Your Cycling Holidays in France

Châteaux of the Loire

A magical region, world-famous for its marvellous châteaux, magnificent rivers and delicious wines.

Playground to the French and English royal families for over 1000 years, this is truly the heart of fairy-tale France - illustrated perfectly by the high number of spectacular castles on route. Like drawings in a children’s book, they have been carefully preserved for all to enjoy, complete with underground tunnels, moats and beautiful gardens.

Visit these fabulous once-royal homes and ancient riverside towns, pedal peacefully along the Loire à Vélo cycle path amidst birdsong and the aroma of hollyhocks... and sample world famous wines as you weave your way through sun-baked vineyards on your Loire cycling holiday. 

We love: Warm breezes filled with the smell of roses and ripening melons, stopping on impulse for degustation (wine tasting) in tiny vineyards, the gardeners’ paradise at Villandry, and the spectacular Son et Lumière at the chateaux.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

• Delicious restaurant meals each night
• Bed and breakfast accommodation
• Expert on the spot support
• Luggage carried between your hotels
• Fully serviced touring bikes
• 100% financial security through ABTA and ATOL

This is a Cycling for Softies Original Tour

Your Cycling Holidays in France

Châteaux of the Loire

SUGGESTED 7 NIGHT TOUR

DAY 1 Arrive at Tours, Poitiers or Rennes. Your first hotel is in the beautiful medieval town of Chinon, set on the banks of the majestic Vienne River. Steeped in history, the town was once King Henry II’s preferred place of residence. You can still explore the impressive 12th century Plantagenet fortress, which was also home to Richard the Lionheart.

DAY 2 Château du Rivau and Rigny-Ussé. Once you’re ready to explore beyond Chinon, we suggest a round trip route to the Château du Rivau, a fairy-tale castle with beautiful gardens and botanical art and sculpture. The small village of Rigny-Ussé boasts another ancient dwelling - the magnificent Château d’Ussé - as well as amazing views of the Loire from its location on the edge of the Chinon forest.

DAY 3 Chinon to Montsoreau. Today you will follow the Loire à Vélo cycle route which meanders along the river to the charming old riverside town of Montsoreau, often referred to as the ‘most beautiful village in France’. Along the way we recommend stopping at Fontevraud Abbey: a prison in Napoleon’s day, and now a historical site, music and exhibition venue. (13 miles/21km).

DAY 4 Saumur and Brézé. Today we suggest a day trip to Saumur, a beautiful town with a typically imposing château overlooking the river. Explore its wondrous wine cellars, wander down medieval streets, and enjoy feeling spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where to dine. Alternatively you could cycle to Château de Brézé, another fine example of a classic French castle in the heart of the wine land, complete with underground tunnels and wine presses still in use today.

DAY 5 Montsoreau to Azay-le-Rideau. Cycling along the Loire to the River Indre, you’ll come to a beautiful medieval village; home to Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, built on an island on the river. A lovely place to stay, with great cafés and restaurants to peruse too. (23 miles/36km).

DAY 6 Château Villandry. After relaxing in Azay le Rideau for a while, you might like to visit the amazing terraced gardens at the Renaissance Château Villandry. It’s a great spot for a picnic lunch.

DAY 7 Azay-le-Rideau to Chinon. Your final day in the saddle will take you back to Chinon, where you can pick up some souvenirs, wander the banks of the river, and enjoy a glass of finest local wine in the dappled sun. (14 miles/23km).

DAY 8 One final al fresco breakfast before we say “Au Revoir”.

Not to be missed:

  • Richard the Lionheart’s Fortress in Chinon

  • Amazing triple-terraced gardens at Château Villandry

  • Wonderful wines wherever you go

Your Cycling Holidays in France

Châteaux of the Loire

As our tours are tailor-made to suit you, so whether you'd like to add an extra night or stop in a particular town or hotel, our cycle experts will create an itinterary to suite you. Below is a suggestion of what your tour may look like.

 
SUGGESTED 3 NIGHT TOUR

DAY 1 Arrive at Tours, Poitiers or Rennes. Your first hotel is in the beautiful medieval town of Chinon, set on the banks of the majestic Vienne River. Steeped in history, the town was once King Henry II’s preferred place of residence. You can still explore the impressive 12th century Plantagenet fortress, which was also home to Richard the Lionheart.

DAY 2 Château du Rivau and Rigny-Ussé. Once you’re ready to explore beyond Chinon, we suggest a round trip route to the Château du Rivau, a fairy-tale castle with beautiful gardens and botanical art and sculpture. The small village of Rigny-Ussé boasts another ancient dwelling - the magnificent Château d’Ussé - as well as amazing views of the Loire from its location on the edge of the Chinon forest.

DAY 3 Chinon to Montsoreau. Today you will follow the Loire à Vélo cycle route which meanders along the river to the charming old riverside town of Montsoreau, often referred to as the ‘most beautiful village in France’. Along the way we recommend stopping at Fontevraud Abbey: a prison in Napoleon’s day, and now a historical site, music and exhibition venue. (13 miles/21km).

DAY 4 Saumur and Brézé. If you have time today, we suggest a day trip to Saumur, a beautiful town with a typically imposing château overlooking the river. Explore its wondrous wine cellars, wander down medieval streets, and enjoy feeling spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where to dine. Alternatively you could cycle to Château de Brézé, another fine example of a classic French castle in the heart of the wine land, complete with underground tunnels and wine presses still in use today. After all this exploring we say “Au Revoir”.

Not to be missed:

Richard the Lionheart’s Fortress in Chinon

Amazing triple-terraced gardens at Château Villandry

Wonderful wines wherever you go

Your Cycling Holidays in France

Châteaux of the Loire

Hotels

A fine selection of hotels to choose from

  • Chateau de Marcay

    Chateau de Marcay

    4 star

    Château de Marçay was built as a 15th century fortress and is now a magnificent hotel. It is surrounded by a glorious garden, acres of vineyards and stunning countryside. The rooms are fashionable, spacious and elegant. As well as swimming in the outdoor heated pool, you can relax and enjoy health treatments in the spa (must be pre-booked before arrival) or an early morning adventure with a hot air balloon. The Château De Marçay’s restaurant serves gourmet cuisine with seasonal ingredients from the kitchen garden. Guests can also tour the Château’s 12 000 bottle cellar and sample the fine wines.

  • Hotel Anne D’Anjou

    Hotel Anne D’Anjou

    4 star

    The Hôtel Anne d’Anjou is one of the best hotels in town, a traditional building surrounding a courtyard.  On the banks of the River Loire, close to the centre of town, it is well placed for a day away from the bikes. with plenty of museums, shops and cafés.

  • Hotel Biencourt

    Hotel Biencourt

    3 star

    The Hôtel Biencourt, chosen for its warm welcome and service, was originally the schoolhouse around its own private courtyard and tucked away in a pedestrianised street.  Wonderfully quiet, the rooms have modern décor and organic bed linen from the fair-trade market.  The Chateau d’Azay le Rideau is only 100 yards away.

  • Hotel de France

    Hotel de France

    3 star

    The Hôtel de France is located in a colourful square in the centre of town where the restaurants lay their tables for outside dining.  Many of its rooms have balconies offering views of the splendid château and surround a pretty internal courtyard.

  • Hotel Diderot

    Hotel Diderot

    3 star

    Hôtel Diderot is a simple family run 17th century town house built around a very pretty flowered courtyard that is much enjoyed and appreciated by our cycling gardeners and a lovely place for breakfast. It has a traditional, old fashioned interior with great oak beams in many of the rooms. The delicious breakfast jams are all home-made.

  • Hotel la Croix Blanche

    Hotel la Croix Blanche

    3 star

    Just 10 yards from the famous abbey entrance is the delightful 3* Hôtel la Croix Blanche which was originally a coaching inn.  Enter through an archway into a courtyard, now used as a terrace for dining on warm summer evenings, decorated with tubs of flowers.  The hotel has a swimming pool and there is the option to upgrade to a superior room with a four course evening meal including cheeseboard. 

  • Hotel la Marine de la Loire

    Hotel la Marine de la Loire

    4 star

    La Marine de Loire is a 4* hotel with a bar and garden in the centre of the village.  Delightful rooms with views of either the river or peaceful garden.  This hotel also offers treatments in its excellent spa ‘CinqMondes’ (must be pre-booked before arrival).   There is an Indoor heated spa pool and unlimited access to the spa is included for all of our guests.

  • Hotel le Haut des Lys

    Hotel le Haut des Lys

    3 star

    The hotel sits on the hillside above the village of Villandry and its chateau.  Dating from the 19C, this beautiful building has lovely bedrooms which have retained the stunning proportions of the original house and a delightful garden including an outdoor Jacuzzi.  

Your Cycling Holidays in France

Châteaux of the Loire

PRICES FROM £585

April to September

Group/Period 3 nights Apr - Sep 5 nights Apr - Sep 7 nights Apr - Sep
Adult (12+) £585 £965 £1285
Child (7-12) £475 £795 On request
Child (2-6) On request On request On request

All prices per person, based on two people sharing and two nights per hotel. Includes breakfast, gourmet evening meal, bikes and equipment and luggage transfers unless otherwise stated. Travel not included. Single supplement: £75 per night. E-bike supplement: £20 per day.

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