There are easy connections from Paris to Tours train station. Your Trip Package will be waiting for you at the hotel and our Bike Manager will meet in person to check your bike fitting with you. Once settled, take some time to explore this lovely small city: During the Middle Ages, Tours consisted of two juxtaposed and competing centres: The “City” in the east, successor of the late Roman ‘castrum’, and in the west, the “New City” structured around the Abbey of Saint Martin and the economic centre of Tours. The two centres were linked during the 14th century, but you still sense the two halves today. We provide a self guided walking tour to explore the Medieval centre (Vieux Tours), with the half-timbered houses, the many parks, and Place Plumereau, a lively square with many restaurants and pubs.
After your breakfast, the first part of today’s ride abandons the Loire River, to follow a bike path on the smaller winding Cher River. You leave Tours away from any traffic, and meander through easygoing countryside and small hamlets, on the outskirts of Tours, bringing you eventually through the small town of Savonnieres, and on to Villandry, where we highly recommend you make a stop. The castle in Villandry can be visited, but it is the beautiful Renaissance gardens that are of worldwide renown. You can wander through the vegetable gardens, flower gardens, water garden, and symbolic garden, all beautifully presented in formal patterns, outlined with low box hedges. The route then continues southwards, with the option to detour over the elegant bridge into Langeais, to see the impressive fortified castle there. Descend eventually to yet another River, the Indre, and the town of Azay le Rideau. If you feel like it, stop at a local winery for a wine tasting as you arrive. You’ll also want to take some time to visit the castle – not one of the largest of the Loire in size, the 16th century castle of Azay is one of the prettiest, with the mix of Italian Renaissance style, and the charm of a French castle on the water, mirrored in the ripples of the Indre River.
From Azay you leave the Indre River and ride northwards back to the Loire on easygoing terrain. Once there, you then follow a wonderful bike route next to the River westwards, You soon reach the Château d’Ussé, the enchanting castle that inspired the Sleeping Beauty castle of Disney fame. Turn once again away from the river, this time towards medieval Chinon, a lovely and lively town spanning the banks of the river, but your approach brings you via the renowned vineyards that have made the town’s reputation, for the delicious, crisp red wines, with their particular spiced-fruit flavours. Chinon is firmly anchored in the region’s history; it was here that Joan of Arc arrived to convince the Dauphin King of her destiny to win back lost territories from the English. Imagine her plea to the unbelieving court as you wander the ruins of the castle today. After explorations of town, including Rue Voltaire with its many medieval houses, its boutiques and cafés, pedal the final stretch of your ride following the Vienne River to its confluence with the Loire, to neighbouring Candes and Montsoreau, both rated as France’s official “prettiest villages” and your home for this evening.
Your final ride is a lovely route through the countryside of the Loire Valley, first moving away from the banks of the river once more. In the small town of Fontevraud, you should take some time to visit the abbey there. Founded in 1099, the Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud is one of the biggest monastic complexes of western Christendom. The powerful queen of two countries, Eleanor of Aquitaine is buried in a painted stone coffin within the walls of the abbey, with her French husband, Henry II, and her son, the famous Richard the Lionheart. You pass several other sites as you approach Saumur, including troglodyte communities, mushroom caves, and an artisanal ‘hammered apple” maker. The historic centre of Saumur makes for great explorations; many of the monuments are built in the lovely soft local stone known as tuffeau. The Château de Saumur stands high overlooking the town. Saumur is home to the “Cadre Noir”, the National School of Horsemanship, known for its annual horse shows, as well as the Armoured and Cavalry Training School. There is an interesting and unique tank museum, with more than 850 armored vehicles, wheeled or tracked. We include dinner this evening, at one of our favourite restaurants. (note the Deluxe itinerary continues through Saumur a short distance further to the Chateau-hotel Le Prieure).
After a final breakfast, say goodbye to Loire Valley until next time. Connections are easy from Saumur train station to your further travels. Bon Voyage!
- 4 nights’ accommodation of the comfort level of your choice * CLASSIC, CLASSIC + or DELUXE
- Hotel taxes
- All breakfasts, 2 dinners (drinks not included with dinners)
- Fully equipped quality touring bike **
- Orientation with our Trip Manager by phone at the start of the trip
- Bike fitting with our Bike Manager
- Detailed maps and step-by-step route notes
- Regional information and advice
- Uploadable GPS file of the route to use on a free APP in your smartphone ***
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
- Transfer to the first hotel from Tours train station
- Phone call support 7 days a week
* Price based on double room occupancy – please contact us for details on single room supplements
** E-bikes and Road bikes are available on request (subject to supplement)
*** Can be used without international internet plan (offline)
Classic + Tour
1190 € / pers.
1590 € / pers.
The high quality, light touring bike is the default bike included on the tour. It is perfectly suited to riding with lots of stops for explorations.
Upon request, and for a supplement, you can have a road bike or a pedal-assist electric bike – contact us for details.
All our touring bikes come equipped with removable handlebar bag with clear map case, flat tire kit (with extra inner tube), pump, lock, rear rack and back panniers, water bottle holder and new water bottle, bell and kickstand.
Ahead of the tour, we will ask you if you wish to use our helmets, and if you want toe cages on the pedals (both free of charge).
Each of our regions has its own bike fleet, often with a couple of different bike makes depending on sizing – if you want to know the specific bike details for your tour, just contact us, and we’ll be happy to send you the specs!
TOURING BIKE - men's frame (included in trip cost)
TOURING BIKE - Woman's Frame (included in trip cost)
E-bike - men's frame (supplement charge)
E-bike - women's frame (supplement charge)
Road (racing) bike (supplement charge)