| Self-guided trip: Starts any day from April through October 2017
7 nights/8 days
Daily mileage: From 15 km (9 miles) to 42 km (26 miles, long option) daily on easy terrain
Trip starts and ends in Tours. Tours is a 2 hour train ride from Paris
Accommodation in 2-star properties (Option A), 2- and 3-star properties and guesthouses (Option A+), or 3- and 4-star properties (Option A++)
From per person sharing a double room
Chateaux and Castles: Chenonceau, Azay-le-Rideau & Villandry —
|Day 1: Arrival in Tours
You may arrive in Tours at your leisure; however, we suggest an early arrival to ensure you thoroughly enjoy this historical city. Tours is well served by France’s high-speed TGV trains from Paris. Take advantage of your central lodgings to explore and relax in this lively university town. Be sure to visit the stunning the Saint Gatien Cathedral and the city’s botanical gardens.
|Day 2: Tours — Amboise (34 km/21 miles, 269 meters/883 ft of climbing)
Kick off your cycling tour with a relaxing ride through the winemaking area of Vouvray — it’s never too early for an included wine tasting! An early arrival in Amboise gives you ample time to visit its châteaux, wander past the troglodytes, or cave dwellings, and stop in at Clos Lucé, the fascinating castle where Leonardo da Vinci spent the last three years of his life. Now a museum, Château Clos Lucé allows you to glimpse into his alluring world of ideas and contraptions (models of which are on display). Some say those ideas included our dear bicycle, but that is open to debate!
|Day 3: Amboise — Chenonceaux (15 km/9 miles, 156 meters/512 ft of climbing; Loop via Bourré: 42 km/26 miles, 281 meters/922 ft of climbing)
Today’s mileage is low so that you may enjoy a late start from Amboise or spend extra time at the Château de Chenonceau, a 15th-century castle whose dramatic façade bridges the River Cher. An optional additional loop from Chenonceaux will bring you near Bourré, where you may visit the Cave des Roches, a mysterious underground village and mushroom cellar.
|Day 4: Chenonceaux — Loches (33 km/21 miles, 255 meters/837 ft of climbing)
Cross the Cher River to enter a state of bliss — the beauty of the countryside is some of France’s finest. Pause for a moment in Chédigny, a tiny hamlet called the "Village of roses" for reasons that will quickly become apparent. End your day’s ride in the classic medieval city of Loches. The imposing citadel towering above the town is where Louis XI allegedly held prisoners in iron cages, adding to the Loire Valley’s storied past.
|Day 5: Loches — Montbazon (40 km/25 miles, 326 meters/1,070 ft of climbing)
Follow the banks of the Indre River on your ride out of Loches, passing many small charming villages on the banks as you go. Remnants of the past mark your ride, from a Roman bridge to Medieval ruins. Your destination for the day is Montbazon, where a former Count of Anjou nicknamed the “Black Falcon” had his fortress — the “living history” museum is open to visitors.
|Day 6: Montbazon — Azay-le-Rideau (23 km/14 miles, 179 meters/587 ft of climbing)
Depart Montbazon and meander along the Indre River. The valley is home to numerous beautiful places, including the home of author Honoré de Balzac in Saché. At last, you’ll arrive at the stunning chateau of Azay-le-Rideau. It’s one of the earliest from the French Renaissance period and was built directly on the Indre River, giving it the appearance of floating on the water.
|Day 7: Azay-le-Rideau — Tours (34 km/21 miles, 219 meters/719 ft of climbing)
Experience an enchanting ride through the forest on your way to the Château de Villandry. Many people consider the highly acclaimed jardins à la française (French gardens) of this estate to be the most impressive of Renaissance-style gardens in France! Join up with the banks of the Loire River once more as you wheel back to Tours.
|Day 8: Departure
After breakfast, depart Tours at the time of your choice.
|Booking & Pricing|
|From 905 euros per person sharing a double room
Kids' rates are based on age and will vary depending on available rooms (limited inventory of family rooms)
Three options are available for this trip:
Option A: Using 2-star properties
Option A+: Using a mix of 2- and 3-star properties and/or guesthouses
Option A++: Using a mix of 3- and 4-star properties
These prices include:
These prices do not include:
|For further information or reservations:
Please or contact us at your earliest convenience as this trip is subject to hotel availability.
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