Cycling the Loire Valley really is one of the most exquisite and immersive ways to experience the French countryside and way of life. You can take it all on in one go or three sections. This one is from Orléans to Saumur. The former needs little introduction and the latter in the heart of the Anjou vineyards, with châteaux, charming villages and ancient architecture en route. A six day cycling holiday, stay at small guesthouses and hotels along the way, with your luggage transferred for you. We can also supply e-bikes.
- Château de Chaumont
- Château Amboise
- Château du Clos Lucé
- Château de Villandry
- Château d’Ussé
- Château de Saumur
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrival in Orléans
You individually travel to Orléans, gateway to the heart of the famous Loire valley. Once it was a capital in the early French Middle Ages, but nowadays it’s a lively, modern town with a beautiful historic centre. An ideal place to start this route along the Loire Valley.
- Accommodation: Hôtel Oceania Orléans or similar in Orléans
Day 2: Orléans to Blois | 62.7km
After leaving Orléans, you soon come to the confluence of the Loiret and the Loire. For a large part of the day, follow the Loire’s elevated banks with beautiful views of rolling hills on either side. Don’t miss the historic towns of Meung-sur-Loire and Beaugency. A perfectly flat track leads you, at a leisurely pace, into the unique landscape known as the Pays des Châteaux.
- Cycling for the day: 62.7km ↑389m ↓419m
- Accommodation: Hôtel Anne de Bretagne or similar in Blois
Day 3: Blois to Amboise | 42.2km
From Blois, follow the southern bank of the Loire. Between rolling hills with vineyards, cycle to Cande-sur-Beuvron, then back along the Beuvron to the Loire. Located high on the river banks is Château de Chaumont , with its gorgeous gardens, just one of many cultural highlights of the Touraine region. Visit a wine producer to sample the local Sauvignon Blanc, as well as Château Amboise and Clos-Lucé where Leonardo da Vinci once stayed. There are some short climbs on the way.
- Cycling for the day: 42.2km ↑341m ↓345m
- Accommodation: Hôtel le Chaptal or similar in Amboise
Day 4: Amboise to Villandry | 49.7km
Cycle into the Montlouis wine region, with a perfect microclimate close to where the Rivers Loire and Cher meet, and you can sample the region’s produce on a visit to a wine cellar. A cycle track takes you to Tours, the capital of what is called The Garden of France region, but you continue along the south bank of the Cher to Château de Villandry with its spectacular gardens.
- Cycling for the day: 49.7km ↑421m ↓446m
- Accommodation: Hôtel le Cheval Rouge or similar in Villandry
Day 5: Villandry to Saumur | 63.6km
Cycle to Château d’Ussé where, on the elevated riverbank you get beautiful views of the river. The landscape is unspoiled where the Indre flows out in the Loire. Enjoying the magnificent panoramas, cycle on to Candes-Saint-Martin where the Vienne and Loire meet. This is the Anjou region, known for its wines and troglodytes. Choose the track close to the Loire or follow the higher, more exciting but also more strenuous track across the vineyards. Both end at Château de Saumur.
- Cycling for the day: 63.6km ↑554m ↓557m
- Accommodation: Hôtel Ibis Centre Gare or similar in Saumur
Day 6: Departure
End of your trip after breakfast. If you have you got some time left, it’s worthing extending your trip to enjoy Saumur. You can travel back to Orléans by train.
What to expect
On this cycling holiday, you stay at comfortable 2 and 3-star hotels and guesthouses. Some accommodations have swimming pools. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
Click to view default hotels
- Hôtel Oceania Orléans (Orléans)
- Hôtel Anne de Bretagne (Blois)
- Hôtel le Chaptal (Amboise)
- Hôtel le Cheval Rouge (Villandry)
- Hôtel Ibis Centre Gare (Saumur)
*Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Accommodation is on a B&B basis. Products for picnics can be purchased in the villages where you’ll be staying, or you can have your lunch in a restaurant along the way. You can have dinner at your hotel or nearby restaurants.
Difficulty and terrain
The daily distances are 40-65km and follow the Loire à Vélo route. This holiday is appropriate for moderately experienced cyclists and requires a basic level of fitness (read more about difficulty grades). You can also rent an e-bike which makes the trip accessible to everybody (experience with handling an e-bike is a must). We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
This trip is available from the beginning of April until the end of October. The best time for cycling is between May and September when the weather is generally good, and the average daily temperatures are 22-24C and up to 23C in July and August. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.
Click to view travel options
Our recommended airport for this tour is Paris.
By train or bus
- Arrival in Paris: From Paris, you can get to Gare d’Orléans by a direct train from Paris Gare d’Austerlitz (approx. 1h).
- Departure from Saumur: From Gare Saumur there are trains running frequently to Gare Montparnasse (Paris) (approx 2h 30mins).
- 5 overnights with breakfast as detailed in the itinerary
- Luggage transfer on the cycling days (one piece per person, max 20kg)
- Detailed digital holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps. Please note that the info pack is emailed to you prior to departure, and no printed documents are mailed or provided on-site
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Bike rental
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses
- Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
- Any items not explicitly listed as included
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own.
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights before the tour, along the way and at the end of the tour can be booked on request
- Bike rental: hybrid bikes and e-bikes available
If you would like to rent a bike from us, we can offer you good quality hybrid or e-bikes in excellent condition with appropriate gears and equipment for the trip. All bicycles (whatever the model) are equipped with a bike lock, a helmet, a puncture repair kit, and a pump. Sample pictures attached below, note that the exact models might be different depending on the availability, but the standard will be the same.