The palaces of the Loire
In 8 days from castle to castle.
The Loire Valley - the epitome of romantic France. The rural charm of the region is in no way inferior to the cultural richness of its cities. But, of course, it is first and foremost the castles for which the Loire is rightly famous. Kings, feudal lords and ladies of the court, seduced by the charms of the Loire Valley, built several hundred castles, manor houses and dreamy residences in the "Garden of France". Villandry, Langeais, Ussé, Chinon, Saumur, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, Chaumont, Blois, Chambord - to name only the most important. The foggy and gloomy melancholy, called "grisaille" by the French (which is still poetic in French), can suddenly give way to a glorious sunset that sweeps through the landscape Delicate pastel tones! So what is closer to exploring this most fascinating region of France by bicycle?
1. day Arrival Tours
Individual journey to Tours, to the historic center of Touraine, the much-lauded "Garden of France". In the late afternoon you will be greated by a staff member at the start hotel, handed out the rental bikes, if booked.
2. day Tours - Chinon 60 km
The River Cher takes you straight to Villandry Castle with its terraced gardens. Of course you should not miss a visit to this famous garden. Shaded walks, flower-bedecked arbours, fountains and the artistically designed vegetable garden will delight all visitors. A few kilometers further you will exchange the banks of the Chers against the Loire, and you will soon be attracted to the next castle: Langeais. A view from the defense tower (this castle served exclusively for military purposes), and in front of you are the river and all the surrounding countryside. On the edge of the dark and mysterious forest of Chinon, Ussé Castle, the Sleeping Beauty Castle, rises. Through small villages and side streets you approach your current destination Chinon.
3. day Fontevraud round trip 55 km
The Vienne takes you first to the small village of Candes-St-Martin. A magnificent Romanesque church was erected at Saint Martin's place of death. In Montsoreau, the Vienne combines with the mighty Loire - an impressive natural phenomenon. We go to Fontevraud l'Abbaye through cultivated vineyards. Nowhere else in the world is a medieval monastery complex as completely preserved as Fontevraud. This is followed by a "literary return" to Chinon. Your path will lead you past the birthplace of the eminent writer Francois Rabelais, as well as through the valley where the famous book "Gargantua" is located.
4. day Chinon - Azay-le-Rideau 40 km
You will leave Chinon with its medieval streets, which are crowded between river and festivals, towards the north. Your route takes you through old vineyards and deserted villages to Crissay, one of the most beautiful villages in France, with its 15th century houses. Of course you can also marvel at a castle today, one of the special quality class: Azay-le-Rideau, a Renaissance castle in the highest perfection. "A diamond with a thousand facets, enclosed by Indre" writes Balzac. What else could we add? You will stay overnight in the village and have the opportunity to enjoy the magic of the castle with its cultural events.
5. day Azay-Le-Rideau - Chenonceaux/Surrounding 60 km
A scenic highlight awaits you: through the romantic river landscape, always following the Indre, you arrive at the pretty little town of Montbazon. A short climb waits, a few hefty kicks on the pedals and you get over a small high ridge in the valley of the River Cher. On meadows, walk along the Cher to Bléré, a small market spot, and continue to your historic lodging place Chenonceaux with castle. Chenonceau Castle is probably the most beautiful of all loir castles and is perched in a unique location. A splendid, two-storey bridge gallery stretches across the river, and before that the magnificent castle garden inspires ... but see and discover for yourself.
6. day Chenonceaux/Surrounding - Blois 45 km/75 km
There are two options available today: the shorter stage takes you through the lovely landscape of the Touraine to Chaumont Castle and from here on romantic paths along the Loire to Blois. After your room is occupied, you will be taken on a discovery tour. Blois Castle with its galleries, protrusive balconies, bay windows and apses could be your destination. Or the second, longer version, for all lovers of the Loire Castles: About Montrichard, Cheverny, Villesavine to the Chambord Castle. As far as the eye can see, the "Domaine de Chambord" stretches. From a distance you can see the walls of this largest and most magnificent residence of the Loire glimmer through the trees, the everlasting legacy of a treacherous king. You have the choice.
7. day Blois - Tours 70 km
The river flows gently between gleaming sandbanks. Characteristic of this area are the rock apartments, which are built directly in the soft limestone, so that sometimes only the ascending smoke betrays its existence. You cross the Loire to admire the most royal of all the Loir castles: Amboise Castle. It housed five kings and a Roman emperor. Also a genius of the 16th century draws attention, Leonardo da Vinci, who spent his last years here in Amboise. On hidden paths through vineyards past wine cellars, you cycle via Rochecorbon to Tours.
8. 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.
Prices are per person.
18.04. – 24.04.2020
19.09. – 03.10.2020
25.04. – 26.06.2020
22.08. – 18.09.2020
27.06. – 21.08.2020
bookable additional nights
bookable additional services
- 7 overnights 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.