loire-river

Cycling The UNESCO Loire Valley

6 days
from
£1,049
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Cycling
Activity level:
Leisurely / Moderate
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Trip code: 
C05LV
Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Short Breaks, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Self-Guided Cycling
Ages:
12+

Discover cahteaux and vineyards in abundance while following the famous 'Loire a Velo' cycling path in the Loire Valley

Follow the famous 'Loire a Velo' cycling path and admire in all its glory the last wild European river: 'La Loire'. This path, made up of 800km of marked and secured tracks, is a unique route perfect for bike lovers to enjoy while exploring the scenic Loire Valley.

From Tours to Angers you will discover the delightful chateaux and Renaissance gardens. Named 'Garden of France' this region amaze visitors with fragrant rose bushes, vegetables or aromatic plants. Embark for a poetic and botanical stroll in extraordinary Renaissance gardens in Azay le Rideau and Villandry.

Between Loire and Vienne rivers where traditional boats are sailing, you will cycle through Chinon and Saumur vineyards and cross medieval-looking villages. Red, white, rose... The wines of the Loire Valley have a palette of colours which each of the variety have their own characteristics. 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.

A relax journey to enjoy the 'French art de vivre' along the peaceful and wild landscapes through historical places and famous cellars for tasting.

Highlights

  • Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Loire Valley and follow the famous 'Loire a Velo' cycling path
  • Discover chateaux and vineyards in abundance.
  • Named Garden of France, explore the regions excellent gardens including the famous ornamental gardens of Villandry.

Key information

  • 5 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of 3 and 4 star hotels
  • Breakfasts daily
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Countries visited: France

What's included

  • All breakfasts
  • 5 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.

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

Itinerary

Expand all
Tours
to
Angers
  • Day 1

    Arrival in Tours

    Enjoy the old and vibrant quarters of Tours city and especially the 'Place Plumereau', a beautiful square with half-timbered houses.
    You stay at Artist Hotel

  • Day 2

    Tours to Azay Le Rideau

    Cycle to Villandry with its famous Gardens, matchless in Europe and composed of 3 superposed terraces.

    Perhaps the Loire Valley's most famous gardens, those at Villandry are enchanting. The symmetry of the beds, trimmed with absolute precision, and the harmony of the floral arrangements... from one terrace to the next, these green expanses are a symbol of perfect beauty. In one spot a labyrinth to get lost in, in another a kitchen garden checkered like an embroidery. The water gardens catch the sunlight and prompt dreams of long summer evenings, while the 'Jardin des Simples' captures the important properties of aromatic and medicinal plants.

    Then continue to Sache, where you can visit the house of the famous novelist Honore de Balzac. Arrive in Azay le Rideau where you can admire its Renaissance chateau. Standing on an island in the middle of the Indre River, the Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau, is one of the finest.
    You stay at Hotel Biencourt 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Azay Le Rideau to Chinon

    Discover other marvels, such as the 'Sleeping Beauty' chateau in Usse which has inspired Perrault for its famous fairy tale story. Once upon a time, a chateau surrounded by pretty woodland, and Prince Charming (who else) arriving on his white steed.

    Continue to the mediaeval town of Chinon dominated by its castle and famous for its red wine. To combine pleasure for the eyes and the palate, take a break in the vineyards or in a cellar for a tasting.
    You stay at Hotel Diderot

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Chinon to Saumur

    Follow the 'Loire a Velo' routes which will lead you to the village of Candes-Saint-Martin. You have a superb view of the confluence of the Loire and the Vienne rivers. Several viewpoints are worth the detour.

    Continue to the beautiful village of Montsoreau along troglodyte sites and vineyards before reaching lovely town of Saumur. You have the opportunity to reach Fontevraud abbey, Europe's largest remaining monastic complex which is also the Necropolis of the Plantagenet kings!
    You stay at Hotel Le Londres

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Saumur to Angers

    First follow the Loire River before going through the vineyards of Anjou. You will reach the peaceful city of Angers and its chateau which shelters the famous Apocalypse Tapestry.
    You stay at Hotel de France 

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Leave Angers

    Depart Angers 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

Visas

Vaccinations

France

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.

Weather

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
No. of days cycling: 4
Terrain and route: This gentle and unhurried cycling holiday follows marked and secure tracks along the 'Loire e Velo' cycling path.

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.

Accommodation

Hotels

ARTIST HOTEL, TOURS
The contemporary design of the hotel, with many references to the 7th Art, exudes a cosy and relaxing atmosphere. An artistic way of life, but with all the comfort, perfect to enjoy a relaxing city break: queen size beds, air conditioning, fitness room and a lounge bar. Each morning, a delicious breakfast buffet is served from 6.30 am to better meet the expectations of our business clientele or early bird.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

HOTEL BIENCOURT, AZAY LE RIDEAU
This hotel is divided into 2 buildings from the 18th-century, a former school, from Napoleon III period. Each room has modern décor and views of the city or of the flowered patio. They are equipped with free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. The property offers organic bed linen which comes from the fair-trade market. A buffet breakfast is served daily in the dining room or on the terrace and it is made with the products coming from the local producers. Many restaurants are situated nearby.

HOTEL DIDEROT, CHINON
This hotel from the 17th Century offers a calm elegance in the charming city of Chinon. The Hôtel Diderot, with its courtyard garden and white limestone walls, is a 12-minute walk from Chinon Royal Fortress. Guest rooms are all individually decorated and have private en suite bathrooms with a bath or shower and a toilet. A French breakfast is served next to the 15th-century fireplace in the breakfast room, or it is served on the terrace during the summer.

HOTEL LE LONDRES, SAUMUR
The Hôtel Le Londres, Saumur is located in the heart of the historic town of Saumur. This 19th-century building offers stylish individually decorated and furnished rooms with floor to ceiling windows. Each soundproofed room has facilities such as a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a private bathroom. A buffet breakfast is offer daily in the breakfast lounge. Home-made cakes are cooked for guests on weekends and tea is available all day, every day.

HOTEL DE FRFANCE, ANGERS
Hôtel De France is located opposite Angers-St Laud TGV Train Station, close to the city centre and the medieval Château d'Angers. Rooms are beautifully furnished and equipped with modern facilities. You can enjoy a hot buffet breakfast at the Hôtel De France in the dining area or have breakfast served in your room from 07:00 to 11:00. The friendly and attentive staff at the Hôtel De France will be happy to help you plan your stay in Angers 24-hours a day.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

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

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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]