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Tour Overview

This is an incredibly relaxed self-guided itinerary, ideal for those who enjoy their food and wine as much as culture and cycling. The distances are kept short, with optional cycling days built in so you have plenty of time to explore the many fabulous châteaux, enjoy long lazy lunches or a lengthy stop at a vineyard. If this isn't enough to tempt you, the setting is beautiful, with rides along the pretty river banks that meander through the countryside. To top it off our hotels are superb and your evening meals will be a highlight!

Highlights

  • iconSample outstanding local cuisine and wine
  • iconStay in superb hotels
  • iconShady riverside cycling - easy terrain
  • iconVisit the finest châteaux in France

Places You'll See

Countries:
Cities & Attractions:

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : Start Chissay.

Meals: dinner

If you have arranged to join the transfer we will pick you up from St Pierre des Corps station and take you to Chissay (please see the joining information), where your fabulous château hotel awaits. There will be time for a swim before dinner. *Premium Hotel*

icon Day 2 : Cycle along the River Cher to Château de Chenonceau; cycle on to St Ouen-les-Vignes via Amboise.

Meals: breakfast, dinner

This morning's ride will start with gentle pedalling along the banks of the Cher River, which will lead you to the superb Château de Chenonceau with its famous arches majestically spanning the river. Described by Flaubert as 'floating on air and water', it's arguably the most beautiful of all the Loire landmarks. It will be difficult to tear yourself away from this beautiful spot so it makes a great stop for lunch on the terrace of The Orangerie restaurant. You will then head off through the shady Amboise forest and on to Amboise - don't worry if you don't have time to explore properly as you can easily come back tomorrow. Your final stretch leads to the elegant village of St Ouen-les-Vignes, where you'll stay at Hotel l'Aubinière, and Jacques and Odile Arrayet's bijou hotel beside the river. Odile is a professional sommelier, and Jacques an artistic chef de cuisine, so you're in for some treats here! *Premium Hotel*

icon Day 3 : Free day to return to Amboise; or cycle along the River Cisse to the wine capital of Vouvray.

Meals: breakfast, dinner

Today is a free day but with Amboise only a 5km cycle south it makes for the perfect day trip. Visit the flamboyant royal palace and the elegant Clos Luce, a 15th Century manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked for the last few years of his life. His workshops house 40 giant models of some of his most spectacular creations - the first plane, helicopter and tank. The beautifully landscaped gardens bring life to his botanical drawings and geographical designs. Alternatively, it is an easy 15km return cycle along the river Cisse to the wine capital, Vouvray. It is most famous for its wine made from the Chenin Blanc grape. A little way out of Vouvray, the Moncontour Museum gives you the opportunity to visit a winery and some ancient wine cellars; there is the chance to do some comparative wine tasting at the end of the tour or visit Chateau de Valmer where King Charles VII once stayed. Optional ride approx. 15km. *Premium Hotel*

icon Day 4 : Cycle to Autreche; continue onto Chaumont; finish in Ouchamps.

Meals: breakfast, dinner

Today offers lovely peaceful cycling; you head north through open countryside to Autreche, there is the opportunity to see a lot of wildlife en-route so keep the binoculars handy! The route then continues on to Chaumont. The impressive 15th Century château was built on the site of the original 10th Century castle destroyed by Louis XI for the treasonable acts of its then owners. Famously Catherine de Medici forced her late husband's mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to give her Chenonceau in exchange for Chaumont. Between May and October, the chateau hosts the International Garden Festival with a different theme each year. A final, shady riverside stretch takes you via the pretty villages of Les Montils and Seur and on to Ouchamps where you'll spend the next two nights. *Premium Hotel*

icon Day 5 : Free day to visit the chateau at Cheverny. Alternatively, cycle to Chateau de Chambord.

Meals: breakfast, dinner

The 17th Century château at nearby Cheverny, with its wonderful white stone facade, makes a great day trip on your bike (19km circular ride). The richness of its furnishings and antiques are incredible, and the gardens are superb. The chateau has an interesting history, as if out of a regal soap opera, including intrigue and murder. Its latter history has been a little less dramatic but the château kept its place on the main stage by being used as a model for Marlinspike Hall which features in some of the Tintin adventures. There is a permanent Tintin exhibition open for viewing. Alternatively, if you head a little further afield on your bike, you can visit the magnificent Château de Chambord. It is a 50km round trip, so makes a perfect day trip. Set in the heart of the huge Foret de Boulogne, this 16th Century masterpiece appears straight from a fairytale, and reflects the lavish tastes of its original owner, King Francois I. Today, the surrounding park has been declared a national nature reserve, protecting all sorts of wildlife including deer, boar and eagles. Optional ride approx. 19km or 50km. *Premium Hotel*

icon Day 6 : Cycle via Fougeres-sur-Bievre and along the River Cher to Montrichard; then ride onto Château de Chissay for a well-earned dip in the pool!

Meals: breakfast, dinner

After breakfast your ride will head south past well-tended vines and sleepy hamlets surrounded by fields of sunflowers. We recommend stopping for lunch on the terrace beside the fortified chateau of Fougeres-sur-Bievre, before cycling downhill to the River Cher. Here the charming old quarter of mediaeval Montrichard is huddled beneath the 11th Century keep. The town has a definite mediaeval feel to it, particularly in some of the buildings in the square. You can sit here, enjoy a coffee and admire the half-timbered houses. The castle dominates the town and is famous for imprisoning Richard the Lionheart. A final flat cycle follows the Cher back to Château du Chissay for a well-earned dip in the pool! *Premium Hotel*

icon Day 7 : End Chissay.

Meals: breakfast

If you pre-book a transfer you will be taken back to St Pierre des Corps station. See the joining information for more details.

What's Included

  • icon
    Meals

    6 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 6 dinners.

  • icon
    Local bike hire

  • icon
    All luggage transfers

What's Not Included

  • icon
    Arrival & departure transfers (for land only bookings)

Food

All breakfasts and 6 dinners included. This is a gastronomic tour so the food is central to your experience. The Loire prides itself on it's cuisine. It is refined country cooking, not heavy but rich in flavours and textures, drawing on the great garden of the Loire valley. Fruit and vegetables abound. Asparagus, artichokes, button mushrooms, cherries and strawberries from the Loire are transported to kitchens throughout France, which demonstrates the quality of the produce. These all provide delicious accompaniments to the duck, venison and wild boar dishes (all hunted locally) and served in sauces using wines from the local vineyards. Fish also features in abundance. With three wide, gently flowing rivers passing through the region, freshwater fish appear on most menus. 'Sandre' (pikeperch) and breme (bream) are especially popular and are usually served in a beurre blanc sauce - made with shallots, butter, dry white wine and vinegar. The majority of the cheese found in the region is goat's cheese. We suggest trying Selles-sur-Cher from the neighbouring Blesois region. Desserts are often based on the fruit from the local orchards. They include 'tarte tatin', a yummy caramelised upside-down apple pie - the invention of two absent-minded sisters in their attempt to salvage a dessert they had dropped on the floor. The Loire is undoubtedly one of Europe's finest wine producing regions with many of the separate wine areas producing red, white, rose and sparkling wines. Distinctive whites include Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, Vouvray and Muscadet; for reds, try Chinin, Bourgueil and Saumur. Anjou is by far the most popular rose.

Book with Confidence

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 70 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


Reviews

Gastronomic Cycling Loire valley
On the whole the trip was good but there were some disappointments. The final night"s dinner after fabulous meals the whole trip was very poor. there were also ....more On the whole the trip was good but there were some disappointments.

The final night"s dinner after fabulous meals the whole trip was very poor.

there were also some issues with the route map that we were given and in one place in particular the rout took us under a railway and we wee stopped by two local who said that this route was too dangerous and showed us a better route.

The cycles were good and generally the route was fine.

; ....less
Lore Gastronomic
Very good.Flat terrain for cyclingGreat food Very good.

Flat terrain for cyclingGreat food;
gastronomic and leisurely
This was a great way to see the district around the Loire. We had wonderful cycling days that included rural areas, villages, chateau's, picnic stops and coffee and ....more This was a great way to see the district around the Loire.

We had wonderful cycling days that included rural areas, villages, chateau's, picnic stops and coffee and ice-cream breaks, all culminating in a 4-5 course meal at night.

The cycling was varied but mostly slightly undulating to flat and the distance each day was ample.

We had great weather and the two rest days allowed us opportunities to vista other places.

We visited Cherverny and were lucky to have stumbled across a wine tasting festival set up in the street with about 20 producers presenting their wines.

We had good accommodation with Chateau Chissay being the highlight.

The bikes were easy to use and very well maintained.

; ....less

Travel, Your Way

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Dates & Availability

Sunday May 09, 2021

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6

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$2200.41

Tuesday May 11, 2021

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Thursday May 13, 2021

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Saturday May 15, 2021

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Wednesday May 19, 2021

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Friday May 21, 2021

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Sunday May 23, 2021

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Tuesday May 25, 2021

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Thursday May 27, 2021

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Saturday May 29, 2021

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Monday May 31, 2021

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Wednesday Jun 02, 2021

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Sunday Jun 06, 2021

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Tuesday Jul 06, 2021

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Thursday Jul 08, 2021

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Saturday Jul 10, 2021

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Monday Jul 12, 2021

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Wednesday Jul 14, 2021

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Friday Jul 16, 2021

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Sunday Jul 18, 2021

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Tuesday Jul 20, 2021

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Thursday Jul 22, 2021

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Saturday Jul 24, 2021

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Monday Jul 26, 2021

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Wednesday Jul 28, 2021

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Friday Jul 30, 2021

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Sunday Aug 01, 2021

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Tuesday Aug 03, 2021

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Thursday Aug 05, 2021

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Saturday Aug 07, 2021

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Monday Aug 09, 2021

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Wednesday Aug 11, 2021

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Friday Aug 13, 2021

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Sunday Aug 15, 2021

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6

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8

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Tuesday Aug 17, 2021

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Thursday Aug 19, 2021

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Saturday Aug 21, 2021

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Monday Aug 23, 2021

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Wednesday Aug 25, 2021

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Friday Aug 27, 2021

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Sunday Aug 29, 2021

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6

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Tuesday Aug 31, 2021

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6

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Thursday Sep 02, 2021

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6

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Saturday Sep 04, 2021

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6

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Monday Sep 06, 2021

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6

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Wednesday Sep 08, 2021

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6

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Friday Sep 10, 2021

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6

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8

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Sunday Sep 12, 2021

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6

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8

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Tuesday Sep 14, 2021

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6

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8

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Thursday Sep 16, 2021

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6

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8

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Saturday Sep 18, 2021

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6

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8

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Monday Sep 20, 2021

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6

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8

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