We managed to put together a super inaugural tour in 2021, so we were able gain some great experience for every detail of this tour. 2022 promises to be even better!
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7-day, 7 night tour beginning in the city of Tours, France, the afternoon of September 10, 2022 and finishing up on the afternoon of September 17 in Angers.
Cost per person based on double occupancy $1525, single occupancy $1800 (under-age-30 discount $50, previous-customer discount $25)
- Week-long point-to-point tour from Chenonceaux to Angers generally along “La Loire a Velo”, a cycleway crossing the middle of France. About a fifth of the ride detours off to visit Chinon, Fontevraud Abbey and other interesting spots.
- Hour and a half train ride southwest of Paris.
- Contains the largest concentration of Chateaux (beautiful manor house/castles), in the world.
- Gardens, historic cities, cathedrals, cave houses, wineries, vineyards, and French cuisine.
- Pastoral, relaxing scenery, generally flat.
- Short mileage allows enough time to visit wonderful sights along route each day.
- 6 days of riding and 1 off-day, between 20 and 34 miles/day. 2 nights in Tours, 1 night in Langeais, 2 nights in Chinon, 2 nights in Saumur.
- Day 0 – Meet in Tours, visit Cathedral, stay night. Enjoy extensive pedestrian zones, restaurants, nightlife.
- Day 1 – Take short train ride to Blere, ride to magnificent river-Chere-straddling Chateaux de Chenonceaux & gardens. Ride 10 miles to wine and food tasting at Chateau de Nitray, then continue along the river back to Tours, 28 miles.
- Day 2 – Tours to Langeais via visit to world-renown gardens at Villandry, 20 miles. Visit the fortress of Langeais. Optional longer ride if desired.
- Day 3 – Langeais to Royal City of Chinon via Chateau D’Usse, the “Sleeping Beauty” Castle, 20 miles. Swimming in Loire river, Visit huge Fortress of Chinon.
- Day 4 – Rest Day in Chinon, wine-tasting and cave tour of Domaine de Couly-Dutheil Winery. Options include boating on the Vienne river, group optional bike ride , reading, relaxing, walking around town.
- Day 5 – Chinon to Saumur via beautiful hillside village of Candes-St. Martin, 24 miles. Visit magnificent overlook & cathedral at Candes-St. Martin, cave hotel of Demeure de la Vignole. Ride alongside extensive shops and dwellings of the cave-dwelling troglodytes.
- Day 6 – Day ride to Fontevraud-Abbaye, burial place of Richard the Lionheart and Eleanor of Aquitane, and underground fortress Chateau de Breze, 25 miles.
- Day 7 – Saumur to Angers with hand-operated ferry crossing of L’Authion river, 34 miles. Enjoy extensive cultural and food offerings in Angers, largest castle in mid-France (17 huge towers!).
- Level of Difficulty – Generally not difficult as the cycling is largely along the flat “Loire a Velo” bikeway. One large hill on day 3, and days 6 and 7 a little more challenging due to some hills & wind.
- High quality hybrid or Electric bikes (extra fee) for comfortable riding on crushed-gravel cycle paths as well as roads.
- Bicycle Helmets.
- Lodging in beautiful B&B’s or small hotels.
- Luggage transport & emergency van support.
- Full-time, on-road guide (Andy Brown).
- Detailed electronic routes and cue sheets with descriptions.
- Tour information booklet.
- Advice with travel arrangements.
- French breakfast (Croissants, Fruit, Marmalade, Yogurts & Cheeses) every day.
- Admission to Chateau de Chenonceaux, Chateau Nitray Wine and Food tasting, Villandry Gardens, Chateau de Usse, Domaine de Couly-Dutheil Winery Tour and Tasting, Fontevreaud Abbey, and Chateau Breze .
What’s not included
- Transportation to and from the start of the tour.
- Lodging before and after the tour.
- Lunches, Dinners, or Drinks (except partial lunch Day 1 at Chateau Nitray).
- Additional arrangements necessary if you bring your own bike.
Our route is shown below (courtesy Tim Leinbach at MapExcite.com). Click on any spot on the map below to bring up a photo and description of that day’s ride, and hold down the right mouse button to manipulate the route in 3-D (including the elevation profile)!