Pedal through a lush forest. Emerge as if you're in a fairy tale. Standing proudly before you is a château of Gothic majesty. Its dramatic gardens sculpted so every plant, every stretch of grass, every tree has been planned, pruned and perfected. You're in an architect's dream. Artists and writers escape to the Loire - even Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years here. If you've dreamed of living like royalty, there's no place more ideal.
Day 1 The royal treatment at gracious châteaux Spinning past peaceful woodland and picture-perfect villages, you'll see why bicycling in the Loire Valley is such a delight Visit beautiful Crissay-sur-Manse - the entire village is a protected monument historique - and indulge in a meal of fresh regional cuisine made by our friends Fabien and Katia.
Days 2-3 Renaissance, medieval and classical châteaux Explore Chinon, known as much for its full-bodied red wines as for its turbulent history Ride alongside vineyards and orchards to the Châteaux d'Ussé, d'Azay-le-Rideau and de Villandry, whose impressive Italian Renaissance gardens invite a stroll.
Day 4 Experience French history where it actually unfolded Travel back in time at the magical Château de Chenonceau, where a private guide shares stories amid its richly appointed salons, vast galleries and massive grounds.
Days 5-6 Exquisite cuisine and acclaimed Vouvray wines Wander through Clos Lucé, Leonardo da Vinci's last residence, and marvel at models and designs of some of his creations Join a vintner for a private tour and degustation at the family's centuries-old wine cave In Amboise, grab an outdoor table and refuel with a café on Rue Nationale, a prime people-watching spot.
- Ride quiet rural roads to French architectural landmarks
- Relax at gracious castle-hotels
- Delicious French cuisine and acclaimed Vouvray wines
- Discover the difference between Renaissance and medieval châteaux
- Experience the intrigues of French history where it actually unfolded
Château de Marçay (1 night): Turrets and secret passageways attest to the medieval origins of this hotel, whose expansive gardens include grapevines used to produce 2,500 bottles of wine each year. (pool)
Château d'Artigny (2 nights): A Belle époque dream castle of perfumer François Coty, set among magnificent gardens above the Indre Valley. A Small Luxury Hotels of the World member. (pool, spa, tennis)
Le Choiseul (2 nights): A collection of three beautiful 18th-century manor houses in a peaceful setting along the Loire River. A Small Luxury Hotels of the World member. (pool)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/23-28 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/7-12 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/14-19 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/21-26 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/28-8/2 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/4-9 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/11-16 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/25-30 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/8-13 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/10-15 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/15-20 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/17-22 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/22-27 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/29-10/4 Price: $4698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/6-11 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $710 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Guest Trip Reviews
I loved this trip. You earned your name by really taking us on the back roads of the Loire Valley. I have traveled in France a lot, particularly in that region, and I saw it as I had never seen it before. The roads took us through utterly enchanting countryside and villages. The details of the trip went perfectly from the movement of luggage to hotel check-in, to snacks, to cold beverages when we needed them. The local guide for Chenonceaux and Villandry gave the best tour of those chateaux that I have ever had . . . and I'm a teacher of French who has visited them many times with students. I felt well supported on the road with the van. The food was superb at all times, and the picnic that the leaders prepared was wonderful. I loved the trip.- Princeton, NJ
Another homerun from Backroads. What a GREAT way to travel! I'm in love with France and in love with the company that helps me discover it in such a relaxed yet invigorating manner...you guys are just awesome!- Santa Rosa, CA
Backroads is such an awesome company - the only way to see the world. I love the way we did the things that were off the beaten path. There's no way we could have ever experienced this on our own. The miles and miles of biking were an added bonus. It's one thing to drive to a location but to be out there pedaling to our destination just added to the magic. I can hardly wait until next year's trip!- Dunwoody, GA
Our trip was wonderful in every way. As a couple that doesn't really ride, except to spin, this trip was a life changer. we kept up and rode all day and loved every minute of our vacation. You have made bikers out of us Thank you!!!- West Orange, NJ
It was the perfect trip experience for our first ever, active vacation with our three adult children. When you combine the beauty of the Loire Valley with the best of a Backroads trip - it's magic!- Alexandria, VA
This was our first experience with Backroads even though we have been receiving the catalog for several years. This was more than I imagined it to be - the level of excellence and attention to detail was exemplary. I learned a great deal about the culture quickly, thanks to our leaders. I was extremely pleased with my experiences on this Backroads trip.- Carbondale, IL
I loved this trip and can't wait for the next one. The group was interesting and fun; the routes were beautiful - we saw a huge field of poppies that we all stopped for ten minutes to admire. It was lovely.- Toronto, ON
Best vacation of our lives! Backroads is going to become a staple of our lives - like eating and breathing!- Carson, CA
WOW!! What a wonderful time we had on our trip through the Loire Valley!! Beautiful country, delicious food, and unbelievable accommodations. Our awesome guides made it all the more special for us. An unforgettable vacation to France, thanks so much!!- Tahoe City, CA
My daughter and I had a fantastic experience with Backroads in the Loire Valley. Our leaders were terrific! They made our trip memorable with their extensive knowledge of the French language, history and of course, biking. But above all, we appreciated their kindness and friendship. We will remember this trip with lots of smiles and we thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you!- Rockville, MD
What a wonderful surprise. The routes were thoughtful and safe. The bikes were amazing. The route leaders were as elegant as the chateaus.- Tucson, AZ
My overall comments on the trip: excellent, excellent, excellent! The guides were great, as was the food, the accommodations, the bicycles, everything. Thanks for a wonderful trip.- Alexandria, VA
Trips are pretty expensive, but if they all deliver the service and experience we received, I feel they are worth it. This is especially true in a country where you don't speak the language.- Junction City, WI
I absolutely loved this trip. I have to admit that I was reluctant to join my husband on a bike trip (it's his passion, not mine) but the Backroads experience changed my outlook on cycling. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.- Toronto, ON