We managed to put together a super inaugural tour in 2021, and were able to perfect it in 2022. 2023 promises to be even better!
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Tour F1: 7-day, 7 night tour beginning in the city of Tours, France, the afternoon of June 15, 2023 and finishing up on the afternoon of June 22 in Angers.
Tour F2: 7-day, 7 night tour beginning in the city of Tours, France, the afternoon of June 23, 2023 and finishing up on the afternoon of June 30 in Angers.
Tour F3: 7-day, 7 night tour beginning in the city of Tours, France, the afternoon of July 2, 2023 and finishing up on the afternoon of July 9 in Angers.
Cost per person based on double occupancy $1525, single occupancy $1800 (under-age-30 discount $50, previous-customer discount $25, E-bike extra $90)
- 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 group bike ride to Richeleau and countryside celtic Dolmen, 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, 28 miles.
- Day 7 – Saumur to Angers with hand-operated ferry crossing of L’Authion river, 38 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 & possible wind.
- High quality hybrid or Electric bikes (extra fee) for comfortable riding on crushed-gravel cycle paths as well as roads.
- Bicycle Helmets, panniers, locks.
- 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.
- Fresh breakfast (Croissants, Fruit, Marmalade, Yogurts & Cheeses, etc) every day.
- Admission to Chateau de Chenonceaux, Chateau Nitray Wine and Food tasting, Villandry Gardens, Chateau d’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.
- 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)!