Easy Cycling Holidays in France
Easy Cycling Holidays
Our holidays are perfect for beginners and make for great leisurely cycling vacations.
To see how these easy cycling holidays in France work, follow some guests on our Discovery Tour
Loire Valley Discovery Tour – An Easy Cycling Holiday
Day 1 – Arrival at Saumur
Cycling guests this week arrive in France from the UK and Australia. Four arrive by train at Saumur station and others head to us by car. They were amazed by how easy it all was and how accessible the Loire Valley can be!
A real mix of cycling abilities with some regular cyclists who have brought their own bikes, some leisure cyclists who cycle regularly, but not far and some guests who are fit, but are complete beginners. This week’s cycling holiday will cater for everyone!
On arrival it’s time to enjoy coffee, relax and unpack. Those hiring bikes are fitted out with their kit and the bikes adjusted to suit. This week two cyclists are using our electric bikes.
It’s warm enough to have the aperitifs outside on the terrace, but we retired to the dining room for the meal. The menu was a homegrown beetroot, feta and potato salad to start, Tartiflette with green beans and salad following as the main (a favourite in the mountains of France), a cheeseboard which included a local ash covered goats cheese and home made lemon sorbet to finish.
The relaxing evening was completed with an explanation of tomorrow’s cycling route through the Loire Valley.
Day 2 – Easy cycling to the Loire Chateaux
After a continental breakfast of cereals, fruit salad and pastries everyone is cycling towards the river Loire by nine thirty. Lots of excitement to finally begin!
With differing cycling abilities everyone is planning to ride different distances along the same route and at different paces. For the morning at least, all guests cycle to Langeais arriving at the medieval town in time for coffee. One guest decides to spend the entire day at Langeais which makes for a really easy day. They are able to explore the Chateau and have a relaxing lunch in a restaurant before being picked-up by the minibus and returned to base.
A couple and one other guest have hooked up for a cycle along the Loire to Villandry and its Chateau with stunning gardens – one of the best in all France. They then return to Langeais and use whatever time is left to visit the Chateau there.
The remainder, more experienced cyclists and previous guests, cycle to Villandry, then ride on to Azay-le-Rideau before taking a planned detour to Chateau la Chatonnierre – lovely gardens but not on the huge scale of Villandry. From there they ride back to Langeais via Brehemont and the Loire a Velo cycle way.
Everyone without exception is grateful to load their bikes onto the mini-bus and relax for the journey back to Gue de Ray.
Before the evening meal there is time to use the pool (now at a lovely 26c) and the hot-tub (a soothing 37c) and generally relax.
A great day by all, with people surprised by the lack of traffic, the general beauty of the area and the fact they didn’t get lost once! Evening meal of Pear and Roquefort Salad to start, Tray baked Chicken with Creamy Spinach for mains and Iced Berry Dessert, using our own fruits of course. Stuck to the Azay white, seemed appropriate as that’s the area cycled through today, but changed to a Cabernet France Red from Bourgueil – destination for Day Three!
Day 3 – Wine on cycling holidays -Bourgueil
Everyone on their way by nine thirty, cycling to Bourgueil via a long shaded forest road, before dropping into the town itself through its Cabernet Franc vineyards – some of the best Cabernet Franc vineyards in France.
Tuesday is market day, so until lunchtime our cycling guests enjoy the various tastes, sights and smells on offer and pick up something for a picnic lunch.
Proving that easy cycling holidays in France exist, two guests take a minibus pickup after their 18kms to Bourgueil and spend the rest of the day by the pool!
The remaining guests cycle the entire 50kms route, which includes a cycle to Chouze-sur-Loire on the banks of the Loire itself. From the river the cycle route heads back through the vineyards to Gue de Ray via the pretty lake at Les Loges.
Dinner is taken on the terrace and it’s Charentes Melon to start, followed by Chicken and Seafood Paella wih fresh Chouze-sur-Loire strawberries.
Day 4 – Leisurely cycling through Anjou
Almost a rest day! (It can be if you want, just put the bike away and your feet up!) For those wanting to cycle (and everyone did) this is a 35km route, which can be split up into smaller chunks.
The full cycle route also has an optional Menu Ouvrier lunch stop (basically a menu provided for workers offering amazing value and quality). So today there is something for everyone.
It’s still hot for the time of year so everyone decides to breakfast early and get their cycling completed by early afternoon. Without exception all our guests have decided to cycle the full circuit, but not stop for the restaurant lunch – I think the evening meals have been quite sufficient so far!
So everyone experiences the Parc du Lathan in Breil – a designated ‘Jardin Remarquable’ and the Chateau de Gizeux. Still lived in by ancestors of the original owners, they have a charm and authenticity that the larger Chateaux in France cannot match – plus they don’t appear on many guide books so are a real surprise!
Day 5 – Saumur, Sparkles and easy cycling
Easy cycling holidays need to offer flat and interesting routes and beautiful destinations and today is no exception.
An easy cycle through countryside and along the Loire itself take our guests to Saumur, where there is time to explore and have a leisurely lunch.
We have also arranged a wine tasting of the local sparklin wine and a tour of wine cellars with a cycling twist!
Its an easy cycling holiday so we pick up guests after the wine tasting and after a sleepy bus drive back to Gue de Ray everyone is back around the pool.
Summer still hasn’t left France and the day is finished off with late plunges in the pool (a nice 27c) and the hot-tub, (an even nicer 38c!) with everyone relaxing in the living room making the most of the tea and coffee facilties. As we near the end of the week, some guests also make use of the laundry. For our Australian guests this is just part of their overall holiday so the laundry is a brilliant for making their entire trip more comfortable.
Day 6 – Troglodytes – France’s cave dwellers!
Weather decides to break today and we wake up to light rain rolling from the French Atlantic coast. Forecast is for improvement by lunchtime, so for some of our cycling guests we offer a drop-off in the mini-bus, 16kms along their intended route.
For this, the final day of cycling in France, the planned cycle route is to head southward (and mostly downhill) and explore the area along the Loire between Saumur and Candes-St-Martin.
A couple of guests decide they don’t want a drop-off and ride anyway, taking the morning route through apple, pear and soft fruit orchards to the Loire at Varennes. The remaining guests are driven direct to Varennes and by the time we arrive the sun is out and everyone crosses the river at Montsoreau by 11.30am – dry and in good spirits!
By 1pm the sun is back again, but with the temperatures at a more friendly level for French cycling! The mini-bus is in situ by 4.45 for the afternoon pick-up, just north of the Loire and with everyone arriving pretty much together we’re on our way back to Gue de Ray by 5pm. No-one on this final day has decided to cycle home!
Back at Gue de Ray the bikes and equipment is all handed back (while cups of tea and coffee are brewed) and guests head off for a final dip in the pool or hot-tub.
Evening meal is taken in the dining room with Courgette and Ricota rolls to start, an Asian style tray baked Salmon and stir-fry for main, followed by a very cheeky chocolate mousse.
Day 7 – Au Revior and thanks for this easy cycling holiday!
It’s come round quick, but this morning its just a case of having breakfast and then heading off to Saumur station – with guests catching the 10.22 en-route to Eurostar via Paris and others picking up a hire car at Europcar Saumur, before heading down to the Dourdogne. Those guests that drove themselves to Gue de Ray have a slightly more relaxing morning, before heading off to the ferry port at Caen by 11am.
So you can find easy cycling holidays and our Loire Valley Discovery Cycling Tour proves it!
Contact us to find out more and ask us any questions – we’d love ot hear from you!