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.