Phone Icon +18335181607
Your journey so far

Cycling on the Loire à Vélo

Posted 27 Jan 2023

This long and well-maintained cycle route runs from the bay of Biscay, at the mouth of the Loire River, all the way to the Nièvre department of central France. Filled with the sights, sounds, and superb food of the Loire Valley, this fantastic cycle route is one of our favourites. Cycling here is the best way to experience the ‘Garden of France’. Expect gentle paths that hug the blissful river when you travel via the Loire à Vélo. Read on to learn all about our favourite stretches of this famous cycling route, as well as the fascinating history you can find at every bend.

Loire a Velo

Villandry to Tours

On our Loire Valley Discovery e-bike tour, you’ll have the chance to cycle on the Loire à Vélo as part of an optional round trip on day 6. Starting off in Villandry, the destination of the day is Tours, a beautiful and ancient city that serves as one of the economic centres of the region. Along the way, you’ll enjoy wonderful bike paths, traffic-free lanes, and gorgeous views courtesy of the Loire à Vélo. Perfect for leisurely cyclists, you’ll enjoy an entirely flat route.

Tours is a fabulous city to explore, with a wonderful mix of medieval history, Victorian-era architecture, and a vibrant culture. In almost every century, Tours was at the centre of a historical event. From the famous battle of Tours in 732 AD which halted the Arab conquest of France, to the German occupation in 1940, almost every building and bridge has a tale to tell.

Travelling past Tours on the Loire à Vélo, you’ll then reach the charming town of Montlouis-sur-Loire. Known for its many wine caves and appellations, this is the perfect place to taste the best of wine in the Loire. The variety here is wonderful, especially considering it’s all grown from a single grape: Chenin Blanc. Upon your first sip, aromas of white flowers, verbena and citrus will reach your nose before you taste a soft and luscious dry white wine. Experiences like this are common on the Loire à Vélo.

View our Loire Valley Discovery tour here


Chinon to Montsoreau

On our Châteaux of the Loire tour, you can experience another wonderful Loire à Vélo route. On our Châteaux of the Loire tour, you’ll leave the elegant Chinon as you follow the meandering Loire River, cheered on by birdsong and the sound of the flowing water. The highlight, however, is reaching Montsoreau. Lying directly on this cycle path, Montsoreau is a fabulous stopover for any itinerary.

This gorgeous riverside town is commonly referred to as ‘the most beautiful village in France’. The prominent castle on the hill was once a Roman temple and helps represent the deep history the town has. The town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks in part to the gorgeous architecture along every street.

Along this stretch of the Loire à Vélo, you’ll encounter Fontevraud Abbey. This is one of the most historically interesting sites in the Loire. It is the resting place of Henry II of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, as well as their son the famous Richard the Lionheart. Eleanor even made the abbey her place of residence. During the French Revolution, the abbey was used as a prison, and today serves as a museum and exhibition venue. Boasting many purposes over the centuries, we highly recommend a visit here.

View our Châteaux of the Loire tour here


Montsoreau to Saumur

Whilst staying at the Marine de Loire on our single-centre cycling holiday, a possible bike ride you can enjoy is along the Loire à Vélo, heading towards the magnificent Saumur. This section of the cycle path will also take you past Turquant, famous for its ‘troglodyte’ houses. Like something out of a legend, the homes of this town are carved straight into the cliff face, creating an otherworldly atmosphere as you cycle past. Unique sights like this are what make the Loire à Vélo so special.

The highlight of the bike ride however is Saumur, a vibrant town full of cafes, charming boutiques, and delicious bistros. Straddling the Loire River, the medieval bridge lies beneath the towering fortress of the town. This gorgeous castle, one of the most famous châteaux in the Loire, is an iconic symbol of Saumur. Built by Henry II of England, the same one buried at Fontevraud Abbey, the castle, as well as most of the houses in the town, are made of Tuffeau stone. The caves created from excavating this stone have now become ideal wine cellars, adding to the rich wine culture of Saumur.

The wine industry is one of the best parts of Saumur, with a wide variety of red, white, rose and sparkling wines. In August, the town even holds a festival dedicated to trying all the local wines created that year. With a weekly market selling produce every Saturday, you can really feel a sense of community when you arrive here via the Loire à Vélo.

View our Marine de Loire tour here


Montsoreau to Château d’Ussé

Following the cycle path east, you’ll end up at the gorgeous Château d’Ussé. You won’t be surprised to find out that this iconic château was the inspiration behind the tale of Sleeping Beauty. It truly is a jaw-dropping sight as you cycle beneath the castle on the Loire à Vélo, as if travelling through a fairy tale yourself. For the past thousand years, the castle has seen almost constant modification and upgrades, each time adding to the ever-increasing grandeur we see today. The site of many a royal drama, you’ll love learning about the petty rivalries and stories of dukes and aristocrats over the centuries.

View our Loire Valley cycling tours here

Chateau d'Usse

To find out more about cycling on the Loire à Vélo, get in touch with our team today by giving us a call, or you can view our Loire Valley cycling holidays here.

Other posts you may like:

Sussex cycling routes
Best cycle routes Cotswolds
Cycling Amalfi coast
Wine Regions: Loire

Cycling tips for beginners
Sardinia Cycling Routes
Best Restaurants on the Veneto Cycling Routes
Best restaurants in the Cotswolds
Best restaurants in Sussex
Best restaurants in Bordeaux
Best restaurants in Burgundy
Easy cycling Lake Garda
Planning a cycling holiday in France
Best time to go cycling in Italy

Back To Blog

From Our Blog

View all posts

A Family of Six Expert Travel Companies

Britain's original ski travel agency and tailor-made ski tour operator, Ski Solutions has been arranging ski holidays for over 30 years across Europe and North America. The Ski Solutions team are all skiing experts, and their knowledge and passion for the mountains will ensure you experience a truly memorable ski holiday.

Visit website

The ultimate collection of European Cycling Holidays. BSpoke's cycling experts can tailor-make your perfect holiday where you can travel at your own pace or in a group of like-minded individuals. A BSpoke Tour is all about being as restful or as adventurous as you desire.

Visit website

Wilderness Scotland offers an inspiring range of guided and customised adventure holidays, in the most remote and beautiful regions of Scotland. The Wilderness Scotland team know how to create enriching adventure holidays and know the wild places of Scotland better than anyone.

Visit website

Specialists in offering a range of adventure holidays, tours and incredible wilderness experiences. Wilderness Ireland take their clients to the most remote and beautiful regions of Ireland, all while staying at the most welcoming accommodations and delivering outstanding customer service.

Visit website

Wilderness England creates incredible journeys into the wild and magical outdoor spaces across Yorkshire, the Lake District, Northumberland, the Cotswolds and the Peak District. Providing inspiring active experiences, immerse yourself in the unique landscapes, history, culture and wildlife on a Wilderness England adventure.

Visit website