Home > A micro adventure in the Loire Valley: From Tours to Saumur
If you only have time for a short trip to the Loire Valley, then this tour along the “Loire à Vélo” cycling route is the perfect escape! Criss-crossing between the Loire Valley and the Vienne Valley you will be riding along the changing colors of the Loire River and past some of this region’s most iconic castles such as the Château de Villandry and its magnificent gardens, the wonderful “floating” Château d’Azay-le-Rideau and Château d’Ussé, nicknamed the “Sleeping Beauty castle”.
The fun doesn’t stop there! The Loire region is of course famed for its wine, and this tour will see you riding past the Chinon and Saumur vineyards, the perfect place to stop and sample some of the local specialties to help narrow down the choice each evening at dinner!
Arrive into Tours at your leisure (it is well served by high-speed TGV trains from Paris). We would certainly recommend trying to arrive as early as possible to allow time to visit this historical, university town. High on our must-see list for Tours is the stunning Saint Gatien Cathedral and the city’s botanical gardens. Enjoy a relaxing evening back at your hotel ahead of your first day’s riding tomorrow morning from Tours to Azay-le-Rideau.
Today’s ride will see you following the banks of the Loire River as you head out towards the Château de Villandry. The Jardins à la française (French gardens) at this estate are often considered to be one of the most impressive Renaissance-style gardens in France! Needless to say it is well worth a visit! Continue riding on to Azay-le-Rideau, where you will be staying this evening. Make sure to take the time to visit the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, which appears to be floating on the surface of the Inde River!
Continue following the Loire River this morning passing by the Château d’Ussé. Construction on the castle began in the Middle Ages and continued into the Renaissance period. Its iconic turrets and towers have earned it the nickname “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle” and it is clear to see why - it could well be imagined straight from a fairytale! Continue riding on to Chinon, your destination for this evening, riding past the vineyards which produce some of the exquisite local wine. If you haven’t yet had your fill of castles for the day, then take the time to visit the “Forteresse Royale de Chinon”.
If you didn’t get the chanced to visit medieval Chinon yesterday evening, then you may like to take the time to do so this morning before getting on your bicycle. Along your way to Saumur, make sure to make a few stops to try some of the local wine and also stop off at the imposing Abbey-de-Fontevraud, one of the greatest monastic settlements, founded in the 12th century!
The Loire will lead you to Saumur, hometown of fashion design icon Coco Chanel and whose history includes castles (of course) as well as a World War II battle. Perhaps enjoy a last glass of local wine as you reflect on a fantastic few days’ cycling through the Loire Valley and move on to your next adventure!
2 nights in 2-star properties and 1 night in a 3-star property
1 night in a 2-star property, 1 night in a 3-star property, and 1 night in a 4-star property
1 night in a 3-star property and 2 nights in 4-star properties