Castles of the Loire

Discover the famous châteaux of the Loire

The Loire Valley – the epitome of romantic France! The rustic charm of this region is just as enchanting as the cultural opulence of its cities. However, it's the castles along the Loire River that truly define the fame of this area. Kings, feudal lords, and courtly ladies, captivated by the breathtaking natural beauty of the Loire Valley, commissioned the construction of several hundred castles, manor houses, and idyllic residences in the "garden of France." Some of the most prominent ones include Villandry, Langeais, Ussé, Chinon, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceaux, Chambord, and Blois, just to name a few. Each of these treasures is worth a dedicated vacation, but together they create an unparalleled route of architectural and scenic splendor. It's a first-class experience in every sense.

Romance knows no bounds in the Loire Valley. Your cycling journey commences in Tours, a charming town nestled between the Cher and the Loire rivers. This adventure seamlessly combines cultural richness, rural allure, and romantic architecture, making it the ideal description for your two-wheeled exploration of France.

As you pedal between the renowned Loire Valley castles, you'll traverse the enchanting landscapes from one town to another, always with a focus on culture. This region was once the playground of kings, castle lords, and ladies-in-waiting, and you'll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the unique lives they led.

Details of the bike ride around the Castles of the Loire

The castles of Langeais, Ussé, Villandry, Azay-le-Rideau - to name just a few of the most renowned ones - form the dream route known as the "Castles of the Loire." This cycling journey offers a first-class blend of distinctive architecture and awe-inspiring landscapes, creating an unforgettable experience as you explore the Loire's splendid castles.

The highlights of the cycling holiday at a glance

  • Villandry & Ussé Castle: The first beautiful castle on your trip is Villandry Castle. The unique terraced gardens, the flower-covered arbours and the numerous fountains invite you to dream. On the way to Chinon, Ussé Castle stands out on the edge of the forest. Sleeping Beauty Castle evokes imaginative thoughts of the Brothers Grimm's famous fairy tale. You get excited!

  • Azay-le-Rideau: You reach Crissay via the cycle path through old vineyards and villages. With its buildings and houses from the 15th century, the town is one of the most beautiful in France. The castle of Azay-le-Rideau that was built there is bursting with magnificence. In other words: a magical Renaissance castle of exceptional quality!

Worth knowing about the bike tour in the Castles of the Loire region

In eight days, you will experience so much culture, architecture and nature as rarely anywhere else. You will cycle through the flat and gently sloping Loire Valley on roads with little traffic. The program covers between 40 and 75 kilometres per day.

This tour has been graded as Medium. Find out more about our cycling holiday difficulty levels.

Tour information
Medium
  • 8 Days / 7 Nights
  • Self-Guided
  • Luggage transfers included
  • Total cycling distance: approx. 365 km
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Itinerary

Discover the historic old town and the imposing castle, already the kings of France were magically attracted to this place.

The river flows between the gold shimmering sandbanks in a leisurely manner. Typical of this area are the rock housings, which are directly built into the soft lime stones. Sometimes, only the rising smoke reveals their existence. You cross the Loire in order to appreciate the most royal of all the Loire Castles: Castle Ambois. It accommodated five kings and a Roman emperor. In addition, a genius of the 16th century attracts your attention – Leonardo da Vinci, who spent his last years in Ambois. On the Loire Cycle Path you keep cycling on to Tours. Alternatively take the train (independently) from Amboise and hence cut the stage short by about 30 km.

ca. 60 km

The river Cher leads you directly to the castle Villandry with its terraced gardens. Certainly, you should not miss paying a visit to this famous installation. Every visitor will be amazed by the shadowy footpaths, the flower-bedecked bowers, the fountains and the artistically laid out vegetable gardens. Some kilometres further on you will exchange the bank of the Cher for the bank of the famous Loire. And again you will be tempted by the next castle – Langeais. From the top of the fortified tower (this castle exclusively served for military purposes) you will see the river and its whole surroundings lying in front of you. On the verge of the dark and mysterious forest of Chinon rises the castle of Ussé, the castle of the Sleeping Beauty. Via small villages and on side roads you will reach today’s destination – Chinon.

ca. 55 km

The Vienne escorts you first in the small village Candes-St-Matin. A grandiose and romantic church was built at the place of death of the holy St. Martin. In Montsoreau conflate the Vienne with the powerful Loire – a impressing natural spectacle. These ‘cave gardens’ are approx. 800 km long. Your cyclist calves take you first to Fontervraud l’Abbey. Nowhere else in this world, you will find a medieval monastery that is so entirely preserved like the one in Fontervraud. You pass the birth house of Francois Rabelais, the famous author and also through the valley, where his story line of the book “Gargantua” takes place.

ca. 40 km

You leave Chinon with its medieval alleys, which crowd between the river and the rocks, towards the north. The tour leads you through vineyards and lonely villages. Like Crissay, once entirely deserted – it is now resettled by artists and people who always know how to make the best of things. But don’t be afraid – there will also be a castle for admiration today: to be precise, one of extremely high quality – Azay-le-Rideau. Balzac wrote about it “a diamond with thousand facets, set by the Indre”. What could we add to this? You will spend the night in town and have, therefore, the chance to enjoy the magic of the castle with its cultural events.

ca. 60 km

There is another highlight in store: this time concerning nature. Through the romantic river landscape, steadily following the Indre, you will reach Montbazon. A short ascent awaits you. By pedalling really hard over a mountain ridge you reach the Cher Valley. On meadow paths and along the Cher you go to Bléré, a small market town. For many visitors the Castle of Chenonceaux is the topping on the cake. A magnificent, double floored bridge gallery goes over the river. But before the lovely palace garden will enthuse your eyes. But see and discover on your own.

ca. 45-75 km

Today you have to choose between two tour variants: the shorter stage takes you through the lovely landscape of the Touraine to the Castle Chaumont, and then on romantic paths along the Loire to Blois. After moving into your hotel room you will go out on reconnaissance! The Castle Blois with its galleries, projected balconies and bay windows could be your destination.

Or there is the second, longer variant for all lovers of the Loire Castles: via Montrichard, Cheverny, Villesavine to the Castle Chambord. As far as the eye can see the ‘Domaine de Chambrod’ stretches here. Already from a distance, you can see the walls of the biggest and most magnificent residence on the Loire shimmering through the trees. It is the immortal legacy of a disloyal king. You are spoilt for choice!

ca. 45 km + train

C'est la vie, as life goes by... Today it's already over, your bike ride along various castles of the Loire. Enjoy your last breakfast and then it's time to say goodbye to what is probably the most attractive part of France. We are happy to book your extra nights!

Route information

A bike ride on gently sloping terrain with only a few climbs. You need to bring some stamina to enjoy the beautiful scenery and the many sights that are really "relaxed". The route goes via bike paths, car-free side roads and farm roads.



 

Prices and dates

Prices are per person in GBP and exclude flights

Price calculation and check availability: ​​​​​​​Castles of the Loire

Place of arrival: Blois
  Season 1
23.03.2024 - 12.04.2024
28.09.2024 - 14.10.2024

Daily
Season 2
13.04.2024 - 10.05.2024
07.09.2024 - 27.09.2024

Daily
Season 3
11.05.2024 - 06.09.2024

Daily
Castles of the River Loire, Cat. A, FR-LORBB-08A
Base price
1,029.00
1,089.00
1,139.00
Single room surcharge 339.00 339.00 339.00
Castles of the River Loire, Cat. B, FR-LORBB-08B
Base price
909.00
959.00
1,019.00
Single room surcharge 339.00 339.00 339.00
  • Category A: You will stay in carefully selected 3*** hotels (French classification)
  • Category B: You stay in decent 2** and 3*** hotels (French classification)
Season 1
Mar 23, 2024 - Apr 12, 2024
Sep 28, 2024 - Oct 14, 2024
Daily
Season 2
Apr 13, 2024 - May 10, 2024
Sep 7, 2024 - Sep 27, 2024
Daily
Season 3
May 11, 2024 - Sep 6, 2024
Daily
Castles of the River Loire, Cat. A, FR-LORBB-08A
Base price
Single room surcharge
Castles of the River Loire, Cat. B, FR-LORBB-08B
Base price
Single room surcharge
1,029.00
339.00
909.00
339.00
1,089.00
339.00
959.00
339.00
1,139.00
339.00
1,019.00
339.00
  • Category A: You will stay in carefully selected 3*** hotels (French classification)
  • Category B: You stay in decent 2** and 3*** hotels (French classification)
Season 1
Mar 23, 2024 - Apr 12, 2024
Sep 28, 2024 - Oct 14, 2024
Season 2
Apr 13, 2024 - May 10, 2024
Sep 7, 2024 - Sep 27, 2024
Season 3
May 11, 2024 - Sep 6, 2024
Blois
Double room p.p Cat. A
Surcharge single room
Blois
Double room p.p Cat. B
Surcharge single room
69.00
49.00
65.00
65.00
69.00
49.00
65.00
65.00
79.00
49.00
79.00
65.00
Additional nights
Place of arrival: Blois
  Season 1
Mar 23, 2024 - Apr 12, 2024
Sep 28, 2024 - Oct 14, 2024

Daily
Season 2
Apr 13, 2024 - May 10, 2024
Sep 7, 2024 - Sep 27, 2024

Daily
Season 3
May 11, 2024 - Sep 6, 2024

Daily
Blois
Double room p.p Cat. A 69.00 69.00 79.00
Surcharge single room 49.00 49.00 49.00
Blois
Double room p.p Cat. B 65.00 65.00 79.00
Surcharge single room 65.00 65.00 65.00
Filter
21-Speed Unisex Bike
21-Speed Men's Bike
rental bike PLUS incl. rental bike insurance
Electric bike incl. rental bike insurance
99.00
99.00
169.00
259.00
Prices per person in GBP

Our rental bikes

Services / Information

Services

Including

  • 7 nights in the chosen category, including breakfast
  • Luggage transfer(s)
  • Travel folder 1 x per room (German, English with route and overview maps, detailed route description, places of interest, important telephone numbers, luggage labels)
  • GPS data available on request
  • Service Hotline

Not included

  • Tourist tax, if applicable, to be paid locally
Arrival information
  • Train: Tours Station
  • Plane: Paris Airport, train connections from Paris to Tours (about 250 km)
  • Parking: Hotel garage, approximately € 45 per week. No reservation is possible; payable locally at the hotel

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