A Loire Valley Family Bicycle Trip
The Loire Valley is fantastic for a family bicycle trip. This gorgeous region of story-book castles and elegant châteaux will be sure to ...Read more
Dotted with majestic châteaux as individual as they are grand, the Loire Valley feels so beautifully out of step with the rest of the world it’s as though you’ve landed in a fairy tale. Its rich history is matched with tranquil green landscapes, gastronomic delights and heritage wine production. With so many must-see spots it’s easy to get caught up in the magic; we’ve whittled it down to the gems for you.
Chinon, a relaxed town with timber-fronted houses, is lorded over by a sprawling, white royal fortress, now home to a modern museum with interactive displays and immersive film rooms. Take a stroll down cobbled streets to the equally fascinating Joan of Arc museum for another slice of this sleepy town’s varied history. If you're looking for a different kind of culture, try touring one of Chinon's many wine cellars like Domaine de Noiré, famed for its organic wines, or La Cave Monplaisir, which runs group tours of the underground quarry-turned-cellar.
Head through the charming streets into the rolling wine country beyond until you reach the sublime, shady forest of Chinon. Alternatively, turn your bike towards Rigny-Ussé and the elegant white towers of the Château d’Ussé. Its lavish interior, decorated with art, grand staircases and opulent furnishings from several eras, is worth investigating. If the weather’s glorious, take a relaxing walk around the ornamental gardens, cleverly designed by Le Nôtre, and peer into the peaceful family chapel before returning to Chinon.
You’ll follow the Loire à Vélo route to Montsoreau where you’ll find distractions aplenty, whether it’s wine tasting or people watching at the bustling Sunday market in the main square, before spending an afternoon on the banks of the Loire with your fresh bread and cheese. If you’d rather get to know the history of this hillside town, visit the beautifully restored Château de Montsoreau to occupy a few happy hours before you drop into the courtyard restaurant of Chez Alexandre for a refreshing drink.
Pedal onwards to Fontevraud Abbey, where Richard I is entombed. There are plenty of intricate gardens for a sunny stroll, and if you check ahead you can also catch a concert in the atmospheric setting or a special night tour.
Besides the turreted castle, with its elegant silhouette that has been reflected in the waters of the Loire for ten centuries, Saumur is known for equestrian expertise. It's the home of the National Riding School and the Cadre Noir, masters of horse riding renowned for their discipline; to watch them at work is to witness an art form. Take a daily tour or, if your timing is right, catch a public performance.
There are dozens of wine houses to be explored here, including Saumur’s oldest sparkling wine producer Ackerman, established in 1811 and soon proclaimed to be producing wines as elegant as those from Champagne. If it’s good enough for a jury of 17th-century connoisseurs, it’s certainly worth a tour of the cellars and a tasting. Complete your trip with dinner in Les Ménestrels, serving local produce like honey-roast rabbit, or try L’Alchimiste for a steaming langoustine risotto followed by a delectable cheese board.
Ready to experience the magic of the Loire Valley? Call our cycle experts today on 0207 471 7760.
Other posts you may like:
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
Sign up for our newsletter to receive exclusive offers, expert advice and insider access to all the latest cycling holiday news.