Antarctica & Arctic
Discover the garden of France, the beautiful Loire Valley
Destinations > France > Loire Valley Cycling
7 nights accommodation, meals as indicated, use of bikes, transport as specified & services of an Explore Tour Leader
22, 29 Jun, 3, 10 Aug & 14 Sep '19
Bountiful vineyards, fruit orchards and delightful villages all explain why the beautiful Loire Valley is known as 'the garden of France'. On this relaxed ride we follow quiet country roads from Chenonceax to Chinon, exploring the medieval château perched on an island in Azay-le-Rideau, visit Leonardo da Vinci's final home at Clos Lucé and discovering the elegant Fontevraud Abbey in Anjou.
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Experience fine local cuisine and optional wine tasting
Experience Montrichard, a bustling market town with a rich Medieval heritage
Discover Chateau of Chenonceau, the Ladies' Chateau spanning the Cher river which is among the most photographed of the Loire
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We start our trip in the tiny village of Chenonceaux, home to one of the most famous and beautiful chateau in France. Please note this trip is based on customers arriving by train but should you wish to fly we are able to offer a private transfer from Tours Airport at an additional cost.
Having had a chance to familiarise ourselves with our bikes, we start by exploring the area around Chenonceaux. We ride east to the town of Montrichard where we can taste the food and wine of the Cher valley, view the 17th century Château of Gué Péan, this is a gentle introductory ride. Following the local back roads through small, quiet villages, this afternoon gives time for an optional tour of the large Monmousseau wine caves.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 45 kilometres (Total 83 metres ascent and 86 meters descent) (B)
After the morning optional visit to the Château of Chenonceaux, we pedal through the village of Chissay into the countryside. We cycle though the tranquil Royal Hunting Forest and several pretty villages towards our overnight stop in Amboise. On arrival you may choose to visit Clos Lucé, the house where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last 3 years and now a museum dedicated to his life and work, or the Royal Château of Amboise on the banks of the Loire River.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 40 kilometres (Total 161 metres ascent and 164 meters descent) (B)
A longer days' cycling on cross country routes via St Martin-le-Beau and Nitray to Cormery, a town famous for its macaroons, and then along the River Indre, with stops at Veigné and Artennes-sur-Indre.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 59 kilometres (Total 210 metres ascent and 222 meters descent) (B)
We spend the day in Azay, where we can visit the château and walk in its gardens along the banks of the River Indre. For those wanting to explore further, south-east of Azay is the troglodyte village of Villaines-les-Rochers, now famous for its willow basketweaving. Or north of Azay is Villandry, with its beautifully recreated Renaissance garden, one of the finest in the whole of France.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 37 kilometres (Total 108 metres ascent and 108 meters descent) or 51 kilometres (Total 164 metres ascent and 164 meters descent) depending on which route chosen. (B)
South-west of Azay, en-route to Chinon and situated between the banks of the Loire and the Forest of Chinon, is the Château d'Ussé - a truly romantic château and reputedly the setting for the fairy tale 'Sleeping Beauty'. On the north bank of the river are the vineyards of Bourgeuil, famous for their velvety red wines. A variety of routes to Chinon are possible, depending on your preferences.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 39 kilometres (Total 289 metres ascent and 297 meters descent) (B)
Today we suggest that you walk through the cobbled streets of the old town of Chinon and up to the Fortress, where Joan of Arc identified the Dauphin, or ride the circular cycle route to the southeast along the River Vienne through the famous Chinon vineyards. Alternatively, you can take a westerly direction with the option to visit Fontevraud Abbey, which houses the tombs of the Plantagenet Kings including Henry II and Richard the Lionheart.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 32 kilometres (Total 33 metres ascent and 33 meters descent) or 44 kilometres (Total 136 metres ascent and 136 meters descent) depending on which route taken. (B)
After breakfast we drive to St. Pierre-des-Corps train station in Tours where the trip ends.
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