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Loire Valley Cycle Route: Tours to St. Nazaire

Follow the Loire Valley Cycle Path to the Atlantic coast

The Loire à Vélo cycle route offers a wild and romantic journey along one of Europe's last unregulated rivers. This picturesque route meanders through gently rolling terrain, ultimately leading cyclists to the Atlantic coast. As you pedal along the Loire, you'll be immersed in a cultural adventure, exploring magnificent palaces and lush gardens that harken back to France's glorious past. This royal cycling holiday is truly a unique experience.

The Loire à Vélo route begins in Orléans and stretches all the way to Saint Nazaire. Along the way, you'll have the opportunity to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, making your journey even more enriching and memorable.

Discover the beauty of the Loire Valley and its stunning landscapes while cycling this renowned route. Get ready for an unforgettable cycling holiday filled with history, culture, and natural beauty.

Details of the cycle tour along the Loire Valley to Saint-Nazaire

The first stage of our journey takes us past two enchanting castles before we "cycle" onwards to our day's destination, Chinon. While many may recognize this town from the film "Monsieur Claude and his Daughters," the old town itself offers a delightful experience for those who love to wander and discover. Continuing our journey through Saumur, we eventually arrive at the vibrant university town of Angers.

By the way, the Loire region has been home to first-class vineyards since the Middle Ages, producing internationally renowned wines. Our penultimate stop is none other than Nantes, the sixth largest city in France, where history seamlessly intertwines with modernity, creating a harmonious blend of experiences. To reach Saint Nazaire, our final destination, you'll cross a remarkable 720-metre bridge. Saint Nazaire holds significant economic importance thanks to its bustling harbour and thriving shipyards.

The highlights of the Loire Cycle Route cycling tour

  • Explore the magnificent cultural treasures of the Loire Castles: A short distance after departing from Tours, you'll encounter the splendid Villandry Castle, renowned for its six meticulously designed gardens and the exotic allure of its oriental salon. Saumur and Lengeais castles also exude the quintessential French charm.

  • Embrace the untamed beauty of nature: The unspoiled natural landscapes of the Loire region are a true spectacle. Traverse the picturesque Loire Valley with its meandering tributaries, traversing a diverse terrain that encompasses vineyards and stretches all the way to the Atlantic coast. You'll find it impossible to get your fill of the breathtaking beauty this corner of the world has to offer.

  • Experience the vibrant charms of French towns: Enjoy a café au lait at a cosy bistro and savour the moments as you leisurely explore the winding old alleyways. Gradually immerse yourself in the local culture and marvel at the architecture. Dive deep into the "savoir vivre," the renowned French way of life.

  • Take a refreshing plunge into the Atlantic waves: While the ocean here may be wild and invigorating, it beckons you with irresistible allure. Don't hesitate to take a daring dip. Along the coastline, you'll discover wooded dunes, rocky coves, and charming small beaches that make bathing an idyllic experience. A valuable tip: Don't miss the opportunity to visit the Bay of La Baule; it's well worth the trip!

Things to know about the 8-day cycle tour along the Loire

The meticulously planned and easily navigable cycling stages cover distances ranging from 40 to 65 kilometres. The route features only a handful of gentle ascents, but in exchange, you'll be treated to breathtaking vistas. Be aware that occasionally, there may be headwinds coming in from the Atlantic.

Read a detailed day-by-day tour report of the Loire Valley Cycle Path cycle tour on our Active on Holiday blog.

Tour information
Medium
  • 8 Days / 7 Nights
  • Self-Guided
  • Luggage transfers included
  • Total cycling distance: approx. 325 km
Active on Holiday Team
+44 1706 618 155 Contact
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Itinerary

Arrive in Tours. As one of the gateway cities to this renowned region of France, Tours boasts a perfect blend of the old and the new, offering visitors a unique opportunity to explore a tapestry of centuries-old heritage while indulging in contemporary delights.

The Cher River, a tributary of the Loire, serves as a picturesque pathway leading you directly to the enchanting Villandry Castle, celebrated for its terraced gardens. A visit to these renowned gardens is an absolute must for any traveller. These meticulously designed grounds feature shaded walkways, charming flower-lined arbours, graceful fountains, and an artistically cultivated vegetable garden, leaving every visitor in awe.

Continuing your journey a few kilometres downstream along the Loire's tranquil banks, you'll encounter the next historical gem: Langeais Castle. A mere glance from the fortified tower, which was exclusively dedicated to military purposes, offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the meandering river and the captivating surrounding countryside.

Navigating through quaint villages and scenic side roads, your route ultimately leads to today's destination, Chinon. This charming town leaves an indelible impression on visitors with its imposing castle complex, an emblem of medieval grandeur that dominates the landscape. Chinon promises an unforgettable experience, where history, culture, and natural beauty converge along the banks of the majestic Loire River.

 

Leaving behind the medieval charm of Chinon's winding alleys, your journey now takes you along the tranquil banks of the Vienne River toward the picturesque village of Candes-Saint-Martin. Here, a delightful stroll through the village streets leads you to the hill's summit, where an awe-inspiring vista awaits, showcasing the magnificent confluence of the Vienne and Loire waterways.

As you continue your route towards today's final destination, you'll encounter a truly remarkable highlight. The cycling path guides you directly through the legendary rock dwellings of Souzey, an experience that immerses you in history and local folklore.

But the day's adventure isn't complete without savouring another unforgettable moment. Make sure not to miss the opportunity to soak in a panoramic view of the expansive Loire Valley from the vantage point of Saumur Castle. The castle offers an unparalleled perspective of this breathtaking region, where the Loire River winds its way through vineyard-dotted landscapes and historic towns. This captivating journey along the Vienne and Loire rivers promises a tapestry of natural beauty, history, and culture that will leave a lasting impression on your travels.

In just a short distance, you'll find yourself enveloped by the lush vineyards gracing the southern bank of the Loire. The gently rolling cycle path meanders through these vineyards, offering you a tranquil and picturesque ride surrounded by the vines and the scent of the grapes.

Returning to the river's edge, your journey continues through serene medieval villages, each one a charming glimpse into France's rich history. Your next significant stop on this remarkable adventure is Angers, a vibrant university town nestled along the banks of the Maine River. Angers promises to captivate you with its lively atmosphere, rich cultural offerings, and a blend of contemporary energy with historical charm. As you explore its bustling streets and discover its cultural treasures, you'll be enchanted by this dynamic city on the Loire's edge.

Angers, strategically positioned on the banks of the Maine River, marks the final major tributary of the Loire before its majestic journey culminates in the Atlantic Ocean. Your journey continues along the meandering course of the Maine, eventually converging with the Loire at the scenic confluence of La Pointe-Bouchemaine.

As you venture onward, the path leads you through a landscape framed by the imposing presence of a slate granite massif. This route guides you to Savennières, a quaint village boasting the distinction of housing the region's oldest church. Here, amidst the historical charm, you'll find some of the Loire Valley's most exceptional wines. These wines, renowned for their fruity and dry white varieties, invite you to partake in a memorable experience by visiting a local winegrower. Savour the flavours of the land as you explore the rich viticultural heritage of the region.

Continuing your journey from La Poissonnière, the path traverses dikes that offer enchanting vistas and panoramas of the Loire. Along this route, you'll be treated to breathtaking views of the river, leading you to the picturesque town of Saint-Florent-le-Vieil. This charming town, nestled along the Loire's banks, promises a delightful respite on your cycling adventure through the Loire Valley, where history, nature, and gastronomy converge to create an unforgettable experience.

Another day along the Loire, amidst its ever-changing landscapes, awaits. The Loire River has now entered Brittany, meandering through slate and granite rocks on its way to Nantes. The cycle path traverses both riverbanks, featuring occasional minor climbs that reward you with stunning vistas. The Loire River gracefully guides you to the heart of the historic city of Nantes. Despite being 70 km away from the Atlantic Ocean, the maritime influence is already evident in this area.

The river steadily widens, and the landscape grows progressively more serene. The journey continues downstream, passing through quaint villages until the Loire merges with the Atlantic. Only the remarkable bridge spanning the Loire stands between you and Saint Nazaire. Consider exploring the Atlantic Shipyard, among the world's largest shipbuilding firms, or the accessible submarine bunker, which can also be reached by bicycle.

Spend a few extra days in the city of Saint-Nazaire or return home.

Route information

You'll be cycling on well-paved asphalt and gravel paths, with occasional stretches on side roads. The route is clearly marked and presents only a few noticeable inclines to conquer, and there might be occasional headwinds to ride against.

Prices and dates

Prices are per person in GBP and exclude flights

Price calculation and check availability: ​​​​​​​Loire Valley Cycle Route: Tours to St. Nazaire

Place of arrival: Tours
  Season 1
30.03.2024 - 12.04.2024
28.09.2024 - 12.10.2024

Saturday
Season 2
13.04.2024 - 10.05.2024
07.09.2024 - 27.09.2024

Saturday
Season 3
11.05.2024 - 06.09.2024

Saturday
Loire Valley Cycle Route: Tours - St. Nazaire, FR-LORTS-08X
Base price
939.00
989.00
1,049.00
Single room surcharge 419.00 419.00 419.00

Hotel information: 3*** hotels (French classification)

Season 1
Mar 30, 2024 - Apr 12, 2024
Sep 28, 2024 - Oct 12, 2024
Saturday
Season 2
Apr 13, 2024 - May 10, 2024
Sep 7, 2024 - Sep 27, 2024
Saturday
Season 3
May 11, 2024 - Sep 6, 2024
Saturday
Loire Valley Cycle Route: Tours - St. Nazaire, FR-LORTS-08X
Base price
Single room surcharge
939.00
419.00
989.00
419.00
1,049.00
419.00

Hotel information: 3*** hotels (French classification)

Season 1
Mar 30, 2024 - Apr 12, 2024
Sep 28, 2024 - Oct 12, 2024
Season 2
Apr 13, 2024 - May 10, 2024
Sep 7, 2024 - Sep 27, 2024
Season 3
May 11, 2024 - Sep 6, 2024
Tours
Double room p.p.
Single room surcharge
Saint Nazaire
Double room p.p.
Single room surcharge
65.00
45.00
65.00
45.00
65.00
45.00
65.00
45.00
65.00
45.00
65.00
45.00
Additional nights
Place of arrival: Tours
  Season 1
Mar 30, 2024 - Apr 12, 2024
Sep 28, 2024 - Oct 12, 2024

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

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

Saturday
Tours
Double room p.p. 65.00 65.00 65.00
Single room surcharge 45.00 45.00 45.00
Saint Nazaire
Double room p.p. 65.00 65.00 65.00
Single room surcharge 45.00 45.00 45.00
Price
21-Speed Unisex Bike
21-Speed Men's Bike
27-Speed Bike PLUS
Unisex E-Bike
99.00
99.00
169.00
259.00
Prices per person in GBP

Our rental bikes

Included services and travel information

Services

Included:

  • Overnight stays as listed
  • Breakfast
  • Luggage transfers
  • Well-prepared itinerary
  • Detailed travel documents 1 x per room (DE, EN)
  • Navigation app and GPS data available
  • Service hotline

Optional:

  • With rental bike incl. rental bike insurance.
  • Return transfer by minibus to Tours or Orléans every Saturday morning, cost per person to Tours € 95,- or Orléans € 119,-, for own bike additional € 29, reservation required, payable in advance.
Travel information

Arrival/Parking/Departure:

  • Orléans, Tours or St Nazaire train station
  • Paris or Nantes airports(s)
  • Garage approx. € 7,- per day in Orléans.
  • Hotel garage for approx. € 50,- per week in Tours. No reservation is possible/necessary.
  • On weekends, continuous train connections with free bike transport from St. Nazaire via Tours to Orléans.

Important information:

  • Please note that high-quality rental bikes are provided by our local partner for this trip.
  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the tour price!