• Travelcode: 127

    Castles of the Loire Valley

    “La Route Royale”

    • Its rural charm is equally as impressive as the cultural wealth of its cities. But above all it is the castles which make the Loire valley world famous. Kings, feudal lords and ladies of court, all seduced by the charm of the Loire valley, had several hundred castles, manor houses, and fairy-tale residences built here in the "Garden of France". Villandry, Langeais, Usse, Chinon, Saumur, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceaux, Chaumont, Blois, Chambord, to name but a few.

      The mood of the river can change from one extreme to the other in the space of a single day. What the French call "grisaille", a foggy, gloomy melancholy atmosphere (although the French term sounds poetic), can give way to a mgnificent sunset, bathing the countryside in pastel colours! What could be nicer than exploring this fascinating region of France by bike?

      Tour profile / level 1-2

      The route takes you through gently rolling countryside with only a few climbs, although a certain level of basic fitness willl enable you to enjoy the countryside and its many attractions. The route runs mainly along cycle paths, service roads and quiet side roads.

      Day 1: Tours

      Individual arrival in Tours, in the historical centre of Touraine, the famous "Garden of France". In the afternoon you will receive detailed tour information (in German and English) and also your bikes (if you have rented one in advance).

      Day 2: Tours - Chinon, approx. 60 km

      The river Cher takes you on your way to Castle Villandry with its terraced gardens. Don’t miss the chance to visit the famous gardens! The shady paths, arbours decorated with flowers, fountains and the artistically arranged vegetable garden will impress even the most critical visitor. A few kilometres further on your route takes you from the banks of the Cher for to the banks of the Loire, where the next castle, Castle Langeais, awaits you. The fortified tower [this castle was used exclusively for military purposes] has a commanding view of the river and the surrounding countryside. At the edge of the dark, mysterious forest of Chinon lies Castle Ussé - "The Sleeping-Beauty-Castle". Your journey continues along small villages and along side roads to Chinon.

      Day 3: Roundtrip Fontevraud l’Abbaye, approx. 55 km

      Today you reach the village of Candes-Saint-Martin. At the spot where Saint Martin died a splendid Romanesque church was built. In Montsoreau the Vienne joins the mighty Loire – an impressive natural spectacle! Your journey continues through well-tended vineyards to Fontevraud l’Abbaye. Nowhere else in the world will you encounter such an extensive, well-preserved medieval monastery as in Fontevraud. The return journey to Chinon takes you along literary paths. On the way you pass the birthplace of the famous author Francois Rabelais, as well as cycling through the valley which was the setting for his famous work, "Gargantua".

      Day 4: Chinon – Azay-le-Rideau, approx. 40 km

      You leave Chinon with its medieval alleys, and continue northwards. The route takes you through ancient vineyards and isolated villages to Crissay, which, with its 15th-century-houses, is one of the most beautiful villages in France. Today’s route also includes a castle, one of the finest. Azay–le-Rideau – the perfect Renaissance-castle! Balzac described it as "a diamond with a thousand facets, set in the river Indre". What more is there to say? You spend the night here, directly in the village, and have the opportunity to enjoy the magic of the castle with its impressive cultural events.

      Day 5: Azay-le-Rideau - Chenonceaux, approx. 60 km

      Today’s journey includes a scenic highlight: through the romantic river scenery along the Indre, you come to the lovely small town of Montbazon. There is a short climb to overcome, over a ridge to the valley of the river Cher. You continue along meadow paths beside the Cher towards the village of Bléré, and on to your overnight accommodation in the historical town of Chenonceaux. The castle of Chenonceaux is the most spectacular of all the Loire castles, and is located in an unique position, with a two-storey gallery spanning the river, and with the impressive castle gardens stretching out in front of it.

      Day 6: Chenonceaux - Blois, approx. 45 - 75 km

      Today, you have two possibilities: you can choose the shorter trip which takes you through the scenic countryside of the Touraine to Castle Chaumont, and from here further along the romantic paths of the Loire to Blois. After checking in at the hotel, you can explore the surroundings. An excellent choice would be to visit Castle Blois with its galleries, balconies, and oriels. The second, longer option, is for all devoted Loire castle fans: via Montrichard, Cheverny, Villesavine to Castle Chambord. The "Domaine de Chambord" extends as far as the eye can see. The walls of the largest and most magnificent residence in the Loire are visible through the trees from far away – the immortal legacy of a disloyal king. The choice is yours!

      Day 7: Blois - Tours, approx. 70 km

      The river flows gently between golden, shimmering sandbanks. A characteristic feature of this region are the cliff dwellings, built into the soft limestone, so that the only evidence of their existence was the smoke rising from their fires. You cross the Loire to visit the king of all castles – Castle Amboise. It hosted five kings and a Roman emperor. A genius of the 16th century – Leonardo da Vinci – also spent his last years here. Along hidden paths and through vineyards and past wine-cellars, you cycle through Rochecorbon towards Tours.

      Day 8: Tours

      C’est la vie – today your journey to the castles of the Loire has come to an end! One more substantial breakfast, then it’s time to say goodbye to one of the most charming, delightful regions of France. If you prefer to extend your holiday, we would be delighted to book accommodation for you!

    • ARRIVAL - PARKING - DEPARTURE

      ARRIVAL BY PLANE

      Airport: Paris/Charles de Gaulle (CDG). Good plane connections, also cheap economy flights; good connections by train to Tours (about 250 km).


      ARRIVAL BY CAR

      Parking: At both hotels in Tours garage is available for approx. € 40-45,- a week. No reservation necessary, fee to be paid directly to the hotel.


      ARRIVAL BY TRAIN

      Train station: Train ride from Paris.Change trains in Paris (you will have to go by Underground to another station; therefore it is not possible to take your bike with you). Get off at "Tours-Centre" station. We recommend to take a taxi to the hotel (1,5 km). Cost is approx. € 10,-

      Current train  connections and prices you will find under: www.radreisen.at/france-train

      Book here your discounted train ticket... Book your flights online... Book here your bus ticket... Book your hotel online...
    • Included services:
      • 7 nights in room with private facilities, breakfast
         
      • luggage transfer from hotel to hotel
         
      • information meeting
      • maps and information material per room
    • Choose Categories

      S1 20.04. - 26.04.19 Category A every THU/SAT
      S2 27.04. - 28.06.19 Category A every THU/SAT
      S3 29.06. - 23.08.19 Category A every THU/SAT
      S2 24.08. - 20.09.19 Category A every THU/SAT
      S1 21.09. - 05.10.19 Category A every THU/SAT
      S1 20.04. - 26.04.19 Category B every THU/SAT
      S2 27.04. - 28.06.19 Category B every THU/SAT
      S3 29.06. - 23.08.19 Category B every THU/SAT
      S2 24.08. - 20.09.19 Category B every THU/SAT
      S1 21.09. - 05.10.19 Category B every THU/SAT

      Extras

      Discounts extra bed in double room with 2 full paying adults
      0-3,99 years -100%
      4-13,99 years -25%
      14-99 years -10%
       
      Bicycle & equipment
      21-speed-bike 80
      E-bike 175
         
      Additional night Tours
      Tours Cat. A (dbl/sgl) 65/99
      Tours Cat. B (dbl/sgl) 46/72

      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
    • Category A:

      These are comfortable hotels of national 2-4* category. We have reserved comfortable rooms with bath or shower/WC. Our hotels are a mixture of the charming and the modern, and in selecting them we placed particular emphasis on high quality cuisine. Most of the hotels are situated in the town centre.

      Tours: Grand Hôtel de Tours****

      Chinon: Hôtel Diderot***

      Azay-le-Rideau: Hôtel Biencourt*** oder Hotel des Chateaux***

      Chenonceaux: Hôtel Restaurant La Roseraie***

      Blois: Novotel Blois Centre****

      Tours: Grand Hôtel de Tours****


      Category B:

      These are hotels of national 2-3*category. We have reserved comfortable rooms with shower/WC. When selecting our hotels we placed particular emphasis on pleasant and personal service. Most of the hotels are situated in the town centre.

      Tours: Au Relais Saint Éloi***

      Chinon:  Hotel Saint Jacques**

      Azay-le-Rideau: Hôtel Val de Loire***

      Chenonceaux: Hôtel du Roy**

      Blois: Hôtel Le Monarque*** oder Hôtel Anne de Bretagne***

      Tours: Au Relais Saint Éloi***


      Please note that the listed hotels are only hotel samples and subject to change. You will find your definite hotel in the hotel list, which you receive after booking/before departure.

    • Bicycles inclusive panniers:

      21-speed-bikes

      The offered bikes are 21-speed-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. All bikes are equipped with a pannier (saddle bag) and a handlebar bag.



      E-bike

      By popular demand, we have now invested in a considerable number of e-bikes without back-pedalling braking system, much favoured by cyclists who love the great Outdoors, but prefer to let the bike take the strain.
       
      With an electro bike every bike tour is a breeze! If you had few opportunities to cycle over the last weeks or if you are not sure concerning your fitness, but also with physical disabilities, every bike ride is a treat! 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 ... So you can now book a bike tour together with cyclists who have different fitness level. Acclivity can be handled easily.
       


      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.
    • 4,7 27.05.2019 | DAVID S. Castles of the Loire Valley

      Chateaux in the Sunshine

      Our first holiday when one of us had an e-bike. Very pleased with the e-bike, until it went wrong and we had to wait for a replacement to be brought from Tours. So pleased with the service as well. Not 100% pleased with the 24-speed cycle, which was ...
      • Overall satisfaction 5
      • Travel documents 4
      • Information at the beginning of the tour 5
      • Accomodation 5
      • Board 5
      • Luggage transport 5
      • Route description 3
      • On-site assistance 5
      • Route-character 6
      • Bicycle + equipment 5
      • Price-performance ratio 4
      more
      4,0 15.08.2018 | Esther S. Castles of the Loire Valley

      Great route but bad accomodations

      The route was great and had all the facilities and signs. The enviroment and landscapes were Superb. The hotels were not as good as can be expected with the price we paid. Specially bad was the hotel at Chenonceaux "Hotel Du Roy". We are usual customers ...
      • Overall satisfaction 4
      • Booking handling 5
      • Travel documents 5
      • Information at the beginning of the tour 3
      • Accomodation 2
      • Board 3
      • Luggage transport 5
      • Route description 5
      • On-site assistance 3
      • Route-character 5
      • Bicycle + equipment 6
      • Price-performance ratio 2
      more
      5,7 09.07.2018 | Philip G. Castles of the Loire Valley

      Loire 2018

      Good instructions and good route. .No internet at one hotel Anne de Bretagne room 11
      • Overall satisfaction 5
      • Booking handling 6
      • Travel documents 6
      • Information at the beginning of the tour 6
      • Accomodation 5
      • Luggage transport 6
      • Route description 6
      • Route-character 5
      • Bicycle + equipment 6
      • Price-performance ratio 6
      more
      5,2 07.07.2018 | Christine B. Castles of the Loire Valley

      Report

      Marie was helpful & Christine, the local rep was helpful as I had had accident just before the cycle tour and couldn’t cycle myself. They arranged for me to travel with the luggage most if the way and train the rest. Didn’t realise that ony Tours & ...
      • Overall satisfaction 5
      • Booking handling 6
      • Travel documents 6
      • Information at the beginning of the tour 6
      • Accomodation 3
      • Board 5
      • Luggage transport 6
      • Route description 5
      • On-site assistance 4
      • Route-character 5
      • Bicycle + equipment 6
      • Price-performance ratio 5
      more
      4,1 19.10.2017 | Eleanor C. Castles of the Loire Valley

      The deserted villages of the Loire (with some castles)

      The route was well planned and from previous cycling in France we expected to have a lot of options for mid-day food. Maybe it was ’out of season’, but for the first two days we found ourselves hunting for anywhere to get food especially on the 2nd day ...
      • Overall satisfaction 4
      • Booking handling 4
      • Travel documents 4
      • Information at the beginning of the tour 3
      • Accomodation 5
      • Board 4
      • Luggage transport 5
      • Route description 5
      • On-site assistance 3
      • Route-character 4
      • Bicycle + equipment 5
      • Price-performance ratio 3
      more
      4,8 29.06.2016 | Franceska D. Castles of the Loire Valley

      Our

      holiday
      • Overall satisfaction 5
      • Booking handling 6
      • Travel documents 5
      • Information at the beginning of the tour 5
      • Accomodation 4
      • Board 4
      • Luggage transport 6
      • Route description 4
      • On-site assistance 4
      • Route-character 5
      • Bicycle + equipment 5
      • Price-performance ratio 5
      more
      5,8 26.05.2015 | Berenice F. Castles of the Loire Valley

      Loire May 2015

      I really loved the tour. Would do it again for sure. And I will recomend to my friends. Everything did work very well. The hotels are good, but specially the Hotel Diderot, from Chinon, cozy, and runned by his owner who is a very kind person, and the ...
      • Overall satisfaction 6
      • Booking handling 6
      • Travel documents 6
      • Information at the beginning of the tour 5
      • Accomodation 6
      • Board 6
      • Luggage transport 6
      • Route description 5
      • On-site assistance 6
      • Route-character 6
      • Bicycle + equipment 6
      • Price-performance ratio 6
      more

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