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.
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
Limited & Fixed MenusOn many nights, the gourmet restaurants where we dine offer specially prepared limited or fixed menus featuring a delicious selection of authentic regional cuisine.
Days 1-2 Exquisite cuisine and acclaimed Vouvray wines Your first spin amid peaceful woodland and picture-perfect villages illustrates why bicycling in the Loire Valley is such a delight Join a vintner for a private tour and degustation at the family's centuries-old wine cave With its gleaming white façade and lavish interior laden with fine furnishings and the ever-present glint of gold, Château de Cheverny is an awe-inspiring sight Tour immense, decadent Château de Chambord and marvel at its exuberant disdain for modesty.
Days 3-4 Renaissance, medieval and classical châteaux Alongside a private guide, soak up the glamor of Château de Chenonceau - the ultimate pleasure palace - which spans the River Cher and brims with rare tapestries and magnificent paintings Step back in time at Château de Villandry, whose strikingly beautiful geometric gardens invite a stroll.
Days 5-6 The royal treatment is de rigueur at our gracious hotels Pedal past vineyards and orchards to bustling Azay-le-Rideau, a wonderful place to fill your bike bag with goodies for a picnic down the road Châteaux d'Ussé, which inspired Sleeping Beauty, is a feast for the eyes! Have a look around Chinon, known as much for its full-bodied red wines as for its turbulent history Explore the ruins of Château de Chinon and learn about the castle's link to Joan of Arc Say au revoir to the Loire Valley with a final ride past farms, villages and castles.
- Bike the most scenic routes in this region beloved for its elegance and natural beauty
- Gracious castle-hotels provide the perfect setting each evening
- Savor exquisite cuisine and critically acclaimed Vouvray wines
- Formidable, romantic or downright ostentatious, the Loire's châteaux are yours to explore
- Delve into the intrigue of French history where it actually unfolded
Domaine des Hauts de Loire (2 nights): Built as a grand hunting lodge in the 19th century, this magnificent ivy-covered château enjoys a secluded setting amid tranquil parkland. A Relais & Châteaux member. (pool, tennis)
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)
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)
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
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 4/27-5/2 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 5/4-9 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 5/11-16 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 5/18-23 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/1-6 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/8-13 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/15-20 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/22-27 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/29-7/4 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/6-11 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/13-18 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/20-25 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/3-8 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/10-15 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/17-22 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/24-29 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/31-9/5 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/7-12 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/9-14 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/21-26 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/23-28 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/28-10/3 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 9/30-10/5 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
- 10/5-10 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date in next year's lineup for your group of 8 or more - just book by December 31st of this year. Call us for date availability.
If your party has fewer than 8 guests, or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.
Pricing for Private Trips
- 2 - 3 guests $6,498 pp dbl. occ.
- 4 - 5 guests $5,898 pp dbl. occ.
- 6 - 7 guests $5,398 pp dbl. occ.
- 8 - 9 guests $5,198 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $4,598 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $4,298 pp dbl. occ.
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
Best vacation of our lives! Backroads is going to become a staple of our lives - like eating and breathing!- Carson, CA
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
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
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
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
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
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
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