Cycling Holidays France - Cycle to Villandry

Loire Valley Cycling Tours – The Discovery Tour

On our Loire Valley cycling tours you unpack once and enjoy a week of flexible and fully supported cycle touring.

Based near Saumur in the heart of the Loire Valley, the Discovery Tour is a fantastic single centre cycling experience packed with chateaux, vineyards and miles of stunning scenery.  Ali & Jon, the owners of Loire Life Cycling, personally host you throughout your stay and have developed all the cycle routes.

A self guided, self paced and flexible cycling tour, where each day you cycle different roads to different destinations:

  • See famous Loire chateaux including Villandry, Saumur, Azay le Rideau, Chinon & Usse
  • Discover hidden gems the guide books miss
  • Our signature route takes you on an idylic cycle ride to the home of the Loire’s foremost wine experts, where you will enjoy a three course meal paired with the best Loire wines
  • Cycle the banks of the Loire exploring medieval white stoned villages carved from the cliff face – home to ‘Troglodytes’
  • See the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud with the tombs of Henry II, Richard the Lionheart of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine
  • Lose yourself at French markets and ride through the Loire Valley vineyards of Bourgueil, Saumur & Touraine with chances to taste, picnic and walk through the vines.
  • Come home each day to relax in the pool and the hot-tub, before enjoying a freshly cooked four course evening meal with wine.
  • Finally, enjoy the support of english speaking Loire Valley experts at all times – we’ll make sure you get the cycling experience you are after.

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The hire of a hybrid bike is included as part of this Loire Valley cycling tour.

On the standard hire bike your equipment includes helmet, panniers, water bottle, lock, spare inner tube, map holder and odometer.

We also have options to upgrade to a road bike or electric bike.

It’s no problem if you want to bring your own bike and we will apply a discount to the price of the tour.

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Your Loire Valley Accommodation

All this cycling, yet you can stay in one comfortable location for your entire cycling holiday.

So, at ‘Le Gue de Ray’ we have created a fantastic cycling base in the Loire Valley where you stay in a beautiful home from home.

Unpack and settle in, relax in the hot-tub, swim in the pool and make yourself completely at home.

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Our Unique Approach to Loire Valley Cycling Tours

The beauty of our single centre Loire Valley cycling tours is the flexibility they offer.   Therefore, you don’t need to pack up and move hotel each day and if you want you can take a day off and grab time by the pool.

Our cycle routes can be lengthened or shortened, which is ideal for couples or groups with different cycling aspirations!

The routes are self-guided and you travel at your own pace.  We provide clear maps and detailed route instructions and the support car is always on hand in the event of equipment (or rider) failure.  Garmin GPS units are also available for hire.

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Fantastic Food

Plentiful breakfasts, which include a freshly prepared fruit salad, a range of cereals, fruit juices, yoghurts, pastries, meats and cheeses.

Four course evening meals are freshly prepared using local produce and accompanied by specially selected local wines (25cl per person included).  Finally, we can also cater for various dietary requirements – without fuss!

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Travelling to the Loire Valley

It is easy to travel directly from Paris Charles de Gaulle (there is a railway station in the terminal) to the Loire Valley.  We’ll then provide a pickup & drop-off service from Saumur train station to your accommadation.

From the UK, we are only 2 1/2 hours drive from the nearest port and 5 hours from the channel tunnel.

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Loire Valley Cycling Tours

The Discovery Tour

from 1,195€ per person

Prices based on two people sharing a double/twin room

What’s included

  • 5 days of planned cycle touring
  • Hybrid bike
  • Backup support
  • 6 nights en-suite accommodation
  • 6 four-course evening meals
  • continental breakfasts
  • “Le Tasting Room” wine experience
  • Pool & Spa

Optional Extras

  • Train station transfer (Rtn) – 35€ p/person
  • Bike upgrade
  • Garmin GPS navigator

For groups of 6 or more contact us about our bespoke cycling holidays.

00 33 6 25 81 98 51

Loire Valley Cycling Tours

The Discovery Tour – 2018 Dates

Tours start on a Sunday and finish on a Saturday

  • 20 May 2018
  • 27 May 2018
  • 10 June 2018
  • 17 June 2018
  • 1 July 2018
  • 8 July 2018 – SOLD OUT
  • 15 July 2018
  • 5 August 2018
  • 2 Sept 2018
  • 16 Sept 2018
  • 23 Sept 2018

  00 33 6 25 81 98 51


Sample Evening Menu

  • Courgette rolls with ricotta and toasted pine nuts
  • Salmon in champagne with provencale potatoes, green beans and almonds
  • Cointreau chocolate mousse
  • Trio of Loire Valley cheese

Loire Valley Cycling Tours

The Discovery Tour Itinerary

We’re proud of our flexible routes, cleverly designed to offer route choices to suit all levels of cyclist.  The cycling explores a 100km stretch of the Loire Valley in an area known as Anjou-Tourraine.

Day 1 Welcome – Our home is your home!

If required we’ll meet you at Saumur railway station and bring you to ‘Le Gue de Ray’.

Over a glass of local sparkling wine meet fellow guests while we equip everyone with a bike.  We’re more than happy to fit your own pedals or saddles.

A four course welcome meal awaits.  Over the delicious cheese course, we’ll explain how our route maps work and step you through the following day’s Loire Valley cycle route.

Day 2 “The Loire Chateaux” (Min 26 kms)

We start the week with chateaux and an easy to follow morning route to the Medieval town of Langeais.  So far you’ve covered 26 easy kilometers and you can hang up your cycle shoes here if you wish, explore the chateau and town and await the 5pm minibus pickup.

If you want more cycling, cross the Loire river and follow the Loire cycle track to Chateau Villandry with it’s amazing formal gardens or Chateau Ussé (westwards) the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty.  Either way you cycle back to Langeais for the 5pm minibus pickup.  This takes you to 50kms.

For more cycling we can recommend a further leg to Chateau Azay le Rideau, before heading back to Langeais for the minibus pickup.

Finally, those wanting even more cycling will have realised by now that the option to decline the mini-bus exists and  you are more than welcome to cycle back to Gue de Ray!

Day 3 “Vines, Wines & Markets” (Min 40 kms)

First of all cycle south through quiet forest backroads, before emerging into the vast vineyards of Bourgueil, stretching as far as the eye can see along the Loire river valley.

The route meanders gently through the vineyards into the town of Bourgueil itself where on a Tuesday the weekly market is well underway.

You’ve covered 20kms so take a leisurely coffee at Pâtisserie Brémaud (you’ll get a proper Latté or Flat White here) and enjoy their speciality the Galette Bourgueilloise®.  While inBourgueil, gather a picnic from the market stalls (the local strawberries are amazing!) or we can recommend a fabulous restaurant for lunch.

From Bourgueil you can head back to Le Gue de Ray along a new route which completes the 40km circuit.

Alternatively extend your route to the river Loire itself at Chouzé-sur-Loire where you can take a drink at the river side bar/cafe. By the time you arrive back at base you will have covered just over 50kms.

Finally, if you need more cycling we have developed a further circuit that adds another 20kms of vineyard cycling to your day. Whichever route you opt for, we can recommend plenty of wine tasting stops!

Day 4 “Rural Anjou & Le Menu Ouvrier” (Min 30 kms)

You’ll head north for the first time and explore the beautiful local villages and countryside.  Today’s route is designed to give you some down time.  Alternatively,  if you want to cycle more then we can provide you with circular routes up to whatever distance you want!

The planned route takes in two noteworthy chateaux at Breil and Gizeux.  Both still lived in by the aristocratic families and have fantastic histories.  They are a great contrast with the more famous chateaux.

There’s a chance to indulge in the French Menu Ouvrier (worker’s menu) at a local restaurant before heading home via a road used in the Tour de France – so worth a photo.

This is the route where it all started for us at Loire Life Cycling – and why we became so passionate about cycling in the Loire Valley.

Day 5 “Fine Wine and Fine Food – Le Tasting Room” (45 kms)

The signature route of the week’s cycling and a stunning cycle.  Head westwards following the placid reiver Authion river and cross the Loire at Gennes.  You then follow the Loire itself before arriving at the beautiful river port of Le Thoureil.  We’d recommend grabbing a drink at the riverside cafe for one of the best views of the Loire anywhere.

Then cycle to Cumeray where the highlight of the day awaits.  Cathy and Nigel of Le Tasting Roomwho are one of the Loire’s foremost wine experts, will host you for an early evening supper matched with some of the best wines of the Loire Valley.  It’s a fun experience hosted in a beautiful wine cave and is included in the Discovery Tour.

We provide a minibus ride back to base, but you are more than welcome to cycle home!

Day 6 “Saumur & the Troglodytes” (Min 40 kms)

A cycle route that is entirely different to what’s gone before, because you head south meeting the Loire just east of Saumur itself.  Cycle along the banks of the Loire with fantastic views of Saumur chateau and Saumur itself.

You cross the the Loire in Saumur in time for morning coffee or even a bite to eat.  Saumur is a beautiful white stoned town famous for sparkling wine, the world famous horse riding school ‘Le Cadre Noir’ and its underground caves.

Leave Saumur along the southern banks of the Loire exploring the troglodyte villages of Candes St Martin & Montsoreau. 

At the end of the route we provide a mini-bus pickup at the end of your route to bring you back to base.

We also have route options that take in Fontevraud Abbey and a further route that takes in Chinon.  So once again – route lengths for all types of cyclist!

Day 7 Departure

You’re probably ready for a day without cycling by now!  So, after breakfast we take you to Saumur railway station for the early trains, before saying farewell and bonne route!

Contact Us – Ask us anything about our Discovery Tour!

We absolutely loved our cycling holiday in July! Great cycling, great company, new friends and absolutely first class accommodation!

Chris, Brisbane, Australia

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