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Romance in the Loire Valley by Bike + Boat

Cycling in the vineyards of the Sancerre

map Loire by Bike + Boat Clair de Lune

Route

Tour profile / Level 2

Moderate guided tour with average of 25 miles per day. Routes follow the Loire, field paths and asphalted side roads, some hilly stretches.

Itinerary Nevers – Briare

Day 1: Nevers – short bike tour approx. 15 km
Individual arrival and embarkation betwenn 1 and 2 pm. After dinner there will be an evening bike tour to get to know your bikes a little bit.

Day 2: Nevers – Gimouille, approx. 22 km
We start this week in the heart of France with a short ride to the sleepy village of Gimoulle on the Canal lateral du Loire. But first you can take some time to visit the town of Nevers where there are many sites to see including the winding streets filled with houses dating back from the 14th to 17th century. The origins of Nevers date back to Roman times. Nevers is since the 5th century the seat of the bishop and has among others a castle and a few interesting churches.

Day 3: Gimouille – Cours-les-Barres, approx. 38 km
First thing you will do today is pay a visit to the aqueduct over the Allier River. With its two impressive locks both measuring about 9 meters high this is a must do! With some luck and good planning you might see the Clair de Lune pass through here, high above the river. Later this morning you will end up in the small town of Apremont, where you will have the opportunity to visit the 12th-century castle and surrounding fabulous gardens. Riding north from Apremont you pass wooded areas with nice villages, castles and country estates.

Day 4: Cours-les-Barres – Ménétreol-sous-Sancerre, approx. 46 km
Right after breakfast you will hop on your bikes and begin this days cycling tour through the region of the Pouilly Fumé wines to La Charité-sur-Loire, an ancient Roman town. Crossing the 16th century stone bridge to the center, there is a splendid view overlooking the town and its Notre Dame church. Continue towards the final destination of today, the wine town of Sancerre. In Ménétréol, situated under the Sancerre vineyards, there will be an opportunity to try some wine before returning to the ship.

Day 5: Ménétreol-sous-Sancerre – Belleville-sur-Loire, approx. 35 km
Sancerre wines, and especially the white wines, are famous all over the world. The first mentioning of winegrowing in this region dates back to the 6th century. Until the 19th century the region mostly grew Pinot grapes, but after a disease that devastated the grapes Sauvignon is now mostly grown. And with success! The ride today takes you on a picturesque route right across the Sancerre vineyards and through the surrounding villages to the charming village of Belleville-sur-Loire.

Day 6: Belleville-sur-Loire – Briare, approx. 45 km
Todays bike ride to Briare leads you through typical French countryside with rolling hills, country estates and small villages. On the way you will pass the historical locks of Châtillon-sur-Loire and ride on to St. Brisson, where you will see the impressive medieval castle. We end the day with a visit to the magnificent aqueduct over the Loire River in Briare. We spend the last two nights moored in the typical French small-town of Briare

Day 7: Briare – Rogy-les-sept-Écluses – Briare, approx. 50 km
Your last bike ride this week will lead you to the castle of ’Pont Chevron,’ situated on a small, picturesque lake. Around lunchtime you will be in the village Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses, known for its historical seven locks. Via the 16th-century castle near Bléneau you will cycle through a region of lakes to Ouzouer-sur-Trézée and eventually back to Briare. A worthy ending of your bike adventure in the heart of France.

Day 8: Briare
Individual trip home or extended stay in France. Disembarkation before 10 am.

Itinerary Briare – Nevers

Day 1: Briare – short bike tour approx. 15 km
Individual arrival and embarkation between 1 and 2 pm. Tryout bike ride in the surrounding countryside after dinner.

Day 2: Briare – Rogny-les-sept-Écluses – Briare, approx. 50 km
Our first real bike ride this week will lead us to the castle of ‘Pont Chevron,’ situated on a small, picturesque lake. Around lunchtime on this first cycling day you will be in the village Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses, known for its historical seven locks. Via the 16th-century castle near Bléneau you will cycle through a region of lakes to Ouzouer-sur-Trézée and eventually back to Briare.

Day 3: Briare – Belleville-sur-Loire, approx. 45 km
Today we start with a visit to the magnificent aqueduct over the Loire River in Briare. With some luck and good planning you might see the Clair de Lune pass through here, high above the river. Later you ride to St. Brisson, where you will see the impressive medieval castle. Further on you will pass the historical locks of Châtillon-sur-Loire. The bike ride towards Belleville-sur-Loire leads you through typical French countryside with rolling hills, country estates and small villages.

Day 4: Belleville-sur-Loire – Ménétreol-sous-Sancerre, approx. 35 km
Sancerre wines, and especially the white wines, are famous all over the world. The first mentioning of winegrowing in this region dates back to the 6th century. Until the 19th century the region mostly grew Pinot grapes, but after a disease that devastated the grapes Sauvignon is now mostly grown. And with success! The ride today takes you on a picturesque route right across the Sancerre vineyards and through the surrounding villages. In Ménétréol, situated under the Sancerre vineyards, there will be an opportunity to try some wine before returning to the Clair de Lune.

Day 5: Ménétreol-sous-Sancerre – Cours-les-Barres, approx. 45 km
Right after breakfast you will hop on your bikes and begin this days cycling tour through the region of the Pouilly Fumé wines to La Charité-sur-Loire, an ancient Roman town. Crossing the 16th century stone bridge to the center, there is a splendid view overlooking the town and its Notre Dame church. Continue towards the destination of today, Cours-les-Barres.

Day 6: Cours-les-Barres – Gimouille, approx 37 km
Riding south from Cours-les-Barres you pass nice wooded areas with again many nice villages and country estates. Later in the day you will end up in the small town of Apremont, where you will have the opportunity to visit the 12th-century castle and surrounding fabulous gardens. After, you will continue to the sleepy village of Gimouille on the Canal Lateral du Loire. On the way a visit to the aqueduct over the Allier River with its two impressive locks both measuring about 9 meters high is a must do!

Day 7: Gimouille – Nevers, 23 km
We end this week in the heart of France with a short ride to the town of Nevers where there are many sites to see including the winding streets filled with houses dating back from the 14th to 17th century. The origins of Nevers date back to Roman times. Nevers is since the 5th century the seat of the bishop and has among others a castle and a few interesting churches. To celebrate the end of your cycling week you can of course also take a well-earned rest on the several terraces in town and enjoy the local wine.

Day 8: Nevers
Individual trip home or extended stay in France. Disembarkation before 10 am.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Due to changing wind and weather conditions as well as organizational requirements we reserve the right to make changes of routing and program.

Services

  • 7 nights on board in cabin with private facilities 

  • Full board (breakfast, packed lunch for bike days, dinner) 

  • Coffee & tea on board 

  • Cycling tour guide

  • Min. 3 city walks with tour guide

  • Ferry rides

  • Free WiFi (limited available in lounge and on deck)

  • GPS Tracks (on request)

  • Maps and information material per cabin 

Dates & Prices

Dates

Merkmale

    Season / Period
    Type
    S2   27.05. - 03.06.24
    Briare - Nevers
    FULLY BOOKED
    S2   10.06. - 17.06.24
    Briare - Nevers
    S1   24.06. - 01.07.24
    Briare - Nevers
    FULLY BOOKED
    S1   08.07. - 15.07.24
    Briare - Nevers
    S1   22.07. - 29.07.24
    Briare - Nevers
    S1   05.08. - 12.08.24
    Briare - Nevers
    S2   19.08. - 26.08.24
    Briare - Nevers
    S3   02.09. - 09.09.24
    Briare - Nevers
    FULLY BOOKED
    S3   16.09. - 23.09.24
    Briare - Nevers
    FULLY BOOKED
    S2   30.09. - 07.10.24
    Briare - Nevers
    FULLY BOOKED
    S1   14.10. - 21.10.24
    Briare - Nevers
    S2   03.06. - 10.06.24
    Nevers - Briare
    FULLY BOOKED
    S2   17.06. - 24.06.24
    Nevers - Briare
    FULLY BOOKED
    S1   01.07. - 08.07.24
    Nevers - Briare
    S1   15.07. - 22.07.24
    Nevers - Briare
    S1   29.07. - 05.08.24
    Nevers - Briare
    S2   12.08. - 19.08.24
    Nevers - Briare
    S2   26.08. - 02.09.24
    Nevers - Briare
    S3   09.09. - 16.09.24
    Nevers - Briare
    FULLY BOOKED
    S2   23.09. - 30.09.24
    Nevers - Briare
    FULLY BOOKED
    S1   07.10. - 14.10.24
    Nevers - Briare

    Extras

    Discount for children
    with min. 1 full-paying person  
    0-2,99 years -100%
    3-11,99 years -30%
       
    Bicycles & equipment
    24-speed-bike incl. helmet and insurance 110
    E-bike incl. helmet and insurance 220
    Children bike 60
    Children seat  15
    Tagalong 55
    Children trailer 199
       
    Extras
    special diet (gluten free, lactosefree, vegan)* 75

    * must be mentioned when booking (vegetarian diet is free of charge)


    Best - Price - Guarantee

    If you would verifiably receive better conditions and/or prices from another tour operator at the time of booking we guarantee at least the same conditions PLUS 1 handlebar bag for FREE!
    All prices per person in EUR

    Ship

    Welcome aboard the CLAIR DE LUNE! (Category Comfort Plus)

    Facilities

    The Clair de Lune was originally built in 1936 as a freight ship in Belgium.  In 1982 the barge was built into a passenger ship, first named ‘Steile Bank’ and ‘Summerjazz’.
    Since May 2014 we redesigned it and renamed the ship ‘Clair de Lune’. Aboard there is a big and cozy salon with big windows for a perfect view. WiFi is available in a limited amount (free up to 100 MB).


    Catering

    The cook on board is a member of the crew and prepares the breakfast, packed lunch and a warm dinner in the evening. The catering consists of full board. Catering starts with the dinner on the arrival day and ends with the breakfast on the departure day. Vegetarian catering is possible, please announce this with reservation and discuss it again with the tour guide on site.


    Cabins

    There are 5 split level bed cabins, 3 double bed cabins and 1 single bed cabin available.Showers and toilets are provided in each cabin. There is air-conditioning in the cabins and the windows can be opened.


    Languages on board

    German, English

     

    Bicycle

    Important Information: It is not permitted to bring own E-Bikes on this tour!


     

    Bicycles inclusive panniers

    The offered bikes are hybrid bikes with an aluminium frame and kitted with responsive brakes and gears. Plus: mudguards, trip computers, comfort gel saddles, flat-palmed grips, Schwalbe Marathon anti-puncture tyres. E-bikes are also available for this tours, while kids’ bikes and accessories are at hand for all family-friendly holidays.

    You can choose between the following bikes:

    • 24-speed-hybrid-bike
    • E-bikes unisex
    • children seat, children trailer, Child bike

    E-bikes

    By popular demand, we have now invested in a considerable number of e-bikes, much favoured by cyclists who love the Great Outdoors, but prefer to let the bike take the strain. Our research has led us to:

    With an electro bike every bike tour is a breeze! The shiftable, low noise electric drive of our modern E-bike relieves you of some of the work and increases the pedal force up to 3 times ... Acclivity can be handled easily.

    Your bike has 24 gears, a detachable lithium-Ion battery, hand brakes, pannier bags, bike helmet, a good lock, water bottle and you can get a repair kit. We draw your attention to the fact that you will be held responsible for damage to or theft of the bike, as long as the bike is not on board. (the E-bike has a value of more than € 2000,-). Never leave it unattended. Always lock it and fasten it to a fixed object, and don’t forget to remove the information panel.

     


    Private bicycles

    You are welcome to bring your own bicycle. This is adapted especially to your needs. Do not forget to bring a repair kit with all necessary tools such as: keys, reserve tube and lock. Please check your own bicycle for operability upon arrival.

    Useful

    Arrival - Parking - Departure

    Arrival by plane

    Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG)
    The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Paris Charles de Gaulle. By train it is about 2,5-3 hours to the railway station in Briare/Nevers. A taxi from the airport in Paris to the mooring place will take about 2,5-3 hours.


    Arrival by train

    Nevers
    Walking distance to the barge is about 30 minutes. By taxi it takes 10 minutes and will cost around € 30,-.

    Briare
    Walking distance to the barge is about 20 minutes. A taxi will take about 10 minutes and will cost around € 30,- .


    Arrival by car

    You can park your car free of charge in the public areas around the piers in Nevers and Briare.


    Participants

    Minimum: 12 persons
    Maximum: 17 persons

    Videos

    Travel stories

    4,7 of 6 Stars | 3
    The food was excellent - the best yet, on any bike trip. The boat was always there at the end of the day. This trip visits interesting towns and villages. There’s lots to see and do.....D.R. 06/23
    5.8 27.06.2023 | David R. Romance in the Loire Valley by Bike + Boat

    Great staff made for a great tour

    The four staff - Michael, Jen, Edwin, and the Captain were outstanding. Michael led us to all the sights and found great places for breaks. The food was excellent - the best yet, on any bike trip. The boat was always there at the end of the day. This ...
    • Overall satisfaction 6
    • Booking handling 5
    • Travel documents 6
    • Per-Tour information 6
    • Accomodation 6
    • Board 6
    • Route description 5
    • On-site assistance 6
    • Route-character 6
    • Bicycle + equipment 6
    • Price-performance ratio 6
    more
    load more travel stories

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