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 and your gang have ever 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 Tour glorious Château de Chaumont and hear unforgetable tales of its long and sordid past
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
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)
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
* Includes a shuttle
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Guest Trip Reviews
There's no mystery why our biking trip among the classic Loire Valley châteaux is a perennial favorite with Backroads travelers. First, the cycling is superb for all abilities, with mellow terrain for easygoing riders and first-timers, plus longer options for anyone desiring more of a challenge. Combine this with gorgeous rural scenery, great activities that immerse you in the culture, stays at some of France's finest château-hotels and a whole range of wonderful dining opportunities - from critically acclaimed restaurants to the perfect little café on a village square - and you've got a biking experience that really is one of those must-do trips.- Regional Manager, France