A trip with kids in the Loire Valley? The concept may seem curious in a region synonymous with elegance and order. Not to worry - we bring you the Loire at its fun-loving kid-friendly best. There's easygoing biking past sunflower fields and famous vineyards. Fairy-tale castles to investigate. There's history-come-to-life at Leonardo da Vinci's home. A fencing lesson, petanque and canoeing adventure just for the younger set. Wine tasting and private castle tours just for grown-ups. Even the Medici family would have had fun with Backroads!
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.
Day 1 Around each new bend, another castle is waiting to be explored Great snakes! Check out Château de Cheverny, the model for fictional Château de Moulinsart from the Tintin comic books Spin through postcard-perfect villages and along wooded back roads once favored by horse-drawn carriages.
Day 2 <i>En garde!</i> Kids learn the fine art of fencing under the watchful eye of world-class fencing master Rudi van Oeveren Pedal to Château de Chaumont, an architectural marvel whose edifice spans periods from late French Gothic to French Renaissance, and whose grounds are a fragrant feast for the senses.
Day 3 Gentle countryside graced with rolling vineyards, orchards and sunflower fields Ride past vineyards and hamlets to Château de Chambord, one of the Loire's largest and most extravagant castles The younger set joins a Backroads leader for outdoor fun.
Day 4 Experience fascinating French history where it actually unfolded Bike past troglodyte dwellings, community gardens and vineyard-laden fields to the village of Vouvray, known for its crisp chenin blanc wine A local vintner invites us for a tour of the family winery, followed by a gourmet picnic Kids take to the Loire River for a fun-filled canoeing adventure.
Days 5-6 Explore Leonardo da Vinci's home, Clos Lucé Spin across the Loire River and along rolling hills to the most famous castle of the valley: Château de Chenonceau While adults enjoy a private guided tour of the castle, youngsters discover the château grounds and mysterious "black room" During a visit to the curious Pagode de Chanteloup, kids take in great views of the Loire Valley from the 144-foot tower and try their hands at some old-fashioned outdoor games such as pinball and croquet Soak up the flavor of bustling Amboise.
- Pedal back in time amid serene farmland, vast vineyards and storybook villages
- Fairy-tale castles around every bend
- Kids wield epées with an award-winning fencing master!
- Leonardo da Vinci's home
- An afternoon canoeing adventure on the Loire River
Château du Breuil (2 nights): Located near Cheverny, this 15th-century manor still has its original tower and moat. (pool)
Domaine des Thômeaux (1 night): This petit château features themed guest rooms, each decorated in the colors of a different country. (spa)
Château de Pray (2 nights): A turreted castle nestled amid trees on a terraced slope overlooking the Loire River. (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: Fencing lesson (2 hours)|
|Kids: Petanque (2 hours)|
|Kids: Loire River kayaking adventure (1.5 hours)|
|Kids: Pagode de Chanteloup visit (1 hour)|
* Includes a shuttle
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 6/15-20 Price: $3698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/17-22 Price: $3798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/22-27 Price: $3798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
- 6/29-7/4 Price: $3798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/1-6 Price: $3598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/6-11 Price: $3798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/13-18 Price: $3798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/20-25 Price: $3798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
- 7/27-8/1 Price: $3598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/3-8 Price: $3598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/10-15 Price: $3798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
- 8/17-22 Price: $3698 pp dbl. occ., (+ $530 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Recommended Kids Ages
- Recommended minimum age for the trip: 6 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
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 from a large selection of dates for your group of 8 or more. 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 $6,098 pp dbl. occ.
- 4 - 5 guests $5,098 pp dbl. occ.
- 6 - 7 guests $4,598 pp dbl. occ.
- 8 - 9 guests $4,298 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $3,698 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $3,398 pp dbl. occ.
Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.
Guest Trip Reviews
You all did a wonderful job! The family trip concept worked really well for our needs (balancing my serious-bike-rider needs with those of a 10-year-old and other family members). We will travel with you again. It is obvious that Backroads cares and is passionate about client service.- San Rafael, CA
We were persuaded by the enthusiastic guest comments on your website. The trip met and exceeded our expectations! It was a wonderful trip for the whole family and, although it was a group trip, you were able to meet and cater to each of our individual needs and wants. My husband got to bike all day, the kids got to bike as much as they wanted, made new friends and tried many fun activities. I got my active holiday but had time to soak in the cultural richness and natural beauty of the Loire Valley.- Singapore
On the train back to Paris my husband and I talked about how neither of us could think of a single way to make this trip better. Backroads has mastered client service.- Moreland Hills, OH
This was our best family trip ever!! Our leaders were excellent in all areas. The leaders complemented each other exceptionally well. They were wonderful with the kids and keeping them entertained. They did an excellent job adjusting the bike to fit perfectly. Much appreciated!! They all took the time to get to know each one of us individually. You have given us a life time of great memories.- West Chester, PA
The leaders were just wonderful, and the kids and I had a fabulous time. Thanks!- Wellesley Hills, MA
We are returning to Backroads because the level of customer service we have encountered with every member of the Backroads teams, from reservations to the trip group leaders, has not once dipped below excellence!- Edmonton, AL