The palaces of the Loire
The Loire Valley – the quintessence of the romantic France! The rural charm of this region is in no way inferior to the cultural wealth of its cities. But of course, the castles on the river Loire are the reason, above all else, why this region is so famous. Kings, feudal lords and ladies of the court, seduced by the beautiful natural setting of the Loire Valley, had there, in the ‘garden of France’, several hundred castles, manor houses and dreamy residences built. Villandry, Langeais, Ussé, Chinon, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceaux, Chambord, Blois, just to name the most important ones. Each one of them would be worth a separate holiday, however together they truly display a one of a kind route of dreams as far as architecture and scenery is concerned. First class in every way.
1. day Arrival Tours
Already discover the historic centre Touraine today, the highly-praised ‚Garden of France‘.
2. day Tours - Chinon 55 km
The river Cher leads you directly to the castle Villandry with its terraced gardens. Certainly, you should not miss paying a visit to this famous installation. Every visitor will be amazed by the shadowy footpaths, the flower-bedecked bowers, the fountains and the artistically laid out vegetable gardens. Some kilometres further on you will exchange the bank of the Cher for the bank of the famous Loire. And again you will be tempted by the next castle – Langeais. From the top of the fortified tower (this castle exclusively served for military purposes) you will see the river and its whole surroundings lying in front of you. On the verge of the dark and mysterious forest of Chinon rises the castle of Ussé, the castle of the Sleeping Beauty. Via small villages and on side roads you will reach today’s destination – Chinon.
3. day Fontevraud l'abbaye round trip 55 km
The Vienne escorts you first in the small village Candes-St-Matin. A grandiose and romantic church was built at the place of death of the holy St. Martin. In Montsoreau conflate the Vienne with the powerful Loire – a impressing natural spectacle. These ‘cave gardens’ are approx. 800 km long. Your cyclist calves take you first to Fontervraud l’Abbey. Nowhere else in this world, you will find a medieval monastery that is so entirely preserved like the one in Fontervraud. You pass the birth house of Francois Rabelais, the famous author and also through the valley, where his story line of the book “Gargantua” takes place.
4. day Chinon - Azay-le-Rideau 40 km
You leave Chinon with its medieval alleys, which crowd between the river and the rocks, towards the north. The tour leads you through vineyards and lonely villages. Like Crissay, once entirely deserted – it is now resettled by artists and people who always know how to make the best of things. But don’t be afraid – there will also be a castle for admiration today: to be precise, one of extremely high quality – Azay-le-Rideau. Balzac wrote about it “a diamond with thousand facets, set by the Indre”. What could we add to this? You will spend the night in town and have, therefore, the chance to enjoy the magic of the castle with its cultural events.
5. day Azay-Le-Rideau - Chenonceaux/Surrounding 60 km
There is another highlight in store: this time concerning nature. Through the romantic river landscape, steadily following the Indre, you will reach Montbazon. A short ascent awaits you. By pedalling really hard over a mountain ridge you reach the Cher Valley. On meadow paths and along the Cher you go to Bléré, a small market town. For many visitors the Castle of Chenonceaux is the topping on the cake. A magnificent, double floored bridge gallery goes over the river. But before the lovely palace garden will enthuse your eyes. But see and discover on your own.
6. day Chenonceaux/Surrounding - Blois 50 - 78 km
This tour leads you through the pretty scenery of the Touraine to Chaumont castle and from there you proceed along romantic paths along the river Loire to Blois. After settling into your accommodation you embark on an exploration tour. Bloir palace with its galleries, protruding balconies, bay windows and aspen could be your destination.
7. day Ausflug zum Schloss Chambord ca. 50 km
Today is mostly dedicated to Chambord palace. Already from a distance this largest and most stupendous residence on the river Loire is shimmering through the trees. You get a very good idea of the incredible dimensions of the complex if you cycle around the palace along the canal. Just the park is a large as the 20 districts of Paris and is surrounded by a 35 km long wall. Half a millennium of French history in Chambord has left its mark: built in the Renaissance are under the art-loving King Francois I., venue for glittering parties and hunting festivities under ‚le Roi Soleil‘ Ludwig XIV., plundered during the French Revolution and today after Versaille the second most visited palace in France. It will be very easy for you to find lots of good reasons for it.
8. day Blois - Amboise ca. 45 km
The Loire-cycle path leads you from Blois to Chaumont-sur-Loire. The palace here has never been a royal residence and is hence a bit of an insider tip. It is a sight to see mainly due to the giant park, the annual venue for an international garden show. You end your day in Amboise, whose palace is an especially early example for Renaissance architecture in the Loire-valley. One of the greatest artists of this era found his final resting place here: the town house Clos Lucé attached to the castle is very much dedicated to the memory of Leonardo da Vinci.
9. day Amboise – Tours ca. 30 km
The final stage of your cycling tour leads you once more into the vineyards on the slopes above the river Loire, into the wine-growing area Montlouis-sur-Loire and the little town with the same name with its idyllic location on the river. Here we recommend a short break before you continue again along the riverbank back to Tours.
10. day Tours departure
C'est la vie, how life plays so. Today it is already over, your cycling trip to the castles of the Loire. Once again good breakfast and then it is already saying goodbye to this probably most charming area of France. We would like to book your extension nights!
Individual tours: Here you decide when and with whom you would like to travel. We provide you with detailed tour documents and practical planning tips, and you enjoy our all-in, worry-free package with separate luggage transport throughout your tour.
Guided tours: You can simply get on your bike and enjoy a group holiday (8–20 participants). Your tour guide will take care of everything, and your luggage will be transported separately.
This overview shows you the grade of difficulty for our tours:
In the case of our original Velociped tours, we are the tour operator. We organise and accompany these tours personally.
So that you have an even bigger selection to choose from, we also cover additional routes in collaboration with long-standing partners. With these Velociped partner tours, we are the tour broker.
Minimum number of participants
Velociped can withdraw from the tour twenty-one days before the starting date of the tour, at the latest, in case the minimum number of participants stated under the tour description is not attained. You will duly be informed without any delay in case of a withdrawal. Velociped will of course refund the paid tour price immediately. Please note our General Terms and Conditions.
Prices are per person.
09.04. – 21.04.2022
01.10. – 08.10.2022
23.04. – 19.05.2022
10.09. – 29.09.2022
21.05. – 08.09.2022
23.04. – 19.05.2022
10.09. – 29.09.2022
21.05. – 08.09.2022
bookable additional nights
- 9 overnight stays incl. breakfast in the booked category
- luggage transport
- carefully elaborated route guidance
- detailed cycling map with route info
- detailed travel documents
- information talk on arrival day
- 7 day hotline service
- GPS dates on request
- accommodation incl. breakfast
- room with shower/bath/WC
- luggage transport
- map of bike trails with marked route
- detailed route description
- tips for tour preparation
- touristic information
- 7 days hotline service
Worth knowing about your Loire Tour
Below you will find specific information about the Loire Tour and surroundings. If you have further questions about this trip, you simply call us: Phone: 06421 – 886890.
Arrival by train
Target station is Tour- Centre. By arrival with train in Tours a station change in Paris with subway is necesssary. It is not possible take bicycles in the train. From Paris Montparnasse train station it takes about 1,5 to 2,5 hours to Tours-Centre.
Parking facilities at the hotel
If you will arrive with your car, you can park in the hotel garage or in a public parking garage depending on your hotel category. The weekly fee is approx. 45,- EUR (payable locally). A pre-reservation is not possible.
Condition of cycle paths
The route trough the valley of the Loire usually leads over little roads, cycle paths or economic routes. Except for two shorter climbs, you will find a consistently flat route guidance.
Available rental bikes
There are 21-speed ladies and gentlemen's bicycles of the brand Gitane available with free-wheeling. Electric bicycles are subject to availability, but they have no rescission. When booking a rental bike, the warning vest is included.
Cycling in France
For cyclists in France a striking dress code is prescribed. Since October 1, 2008, you have to wear a reflective warning vest at night outside of localities, as well as on days with poor visibility. Otherwise you will be fined up to 135 Euros. The measure is an initiative of the French Government.
Category A (comfort): nights in comfortable hotels in local 3* level with nice rooms with shower / bath and toilet. A mixture of charming and modern hotels, with good cuisine awaits you. Most centrally located accommodations
Category B (Standard): Overnight stay in country-style hotels on 2*/3* level with friendly rooms with shower / bath and toilet. A cozy and personal atmosphere awaits you. The accommodations are mostly centrally located.
Extra costs which are not included in the price
A possibly applicable city tax is not part of the travel price and therefore has to be paid at the hotel locally.
7 day hotline service
Just in case the bike chain breaks, flooding makes it impossible to continue your tour or any other nasty surprise: You can reach us seven days a week and we will do anything to help you as fast as possible.
Passport and visa requirements, health regulations
For EU citizens, there are no special passport or visa requirements and no health formalities to be considered for this trip.
The tour price already includes the statutory insolvency insurance. In addition, we recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance upon receipt of your travel confirmation in order to protect yourself against financial disadvantages in the event of travel cancellation, interruption of travel, illness or accident.
Cathedrale Saint-Gatien in Tours
The building, with its 70 meters high towers from the 16th century, was built on a slight hill to protect the cathedral from the floods of the Loire. Due to the long period of construction (completion of the choir 1260, longhouse around 1440), the cathedral represents all stages of development from the Gothic period up to the late Gothic period, built between 1426 and 1547 by the builders Jean de Dammartin, Jean Papin and Jean Durand.
Abbey of the Marmoutier
The monastery Marmoutier over the Loire near Tours is the monastery tradition after of the hl. Bishop Martin of Tours, 372/375, shortly after he had been made a bishop by the people. Before that, he had retired to the caves there as a hermit, a circle of students around him.
Hôtel Goüin in Tours
The building, which had been destroyed in a fire in 1940, retained the beautifully decorated southern façade. The building is home to the Musée Archéologique de Touraine, whose collections span a period from early prehistory to the 19th century. Small geniuses come at the sight of the instruments of the u.a. Also by Jean-Jacques Rousseau set up physical laboratories from Chenonceau Castle on their account.
Located in the Center Val de Loire region, the Renaissanceschloss is located in the heart of three terraced terraced gardens. The castle of Villandry is the last of the great Renaissance castles built on the Loire.
The castle of Langeais is located on the border of the Anjou and Touraine, in the region of the Center Val de Loire. It has two extraordinary castles: the Tower of Foulques Nerra and the Castle of Louis XI.
The magnificent, still inhabited castle resembles a fairytale castle and has inspired Charles Perrault for his well-known fairy tale Sleeping Beauty.
Castle Azay Le Rideau
The original fortress served for centuries to protect the river passage. With an enthusiasm borne by his brilliant social boom, G. Berthelot had two rectangular houses built on either side of the old enclosing wall, the corner turrets of which crossed the river.
Chenonceau Castle is a water castle in the French town of Chenonceaux, in the Indre-et-Loire department of the Center region. Its main building, surrounded by water, stands on the northern bank of the Cher, while the gallery, which is later built, bridges the river.
The castle of Blois is one of the castles of the Loire. It stands on a mountain spur on the north-eastern bank of the Loire in the French town of Blois in the Loir-et-Cher department. Because it was the residence of the French kings among the French rulers' houses of Valois and Orléans from 1498 to 1589, it is one of the best known loir castles.
Maison de la Magie
On the way from the castle to the old town, the Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin is at the end of the Place du Chateau in front of the castle. It is a museum devoted to the magician Robert Houdin, which offers an introduction to the history of sorcery and is also the National Conservatory of Magic.