Châteaux of the Loire

Castles, caves & vineyards
 
This leisurely and relaxing route through the beautiful Loire region is ideal for self-guided hotel-to-hotel cycling, with luggage transported. Among the many highlights are included visits to the châteaux of Chambord and Chenonceau, plus an included wine-tasting experience.
Châteaux of the Loire. 7 nights
Châteaux of the Loire. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A cycling holiday in the Loire

Famed for its magnificent châteaux and prestigious vineyards, the Loire is perhaps the best corner of France for a leisurely holiday on two wheels. On this enchanting trip, you follow the course of the region's mighty river – and its picturesque tributaries, the Cher, Indre and Vienne – to discover idyllic landscapes, savour included wine tastings, and uncover the captivating histories of a whole host of iconic castles, not least Chambord, Chenonceau, Blois and Amboise.
Your journey will also take you into rolling farmland, through ancient hunting forests, and to limestone cliffs into which astonishing troglodytic dwellings have been carved. There are standout landmarks to visit, including the majestic abbey of Fontevraud, and glorious gardens to wander in – such as those at Villandry.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its outstanding cultural landscape and great beauty, the Loire Valley is the perfect destination to enjoy a mixture of cycling and scenery, fascinating history, and classic French gastronomy.
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 7 8 11 15 18 22 25 24 22 17 11 7
    mm 62 58 54 52 63 50 49 45 53 58 65 62
  • Arrival in Blois
    Night 1: at Hotel Anne de Bretagne or Hotel Louise de Savoie (the first of two nights in Blois). If you choose the upgrade version of the holiday, you stay at Fleur de Loire Hotel & Spa.
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of cycling.
  • Circular route from Blois: 43km
    For your first bike excursion, follow the Loire river to the Domaine de Chambord forest, where a stop is essential to visit the most famous and majestic château of the Loire Valley. In its Renaissance splendour, the Château de Chambord boasts no less than 440 rooms and a vast parkland – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore using your included tickets before setting off again to return to Blois along country paths. Blois itself is a charming hillside city with cobbled streets and the wonderful Château Royal de Blois, a former royal palace.
  • Blois to Amboise: 44.5km
    Follow the ‘Loire à Vélo’ cycling tracks through tiny, quaint villages to the château of Chaumont-sur-Loire, which majestically dominates the Loire river, before reaching the city of Amboise and its royal château. The castle's chapel shelters Leonardo da Vinci's tomb, and just a few streets away you can see the last residence of this genius: the Clos Lucé Manor house. Your base in Amboise is either Hotel La Brèche, Hotel Bellevue, or – if you upgrade – Au Charme Rabelaisien.
  • Circular route from Amboise: 48.5km
    Once you have crossed the forest of Amboise, you arrive at the famous Château de Chenonceau (tickets included). Straddling the Cher River, this iconic castle was the scene of a famous rivalry in French history: that of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici.
  • Amboise to Azay-le-Rideau: 63km
    Crossing the vineyards of Montlouis, discover the numerous cellars producing the region’s famous sweet and sparkling wines. You will then reach the city of Tours with its historic neighbourhood of charming, half-timbered houses. Continue along the ‘Loire a Vélo’ cycling paths, via Villandry and its famous gardens, before finally arriving in Azay-le-Rideau, where you can admire the Renaissance château, a jewel set over the Indre River. Here, you stay at Hotel de Biencourt, or upgrade to Le Grand Monarque.
  • Azay-le-Rideau to Fontevraud: 50km
    Following the River Indre, reach the splendid tiny château of Islette, still inhabited by its owners, before joining the ‘Loire à Vélo’ routes. Proceed to the village of Candes-Saint-Martin for flowered streets and a wonderful sense of serenity. Head to Montsoreau and its castle on the Loire banks, and finally reach Fontevraud and its abbey – Europe’s largest remaining monastic complex, and the final resting place of Richard the Lionheart and his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Your hotel for your two nights in Fontevraud is the welcoming La Croix Blanche.
  • Circular route from Fontevraud: 34km
    Your final route takes you to the famous town of Saumur, where we suggest you spend some time exploring – there is a château and a fine church. Return via Château de Parnay to enjoy an included wine tasting, before a final stretch brings you back to Fontevraud.
 

Accommodation

Each of your charming hotels has been chosen for its excellent, central location. We recommend extra nights in Blois, to visit the château, and in Fontevraud, for more time to visit the abbey.

In some places, we work with more than one hotel, as shown below. All are hand-picked by us and, unless there is a price implication (in which case we will contact you to discuss your options), we will tell you which one we have booked for you on your booking confirmation.

We offer an upgrade version of the holiday. Please indicate your preference at the time of booking.
 

Options to extend your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 7 nights: 01 May 2024 - 31 October 2024 & 01 April 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 May - 30 Jun 2024 £1660 £550
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2024 £1615 £550
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2024 £1685 £550
    1 - 24 Oct 2024 £1585 £550
    1 - 30 Apr 2025 £1675 £570
    1 May - 30 Jun 2025 £1765 £570
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2025 £1715 £570
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2025 £1795 £570
    1 - 24 Oct 2025 £1685 £570
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals, bike hire, luggage transfers and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus cycling notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Electric bikes available: add £113pp in 2024 or £117pp in 2025

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    7 nights: 01 May 2024 - 31 October 2024 & 01 April 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 May - 30 Jun 2024 £1950 £550
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2024 £1905 £550
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2024 £1975 £550
    1 - 24 Oct 2024 £1875 £550
    1 - 30 Apr 2025 £1985 £570
    1 May - 30 Jun 2025 £2080 £570
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2025 £2030 £570
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2025 £2110 £570
    1 - 24 Oct 2025 £2000 £570
    3rd & 4th person discount -£80 to -£85
    Single traveller supplement £80 to £85

    Includes all elements in the 'walk price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras to either Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, or Lille, with onward travel as described below.

    Electric bikes available: add £113pp in 2024 or £117pp in 2025

    Included travel: UK–Paris (Eurostar), Paris–Blois-Chambord (French regional rail), approx. duration 5h plus 0h05 walk from the station. Home, St Pierre des Corps–Paris (TGV), Paris–UK (Eurostar), approx. duration 4h50 plus 1h30 taxi transfer.
    > More about 'by rail' prices
    > The 'rail experience': what to expect

    If you book your holiday less than 6 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the same services at a supplement.

    7 nights: 01 May 2024 - 31 October 2024 & 01 April 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 May - 30 Jun 2024 £1835 £550
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2024 £1790 £550
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2024 £1860 £550
    1 - 24 Oct 2024 £1760 £550
    1 - 30 Apr 2025 £1855 £570
    1 May - 30 Jun 2025 £1945 £570
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2025 £1895 £570
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2025 £1975 £570
    1 - 24 Oct 2025 £1865 £570
    3rd & 4th person discount -£130 to -£135
    Single traveller supplement £130 to £135

    Includes all elements in the 'cycle price', plus a return Channel crossing between Folkestone and Calais with LeShuttle for your party and one car.

    > More information about travelling self-drive

    Electric bikes available: add £113pp in 2024 or £117pp in 2025

    A supplement of approximately £65 per car per single journey applies for travel at key dates over Easter, while from May onwards a supplement of approximately £42 per car per single journey applies for travel over public holidays and at weekends during school holidays. See the self-drive page or contact us for more details.

  • 7 nights, staying at Fleur de Loire, Au Charme Rabelaisien & Le Grand Monargue: 01 May 2024 - 31 October 2024 & 01 April 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 May - 30 Jun 2024 £2460 £1040
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2024 £2365 £1040
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2024 £2460 £1040
    1 - 24 Oct 2024 £2310 £1040
    1 - 30 Apr 2025 £2395 £1075
    1 May - 30 Jun 2025 £2595 £1075
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2025 £2495 £1075
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2025 £2595 £1075
    1 - 24 Oct 2025 £2455 £1075
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals, bike hire, luggage transfers and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus cycling notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Electric bikes available: add £113pp in 2024 or £117pp in 2025

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

    7 nights, staying at Fleur de Loire, Au Charme Rabelaisien & Le Grand Monargue: 01 May 2024 - 31 October 2024 & 01 April 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 May - 30 Jun 2024 £2750 £1040
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2024 £2655 £1040
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2024 £2750 £1040
    1 - 24 Oct 2024 £2600 £1040
    1 - 30 Apr 2025 £2710 £1075
    1 May - 30 Jun 2025 £2910 £1075
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2025 £2805 £1075
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2025 £2910 £1075
    1 - 24 Oct 2025 £2770 £1075
    3rd & 4th person discount -£80 to -£85
    Single traveller supplement £80 to £85

    Includes all elements in the 'walk price', plus standard-class travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras to either Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, or Lille, with onward travel as described below.

    Electric bikes available: add £113pp in 2024 or £117pp in 2025

    Included travel: UK–Paris (Eurostar), Paris–Blois-Chambord (French regional rail), approx. duration 5h plus 0h05 walk from the station. Home, St Pierre des Corps–Paris (TGV), Paris–UK (Eurostar), approx. duration 4h50 plus 1h30 taxi transfer.
    > More about 'by rail' prices
    > The 'rail experience': what to expect

    If you book your holiday less than 6 months in advance of your travel date, seats may no longer be available at the tariffs on which our prices are based, but we may be able to offer you seats on the same services at a supplement.

    7 nights, staying at Fleur de Loire, Au Charme Rabelaisien & Le Grand Monargue: 01 May 2024 - 31 October 2024 & 01 April 2025 - 31 October 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 May - 30 Jun 2024 £2585 £1040
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2024 £2490 £1040
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2024 £2585 £1040
    1 - 24 Oct 2024 £2435 £1040
    1 - 30 Apr 2025 £2572 £1075
    1 May - 30 Jun 2025 £2772 £1075
    1 Jul - 21 Aug 2025 £2672 £1075
    22 Aug - 30 Sep 2025 £2772 £1075
    1 - 24 Oct 2025 £2632 £1075
    3rd & 4th person discount -£130 to -£132
    Single traveller supplement £130 to £132

    Includes all elements in the 'cycle price', plus a return Channel crossing between Folkestone and Calais with LeShuttle for your party and one car.

    > More information about travelling self-drive

    Electric bikes available: add £113pp in 2024 or £117pp in 2025

    A supplement of approximately £65 per car per single journey applies for travel at key dates over Easter, while from May onwards a supplement of approximately £42 per car per single journey applies for travel over public holidays and at weekends during school holidays. See the self-drive page or contact us for more details.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel La Brèche, Amboise
    Deluxe: 01 May - 31 Oct 2024 £18
    Deluxe: 01 Apr - 31 Oct 2025 £19

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Prices include an extra day’s bike hire (standard or electric).
    Hotel Anne de Bretagne, Blois (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 May - 30 Sep 2024 £99 £168
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2024 £91 £152
    01 Apr - 30 Sep 2025 £103 £175
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2025 £95 £158
    La Croix Blanche, Fontevraud (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 May - 30 Sep 2024 £218 £285
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2024 £181 £248
    01 Apr - 30 Sep 2025 £227 £297
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2025 £188 £258
  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Fleur de Loire Hotel & Spa, Blois
    Deluxe: 01 May - 31 Oct 2024 £30
    Deluxe: 01 Apr - 31 Oct 2025 £31
    Au Charme Rabelaisien, Amboise
    Executive: 01 May - 31 Oct 2024 £24
    Executive: 01 Apr - 31 Oct 2025 £25

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Prices include an extra day’s bike hire (standard or electric).
    La Croix Blanche, Fontevraud (with dinner) Double room Single room
    01 May - 30 Sep 2024 £218 £285
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2024 £181 £248
    01 Apr - 30 Sep 2025 £227 £297
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2025 £188 £258
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Tours or Paris CDG
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Paris CDG. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Paris CDG Air France,  KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Paris CDG Air France,  KLM 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Paris CDG Air France,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Paris CDG Air France,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Paris CDG jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Paris CDG British Airways 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Paris CDG easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Tours Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Paris CDG Air France,  easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Paris CDG Air France,  KLM 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Paris CDG. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Paris CDG

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    RER/metro Paris CDG to Paris Austerlitz (1h30), rail Paris Austerlitz to Blois-Chambord (1h55), walk to hotel (0h05) £32 1700
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to St Pierre des Corps (1h30), rail St Pierre des Corps to Paris CDG (1h50) £140-£146 1500

    Connecting travel options - flying via Tours

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Tours airport to hotel (1h) £75-£78 flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    direct taxi hotel to Tours airport (1h15) £98-£102 flexible
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 4 dinners
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • high-quality bicycle
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
  • entry to Chambord & Chenonceau castles
  • wine tasting
 
Reviews

If you've experienced this holiday first hand, why not write a review?

We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • Our chosen bike rental shop will provide you with a hybrid bike with 21 gears; a waterproof map case on handlebars; panniers/saddlebags; pump; puncture repair kit; and a lock. Electric bikes are available as an upgrade (see price panel), subject to availability, and must be requested at the time of booking.
  • While we would always recommend that you take your own well-fitting helmet, they can be hired locally for a small fee. Please let us know at the time of booking if you would like to hire a helmet.
  • Yes, we will provide GPX tracks for this holiday prior to departure so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. (We also provide maps and our tried-and-tested route notes, which remain the principal means of navigation).
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from hotel to hotel, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. On mornings when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation so that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our cycling holidays in Europe page.
  • You are responsible for damage to or loss of the rental bike while it is hired to you. Always be careful to lock it up, ideally to an immovable object, and remove all easy-to-steal accessories whenever you leave it unattended.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to France, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • The official language is French. The currency is the Euro. French time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
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