This itinerary will lead you to the banks of the Loire and its tributaries: the Cher, Indre and Vienne rivers. The secured bike paths of the “Loire à vélo” and charming country roads will allow you to pedal and navigate at your own pace in a natural environment listed by the UNESCO World Heritage. On the way, you will salute Villandry and its French style gardens, the magnificent Renaissance Castle of Azay-le-Rideau, delicately set on the river Indre, Rigny-Ussé, Sleeping Beauty’s castle, but also the recently renovated Chinon Royal Fortress and the medieval Castle of Langeais, an important block in French history.
The river that you will discover from a gabare will charm you; so will Chinon’s National Forest.
The short legs of this trip will allow you plenty of time for outside discovery. The variety of natural and historical landscapes will delight young and old.
Your day by day program
You choose your arrival time into Tours, a town readily accessible by TGV and less than 2 hours away from Roissy Charles de Gaulle (no train change necessary in Paris)
From the Tours train station, you will find your hotel in the Old Quarter 10mn away on foot, and enjoy your evening while savoring the ambiance of this university town. If you arrive by car, we recommend that one of you deposit
your car in Langeais, on the free parking lot, and to come back by train. The price is quite affordable.
You will meet one of our agents around 9:30am at your hotel. He will let you try your bikes, give you tourist information (if you haven’t yet received it by mail) and you will have the opportunity to ask him all your questions. You will then take one of the bike paths from the city center, along the Cher river, and then down to Villandry. A stop in the Petrified Caves in Savonnieres will cool you down before you visit the Frenchstyle gardens of Villandry.
About 22 km
Cycling from Villandry along the Cher and the Loire, and go for 12km on the cyclepath to Langeais where you leave your bikes for an hour of leisurely barge on board. Take your bikes back to finish this step getting Azay-Le-Rideau.. An additional loop (20km) will allow you to pay your respects to Balzac and to discover an wicker weavers village.
About 24 km or 44 km
Refresher course today as you cross the National Forest in Chinon. Here, it is a bit more rocky, but the changes in terrain will let you play while you test your endurance. You earn your stop at the heart of this famous medieval city. Chinon, city of art and history. Your visit of the royal city awaits.
About 29 km
Small country roads at the heart of the hedgerows and bike paths will take back to where you started. Pass through Avoine with its water park and giant slides. On the way, stop at Rigny-Ussé that inspired Charles Perrault for his Sleeping Beauty fairytale. You arrive then at the foot of the medieval Castle of Langeais that you admired from your
boat on Day 3.
About 41 km
After breakfast, leave from Langeais by train to Tours, or pickup your vehicule on the train station’s parking lot.
Every day, from beginning of April until the end of October.
- Hotels** and hotels*** or B&B in equivalent value.
- From 2 people
- This tour is easy, for everybody, mainly flat, with a few hills.
- Done by vehicle, so you just have to carry your dayly belongings.
- Bike rental : 90€
- E-bike rental : 155€
- Single room extra charge : 175€
- GPS tracks on USB stick : 25€
- Lodging in 3***, and good 2** hotels or B&B in equivalent value, all taxes included. Based on double occupancy.
- 5 breakfasts per person.
- The roadbook with itineraries, maps, advice and a tourist information packet.
- 1h trip on a traditionnal boat.
- The luggage transfer between each lodging
- Personal insurance.
- Journey from your home to Tours and from Langeais to your home.
- The personal expenses (drinks, tours, tastings, telephone...).
- Lunches or dinners.