Home > From Blois to Angers: Fairytale Castles Along the Loire River
A minimum of 2 riders is required for this tour. Kid's rate is based on age and will vary depending on available rooms (limited inventory of family rooms).
No amusement park comes close to the Loire Valley, an area so rich in historic and architectural heritage that the whole region has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Where else can you bicycle past Sleeping Beauty's Castle? The real one — not the Disney version! Here you’ll also find the “Castle of Love”, a structure that not only inspires fairytales but served as home to Good King René of Anjou, who penned his own tales of gallant knights.
Bicycling is the perfect way to discover the storybook charm of grand châteaux and little half-timbered villages alike. We've kept the mileage to a minimum to allow you to visit these sites in depth and to relax in the pastoral setting that appears to spring straight from a romantic's daydream. Or perhaps a few different daydreams — those of 14th and 15th-century French kings who seem to have shared a favorite pastime: attempting to outdo all other noblemen by building more and more intricate chateaux here.
If your time constraints don't allow you to spend a whole week visiting the Loire Valley region, keep in mind that we also offer a 4 night/5 day .
For travel and cycling tips to the Loire Valley, visit our "Travel and cycling tips" section.
Your tour begins in Blois, a small town located a mere 40 minutes’ train ride from Tours (or 2 hours from Paris). We can’t recommend enough your early arrival to allow plenty of time for exploring Blois and its Renaissance castle. Your stay here is a proper introduction to your discovery tour of this fascinating region!
Your trip begins with a first loop that will take you to the impressive Chateau de Chambord, one of the do-not-miss sites in the Loire Valley. From Blois, you will follow the river until Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire; here, a pedal upwards will take you to the fairytale Chateau de Chambord and its immense wooded park. Stop to admire this iconic Renaissance site and pay particular attention to the intricate architectural details—if you like you can visit and marvel at its splendid interior as well!
When you’re ready to leave, a cycle through the woods will lead you into the countryside and lovely views as you make your return to Blois.
This morning you’ll leave Blois. One highly recommended stop along the way is the Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire. The Loire River will lead you to Amboise. One of its treasures is the magnificent royal castle, the resting place of Leonardo da Vinci and home to an impressive collection of Gothic and Renaissance furnishings. Also in Amboise is Clos-Lucé, the last residence of Leonardo da Vinci.
Optional additional night in Amboise – Rest day or loop to Chenonceau (45 or 70 km)
If you’d like a rest day or a chance to visit more castles, we can arrange an extra night for you in Amboise. From here a loop ride through the woods and along the river will take you to a real Renaissance masterpiece, the Chateau de Chenonceau. The illustrious women who lived there add to its sultry mystique! After your visit, head back to Amboiseor take a little detour to an underground city and mushroom cave near the town of Bourré.
Following your detailed directions, you will then ride through the vineyards of Vouvray, an area that produces exquisite wine. We’re sure you won’t mind stopping for a tasting!
Finish the day’s ride in Tours, a vibrant city with a beautiful cathedral and its famous Old Town filled with medieval half-timbered buildings.
After breakfast, you'll head to Savonnières and the "Grottes Pétrifiantes" (petrified caves). Villandry and its famous gardens is your next must-see site. Another suggested stop is Saché, Honoré-de-Balzac's home during his most productive years.
If you’re not interested in touring a specific castle or museum, you can always opt for a three-hour lunch at an outdoor café! However, you should definitely consider stopping at Langeais, one of the most outstanding castles of the Loire Valley.
On your way to Chinon, you’ll pass by Sleeping Beauty’s castle in Ussé — the real 15th-century castle that inspired Charles Perrault to pen the fairy tale. Once in Chinon, admire the sprawling fortress where Joan of Arc met Charles VII and convinced him to be crowned king in Reims.
You'll probably want to stroll through medieval Chinon before getting on your bicycle. Do so, and on your way to Saumur, you’ll have the opportunity to sample Chinon’s claim to fame: its wine! The imposing Abbey-de-Fontevraud, one of the greatest monastic settlements founded in the 12th century, will provide a welcome stop.
The Loire will lead you to Saumur, a well-put-together city (hometown of fashion design icon Coco Chanel!) whose history includes castles (of course) as well as a World War II battle. The wine here isn’t half bad, either.
Your final riding day will take you to the lovely city of Angers. An early arrival will allow for an easy-paced afternoon visiting Good King Rene of Anjou's “Castle of Love," the retreat where he enjoyed reading and writing (and spending time with his beloved bride).
There’s also a very interesting tapestry museum you could visit unless you prefer to spend your last day buying souvenirs and writing envy-inducing postcards to family and friends.
After breakfast, depart Angers at the time of your choice.
5 nights in 3-star properties and 2 nights in 2-star properties
2 nights in 4-star properties; 3 nights in 3-star properties; 1 night in a guesthouse of “character” and 1 night in a 2-star hotel of “character”
6 nights in 4-star properties and 1 night in a 3-star properties