Bike Tour Reviews  Loire Valley Chateaux And Gardens Tour

  • Loire Valley Chateaux and Gardens Tour
    (5/5) Cindy Kinney 3 weeks ago

    Great way to discover France

    We had a knowledgeable guide that helped us experience the beauty of France. We enjoyed the food, wine and people. Great biking and a wonderful adventure.

    The gardens were amazing and the history of the area was fascinating.

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2022
    How many tours have you completed?
    3
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) Becky Foster 2 months ago

    Loire Valley - Bike Trip you Want to Take!

    This was a great choice for a bike trip! The roads are narrow and beautiful, but the drivers in France are incredibly patient. Each day we saw one or two chateaux. They are all quite different from one another, so I loved visiting every one! Our guide, Sam, was fantastic. He was personable and encouraged each of us in the way we needed. We upgraded to two chateaux and I would highly recommend doing that.

    What was the date of your tour?
    Sept/Oct 2022
    How many tours have you completed?
    3
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat easier
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 4/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (4/5) Ellen Hatfield 2 months ago

    Great trip!

    This trip was a great way to explore the Chateaus of the Loire Valley. The trip was over nice roads and was very scenic. We were a returning group with experienced riders, so we had a lot of fun and traveled at a good pace. Our guide, Sam Taylor, really made the trip. He was fun, engaged with us, knew his stuff and can change a tire at a remarkable pace. He is a fantastic guide.
    The only thing I would recommend is having the chateau tours included in the tour price. It was a real hassle having to get tickets for a large group at the site. I guess I thought the tickets were included in the tour. We had someone from our group pay for the tickets, but then we had to do a money exchange everyday which was a pain.
    I also thought some wine was included but we could get more if we wanted. We paid for

    What was the date of your tour?
    Sept 2022
    How many tours have you completed?
    2
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) Kathleen Cook 2 months ago

    Fantastic Trip

    This trip was even better than expected. The riding was enjoyable. The routes were mostly flat and lightly traveled roads or bike paths. Our guide, Sam, was very knowledgeable and personable. Hotels and meals were great too. We upgraded two hotels. A+

    What was the date of your tour?
    September-October 2022
    How many tours have you completed?
    5
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) Lindynw July 15, 2019

    A Wonderful Tour of the Loire Valley Chateaux

    This tour exceeded our expectations. First we wish to extend a huge thank you to Bernard and Lydia for agreeing to guide this tour even though we were the only 2 people who signed up for it. That was most generous and gracious. Bernard is knowledgeable, funny, and very kind. His guide-in-training, Lydia, who accompanied us added an extra amount of fun and was very willing to help with French translations. We feel very fortunate to have been on her first tour and know she will succeed in her future guided trips. Although our group was small we immensely enjoyed the hotels, the wonderful food and wine, the picnics, and the chateau visits. We were sad to have the trip come to an end. We highly recommend this trip and feel it is the best way to experience the chateaux of the Loire Valley.

    What was the date of your tour?
    June 29, 2019
    How many tours have you completed?
    2
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 3/5 Ease of navigation
    • 3/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) Tonzo June 9, 2019

    The Loire Valley Chateau and Garden Tour

    What a wonderful experience and a lovey biking trip. So enjoyed our guide Bernard and his vast knowledge of the area. The accommodations were excellent and the food was great. What more can I say other than my husband and I had a great time.

    What was the date of your tour?
    May 18-25
    How many tours have you completed?
    5
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 3/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 3/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 3/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) Rob4056 June 6, 2019

    Just right!

    A wonderful combination of sights, food, friends and fun! Bernard was the consummate host, helping us through the markets to buy group picnic lunches that everyone loved, finding routes that were uncrowded with traffic and scenic, answering all questions and smoothing out any bumps with a smile. The hotels were just right - comfortable and not too fancy given that we were only there to sleep. Bikes and equipment (rain gear, panniers, etc.) were excellent, and Bernard had the skills and carried the tools necessary to fix anything that wasn’t quite right. And the chateaus were stunning, as were the countryside and small villages along the way. May was a perfect time - dealing with summer crowds and heat would have been less fun. Occasionally we felt a bit rushed going through a large chateau, but we saw the highlights, and there were always many more things waiting for us down the road - like the small winery where the owner explained her many challenges and the cave which grows amazing mushrooms. And every day was capped off by a wonderful dinner, good wine and great conversation. Thank you Bernard and tour organizers for a wonderful trip!

    What was the date of your tour?
    May 2019
    How many tours have you completed?
    1
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 3/5 Ease of navigation
    • 3/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) JaneN June 5, 2019

    The Perfect Bike Tour

    There was no guided Loire Valley Chateaux and Gardens Tour scheduled by the local tour operator in May 2019, which is when our group wanted to go. We asked, and the tour operator was happy to add our requested week since we were a group of 8.

    In summary, the tour and guide exceeded our expectations and hopes.

    May is a fabulous time to do this tour. The high temperatures were generally in the mid-60s (about 18 degrees C), perfect for riding, there were only a couple of times when we had very light rain for a couple of hours. The wild flowers and garden flowers are in full bloom and everything else is fresh and green as it is in mid-spring. This was prior to the start of the heavy tourist season, so traffic is lighter than in July and August.

    Our tour guide was wonderful. He gladly accommodated a couple of special needs. He focused on giving us a local experience in the accommodations, food, sightseeing, and bike paths we never would have found on our own. While we were frequently on roads where cars could go, these were roads used mostly by local farmers or workers and there was almost no traffic. Frequently we were on bike/pedestrian only paths. Almost of the surfaces were paved and the few packed dirt paths easy for bicycles. Bernard gave us loads of information about the villages and sights we saw, the local history, and what is going on in the Loire Valley today.

    The accommodations are very nice in that you stay in small 2- or 3-star hotels with character and charm run by independent owners. Breakfast was always varied and hearty enough for a good start to the day. Dinners were very good at selected restaurants that highlighted the wonderful and varied local cuisine. We frequently did picnics for lunch (not included in the tour cost), which is what our group preferred, and our guide steered us to local products which were fresh and excellent.

    The bikes were in great condition, and we had confidence that our tour guide could readily fix anything that might go wrong along the way.

    What was the date of your tour?
    18-25 May 2019
    How many tours have you completed?
    3
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat easier
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) Rosie1633 June 1, 2019

    Fabulous tour!

    We thoroughly enjoyed our Loire Valley bike trip! We could not have had a better guide! He was attentive, incredibly knowledgeable, kind and funny. He even stopped to help another cyclist along the way who had a broken spoke. There was just the right amount of cycling, touring and eating. Our group is already making plans to do another trip next year in Europe.

    What was the date of your tour?
    May 18-26, 2019
    How many tours have you completed?
    This was my first
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • Photo 1 (photo by Rosie1633)
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) Arti July 22, 2018

    Everything expected

    Could not have duplicated the selection of hotels, restaurants, company, explanations, detailed trails, cultural explanations.

    What was the date of your tour?
    6/30/2018 to 7/7/2018
    How many tours have you completed?
    0
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • Photo 1 (photo by Arti)
    • Photo 2 (photo by Arti)
    • Photo 3 (photo by Arti)
    • Photo 4 (photo by Arti)
    • Photo 5 (photo by Arti)
    • Photo 6 (photo by Arti)
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 3/5 Hotels or boat
    • 4/5 Scenery
    • 3/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) Cornelia July 22, 2018

    Absolutely wonderful trip with a tour guide extraordinaire!

    I base most of my "Excellent" ratings on our guide, Bernard Dugdale, from The Chain Gang Tour Company via Bike Tours. He provided an excellent and problem-free bike trip for all 13 people on this Loire Valley Tour.  He even pulled a rabbit out of a hat and secured train tickets for us while there was a train strike in France. He made sure everyone's bike "fit" them and was comfortable in every way.  He was fluent in French, a lot of fun, and seemed to have his finger on the "pulse" of what was going on with each and everyone of us and made sure we were all looked after, whether ordering in a restaurant or having a minor difficulty with our bike.  The castles were stunning and scenery beautiful. A+  

    What was the date of your tour?
    June 30-July 6, 2018
    How many tours have you completed?
    2
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 5/5 Ease of navigation
    • 4/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
    • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
  • (5/5) Jack Luther December 12, 2017

    Slow and Easy Cycling the Loire Valley

    In the fall of 2016 my wife and I went on this adventure. This was our second Bike Tours vacation and again it exceeded our expectation in every way. Each day we enjoyed beautiful scenery and toured amazing chateaux followed by an evening relaxing with exceptional wines and cuisine in small French villages. As always the trip ended all too soon but the video I made and posted here helps us relive one of our best vacations ever.

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2016
    How many tours have you completed?
    Three with Bike Tours. com
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    Video: Cycling in the Loire Valley
    • BikeTours.com staff reply from Brittany December 13, 2017

      Jack, we're so glad to hear that you and your wife had such a great time on tour! Your video puts me in the valley immediately. We hope to help you with your next tour and thanks for taking the time to review.

    • 5/5 Value
    • 5/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Tour documents
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (4/5) Coasters September 18, 2017

    A glimpse of the Loire valley

    A fabulous way to experience the countryside around the Loire valley. GPS maps made this trip very pleasurable

    What was the date of your tour?
    Sept 11-17
    How many tours have you completed?
    5
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 4/5 Value
    • 4/5 Included meals
    • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 2/5 Ease of navigation
    • 2/5 Tour documents
    • 3/5 Local tour company services
    • 2/5 Route selection
  • (5/5) Roadbiker August 9, 2017

    Self guided Loire Valley Ride

    What was the date of your tour?
    July 23-29
    How many tours have you completed?
    First bike tour
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    Somewhat harder
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    Solo travelers
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • 5/5 Value
    • 3/5 Included meals
    • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 4/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 4/5 Ease of navigation
    • 5/5 Local tour company services
    • 5/5 Route selection
  • (4/5) travelprodtw October 18, 2016

    Lovely week in the Loire Valley

    The perfect time to go on this tour is shoulder season; would be much too hot in the summer months; especially since some hotels did not have A/C. The local operator had great bikes (Treks) but we did experience a wheel problem on day 1 which they were not quick enough to address (we were on a self-guided tour). It was as if they did not believe us when we reported the problem. We had to be insistent they address it on day two rather than them wanting to take care of the problem. In all it cost us about 3 hours delay the first day and 2 hours on Day 2; missed two chateau visits as a result Loved the unusual routing for the tour but since it was off the beaten bike path, could have used more precise directions and maps. It would help if they said something like "After 3.2 miles go right on the gravel road" instead of "then take A32 right" because there was not always a sign for "A32".

    What was the date of your tour?
    September 2016
    How many tours have you completed?
    2
    Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
    As expected
    Who is this tour suitable for?
    First-time bike tourists, Families with teens
    Do you recommend this tour?
    Yes
    • BikeTours.com staff reply from Lindsay Nash October 19, 2016

      Hi, thanks very much for sharing your experience. We're glad you had a lovely week in the Loire Valley. It's truly a beautiful place.
      We're sorry to hear of the trouble with the bikes, especially since you missed out on the chateaux visits. As an apology from us, we'd love to waive your booking fees on your next tour. Please just mention this next time you book!
      Thank you again for sharing your experience, which we will share with the local operator as we continually work to improve our offerings and services.
      Kind regards,
      Lindsay

    • 3/5 Value
    • 3/5 Included meals
    • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
    • 5/5 Hotels or boat
    • 5/5 Scenery
    • 1/5 Ease of navigation
    • 3/5 Tour documents
    • 3/5 Local tour company services
    • 4/5 Route selection