Cycling The Chateaux Of The Loire - Deluxe

8 days
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Premium Adventures, Private Group Adventures
Self-Guided Cycling

This tour combines pleasant cycling with culture and places of interest. Discover pretty wine villages and charming towns in the Loire Valley.

This gentle and unhurried cycling holiday follows a triangular route through the heart of the great Loire Valley. Highlights include the majestic chateaux of Amboise and Chambord, and the rich Renaissance splendour of Chenonceau. You'll pass vineyards, sunflowers fields and pretty, sleepy villages, before pedalling gently along shady riverbanks and out through open countryside abundant with wildlife.

On each cycling day, you'll have the opportunity to taste dozens of different wines - stopping at big wineries or village vineyards as the mood takes you - in a wine region more varied and diverse than any other in the world.

Enjoy the sweet and peaceful 'Art de Vivre' in boutique hotels and relax with a glass of local wine by the pool.


  • Perfect for cycling, traffic-free lanes, majestic forests, vineyards, poppies and sunflowers fields
  • Splendour of the 'jewel' in the Loire crown, the Renaissance Chateau de Chenonceau and Chambord the largest chateau in the Loire Valley.
  • Masses of history and culture: pretty wine villages, charming towns including royal Blois, more chateaux than you could imagine.
  • Enjoy the selected charming 4* hotel accommodations for an unforgettable journey.

Key information

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of 4 star hotels
  • Continental breakfasts daily
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Countries visited: France

What's included

  • All continental breakfasts
  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation
  • Route directions and maps
  • Transfers for Flight inclusive 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations 
  • Single accommodation (available on request, compulsory supplement)
  • Solo traveller supplement (where only one person is travelling on a departure date)

  • Transfers for Land only (available on request at additional cost)
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Days of Cycling

The cylcing is relaxed on traffic free lanes through villages, forests and along riverbanks.

Day by day breakdown
Day 242.0km/26.0miles
Day 345.0km/28.0miles
Day 444.0km/27.0miles
Day 554.0km/33.0miles
Day 647.0km/29.0miles
Day 750.0km/31.0miles

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here


Expand all
  • Day 1

    Arrival in Blois

    Explore the cobbled streets, arcaded squares and impressive chateau of this pretty riverside town before dinner.
    You stay at Hotel Mercure

  • Day 2

    Blois to Amboise

    Cycle through nice tiny villages to Chaumont-sur-Loire and its spectacular chateau, which hosts the International Garden Festival (May-Oct). Then continue on the 'Loire a Velo' cycling tracks before arriving at the charming town of Amboise where the greatest Kings of France lived.
    You stay at Hotel Charme Rabelaisien

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    At Amboise

    Visit the flamboyant Royal Palace and the elegant Clos Luce, a C15 manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked for the last few years of his life. His workshops house 40 giant models of some of his most spectacular creations, the first plane, helicopter and tank, and the beautifully landscaped gardens bring life to his botanical drawings and geographical designs.

    Alternatively cycle to wine capital, Vouvray, famous for their fine white wines and explore the troglodyte caves en route. Here you'll find wine tasting possibilities and the option to visit Chateau de Valmer where King Charles VII once stayed.
    You stay at the Hotel Charme Rabelaisien

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Amboise to Chenonceaux

    Gentle pedalling through the vineyards of Montlouis sur Loire will bring you to the superb Chateau de Chenonceau with its famous arches majestically spanning the river. Described by Flaubert as floating 'on air and water', it's arguably the most beautiful of all the Loire landmarks. This chateau was the scene of a famous rivalry in French history: that of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici.

    Enjoy a walk in the heart of the Diane de Poitiers's garden, then the Catherine de Medici's one. Take a breath, under the shadow of one of the huge park trees, at the rhythm of the river murmur which will tell you stories about these 2 rival women.
    You stay at the Hotel Bon Laboureur

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Chenonceaux to Cheverny

    Ride along the peaceful riverbanks of the Cher to the medieval town of Montrichard. Leaving the Cher Valley and enter the vineyards of Touraine via the Château de Fougères-sur-Bièvre a small fortified castle which perfectly illustrates the local building arts of the 15th century.
    You stay at Relais des 3 chateaux

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    At Cheverny

    Discover the famous sumptuously furnished Chateau of Cheverny. Inhabited by the same family for over 6 centuries, the Chateau, its gardens, its labyrinth and its Tintin exhibition will give you an unforgettable experience. Alternatively, cycle to the Chateau in Beauregard famous for its Portrait Gallery. Then continue your excursion to the rich and mysterious 'Sologne' with magnificent landscapes: beautiful forests sheltering game, ponds at every crossroads and small private chateaux hidden behind their vineyards or groves.
    You stay at Relais des 3 chateaux

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Cheverny to Blois

    Cycle to the prestigious and largest Chateau de Chambord, a real masterpiece of French Renaissance period with its 440 rooms. Dreamed up by Francois I to cement his power in stone, the Chateau de Chambord is an unparalleled architectural exploit. Among the numerous innovations in Chambord, the double helix staircase is without a doubt one of the most remarkable. This staircase, which allows for two people to walk without crossing paths, has always fascinated visitors.
    Then, ride along the Loire riverbank before arriving in Blois.
    You stay at the Hotel Mercure

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Leave Blois

    Depart Blois after breakfast.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info




There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts are included

The Loire prides itself on it's cuisine. It is refined country cooking, not heavy but rich in flavours and textures, drawing on the great garden of the Loire valley. Fruit and vegetables abound. Asparagus, artichokes, button mushrooms, cherries and strawberries from the Loire are transported to kitchens throughout France, which demonstrates the quality of the produce. These all provide delicious accompaniments to the duck, venison and wild boar dishes (all hunted locally) and served in sauces using wines from the local vineyards. Fish also features in abundance. With three wide, gently flowing rivers passing through the region, freshwater fish appear on most menus. 'Sandre' (pikeperch) and breme (bream) are especially popular and are usually served in a beurre blanc sauce - made with shallots, butter, dry white wine and vinegar. The majority of the cheese found in the region is goat's cheese. We suggest trying Selles-sur-Cher from the neighbouring Blesois region. Desserts are often based on the fruit from the local orchards. They include 'tarte tatin', a yummy caramelised upside-down apple pie - the invention of two absent-minded sisters in their attempt to salvage a dessert they had dropped on the floor.

The Loire is undoubtedly one of Europe's finest wine producing regions with many of the separate wine areas producing red, white, rose and sparkling wines. Distinctive whites include Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, Vouvray and Muscadet; for reds, try Chinin, Bourgueil and Saumur. Anjou is by far the most popular rose.


The Loire valley is blessed with fantastic weather for cycling. The spring and autumn seasons experience mild climates with temperatures averaging 16-20 degrees Celsius. The summers are generally warmer with temperatures reaching the high 20s. There is always the chance of rain so it is best to be prepared for this with a waterproof layer, it is also good to have a warmer layer for the early mornings and evenings.

Weather chart Loire

Is this trip for you?

Cycling Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Average daily distance: 47km (29 miles).
No. of days cycling: 6
Terrain and route: This gentle and unhurried cycling holiday follows a triangular route through the heart of the great Loire Valley. 

Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to cycle independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can cycle at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next. Your bikes will be delivered to the start hotel, all set up relevant to your height and ready to go. Our local agent will be on call throughout the trip should you need.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. Where possible we stick to cycle tracks and quiet roads to make the journeys as pleasant as possible, however, on occasion we have to use busier routes into larger towns and cities.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local agent is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.



Guests have free access to the fitness centre and wellness area, including indoor heated pool, a sauna, steam room and hot tub. Free WiFi is available in all hotel's areas. All the air-conditioned rooms have a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and Wi-Fi access. A seating area and a courtesy tray with tea and coffee are also provided. Buffet breakfast is served every morning. Guests can have drinks and cocktails at the Wine Not? hotel bar. 'Le Quai', the hotel restaurant, features regional cuisine made from seasonal products.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Hotel Au Charme Rabelaisien is a charming 18th-century hotel nestled in the historical heart of the city of Amboise. Make sure you also take the time to relax in the heated, outdoor swimming pool or on the sun terrace. The spacious rooms with antique furniture are a haven of tranquility and provide a great feeling of relaxation in a warm atmosphere. Both rooms are equipped with high-standard bathrooms (jet showers, bathtubs, etc.) A wellness area with hot tub, sauna and fitness room is also available at the property. Free WiFi is provided throughout.

This 18th-century country inn is located in the centre of Chenonceaux, just 500 m from the Castle of Chenonceau. It offers an heated outdoor swimming pool during summer and winter and Scandinavian baths. Guest rooms are elegantly decorated and are equipped with air conditioning and a TV with satellite channels. Each room has a private bathroom including bathrobes and slippers. Free Wi-Fi is available. You can stroll around the peaceful garden setting before dining in the gourmet restaurant. Auberge du Bon Laboureur also features a bar with an extensive wine list and a buffet breakfast is served every morning, which can also be enjoyed in the guest's room.

Founded in 1850 to welcome voyagers travelling on foot, by horse and by car. The ancient stables are still visible in the current restaurant area, they could shelter up to 100 saddle and draught horses. It soon became one of the main relay stops between Blois and Romorantin. In order to perpetuate the tradition, the restaurant has kept the original name of Les Trois Marchands : The three Merchands. An additional curiosity about the history of this building: The part that adjoins the church was a former convent. Located in the heart of Cour-Cheverny, is now a days engaged both in keeping up its history and in preserving its conviviality spirit. This charming four stars hotel has been fully renovated and offers all the comfort of modern facilities. The atmosphere evokes the Renaissance style: curved shaped designed furniture, warm tones of the tapestries together with handcraft made lights respect the refined style of the charm typical of the Loir Valley.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

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Please call one of our experts to discuss your private group requirements on 0203 993 4668, or fill out the form below and we will give you a call back.

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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