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The Heart of Château Country - Self Guided Bike Tour France - Van Gogh Tours

Heart of Chateaux Country

From: $2,250 USD

8 Days / 7 Nights
Type: Self-Guided
Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Imagine Yourself…

  • Partaking in the rich gastronomic tradition of the Loire region
  • Cycling between impressive chateau through beautiful forests and vineyards
  • Discovering the exquisite Chenonceau Castle, jewel of the Loire Valley
  • Visiting the Clos Lucé, former home of and museum dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci

Overview

While the Loire River is well known for its impressive chateaux and picturesque landscape, the region also has a rich gastronomic tradition. During this 8 day and 7 night cycle journey you’ll have ample opportunity to appreciate some of the region’s finest restaurants while discovering by bike the many other attractions, including the famous chateaux of ChenonceauCheverny and Chambord, the Leonardo da Vinci Mansion in Amboise, and the forests and vineyards of the Cher and Loire Valleys. Staying in comfortable four-star hotels and cycling an average of 25-30 miles each day, this trip represents the perfect balance of activity and indulgence. We invite you to relax in the Loire Valley!

Daily Itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrival in Blois

    Today you’ll arrive in Blois, leaving time to visit the city and the beautiful Chateau de Blois. At night, between June 5 and September 20, it’s also possible to attend the Light and Sound show at the castle. We invite you in the afternoon to pick up your bike from the office. We adjust your bike and will provide you extra accessories if needed.

  • Day 2: Blois to Amboise - 25 miles (40 km)

    You will cycle through the forests north of Blois and past the Mesland appellation vineyards to the Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire, which is strategically located high above the River Loire. From there, you’ll continue to the charming town of Amboise with its magnificent Royal Chateau overlooking the river. You can stroll through the medieval Market Square and visit the Château of Clos Lucé, a museum dedicated to the genius of Leonardo da Vinci.

    Option: Canoe trip on the Loire River ($ 35 per person)

  • Day 3: Roundtrip to Vouvray – 30 miles (48 km)

    Leave the Loire banks for a while to reach the picturesque Vouvray vineyards, surrounded by troglodyte houses, and famous for its fine and elegant white wines! On the way you will admire superb Renaissance private châteaux such as Château de Valmer (remarkable for its Italian and vegetable gardens), and the beautiful Château de Jallanges as well. And don’t hesitate to stop for a visit to a local wine producer to sample a glass of Vouvray wine!

  • Day 4: Amboise to Chenonceaux - 26 miles (42 km)

    Today, go to Château de Chenonceau ! This stage through the vineyards of Montlouis-sur-Loire will take you to the Cher valley! Then reach the famous Chateau of Chenonceau straddling the Cher River, which was the scene of a famous rivalry in French history: that of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici. Enjoy a walk in the heart of the Diane de Poitiers‘s garden, then the Catherine de Medici’s one. Take a breath, under the shadow of one of the huge park trees, at the rhythm of the river murmur that will tell you stories about these 2 rival women.

    Option: Canoe trip on the Cher River ($20 per person)

  • Day 5: Chenonceaux to Cheverny (or Chitenay) – 25 or 31 miles (40 or 50 km)

    Ride along the peaceful Cher riverbanks to the medieval town of Montrichard. Then leave the Cher Valley and enter the vineyards of Touraine via the Château de Fougères-sur-Bièvre, a small fortified castle which perfectly illustrates the local building arts of the 15th century.
Your cycling day ends in Chitenay (in a charming rural inn) or in Cheverny, close to the famous château.

  • Day 6: Round trip to Chateau Beauregard and Sologne area – 29 miles (47 km)

    Today you’ll bike through the Forest of Russy and can visit the wonderful Chateau de Beauregard with its gallery of 363 portraits of French nobility. You can extend your biking with an exploration of the charming and mysterious Sologne region with magnificent landscapes, beautiful forests, ponds, and small private châteaux hidden behind their vineyards and groves.

  • Day 7: Cheverny (or Chitenay) - Blois – 25 or 31 miles (40 or 50 km)

    A highlight today will be your visit to the Chateau de Cheverny, still privately owned and beautifully furnished. It was built between 1604 and 1634 and never altered, presenting an immaculate picture of symmetry and harmony. You might also see the famous hounds used for local hunting by the descendant of the original owner. Then you’ll head through the Parc de Chambord to the largest of the Loire Valley chateaux, the spectacular Chateau de Chambord, a jewel of the French Renaissance built under King Francois I.

  • Day 8: Tour Ends

    Your tour ends today with departure after breakfast.

Dates & Prices

Green = Open | Yellow = Limited | Red = Full

Accommodation

Double

Single

4* & 5* Château Hotels

$ 2250

$ 2750

  • Prices are per person in US Dollars – inclusive bike rental
  • This tour can be guided upon request
  • Choose your own starting date
  • What's included

    • Accommodations in elegant four or five-star chateau-hotels
    • Daily breakfast and dinner
    • 27-speed bike rental, pannier (5 Gallon), steering wheel bag, repair kit, smartphone holder, lock, front/rear lighting (Helmet on request)
    • Entrance fees to Domaine de Chambord, Domaine de Chaumont-sur-oire, Château de Cheverny, Château de Chenonceaux, Park Leonardo Da Vinci
    • 2 Wine tastings
    • Luggage transportation (1 per person / 40 pounds per piece)
    • Route directions, maps, and local brochures
    • Emergency service phone number 7 days a week
  • Bikes

    Bikes are included in the price of the tour. Bikes are well-maintained 27-speed men’s and women’s bikes, equipped with pannier, steering weel bag, repair kit, smartphone holder, front/rear lighting and lock. Bike helmet on request.

    Electric bikes can be rented for this tour ($100 per person).We advise you only to rent an electric bike if you have first tried one at home. They’re heavier than regular bikes and therefore can be difficult to maneuver. In addition, you can rent children’s bikes, child seats, and bike trailers.

    Bike tours Europe - Loire Valley - France | Van Gogh Tours
    Scott SUB Sport 20 – Female
    Bike tours Europe - Loire Valley - France | Van Gogh Tours
    Scott SUB Sport 20 – Male
    Electric Bike tours Europe - Loire Valley - France | Van Gogh Tours
    E-Bike Scott OK
  • Meals

    Included in the tour price you’ll receive daily buffet breakfast and dinner. For the buffet breakfasts there’s an assortment of cold meats and cheeses, eggs, bread, jams, cereal, yogurt, fruit, coffee, and tea. For lunches you will be in a town so you can find lunch at a restaurant on your own. Dinners are three-courses with either a set menu or a choice of two options. We can accommodate many types of dietary restrictions including vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy free. Please indicate these requests at the time of booking.

  • Not included

    • Air fare
    • Beverages
    • Lunches
    • Other items of a personal nature
    • Trip cancellation insurance

Accommodations

The accommodations listed below are examples of those usually used on the tour. Depending on availability, you may be booked in a different accommodation of equal quality.

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