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Loire en Vélo

With 800km of cycle route to choose from, what better way to tour the Loire Valley?

The Loire Valley is a popular region to visit, and you don’t have to look far to discover why. Magnificent châteaux with incredibly beautiful gardens to wander through, vineyards which are home to wines such as Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire and of course the wonderful meandering Loire river.

It’s a perfect choice for cyclists too, with the development of the famous cycle path, which stretches for over 800km from a little village on the Atlantic Coast called St-Brevin-des-Pins, right through to another little village called Cuffy.

Not only does the route follow the river, but there are plenty of side tracks which follow different routes, even different themes, such as tracking the châteaux, and all are signposted and have paths, with plenty of information available for all cyclists.

If a gentle cycle along (for the main) easy terrain (we’re not talking the Tour de France here) sounds like a perfect way to experience the sights and sounds of the Loire Valley then below are our recommendations for some places to stop off and visit along the way.

Blois Château

Château de Blois
Château de Blois

An impressive château which has been stayed in by many Kings of France (seven to be precise, and ten Queens too). It was built over four centuries, consequently, you can see many different styles of architecture, from medieval to the 17th century. Its walls tell of many tales throughout the year, from deaths to marriages, war and peace. If you visit in the summer, try to stay into the evening, as the palace plays host to son-et-lumière, or sound and light performances, projected onto the façade of the building, a wonderful way to learn about the history of the palace.

You can visit Blois as part of our ‘Along the Leisurely Loire’ tour which starts in Blois, and end in Saumur.

Château de Chenonceaux

Chateau de Chenonceau
Chateau de Chenonceau

A favourite among tourists, and it’s probably because it stands over the River Indre, which flows through its arches. The castle itself is known as the Ladies’ Château as it has been home to mistresses and wives, in particular Catherine de Medicis, wife of Henri II. It is in the Renaissance style, with the interior being as you would expect with sumptuous tapestries, impressive paintings and opulent furniture. But the gardens are stunning too, each with its own theme, from rose to vegetable, and even its own maze.

You can visit the Château de Chenonceaux as part of our Loire Prestige en Velo cycling tour, which starts and ends in the small village of Bourré on the outskirts of Montrichard.

Chaumont-sur-Loire

Chateau de Chaumont
Chateau de Chaumont

This is a treat for anyone visiting here. You can visit the stunning château which was originally built at the end of the 10th century, a beautiful white stone building which looks out over the Loire Valley, but that’s not the highlight.

Every year, from April to October the gardens of the palace are taken over by the International Garden Festival, a big highlight in the calendar, think France’s version of the Chelsea Flower Show. Each year the Festival has a different theme, for 2016, this is Gardens of the Century to come. Visitors can expect impressive displays using sound and light as well as flora and fauna.

You can visit Chaumont-sur-Loire as part of our Loire en Famille Tour, which begins in Bourré and ends at the Réserve de Beaumarchais.

We have a number of cycling holidays in the Loire Valley, which can all be seen here.

For a region that’s completely geared up (sorry!) for cyclists, there’s no wonder that it lends itself to so many routes. So for river trails and country paths that are all easy to meander along at your own pace with châteaux and vineyards a plenty, please get in touch and we can help arrange your perfect cycling holiday.

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