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from £1377 per person

Along the Leisurely Loire Loire

from £1377

Along the Leisurely Loire

Historic Blois to charming Saumur

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Along the Leisurely Loire

A moderate cycle following the majestic River Loire from Blois to Saumur. Visit several of the grand châteaux via the bustling city of Tours with its enchanting old quarter. The hotels offer genuine French charm and wonderful regional fare.

Holiday Highlights

  • Authentic French Auberges and hotels with some very good dining
  • Historical town of Tours
  • Medieval town of Chinon
  • The small and romantic Château d’ Azay –le-Rideau
  • Saumur town and château
  • Clos Lucé: interactive museum of Leonardo de Vinci’s inventions
  • Royal Château at Amboise and the Sons et Lumières Show
  • Château d’Ussé the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty

What's Included

  • 6 days cycling
  • 6 nights half board
  • Complimentary glass of Champagne at first restaurant
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Comprehensive route notes
  • English rep
  • Bike hire
  • Return transfer to station

Starting Days

You can choose to begin this holiday on Wednesday, Friday or Saturday.

Itinerary & Hotels

  • 1

    Arrival Blois day 1

    Summary

    Settle into the charming chambre d’hôte, Maison du Carroir. Dine at the restaurant l’Orangerie, where you’ll be greeted with a glass of Champagne.

    Hotel
    • White frontage of hotel with foliage
    • Rustic French hotel room
    • Rustic French lounge with fireplace

    Maison du CarroirBlois

    This bed & breakfast in the heart of the Loire Valley offers a pleasant stay and friendly service from Mme Galland, who is extremely attentive. There are four large bedrooms, each with its own decor and atmosphere, as well as a pretty garden and terrace. Many of the most notable châteaux are only a short distance away.

     

    Facilities

    • En suite rooms
    • TV
    • Free Wifi
    • Garden
    • Terrace

    Board

    Cuisine

    A gourmet breakfast is served in the garden in summer, and around the fireplace in winter. Includes bread, local cheeses, homemade mini cakes, fruit, jams and fresh juice.

  • 2

    Blois to Chaumont day 2

    Summary

    Take delivery of your bicycles, then explore the city before you cross the river to cycle west to Chaumont. Stay at the Hostellerie du Château, opposite the Château Chaumont and the impressive International Garden Festival.

    Hotel
    • Germanic style exterior
    • Traditional interior
    • Simple bedroom

    Hostellerie du ChâteauChaumont- Sur -Loire

    L'Hostellerie du Château is situated in the charming village of Chaumont sur Loire, between Blois and Amboise in the center of the Grands Châteaux circuit of Chambord, Blois, Amboise, Chenonceaux. The hotel is on the edge of the Loire, at the foot of the feudal Chaumont castle which dominates the valley and the village and is renowned for its famous International Garden Festival.

    The owners, Dominique Poignon and Pascal Delsériès and their team, use their savoir-faire to lend charm and comfort to their home in order to make your stay pleasant, with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The hotel has 3 stars and 15 rooms, of which 3 are family rooms. In the summer, the meals are served on the terrace, and in the winter you can enjoy the heat from the fireplace in a dining room filled with character. During the summer months you can enjoy the swimming pool or spend a relaxing moment in the garden.

    Facilities

    • Three star accommodation
    • Satellite TV
    • Telephone
    • Restaurant
    • Bar
    • Lounge 
    • En suite with bath or shower
    • Traditional cuisine
    • Free WiFi
    • Outdoor swimming pool
    • Garden
    • Terrace

    Board

    Cuisine

    The restaurant proposes traditional dishes prepared with local fresh seasonal products. The wine list is composed of various wines representing the local vintages: Touraine, Touraine Mesland, Touraine Amboise and Cheverny, as well as other vineyards from the Loire Valley which extend from Sancerre to Muscadet passing by Vouvray, Chinon, Saumur, Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil and other French vines.

    Example Menu

    Entrées
    Tartare de Saumon aux Agrumes, Vinaigrette Acidulée
    Corolle de Melon, Mousse de Jambon Sec, Gelée de Pineau des Charentes
    Charlotte de Dinde et Caviar d’Aubergines, Brochette de Gambas au Tandoori

    Plats 
    Filet de Dorade Poêlé, Beurre d’Orange, Tatin d’Endives
    Emince d’Onglet de Veau aux Herbes, Légumes Confits au Curry
    Magret de Canard, Sauce Cassis, Tian de Légumes

    Desserts
    Soupe de Fruits Rouges, Ecume de Basilic, Mouillettes de Pain d’Epices
    Pêche Pochée à la Menthe, Nid de Meringue et Crème Chocolat
    Fondant Chocolat, Praliné et Noisette, Glace Fromage Blanc

    19 mi
    (31 km)

  • 3

    Chaumont to Amboise day 3

    Summary

    Cycle on to Amboise, a lively town that was home to Leonardo da Vinci in his final days. Book an extra night if you wish to visit the Royal Château or Clos Lucé, the artist’s manor, housing an exhibition of his life and work. Stay at the prestigious 4-star Hôtel Pavillon des Lys and eat in a delightful nearby restaurant.

    Hotel
    • Hotel exterior
    • Terrace
    • Lounge
    • Bedroom
    • Hotel exterior

    Le Pavillon des LysAmboise

    Located in the centre of the town of Amboise, Le Pavillon des Lys is a four star hotel, with 8 bedrooms and suites, within 5 minutes walking distance from the Château d'Amboise. Bedrooms are spacious and there is a garden and a terrace for the guests.

    Facilities

    • Very large beds
    • Soundproof rooms
    • Air-conditioning
    • Television, radio, CD and DVD player, safe
    • Free WiFi
    • Garden
    • Terrace

    Board

    Cuisine

    The hotel has no restaurant. The meals are booked at the restaurant L'Alliance (2 minutes away).

    Options at L'Alliance include...

    Example Menu

    Starters
    Oysters au gratin Vouvray, Endive and smoked duck breast
    Ballottine of duck foie gras and mallard, mango chutney with Szechuan pepper

    Mains
    Roast scallops, pumpkin puree, ravioli with chestnuts and dried bacon
    Veal sweetbreads, mushrooms, truffle sauce and potatoes

    Cheese platter & dessert of your choice

    13 mi
    (21 km)

  • 4

    Amboise to Tours day 4

    Summary

    Cross the river and continue to the sprawling city of Tours, the region’s capital. Stay at the Hôtel Châteaux de la Loire and explore the city’s old quarter. Dine in a restaurant of your choice.

    Hotel
    • Hotel exterior
    • Reception
    • Dining room
    • Bedroom

    Logis Hôtel des Châteaux de la LoireTours

    Situated in the centre of the old town, and yet in a quiet street, the Hotel Château de la Loire combines both calm and comfort. Rooms are all en suite, well maintained and pleasant. There is no restaurant, but Place Jean-Jaurès, where there is a range of pleasant brasseries (we recommend the Brasserie de l'Univers), is five minute's walk away. Or maybe try out 'Le Martin Bleu' at place des Aumônes, a superb fish restaurant, very popular with the locals which looks like a fish and chip shop, but don't be put off, inside is very welcoming and surprisingly large.

    Facilities

    • En suite rooms
    • Free WiFi access
    • Continental buffet style breakfast

    Board

    Cuisine

    Buffet breakfast is pretty good by French standards - choice of cereals, hard-boiled eggs, cold meat (mainly ham) and cheese, fruits and fruit juices, several sorts of bread and cakes, and of course plenty of café au lait. There is no restaurant, accommodation is B&B only.

    20 mi
    (32 km)

  • 5

    Tours to Azay-le-Rideau day 5

    Summary

    Leave Tours by the Voie Verte cycle route and head to Villandry Château and its ornate medieval vegetable gardens. Arrive in Azay-le-Rideau and stay at Hôtel le Grand Monarque.

    Hotel
    • Hotel exterior

    Hôtel Le Grand MonarqueAzay-le-Rideau

    This ancient post house from the 18th century has become a charming boutique hotel. Dark tones and exposed beams are set off by the whiteness of the stonework. Its courtyard, with its centennial trees, is an oasis of peace. Nested in the centre of the lovely little town of Azay-le-Rideau, and just 150m away from its famous and charming chateau, the hotel is ideally situated to visit the Loire Valley and its greatest castles.

    Facilities

    • Restaurant
    • Bar Lounge
    • En suite rooms
    • Air-conditioning
    • Free WiFi
    • Private parking

    Board

    Cuisine

    Sample Menu

    Veloute of Jerusalem artichokes, bacon espuma, Serrano ham shavings 
    or 
    Salmon and chorizo brochette, carrot cream perfumed with Madras curry

    MAINS

    Guinea fowl ballotine, foie gras sauce, mushroom risotto 
    or
    Fish of the day, cooked lentils, dilled white butter sauce, autumn vegetables 
    or
    Pork cheek crépinette, mashed potatoes perfumed with rosemary, spinach

    DESSERTS

    Assortment of cheese with salad 
    or
    Pear-chocolate crumble, pear sorbet 
    or
    Apple tiramisu, caramel ice cream

    20 mi
    (32 km)

  • 6

    Azay-le-Rideau to Chinon day 6

    Summary

    Return to the riverbank and pass Château d’Ussé, the inspiration for Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, before heading to Chinon and the Hôtel le Plantagenet. Dinner in the new restaurant at the hotel.

    Hotel

    Le PlantagenêtChinon

    Nicknamed `The flower of the garden of France`, Chinon displays its medieval fortress wherever you are. Just steps from the bucolic banks of the River Vienne, this stunning 19th-century Tours-style dwelling invites you to enjoy the finer things in life. Courtyard side or garden side, small joys become great ones. Time stops. In the morning, the rising sun on the veranda opens a world of perspectives, and your appetite!  Buffet breakfast with local products and homemade jams is a great time to plan your day of escapades to wineries, the Loire châteaux... or just to take a quiet break on the shaded terrace in summer to enjoy the sounds of the garden.

    Facilities

    • Individually designed rooms
    • En suite with choice of bath or shower

    Board

    Cuisine

    Discover the gourmet cuisine of the restaurant; the chef cooks fun yet subtle fine food with seasonal specialities.

    20 mi
    (32 km)

  • 7

    Chinon to Saumur day 7

    Summary

    Cycle to the charming riverside village of Montsoreau with its mushroom caves before heading west into Saumur. Perhaps enjoy a dégustation at one of the riverside wineries before checking in at the Hôtel Anne d’Anjou for your final night and gourmet meal.

    Hotel

    Hôtel Anne d’AnjouSaumur

    On the Loire river banks, near the historic center of Saumur, beneath the Castle which gave immortal fame to the "Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry", this private mansion house built in the 18th century still echoes with the ardours of restoration heroes and military romances. An historically graded façade which has been beautifully restored to include a magnificient staircase crowned by a trompe-l'œil celling, using the designs of Percier and Fontaine, Napoleon's architects, offers a relaxing stay.

    Facilities

    • Centrally located in the historic town of Saumur
    • Built around a quiet garden
    • Elegant individually styled bedrooms
    • Courtyard rooms give wonderful views of the chateau

    Board

    Cuisine

    You pass through a vaulted cellar, built many years ago by a wine merchant, before entering the restaurant’s two dining rooms. The main room can seat 50 guests, whilst the second, with its original beams and a more intimate atmosphere, can seat 30. The cuisine is aromatic, imaginative and refined. Pride of place is given to local produce accompanied by carefully selected wines from the Loire Valley. The menu and set menus are changed regularly so as to take full advantage of fresh seasonal produce, and the restaurant’s wine list is reputed to be one of the richest in Val de Loire wines. However, not only do you eat well, you are also well received. The surroundings, the quality of the decoration and service, and the care taken in the presentation all contribute to the pleasure of dining here; an elegant restaurant with a subtle décor.

    20 mi
    (32 km)

Route & Location

Customise Your Holiday

  • EXTRA NIGHT

    Add a night's B&B at Amboise.  Please call us for details.

  • EXTRA NIGHT

    Add an extra night between Azay-le-Rideau and Chinon to break your journey and to visit the famous Abbey and gardens at Fontrevaud. Stay at the friendly Hostellerie la Croix Blanche, half board. Please call us for details.

Customer Reviews

100% rating based on 4 reviews

Recent reviews

  • Service rating : They handled our various requests, including some changes as the plans evolved, with efficiency and courtesy. They know this area very well. The local representative was outstanding; helpful in every way possible.
    Product : This was an outstanding holiday with excellent arrangements from Belle France for our bespoke trip of nine friends cycling along the Loire. Lovely area, hotels and restaurants, as one would hope for, and some great picnic lunches.

    5 out of 5

  • Service rating : We were so impressed with the efficient and effective response from Belle France. They were so detailed, helpful and willing to make our trip as easy as possible. We were very impressed with their lovely attitude, espicially Lorna and Robin.
    Product : Perfectly planned. A beautiful trip.

    5 out of 5

  • Service rating : Lorna Clayton was fantastic, an absolute pleasure to deal with and our arrangements were without hitch. Thank you.
    Product : The bikes should be equipped with a handle bar map/directions holder, the 'plastic' map holders were not practical.

    5 out of 5

  • Service rating : Service was good, but the manuals / directions really need updating. They are maddeningly laconic and often we had to spend quite a long time figuring out how to match what was written down with physical reality. Also the highlighted route on the map was often different from the directions. It's fine to have people do a little wayfinding of their own, but downright incorrect directions are not great. A small comment on a largely positive experience.
    Product : Hotels were good. We thought all-inclusive but had to pay for a dinner out that was unexpected. Womens' bikes were far worse than mens'. But great towns to stop in, good meals, etc.

    4 out of 5

    Belle France Response: Thank you for your feedback, actually we are a bit surprised to read that you felt the route notes were incorrect in places. We have had many people take this holiday and not had any comments about the route in the past. I too have cycled this route and found the notes the be correct. However we do take all clients comments seriously and we are most concerned that you found some errors so to be sure we will send our rep Clive to re-cycle the route and double check all the directions. Regarding the dinner that was not included, I think you must be referring to the night in Tours, this night is always booked on a BB basis only as the city of Tours offers such a variety of good restaurants that we feel clients might like to 'do their own thing' .

    So glad that you enjoyed the whole experience and we hope to hear from you again.

    Lorna

Pricing & Enquiry

Pricing

Prices vary according to travel method. Select your preferred option to get an updated price. For full pricing details, click here.

  • From£1377per person

  • Outward Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris and trains at St Pierre des Corps, arrive Blois late afternoon.

    Return Transfer to Saumur station included (10 mins). Change trains at St Pierre des Corps and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

LATE BOOKINGS
For bookings made within 12 weeks of departure our prices cannot be guaranteed. In this instance please ask for a quotation.

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