic highlight: through the romantic river scenery along the Indre, you come to the lovely small town of Montbazon. There is a short climb to overcome, over a ridge to the valley of the river Cher. You continue along meadow paths beside the Cher towards the village of Bléré, and on to your overnight accommodation in the historical town of Chenonceaux. The castle of Chenonceaux is the most spectacular of all the Loire castles, and is located in an unique position, with a two-storey gallery spanning the river, and with the impressive castle gardens stretching out in front of it. But see for yourself!

Today, you have two possibilities: you can choose the shorter trip which takes you through the scenic countryside of the Touraine to Castle Chaumont, and from here further along the romantic paths of the Loire to Blois. After checking in at the hotel, you can explore the surroundings. An excellent choice would be to visit Castle Blois with its galleries, balconies, and oriels. The second, longer option, is for all devoted Loire castle fans: via Montrichard, Cheverny, Villesavine to Castle Chambord. The „Domaine de Chambord“ extends as far as the eye can see. The walls of the largest and most magnificent residence in the Loire are visible through the trees from far away – the immortal legacy of a disloyal king. The choice is yours!

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.

C‘est la vie – today your journey to the castles of the Loire has come to an end! One more substantial breakfast, then it‘s time to say goodbye to one of the most charming, delightful regions of France. Should you decide to extend your holiday, we would be delighted to book accommodation for you!

Tour character

The route takes you through gently rolling countryside with only a few climbs, although a certain level of basic fitness willl enable you to enjoy the countryside and its many attractions all the more. The route runs mainly along cycle paths, service roads and quiet side roads.

Prices and events

All data for 2021 at a glance
Place of arrival: Tours
  Season 1
03.04.2021 - 23.04.2021
25.09.2021 - 09.10.2021

Saturday and Thursday
Season 2
24.04.2021 - 18.06.2021
04.09.2021 - 24.09.2021

Saturday and Thursday
Season 3
19.06.2021 - 03.09.2021

Saturday and Thursday
Loire castles 8 days cat: A, FR-LORTT-08A
Base price
799.00
859.00
899.00
Surcharge single room 299.00 299.00 299.00
Loire castles 8 days cat: A, FR-LORTT-08B
Base price
699.00
759.00
799.00
Surcharge single room 289.00 289.00 289.00
Season 1
Apr 3, 2021 - Apr 23, 2021
Sep 25, 2021 - Oct 9, 2021
Saturday and Thursday
Season 2
Apr 24, 2021 - Jun 18, 2021
Sep 4, 2021 - Sep 24, 2021
Saturday and Thursday
Season 3
Jun 19, 2021 - Sep 3, 2021
Saturday and Thursday
Loire castles 8 days cat: A, FR-LORTT-08A
Base price
Surcharge single room
Loire castles 8 days cat: A, FR-LORTT-08B
Base price
Surcharge single room
799.00
299.00
699.00
289.00
859.00
299.00
759.00
289.00
899.00
299.00
799.00
289.00
Season 1
Apr 3, 2021 - Apr 23, 2021
Sep 25, 2021 - Oct 9, 2021
Season 2
Apr 24, 2021 - Jun 18, 2021
Sep 4, 2021 - Sep 24, 2021
Season 3
Jun 19, 2021 - Sep 3, 2021
Tours A Komfort
Extra night p.p. dbl/bb
Extra night sgl/bb
Tours A Komfort
Extra night p.p. dbl/bb
Extra night sgl/bb
Tours B Standard
Extra night p.p. dbl/bb
Extra night sgl/bb
Tours B Standard
Extra night p.p. dbl/bb
Extra night sgl/bb
65.00
110.00
65.00
110.00
65.00
110.00
65.00
110.00
65.00
110.00
65.00
110.00
65.00
110.00
65.00
110.00
65.00
110.00
65.00
110.00
65.00
110.00
65.00
110.00
Additional nights
Place of arrival: Tours
  Season 1
Apr 3, 2021 - Apr 23, 2021
Sep 25, 2021 - Oct 9, 2021

Saturday and Thursday
Season 2
Apr 24, 2021 - Jun 18, 2021
Sep 4, 2021 - Sep 24, 2021

Saturday and Thursday
Season 3
Jun 19, 2021 - Sep 3, 2021

Saturday and Thursday
Tours A Komfort
Extra night p.p. dbl/bb 65.00 65.00 65.00
Extra night sgl/bb 110.00 110.00 110.00
Tours A Komfort
Extra night p.p. dbl/bb 65.00 65.00 65.00
Extra night sgl/bb 110.00 110.00 110.00
Tours B Standard
Extra night p.p. dbl/bb 65.00 65.00 65.00
Extra night sgl/bb 110.00 110.00 110.00
Tours B Standard
Extra night p.p. dbl/bb 65.00 65.00 65.00
Extra night sgl/bb 110.00 110.00 110.00
Filter
7-gear unisex with back pedal break incl. rental bike insurance
7-gear gents with back pedal break incl. rental bike insurance
21-gear unisex incl. rental bike insurance
21-gear gents incl. rental bike insurance
bike+
Electric bike
85.00
85.00
85.00
85.00
129.00
189.00

Services and extras

Services

Included:

  • 7 nights accommodation in the category booked
  • 7 x French breakfast or buffet
  • luggage transport from hotel to hotel
  • detailed maps and information
  • individually marked daily stages
  • detailed cycle map with information about the route
  • detailed travel information in each room booked (German, English, French, Italian)
  • GPS-tracks available on request
  • tour and bike information in German, English, French
  • service hotline (also weekends and public holidays) in German, English, French

Not included:

  • Arrival and departure
  • Costs for parking
  • City tax
  • Transfers
  • Optional sightseeings
  • City maps
  • Travel Insurance and costs of the private requirements

 

Extras

Parking/arrival and depature

Arriving by train: change trains in Paris [you will have to go by Underground to another station; therefore it is not possible to take your bike with you].


Arrival by car: Depending on the booked category hotel garage or public parking garage for about 40, - to 45, - per week. No reservation possible; payable locally.


Flights to Paris: good plane connections, also cheap economy flights; good connections by train to Tours [about 250 km].
Hotels

Category A: These are comfortable hotels of national 3* or 2* category. We have reserved comfortable rooms with bath or shower/WC. Our hotels are a mixture of the charming and the modern, and in selecting them we placed particular emphasis on high quality cuisine. Most of the hotels are situated in the town centre.

Category B: These are hotels of national 2*category. We have reserved comfortable rooms with shower/WC. When selecting our hotels we placed particular emphasis on pleasant and personal service. Most of the hotels are situated in the town centre.

Important notes

Further important information according to the package travel law can be found here!

Ratings

4 of 5 Stars (5 Ratings)
4 stars
Henning Lange DE | 06.07.2019
Wunderschöne Tour durch die Schlösse der Loire
3 stars
Das gehtSienichtsan DE | 14.07.2016
Die letzten beiden Etappen - Fehlplanung
Zuerst sei erwähnt, dass die Organisation, die Unterbringung und die Lieferung der GPS Daten sehr gut waren. Allerdings sind die letzten beiden Etappen zu lange, da genau hier die Schlösser mit dem größten Besichtigungsaufwand liegen. Bei einem Schnitt von ca. 20 km/Stunde muss man durch die Schlösser mit anschließenden Gärten hetzen. Eine zusätzliche Übernachtung in Bois oder Amboise würde es ermöglichen, dass man auch noch die Städte besichtigen kann. Am besten, man besichtigt Chambord bereits bei der Anreise und hat dann auf der Radtour ausreichend Zeit für die Stadt Bois.Das Angebot mit dem Zug hat bei anderen Reisenden nicht wirklich gut funktioniert. Sie mussten auf der letzten Etappe die Schlossbesichtigungen ausfallen lassen, da der Anschluss nicht passte.
Rückenwind Reisen GmbH answered:
Rückenwind
Vielen Dank für das Feedback. Wir werden schauen wie sich Ihre Hinweise einbauen lassen.
5 stars
Claudia Walter DE | 30.06.2016
Tolle Tour an der Loire entlang
Gute Info und Streckenführung, gute Beschilderung und hübsche Hotels. Von Christine wurden wir vor Ort nett empfangen und informiert - auch über Ausweichstrecken für das Hochwasser. Die Tour führt durch eine wunderschöne Landschaft abseits der Straßen, meist auf wenig befahrenen Straßen oder Radwegen. Einfach schön!
3 stars
Hildegard Ploss DE | 19.05.2016
Die Schlösser der Loire
Streckenführung kaum auf Radwegen.Auf einigen Etappen sehr wenig Einkehrmöglichkeiten.Strecken zu lang (70 und 75 km letzten beiden Etappen) und oder zu Steil dadurch teilweise zu wenig Zeit für Besichtigungen. Landschaftlich bis auf die Schlösser wenig reizvoll.
Rückenwind Reisen GmbH answered:
Vielen Dank für die Bewertung. Wir werden uns die Etappenlänge anschauen.
5 stars
Dietz H. Tepe DE | 09.08.2015
SEHR GUT
gute Hotelauswahl (Holiday Inn bzw. Ibis müssen nicht sein - waren aber beide sehr gut)Restaurantauswahl bzw. Menus waren ausgezeichnet.Streckenführung und Hinweise waren nicht zu beklagen.der erste Teil der FAHRSTRECKE waren gut, die zweite Hälfte befriedigend.

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