|Type of tour:||Self-guided|
|Distance:||26 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Daily: Mar 1-Oct 31, 2014|
|Start city:||Orleans, France|
|End city:||Le Croisic, France|
Follow the new cycling path "Loire à vélo." The “Loire à Vélo” trail runs through the Centre and Pays de la Loire regions. As of 2008, you are able to cycle through the Anjou, Touraine, Loir-et-Cher, Loiret and Cher areas over more than 250 miles of signposted tracks alongside the Loire River and its tributaries. Loire à Vélo is part of the future “Euroveloroute” running between Nantes and Budapest (1500 miles).
You can take 5, 9 or 14 nights to discover this great valley and reach the Atlantic coast. The route consists of three stages; you can ride just one, or link two or all three together. This page will book you on the 14 night tour, which covers all three sections of the route.
Section 1 : From Orléans to Tours
Discover the royal valley by longing the majestic river from Orléans to Tours where thousands of treasures are waiting you including historical heritage and testimony with numerous chateaux, wonderful landscapes of different natural areas, and regional gastronomy delights. To view details about this tour, please click HERE.
Section 2 : From Tours to Angers
This part of the Loire Valley is the most dotted in chateaux and vineyards. Follow the Loire river which will guide you from historical places to famous cellars for tasting. Enjoy the 'French art de vivre' along the peaceful and wild landscapes. To view details about this tour, please click HERE.
Sections 1 and 2 can be viewed together as a nine night tour HERE .
Section 3 : From Orleans to Le Croisic
Discover the charms of the Western part of the Loire valley from Orleans all the way to Le Croisic. This itinerary is your chance to visit the typical countryside by salterns and marsh to finally "take the plunge" into the Atlantic Ocean at Le Croisic.
Learn more about self-guided tours.
Day 1: Arrival in Orléans
Discover Orléans and its old historical centre, situated between the large countryside fields of Beauce area, green pastures, ponds and forest of Sologne area. Accommodation in 2* hotel and dinner in a local restaurant in Orléans
Day 2: Orléans – Beaugency (18 miles/28 km)
Longing the wild river banks for a stage in calm and serenity through the charming and very flowered city of Beaugency.
Accommodation in 2* hotel and dinner in a local restaurant in Beaugency
Day 3: Beaugency - Blois (29 miles/46 km)
Leaving Beaugency by the river banks passing via the prestigious château of Chambord : the widest Château of the Loire Valley masterpiece of the Renaissance period. Then, follow the direction of Blois presenting a rich historical heritage with the château offering a brilliant illustration of the evolution of French architecture from the Middle Ages to the 17th century.
Dinner and accommodation in 2* hotel in Blois
Day 4: Blois – Amboise (28 miles/44 km)
Follow the small countryside routes until the chateau of Chaumont overlooking the Loire river, before reaching Amboise and its royal chateau from 15th –16th century. Few streets further on, is the last home of Léonardo Da Vinci : Manorhouse of ‘Clos Lucé’.
Accommodation in 2* hotel and dinner in a local restaurant in Amboise
Day 5: Amboise – Tours (16 or 19 miles/25 or 31 km)
A stage via the vineyards of Montlouis to discover the numerous cellars offering sweet white or sparkling wines. Then, enjoy the lovely chateau birthplace of Gabrielle d’Estrées, the favorite of King Henri IV. Continue to the heart of the city of Tours to discover the old quarters sheltering the famous 'Place Plumereau' and its half-timbered houses.
Accommodation in 2* hotel and dinner in a local restaurant in Tours
Day 6: Tours – Azay le Rideau (23 miles/36 km)
Reach Savonnières for a journey in the heart of Petrifying Grottoes. Then proceed to Villandry with its famous Gardens, matchless in Europe and composed of 3 superposed terraces, then Saché, the house of the famous novelist Honoré de Balzac. Finally arrive in Azay le Rideau where you can admire its Renaissance chateau, a jewel set over the Indre river.
Accommodation in 2* hotel and dinner in a local restaurant in Azay le Rideau
Day 7: Azay le Rideau – Chinon (24 miles/39 km)
Departure towards Langeais and its 15th century château offering a typical form of a medieval fortified castle where you could admire wonderful tapestries and piece of furniture. Then ride towards the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ chateau in Ussé which has inspired Perrault for its famous fairy tale story.
Accommodation in 2* hotel and dinner in a local restaurant in Chinon
Day 8: Chinon – Saumur (27 miles/43 km)
Before leaving the medieval city of Chinon, founded on the Vienne river, possibility to visit numerous cellars which propose the famous red wine such appreciated by Rabelais. Then, continue towards the abbey of Fontevraud, the largest monastic city remaining in Europe which is the Necropolis of the Plantagenêts sovereigns before reaching the lovely town of Saumur.
Accommodation in 2* hotel and dinner in a local restaurant in Saumur
Day 9: Saumur – Angers (40 miles/64 km)
A stage following the Loire river before going through the vineyards of Anjou. You will reach the peaceful city of Angers and its chateau sheltering the famous Apocalypse Tapestry.
Accommodation in 2* hotel and dinner in a local restaurant in Angers
Day 10: Angers – Montjean or Ingrandes sur Loire (23 miles/36 km)
From the heart of the vineyards of Anjou: slopes of the River Loire, Aubance and Layon, to the banks of the Loire at Chalonnes, the confluence of the Rivers Loire and Layon. A ride through typical small villages and natural landscapes where life is running at the rhythm of the Loire river.
Overnight and dinner in 2-star hotel in Montjean or Ingrandes sur Loire.
Day 11: Montjean or Ingrandes sur Loire - Champtoceaux (25 miles/40 km)
A ride along the banks of the River Loire where you will enjoy the different natural landscapes and observe the wild animals and birds of the river. A peaceful ride on the cycling path until to Champtoceaux, in its magnificent setting marking the boundary between Anjou and Brittany.
Overnight and dinner in 2-star hotel in Champtoceaux.
Day 12: Champtoceaux - Nantes (19 miles/30 km)
On leaving Champtoceaux, ride to ‘Les Folies Siffait’ which is a former romantic garden where plants and stoned building are composing a very original peaceful place where you have a wonderful view over the Loire river. Then continue along the Loire river until reaching the capital of the western area : Nantes. This very dynamic city will offer you a large choice of visit and you can enjoy a sightseeing through the numerous pedestrian streets.
Overnight in 2-star hotel and dinner in a local restaurant in Nantes.
Day 13: Nantes – St Brévin (35 miles/55 km)
Leave the city via a small boat to cross the river and continue on the cycling path of ‘Loire à vélo’. Further on, you will follow a narrow canal for a peaceful moment along marshlands and countryside to finish at the estuary of the Loire river in St Brevin les pins : a seaside resort which offer a large sandy beach surrounded by sand dunes and Pine trees forest. This is an ideal place to relax after long day biking.
Overnight and dinner in 2-star hotel in St Brévin.
Day 14: St Brévin – Le Croisic (33 miles/53 km)
Taxi transfer from St Brevin to St Nazaire. From the estuary of the River Loire to the wild sea coast of Le Croisic. An opportunity to discover the famous salterns of the medieval town of Guérande. In the heart of a classified natural park, this medieval city offer you many testimonies of its historical past. Then, continue on the wild coast before reaching Le Croisic, a fish harbour and a very beautiful village on the coast.
Overnight in 2-star hotel and dinner in a local restaurant in Le Croisic.
Day 15: Departure
Departure, after breakfast.
Daily: Mar 1-Oct 31, 2014
|Category A: 3- and 4-star hotels|
|Category B: 2-star hotels|
Does not include
These are sample hotels and may vary based on availability.
Day 1: Hotel d'Arc, Orleans
Day 2: Hotel Ecu de Bretagne, Beaugency
Day 3: Hotel Medicis, Blois
or Hotel Blois Chateau, Blois
Day 4: Hotel le Clos d’Amboise, Amboise
Day 5: Hotel Central, Tours
Day 6: Hotel le Grand Monarque, Azay le Rideau
Day 7: Hotel Anne d'Anjou, Saumur
Day 8: Hotel de France, Chinon
Day 9: Hotel de France, Angers
Day 10: Auberge de la Loire, Montjean
or Hotel le Poisson d’Argent
Day 11: Hotel le Champalud, Champtoceaux
Day 12: Hotel Graslin, Nantes
Day 13: Hotel le Beryl, St. Brevin
Day 14: Hotel les Vikings, Le Croisic
Day 1: Hotel Escale Oceania, Orleans
Day 2: Hotel Ecu de Bretagne, Beaugency
Day 3: Hotel Le Monarque, Blois
Day 4: Hotel La Breche, Amboise
Day 5: Hotel Le Criden, Tours
Day 6: Hotel De Biencourt, Azay Le Rideau
Day 7: Hotel Kyriad, Saumur
Day 8: Hotel Les Plantagenets, Chinon
Day 9: Hotel Continental, Angers
Day 10: Montjean, Auberge de la Loire
Day 11: Hotel le Champalud, Champtoceaux
Day 12: Hotel Dusquene, Nantes
Day 13: Hotel le Petit Trianon, St Brevin
Day 14: Hotel les Nids, Le Croisic
Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.
The bikes available are 21-speed men's and ladies' bikes. They are equipped with two saddlebags, a high visibility jacket, an anti-theft device, a mapholder, a helmet, a counter and a repair kit. A cycling specialist will help you adjust your bike upon arrival.
The Loire à Vélo tour routes alternate between quiet roads with little traffic (37%), dedicated bike paths (27%), no-thoroughfare roads open only to local residents and non-motorized vehicles (24%), and cycle lanes along roadways (12%). Two-thirds of the overall routes runs along the Loire.
"As with our previous trips, we have been very impressed with the organization of the tours. We had a great time. Bike (tandem) was just right. The hotels and restaurants were all excellent and the towns fun to explore. Restaurants made the evening a pleasure. Especially nice was dinner the last night in La Croisic - WOW, looking out over the ocean and it must have been a 3 or 4 star place, because we felt like we were with the high-rollers that night. A great way to end the tour! Will definitely be back."
- Larry and Judy, July 2012
(Note: La Croisic not included on all Loire a Velo routes)
Nearest airport: Paris, France
Nearest train station: Orleans, France
Nearest airport: Paris, France
Nearest train station: Le Croisic, France
Tips on getting to and from your tour
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Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
With more than 40,000 monuments and 6,000 museums, France's history and tradition continue to thrive in Western Europe's largest country. Along with its history, France is at the forefront of modern development, a leader among European nations. A country of contrasts, France provides opportunities for all interests. Fashion, art and elegance prosper in the dynamic cities of Paris, Lyon, and Nice. Outside the cities, a variety of landscapes stretch over the remaining 80% of the country.
France's hexagonal shape is defined by the English Channel and Atlantic on the western coast with the Pyrenees and Alps sitting on the southwest and southeast borders. The Mediterranean Sea runs along the southern coast with the Rhine River flowing beside the German border. Visitors exploring the cities or countryside can bask in France’s pleasant climate, enjoying the stylish life, local wine and cuisine.
Loire Valley Travel has been organising cycling and walking tour packages in a large number of French regions and making its exclusive skills available to you for more than 20 years.
From 3 days to two weeks, our fully inclusive tours and trips allow you to take advantage of our France’s most beautiful regions on cycling tours . You are free to program the visits of sites as you please. Programs adapted to your own rhythm !
With experience and detailed local knowledge, our team ensures your comfort by selecting the best private hotels, where you will be constantly reminded that you are in a region where well-being and living well are key concepts!
When you book one of our tours, you can be sure of the tranquillity of an organised holiday planned down to the last detail before you leave (hotel reservations, luggage transfers, detailed itinerary and maps). Once you arrive, you have all the time you want to complete each day’s itinerary in total freedom and at your own pace, stopping where you like - you can choose from among the various sites suggested along your route depending on your interests (culture, cuisine, vineyards etc.).
Any change to a confirmed booking will give rise to extra cost of: 40 euros per person.
For cancellation of a booking more than 30 days before the departure date, expenses will be payable on the following basis:
And for cancellations of a booking
The insurance costs are not refunded in case of cancellation of the trip.