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History buffs and cycling enthusiasts unite on this 6-day cycling tour of France’s most vibrant parts of France’s historical past. A leisurely cycle through medieval and Renaissance-era castles, most level cyclists can enjoy the ride through the rolling hills of historical France — viewing places that have existed since the Roman empire intermingling with modern-day culture. Pure Adventures Tours ensures that you get where you need to go in style on your self-guided cycling tour. Spend part of the day cycling, then spend the rest of the day exploring castles, drinking the fine wines of the region, and staying at private estates. For those with limited time, the Loire Royal Valley self-guided cycling tour with Pure Adventures is an experience to remember.
Arrival to Amboise, 2 hours from Paris by train. Departure also from Amboise with same return.
Not Included: Choice of Bike Rental
Local Expert: Patrick studied history and geography at University and graduated with a degree in these subjects. He became an adventure guide for 12 years and during this time accompanied a great many travelers on trips all over the world. Patrick has a real feel for his travelers’ expectations when it comes to exploring uncharted territory and possesses a definite flair for finding a region’s “hidden treasures”. Our local guides and experts are available by phone to assist during your trip with any kind of emergency, breakdown (except flats), and if due to weather or other reason you need to arrange a transfer.
Need to Know:
Your arrival town is Amboise, located right on the Loire River and accessible from Paris by train. On the south side of the river lies the town centre and castle, where the French kings spent their childhoods during the XV and XVI centuries. In town there is also a museum displaying many of the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci, who spent the last few years of his life here until he died in 1519. The center has very nice walking streets, pastry shops, cafes and wine shops with ‘degustation’! Allow some time to visit and if summer, take in the Sound and Light show at the Castle this evening. Orientation and bike delivery will be tonight or tomorrow morning at your hotel; we will confirm the time with your booking.
Meals: on own
Highlights: Amboise exploration, orientation
Start your morning as you wish with breakfast on your time and after, you can get kitted up to ride! One of the advantages of a self-guided trip is you set your schedule each day – enjoy! The highlight of today’s ride is the chateau of Chenonceau, the most romantic of all the Loire chateaux. It actually sits on the Cher River, whose waters reflect the pale stone of the beautiful turrets and arches, and was the home of both Catherine de Medicis and Diane de Poitiers. Take your time for a good visit and you may want to pack a lunch from Amboise to enjoy here as well. After, continue on to the village of Montrichard, which faces the Cher River at the footsteps of the fortress built in 1121.
Meals: breakfast, dinner
Distance: 24 or 45 km / 15 or 28 miles
Highlights: Chenonceau, Montrichard
Another ‘royal’ day of castles! Today you are away from the main tourist routes on your bike, where you will first see some Troglodyte houses along the Cher Valley. You ride through vineyards and woods until the attractive village of Fougères sur Bievre with its Feudal Chateau. There is then about 15kms left to get to the Villages of Chitnay and then near Cheverny to a nice castle hotel near to the famous Cheverny Castle. As tomorrow is a big day, you may want to take time to visit Cheverny by bike, today.
Meals: breakfast, dinner
Distance: 36 or 45 km / 22 or 28 miles
Highlights: Troglodyte houses, beautiful chateaus & castles
The ride today takes you north through forests to find the amazing chateau of Chambord, the masterpiece of the French renaissance, completed in 1545. After the visit, you cross the Loire River to ride the north bank downstream toward Blois. This is definitely one of the most pleasant section of the Loire to ride along. You eventually get into the royal city of Blois where Louis XII was born. The fine castle is full of history – assassinations were perpetrated here, and there are beautiful examples of different architectural styles. Blois is also a nice walking town around the center where you will find shops and restaurants.
Distance: 43 km / 27 miles
Highlights: Chambord, Blois, chateau & castle visit
The final day of cycling is basically following the Loire Valley South. Half way down is the chateau of Chaumont-sur-Loire. This was originally built during the wars between the counts of Anjou and Blois in the 11th century on a very strategic point along the river. Remodeled and rebuilt over the centuries by various owners including Catherine de Medici, the castle is now a venue for the International Garden Festival. Once back in Amboise you can take your remaining time to visit any of the places you missed at the beginning of this cycling tour. Celebrate your last night with some local wines!
Distance: 42 km / 26 miles
Highlights: Chaumont-sur-Loire, Amboise sight-seeing
Depart from your hotel in Amboise after enjoying breakfast at your leisure. Trains are available direct to Paris. Don’t forget, we are available to plan any desired add-on travel in France, especially in Paris, should you wish to spend time there before returning home.
Tour Rates: (based on double occupancy)
Standard Two & Three Star Hotels:
Upgraded Four Star Hotels:
Hybrid Bike Rental: 120 euros
Road Bike Rental: 165 euros
E-bike Rental: 165 euros
Garmin GPS Rental: 50 euros
Bike Rental Details Page
Make it Custom: Do you like this tour but want to make it different? Tell us your wishes & we will quote it!
We had a great time – the weather was perfect, the ride was easy and the scenery was lovely,
This is a great first time or family trip to take. We saw lots of families and people from all generations (Ebikes included) on this trip.
Highlights for us were the Michelin star meal (beautiful, delicious and amazing service), the chateaus (of course) and the leisurely pace.
Bikes and road books were excellent!
We traveled with 2 kids and 1 adolescent, everything was great! It´s a perfect trip to kids. Short distances, amazing castles, small cities, great accommodation!
Operator’s comment: Thanks Christiane – that is very meaningful and so nice to read! Thanks for coming back on another tour and taking time to do this review!
Hotel accommodation was great. Not all hotels have lifts, so carrying luggage up two levels can be arduous. Luggage was ferried to hotels each night – no problems. Would have preferred not having a set menu in some places. Bikes were not always under cover, so got wet when it rained. Bike paths not always well marked, so some wrong turns, had to rely on maps. Scenery magnificent. Accompanied by birdsong nearly all the way. Chateaux beautiful. Finding Blois hotel was tricky. It is a big city. No need to panic about food enroute – lots of places to eat. Not all hotels we stayed at had open restaurants at night. Made it tricky when you had to find somewhere to eat and it was raining and you were tired after the long ride. Public holidays means lots of places closed.
Pure Adventures does a great cycle tour. Far enough each day to provide some exercise and change of scenery but allowed for lazy starts in the morning. Well-chosen routes away from traffic and varied scenery along the way. Wonderful hotels and great food. Loved being on our own, setting our own pace, but with all the logistics taken care of.