There's nothing to see in the Loire Valley. Nothing but fairy-tale castles in every shape and size. Imposing towers and pincushion spires. Flying buttresses and astonishingly flawless gardens. Nothing but fertile fields crisscrossed by gracefully meandering rivers. Easygoing routes for younger riders. And lots of pedaling options for the older crowd. Nothing but treats at patisseries, gourmet cuisine and exquisite wines. A visit to Leonardo da Vinci's house and a fencing lesson just for kids. History comes to life. The Loire Valley - nothing short of the perfect family getaway.
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 Discover medieval, Renaissance and classical châteaux As you spin past serene woodland and picture-perfect villages, you'll soon see why bicycling in the Loire Valley is such a delight Explore Chinon, a spellbinding town with historical ties to Joan of Arc Heart skip a beat? Not surprising - you're about to discover Ussé, the castle that inspired the author of Sleeping Beauty Ride through rolling hills and orchards to the riverside town of Azay-le-Rideau, home to a magnificent château.
Day 3 <i>En garde!</i> Kids learn the importance of <i>foibles</i> and <i>fortes,</i> and wield épées under the watchful eye of world-class fencing master Rudi van Oeveren Spin to the town of Saché and check out the castle where Balzac wrote his acclaimed Comédie Humaine A peaceful route through vineyards and villages leads to Château de Villandry, surrounded by some of France's most exquisite gardens.
Day 4 The royal treatment at gracious castle-hotels Travel back in time at magical Château de Chenonceau, where a private guide shares fascinating stories of its richly appointed interiors and dazzling artwork Kids get their own special tour of the mysterious black room, then discover their way out of a massive labyrinth.
Days 5-6 A hands-on visit to Leonardo da Vinci's home, Clos Lucé, where you'll marvel at models and designs of his creations Pedal to Vouvray, one of France's oldest wine-growing regions Join a local vintner for a private tour of the family's centuries-old wine cave Adults explore the lively town of Amboise, and kids are in for a treat at the Pagode de Chanteloup, where they can try medieval games and check out the unique Chinese-style architecture of the towering pagoda.
- Pedal peaceful roads connecting fairy-tale castles
- Kids wield épées with a world-class fencing master!
- Visit the small château where Leonardo da Vinci once lived
- A private tour of Château de Chenonceau
- Relax at gracious castle-hotels
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)
Domaine de la Tortinière (2 nights): We're welcomed by the gracious Olivereau family at this charming 19th-century château with gorgeous countryside views. (pool, 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|
|Kids: Ropes Course (1 Hour)|
|Kids: Fencing Lesson (2 Hours)|
|Kids: Visit to Pagode de Chanteloup (2 Hours)|
* Includes a shuttle
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/7-12 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/14-19 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/21-26 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/28-7/3 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/5-10 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/12-17 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/19-24 Price: $4298 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/26-31 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/2-7 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/9-14 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/16-21 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/23-28 Price: $4098 pp dbl. occ., (+ $700 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 9 years
- Minimum age restriction to ride own bike: 7 years
General Info on Minimum Ages:We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria:
- 12+ amount of cultural appreciation, difficulty of activities, routes
- 9+ difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions, routes
- 6+ several longer dinners, routes are difficult for pulling a Burley and therefore not appropriate for younger children, difficulty of activities/activity age restrictions
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|2 - 3 guests from $7,498 pp dbl. occ.||8 - 9 guests from $5,198 pp dbl. occ.|
|4 - 5 guests from $6,298 pp dbl. occ.||10 - 11 guests from $4,398 pp dbl. occ.|
|6 - 7 guests from $5,598 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $4,098 pp dbl. occ.|
Guest Trip Reviews
For our family, Backroads represents a wonderful safety net, letting us try new things and go new places with absolute confidence. We watched our kids make chocolates at a small village chocolatier, sampled a 1995 vintage wine from a local vintner, stayed at wonderful inns, and rode past scenes of incredible beauty. All without having to worry about buying a ticket, making a reservation, or getting lost. It was a wonderful experience.- McGregor, Texas
It was an excellent trip with a great mix of fun, culture and activity. And everyone was super friendly and helpful. My kids especially loved it and said, "WE DIDN'T KNOW A TRIP LIKE THIS WAS POSSIBLE!"- New York, NY
Everything was perfect. The leaders were great, the rides and activities were well planned, and the food and fellow guests made it so memorable. This was our second trip and it was spectacular. We will likely take at least one Backroads trip a year, and more if our schedule permits. The family trips are perfect for our family. The only sad part is seeing my daughter so sad to leave the new friends she has made at the end of the trip.- Glen Ridge, NJ
Once again Backroads came through with another amazing experience for my family. This trip was terrific. Backroads' recommendation that the Loire Valley would be great for the range of kids (ages 8-17) and biking abilities of our group was right on the mark. The accommodations, amount of biking, scenery/stops along the way and non-biking activities were all fantastic. But what once again made this trip truly special for all of us (adults and kids) was the guides. They were enthusiastic, energetic, fun and incredibly thoughtful. They were always thinking ahead and quickly understood the various personalities of adults and children. When biking, they always knew where to wait with the van to cajole us forward with snacks, smiles and words of encouragement. Thank you Backroads for delivering on the value-added proposition of a private trip!- Wayland, MA
This trip was magical. What a fabulous way to experience the Loire. We have four children, ranging in age from five to seventeen, and everyone was completely, unequivocally happy. I smile just thinking of it.- New Albany, OH
The trip was wonderful. The leaders were positive, happy and helpful. The region was amazing and the food was great! WE LOVE BACKROADS! Backroads is the only tour company we use and I can't imagine seeing a country any other way.- Denver, CO
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