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 in three sections. This one is from Saumur to Saint-Brévin-les-Pins, the former in the heart of the Anjou vineyards and the latter where the Atlantic coast’s beaches, sand dunes and pine forests wait to greet you. This is a six day cycling holiday, staying at small guesthouses and hotels along the way, with your luggage transferred for you. We can also supply e-bikes.
- Saumur castle
- St-Maur Abbey
- Fortress town of Champtoceaux
- Muscadet vineyards
- Seaside resort of Saint-Brévin-les-Pins
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrival in Saumur
Travel to Saumur and check in at your hotel. If you have some free time, visit this beautiful riverfront town, with its medieval Old Town, and also home to the prestigious riding academy Cadre Noir.
- Accommodation: Hôtel Ibis Centre Gare or similar in Saumur
Day 2: Saumur to Angers | 58.5km
Today you cycle along the southern bank of the river. Look out for architecture made from the local white tuff stone, such as the church in Cunault and St-Maur Abbey. Once you get to St-Mathurin-sur-Loire, follow the northern bank of the Loire through a former swamp that was drained in the Middle Ages. Further down the trail you can see the old slate quarries of Trélazé. Then, taking a small ferry, cross the Authion, with distant views of your final stop for today in Angers, on the Maine river.
- Cycling for the day: 58.5km ↑613m ↓598m
- Accommodation: Hôtel le Progrès or similar in Angers
Day 3: Angers to Ingrandes | 50.7km
Leave the busy town of Angers via its main park, and cycle along the Maine as far as Bouchemaine, with lovely restaurants and picnic spots. Here the Maine flows out in the Loire. You will catch sight of the Savennières and Coteaux du Layon vineyards further west, then cycle close to the river and cross Île de Chalonnes. Continue along quiet tracks up to Montjean-sur-Loire with some splendid views, bringing this wonderful day of cycling to a close in Ingrandes.
- Cycling for the day: 50.7km ↑393m ↓405m
- Accommodation: Hôtel Au Poisson d’Argent or similar in Le Mesnil-en-Vallée
Day 4: Ingrandes to Nantes | 55.8km
Start the day up on Mont Glonne with a great view of the Loire. Continue on to the fortress town of Champtoceaux via quiet roads and tracks, with more views over the Loire-Atlantique region, meaning that the Atlantic is finally near. Check out the Muscadet vineyards en route and, after Mauves-sur-Loire, you get a glimpse of one of the Loire’s most famous cities, Nantes.
- Cycling for the day: 55.8km ↑406m ↓411m
- Accommodation: Hôtel Amiral or similar in Nantes
Day 5: Nantes to Saint-Brévin-les-Pins | 58.5km
Look out for art installations at the start of today’s cycle along the mouth of the Loire. After Le Pellerin, follow the Martinière Canal, cycling along small, quiet roads that cling to the region’s wetlands. From Paimboeuf, follow part of the Velodyssey coastal route and watch the Loire take on the stronger tidal influences of the sea. The end is in sight: Saint-Brévin-les-Pins, a lively seaside resort on the Atlantic.
- Cycling for the day: 58.5km ↑336m ↓334m
- Accommodation: Hôtel le petit Trianon or similar in Saint-Brévin-les-Pins
Day 6: Departure
The tour ends after breakfast.
What to expect
On this cycling holiday, you stay at comfortable 2-star, 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 Ibis Centre Gare (Saumur)
- Hôtel le Progrès (Angers)
- Hôtel Au Poisson d’Argent (Ingrandes)
- Hôtel Amiral (Nantes)
- Hôtel le petit Trianon (Saint-Brévin-les-Pins)
*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 50-60km 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 Saumur by train from Gare Montparnasse (Paris) (approx 2h 30mins).
- Departure from Saint-Brévin-les-Pins: From Saint-Brévin-les-Pins, use local transport to get to one of the following three nearby stations: Gare de Penhoët (5km away), St- Nazaire, La Croix-de-Mean (6km away) and Montoir-de-Bretagne (8km away). From these stations, there are trains running frequently to Paris via Nantes (approx. 4h).
- 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.