Along the Leisurely Loire Loire
Along the Leisurely Loire
Historic Blois to charming Saumur
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.
- 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: home of Leonardo de Vinci and interactive museum
- Royal Château at Amboise and the Sons et Lumières Show
- Château d’Ussé: the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty
You can choose to begin this holiday on Wednesday, Friday or Saturday.
Itinerary & Hotels
Arrival Blois day 1
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.
Maison du Carroir
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.
- En suite rooms
- Free Wifi
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.
Blois to Chaumont day 2
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.
Hostellerie du Château
Chaumont- 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.
- Three star accommodation
- Satellite TV
- En suite with bath or shower
- Traditional cuisine
- Free WiFi
- Outdoor swimming pool
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.
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
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
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
Chaumont to Amboise day 3
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.
Le Pavillon des Lys
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.
- Very large beds
- Soundproof rooms
- Television, radio, CD and DVD player, safe
- Free WiFi
The hotel has no restaurant. The meals are booked at the restaurant L'Alliance (2 minutes away).
Options at L'Alliance include...
Oysters au gratin Vouvray, Endive and smoked duck breast
Ballottine of duck foie gras and mallard, mango chutney with Szechuan pepper
Roast scallops, pumpkin puree, ravioli with chestnuts and dried bacon
Veal sweetbreads, mushrooms, truffle sauce and potatoes
Cheese platter & dessert of your choice
Amboise to Tours day 4
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.
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.
- En suite rooms
- Free WiFi access
- Continental buffet style breakfast
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.
Tours to Azay-le-Rideau day 5
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.
Hôtel Le Grand Monarque
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.
- Bar Lounge
- En suite rooms
- Free WiFi
- Private parking
Veloute of Jerusalem artichokes, bacon espuma, Serrano ham shavings
Salmon and chorizo brochette, carrot cream perfumed with Madras curry
Guinea fowl ballotine, foie gras sauce, mushroom risotto
Fish of the day, cooked lentils, dilled white butter sauce, autumn vegetables
Pork cheek crépinette, mashed potatoes perfumed with rosemary, spinach
Assortment of cheese with salad
Pear-chocolate crumble, pear sorbet
Apple tiramisu, caramel ice cream
Azay-le-Rideau to Chinon day 6
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.
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.
- Individually designed rooms
- En suite with choice of bath or shower
Discover the gourmet cuisine of the restaurant; the chef cooks fun yet subtle fine food with seasonal specialities.
Chinon to Saumur day 7
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.
Hôtel Anne d’Anjou
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.
- 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
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.
Route & Location
Customise Your Holiday
Add a night's B&B at Amboise. Please call us for details.
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.