Cycle the Loire Valley

Cycle the Loire Valley

137 Views
7 Days
From

$2860

$2086

Cycle the Loire Valley

7 Days Starting in Blois and ending in Angers

Visiting: Blois, Amboise, Villandry, Saumur, Angers

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

AMXL

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 15

Physical rating:

Low, Low

Age range:

14-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Active

From:
$2860
$2086 (USD) Operator discount: -$715 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$59 -27%
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Tour Overview

The Loire Valley is renowned for its picturesque countryside, charming villages and impressive food and wine. Combine this with cycling, and you’ve got a perfect way to discover the region. Cycle alongside the serene Loire River, visit a selection of classic chateaux, marvel at the manicured gardens and far-reaching vineyards, indulge in local delicacies and enjoy a glass of wine on a Loire River small boat cruise. This small-group adventure through the Loire Valley on a seven-day active cycling journey through the countryside is sure to delight the senses and fulfil all your French fantasies.

Highlights

  • Cycle along the Loire River, passing by classic quaint villages and the verdant countryside in the north west of France.

  • You haven’t seen chateaux until you’ve seen the ones in France. Marvel at the Chateau de Chenonceau, which spans the banks of the Cher River, and the acclaimed Chateau de Villandry, among others.

  • Consider the option of visiting a chateau turned museum, showcasing Leonardo da Vinci’s designs and how he spent his final years of life in the nearby town of Amboise.

  • Explore the vineyards of Vouvray, near Villandry, for an optional tasting, and discover why this region is known for its aged chenin blanc wines.

  • Complete your cycling journey in the township of Angers, with its history dating back centuries, and buildings to suit.

  • Discover the Loire's charm on a river cruise and toast the moment with a glass of exquisite local wine.

  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, World Bicycle Relief. Donations provide school kids, health workers, and farmers in far-out areas with bicycles that provide access to education, healthcare, and income.

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1: Blois
Location: Blois

Bonjour! Welcome to Blois – the gateway to the Loire Valley beautifully situated on the banks of the Loire river. With no activities planned today, you are free to arrive at any time, but ensure you can make an important 6 pm welcome meeting with your group leader and fellow cyclists. Before then, Blois is free for you to explore. Why not head to the Chateau Royal de Blois, or the serene St Vincent de Paul Church, or simply wander the old streets of this charming provincial city.

Day 2: Blois
Location: Blois
Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning you’ll begin your cycling adventure through the Loire Valley. After a quick a bicycle fitting, then take a leisurely ride along the banks of the serene Loire River on a dedicated bike-only path to the small riverside town of Saint-Dye-sur-Loire. From here turn inland and ride along narrow tree-lined country roads to the palatial Chateau de Chambord. This beautiful palace, commissioned by Francois I and whose design was influenced by Leonardo da Vinci, is a sight to behold, with a central structure adorned with multiple chimneys and sculpted capitals on its terraces. After you’ve explored the palace and its manicured gardens, cycle back on quiet roads and past flat pasture and return to Blois for the evening.

Included Activities:
-Chateau de Chambord

Day 3: Amboise
Location: Amboise
Meals Included: breaksfast

This morning, consider the option of visiting another grand building: Chateau de Cheverny. If you would like to take a visit inside, please let your group leader know the day before, as earlier travel arrangements are necessary to take this optional visit.

Your cycling begins by riding along the plateau and down to the Cher River, where you’ll arrive at Chateau de Chenonceau, and this one’s pretty special. The chateau is set over water, spanning the Cher River, with its gardens to one side of the banks. You will have included entry to explore this beautiful building, admiring the perfect gardens, classic features and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. It’s true fairy tale stuff. After your visit, cycle through the Amboise Forest, re-joining the Loire River at your stop for the evening: the delightful riverside town of Amboise. If you want to see some more chateaux, why not head to Chateau du Clos Luce, the place where Leonardo de Vinci spent the last three years of his life. It is currently a small museum, with grounds that show some working models of his designs and is within walking (or cycling) distance of the main town.

Included Activities:
-Chateau de Chenonceau

Optional Activities:
-Chateau du Clos- entrance
-Chateau de Cheverny

Day 4: Villandry
Location: Villandry
Meals Included: breaksfast

Continue to hug the Loire River as it gently makes it way downstream to the Vouvray vineyards. This wine region is almost exclusively dedicated to chenin blanc, and with its naturally high acidity, the wines produced here age very well. Stop in for a vineyard visit, then continue cycling on to Tours, cutting across the river on your way to the Chateau de Villandry – arguably the Loire Valley’s most famous chateau. Wander through the vast gardens of perfectly curated gardens and the beautiful U-shaped castle. With time to explore, be sure to stop and smell the roses in these beautiful surroundings.

Included Activities:
-Chateaux Villandry & Gardens

Day 5: Saumur
Location: Saumur
Meals Included: breaksfast

Be ready for a longer - but not overly challenging - day of cycling (approximately 60 kilometres). Begin your ride from Villandry along the banks of Loire River to the Château d'Ussé that Charles Perrault took as inspiration for his castle in the tale of Sleeping Beauty. Opt to visit the castle and grounds before continuing cycling downstream through two beautifully classic French villages – Candes-Saint-Martin and Montsoreau – both perched on the riverside. In Montsoreau cycle past the old troglodyte part of the village where you can see homes, doors and windows cut directly into the cliff before finishing your ride ion the charming town of Saumur.

Park your bike and take to the water on a short but sweet small boat river cruise – remember to toast the moment with an include glass of exquisite local wine. The evening is free for you to explore Saumur’s cobblestoned streets, visit a sparkling wine cellar, or try out one of the fine-dining options in the medieval centre. Today’s ride is mostly flat, but be sure to enjoy a restful evening before another cycling day tomorrow.

Included Activities:
-Loire River Small Boat Cruise

Optional Activities:
-Chateau d'Usse

Day 6: Angers
Location: Angers
Meals Included: breaksfast

Continue your ride down France’s longest river – the Loire. Ride from Saumur alongside the river for around 20 kilometres, then head inland to Brissac-Quince, home to the tallest chateau in all of France. From here, descend gently towards the Loire River and to tonight’s destination: the beautiful and historically significant city of Angers. This evening, perhaps gather your cycling group together for dinner – tonight is definitely cause for celebration.

Day 7: Angers
Location: Angers
Meals Included: breaksfast

With no activities planned for today, you are free to leave at any time. However, if you wish to spend more time in Angers, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).

What's Included

  • Chateau d'Usse

  • Chateau de Chambord

  • Chateaux Villandry & Gardens

  • Chateau de Chenonceau

  • Meals

    5 breakfasts

  • Accommodation

    Hotel (6 nights)

  • Transport

    Bicycle (e-bike option available, subject to availability), Support Vehicle, Train

  • Loire River Small Boat Cruise

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

Included Activities

  • Chateau de Chambord
  • Chateau de Chenonceau
  • Chateaux Villandry & Gardens
  • Chateau d'Usse

Transport

  • While there are occasions we use local public transport such as trains, buses or taxis to cover long distances or attend non-cycling activities we predominantly use the bicycle as our main form of transport. On most of our trips we also have a support vehicle as secondary transport for travelling longer distances, avoiding hazardous areas to cycle, as a backup should we have any incidents and of course an option for those that would prefer not to cycle for an hour or a day. These vehicles range from a minivan in most regions up to a full sized coach or overland vehicle in others.
  • Your main luggage is transported in the support vehicle
  • INCLUDED BICYCLE TYPE
  • On this trip we use 2017 Felt 7 Fifty mountain bikes.
  • An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are an 'on request' basis only. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed booking. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking.
  • RENTAL E-BIKES
  • Our Europe rental e-bikes are the 2018 Felt NINE E-20, which you may request in the following sizes: Extra Small, Small, Medium & Large. Please provide your height at time of booking so the correct size can be arranged. Sizes are limited, so confirmation is subject to availability.
  • For further details on sizing please see https://www.feltbicycles.com/International/Catalog/Bikes/electric/mountain/ninee-20.aspx
  • BRINGING YOUR OWN BIKE
  • While we’re confident in the quality and suitability of the bikes we include, we do recognise that sometimes you just need the comfort of your own bike to enjoy the ride. If you are thinking of bringing your own bike on this trip, please advise us at time of booking and take note of the below information. If you do choose to bring your own bike, please note that we will not being carrying a spare bike for you.
  • SUITABLE TYPE OF BIKE
  • Although the surfaces of the roads we travel on are generally good there are occasionally gravel or potholed sections of road/track. As such, we recommend a 'mountain' or 'hybrid' style bike with plenty of gear selections for easy cruising. For more details on the type of roads we’ll be riding on see the ‘Physical Rating’ section of your Essential Trip Information. Please contact your booking agent if you have any questions about the suitability of your bike.
  • We usually cannot accept tandem bikes on our trips as they are often too large for our transport. In some destinations we can make an exception. Please ask your booking agent if you are interested in bringing a tandem bike.
  • BEFORE THE TRIP
  • We recommend that you have a full service of your bike performed by a trained mechanic to help minimise any issues you may have during the trip. Please also ensure that you have specific and adequate cover for loss, damage or theft for your bike under your travel, home and contents or specialist insurance policy.
  • DURING THE TRIP
  • Your bike will be transported in the same way as our included bikes, usually in the support vehicle or on the bike trailer. While we endeavour to take the best care we can, you should recognise that transported bikes do get the occasional bump or scratch along the way. The same applies when we take other forms of transport, such as a train, where we are unable to pack the bikes ourselves. Your bike will be secured in the same way as our included bikes. This can occasionally be outside the vehicle (where the bikes are locked together).
  • In order to reach our destination, it is necessary for us to travel via various modes of transportation, including planes and trains. Any extra costs involved with transporting personal bikes are your responsibility. This includes (but is not limited to) additional transport costs and customs/import fees.
  • While our mechanics can usually assist with minor repairs, you are responsible for the safety and upkeep of your own bicycle. This includes conducting regular safety checks of your bike during the trip and cleaning your bike. In addition, any parts that require replacing are your responsibility. Most destinations have access to only limited spares along the way and access to bike shops can be days apart. Therefore, please ensure you bring any spare parts that you may require (especially specialist parts).
  • TRANSPORTING YOUR BIKE TO/FROM THE DESTINATION
  • Your preferred airline should have no problem carrying your bike, but many will charge an extra fee. Contact them before departing to discuss their arrangements for transporting bikes.
  • A well-padded bike box (obtainable from a bike shop) is usually the best method of plane transportation. We recommend that you accompany your bicycle on the flight. Unaccompanied bicycles have been known to spend some extra days in the hands of customs authorities.
  • Many taxis are not large enough to transport a bike box/bag so you may be delayed waiting for a suitably sized vehicle.
  • INCLUDED OR HIRE BIKES: CONDITIONS OF USE
  • You must not mistreat the bicycle and must return it in the same condition as when you received it (excepting ordinary wear and tear). You should immediately inform the supplier in the case of breakdown or loss. The provider is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the bicycle during the period of hire. You must also make sure that the bicycle is secured when not in use. If the equipment is lost or stolen you may be liable for the replacement value of the bicycle. The bicycle remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, rent out or part possession with the bicycle. You must not use the bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • INCLUDED OR HIRE BIKES: CONDITIONS OF USE
  • You must not mistreat the bicycle and must return it in the same condition as when you received it (excepting ordinary wear and tear). You should immediately inform the supplier in the case of breakdown or loss. The provider is entitled to charge for any damage caused to the bicycle during the period of hire. You must also make sure that the bicycle is secured when not in use. If the equipment is lost or stolen you may be liable for the replacement value of the bicycle. The bicycle remains the property of the supplier and you may not sell, rent out or part possession with the bicycle. You must not use the bicycle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF THE SUPPORT VEHICLE
  • Due to European driving regulations, the support vehicle can only be used clients when directly supporting the ride itself, or as transport between cycling legs. Clients are unable to travel full-time in the support vehicle.

Accommodation

  • FACILITIES
  • Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Important Information

  • 1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.
  • 2. Bicycle hire is included in your trip price. Please advise your height at time of booking so as we can organize a suitable sized bike.
  • 3. An e-bike option (at additional cost) may be available on this trip. We have limited numbers of these bikes available and they are an 'on request' basis only. A request does not guarantee an e-bike, only a confirmed booking. Please ask your agent for more details at the time of booking.
  • 4. Bike helmets are compulsory on this trip. We cannot rent bike helmets so please bring your own bike helmet from home, or purchase one at one of local bike shops in Blois (which are open both Saturday and Sunday)."
  • 5. On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.
  • 6. Due to frequent negative client feedback the start city of has changed from Tours to Bloise in 2023.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    No

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    Yes, except optional activities

  • Is this trip right for you

    This trip covers quite some distance, with cycling for up to a maximum of 60 kilometres a day on varied terrain with a few hills. As well as obviously the ability to confidently ride a bike, in reality you only require a reasonable level of fitness to participate.

    On this trip we have a single leader that rides with the group, and another that drives the support vehicle (acting as a back marker where needed). Where the vehicle cannot travel directly with the cyclists (e.g. a cyclists-only path) your leader will assign a person from the group to act as a back marker.

    There’s the possibility of a few hiccups along the way – a puncture here and there – but there’s no doubt this is an incredibly rewarding adventure.

    You'll be spending your nights in hotels all the way, ranging from comfortable to basic level, but they'll always be authentic and a great opportunity to interact with the locals and fellow travellers.

    The weather in this region can be varied depending on the season. Be prepared to get sweaty and for the occasional rainstorm, which may require a change of plans.

    If you feel like doing all the riding but with less effort we have the option of hiring an electric bike (e-bike) on this trip.

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are international flights included in this tour?

    No

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes if aged 15+ and accompanied by an adult

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Dates & Availability

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Saturday - Friday

May 04, 2024 - May 10, 2024
$2860 $2086 (USD)

Operator discount: -$715 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$59 (USD)

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Jun 15, 2024 - Jun 21, 2024
$2775 $2699 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$76 (USD)

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Aug 24, 2024 - Aug 30, 2024
$2750 $2674 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$76 (USD)

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Sep 07, 2024 - Sep 13, 2024
$2885 $2806 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$79 (USD)

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Sep 28, 2024 - Oct 04, 2024
$2860 $2781 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$79 (USD)

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Saturday - Friday

Apr 19, 2025 - Apr 25, 2025
$2940 $2859 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$81 (USD)

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May 10, 2025 - May 16, 2025
$2940 $2859 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$81 (USD)

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Saturday - Friday

May 31, 2025 - Jun 06, 2025
$3060 $2976 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$84 (USD)

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Saturday - Friday

Jun 28, 2025 - Jul 04, 2025
$3060 $2976 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$84 (USD)

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Jul 26, 2025 - Aug 01, 2025
$2940 $2859 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$81 (USD)

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Aug 30, 2025 - Sep 05, 2025
$2940 $2859 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$81 (USD)

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Saturday - Friday

Sep 13, 2025 - Sep 19, 2025
$3060 $2976 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$84 (USD)

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Saturday - Friday

Sep 27, 2025 - Oct 03, 2025
$3060 $2976 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$84 (USD)

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Saturday - Friday

Oct 11, 2025 - Oct 17, 2025
$2940 $2859 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$81 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 400 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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