Cycling Holidays France - Cycle to Villandry

The Loire Valley Discovery Tour

Unpack once, relax and enjoy one of the most unique centre based, self guided Loire Valley cycle tours!

The Discovery Tour is a fantastic single centre, self guided cycling holiday in the heart of the Loire Valley.

Ali & Jon, the owners of Loire Life Cycling, host you throughout your stay and have developed cycle routes packed with chateaux, vineyards and stunning scenery.

A 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 & Usse
  • Discover hidden gems the guide books miss
  • Enjoy a unique underground cycle route & wine tasting
  • Cycle the banks of the Loire exploring ‘Troglodyte’ villages carved from the cliff face
  • See the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud with the tomb of Richard the Lionheart
  • Lose yourself at French markets
  • Ride through Loire Valley vineyards tasting the wines of Bourgueil, Saumur & Touraine
  • End each day relaxing in the pool and 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

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Fantastic Cuisine

Cuisine on the Discovery Tour is as important as the cycling!  We focus on local, seasonal produce, organic wherever possible and freshly prepared by Ali every day.

The day starts with a plentiful breakfast, including a freshly prepared fruit salad, a range of cereals, fruit juices, yoghurts, pastries, eggs, meats and cheeses.

The delicious four course evening meals are accompanied by specially selected local wines and a fantastic cheese board.

We can cater for most dietary requirements – without fuss!  Please note we are unable to cater for vegans.

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Your Loire Valley Accommodation

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

At ‘Le Gue de Ray’ we have created a fantastic cycling base in the Loire Valley.

Bedrooms with private bathrooms, comfy lounge areas, outdoor terraces and unique touches that make this 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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Bikes & E Bikes

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.

We’re happy to fit your pedals and saddles to our bike frames and it’s no problem if you want to bring your own bike.  Let us know your requirements when booking.

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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.   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.

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Travelling to the Loire Valley

It is easy to travel directly from Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to Saumur in the Loire Valley by train.

We can provide a pickup & drop-off service from Saumur train station to our base at Gué de Ray.

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 Discovery Tour 2020 Itinerary

Loire Valley Cycling Tours

The Discovery Tour

(7 days/6 nights)

from 1,195€ per person

What’s included

  • Private en-suite accommodation
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 6 evening meals with wine & cheese
  • Hybrid bike & equipment
  • Fully supported cycling
  • Winery visit and tasting
  • Complimentary laundry facilities
  • Tea Coffee available at all times
  • Pool, spa & wifi


Discounts for groups of 3

Loire Valley Cycling Tours

Discovery Tour Dates – 2021

Tours start on Sunday and finish on Saturday

  • 16 May 2021 – €1,195
  • 23 May 2021 – €1,195
  • 6 June 2021 – €1,250
  • 13 June 2021 – FULL
  • 27 June 2021 – €1,250
  • 4 July 2021 – €1,250
  • 11 July 2021 – €1,250
  • 29 August 2021 – €1,250
  • 5 Sept 2021 – FULL
  • 12 Sept 2021 – FULL
  • 19 Sept 2021 – €1,195
Prices include French TVA (Value Added Tax)

To reflect COVID-19, we’ve changed our booking policy:

  • Deposits are now transferable – should you need to delay due to Covid-19 restrictions

Contact us

+33 6 25 81 98 51

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.

Loire Valley Cycle Tours 2020 Tour Itinerary

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’.  Unpack and settle in, take a dip in the pool or relax in the spa.

Over a glass of sparkling wine meet fellow guests while we equip everyone with a bike and accessories.

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

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

We start with an easy to follow route to the medieval town and chateau 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 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 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 can decline the mini-bus pickup and cycle back to Gue de Ray!

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

A morning cycle through quiet forest backroads, emerging into the vineyards of Bourgueil and then into the town 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 in Bourgueil, gather a picnic from the market stalls (the local strawberries are amazing!) or we can recommend a fabulous restaurant for lunch.

Spend the afternoon exploring the wineries, the underground wine museum and tasting the red and rosé wines of AOC Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil.  We’ll recommend the best wineries to try!

Day 4 “Saumur & Sparkling Wines” (45 kms)

A beautiful ride to the picturesque riverside town of Saumur dominated by its turreted chateau.  Saumur is famous for sparkling wines,  the Cadre Noir riding school and home to the French cavalry since 1780.

At your journey’s end we’ve arranged a unique winery visit, cycling through a labyrinth of man-made caves that store millions of bottles of sparkling wine!  At the end of the tour there is of course a tasting followed by a mini-bus ride back to Gue de Ray.

Day 5 “Rural Anjou & Le Menu Ouvrier” (Min 30 kms)

You’ll head north for the first time and explore the beautiful local villages and countryside.

The route takes in two noteworthy chateaux at Breil and Gizeux, which are still owned by the aristocratic families and have fantastic histories.  If you’re lucky your guide may be the owner!

There’s a chance to indulge in the French Menu Ouvrier (worker’s menu) at a local restaurant before heading home via a road often 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 6 “Montsoreau, Fontevraud & the Troglodytes” (Min 40 kms)

Country back roads through forest and orchards take you to the Loire at Montsoreau – with the only chateau on the river Loire itself.   It’s now a day of choices, choices & more choices!

  • Try out the mushroom caves for lunch – the underground caves here are perfect for mushroom production
  • Visit the artisan workshops in the caves at Turquant and discover Pommes Tapées
  • Explore Candes St Martin, one of France’s prettiest villages and check out the viewpoint high above the river
  • Cycle to Fontevraud Abbey, the largest restored monastery in Europe and burial site for Richard the Lionheart
  • Cycle along the southern banks of the Loire exploring the troglodyte (cave) villages and try more wine tasting in the AOC Saumur vineyards above the river.

At the end of this busy day we’ll provide a mini bus pickup back to Gué de Ray!

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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