1-888-414-6437   info@skedaddle.com
France

Loire - Valley of Castles

Self-Guided Family Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$1,220 P.P.
Child Discount Applies
France

Loire - Valley of Castles

Self-Guided Family Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

8 days

Prices from

$1,220 P.P.
Child Discount Applies
BOOK NOW
This self-guided circular family cycling tour in France starts and finishes in Tours and meanders through the Cher, Indre and Loire valleys taking in an array of the many castles, manor houses and dreamy residences. The route has been designed with families in mind and what better way to explore this fascinating and beautiful area with your family, than by bike?
 
You'll be cycling along seldom-used country trails and side roads on largely flat terrain. If you fancy less time in the saddle, you can often hop on the train to get to your next destination. 
 
You'll be staying in carefully selected small 2 and 3 star hotels and guesthouses that provide breakfast and are family friendly. This Loire Valley family cycling vacation is available for departures on Friday, Saturdays or Sundays for a minimum of two people. We book all your accommodation, transfer your luggage and provide you with cycling routes and a detailed itinerary. Just contact us with your preferred dates.
 
If you are interested in joining this trip as a group of adults have a look at our Valley of the Loire tour where you may find the information more relevant to your needs.
chenonceaux 6.jpg

Highlights

  • Being a giant amongst the miniature castles of Amboise
  • Spotting Leonardo de Vinci’s house
  • Cycling to the lovely Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau sitting atop an island in the middle of a river
  • Seeing who’ll be the first to spot the cliff dwellings on the way to Montbazon
  • Fun with the kids at Luluparc on the way back to Tours
  • Exploring historical Tours

Back to Top

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Tours

On arrival, depending on flight times, you may have the opportunity to explore the city’s historic centre. In your hotel, your bikes (should you be hiring), route notes and maps will be provided for your trip around the Loire.

Day 2
Tours to Villandry
13 Miles / 21 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

After leaving Tours, you will start your journey cycling alongside the Cher river. The cycle path winds parallel with the Cher and the Loire rivers, and beautiful views will surround you throughout the day. You will pass by the enchanting gardens of the Chateau de Villandry on the way to your accommodation for the evening. In the summer months, the Cher is great for a swim!

Day 3
Villandry to Azay-le-Rideau
15 Miles / 25 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Today you will cycle through romantic river landscapes and past beautiful stone houses, on your way to Azey-Le-Rideau.

Located in the Indre Valley, the Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau sits on an island in the middle of the river and is one of France’s loveliest Renaissance castles. The view from the water mirror is certainly the best known of the Château d‘Azay. Honoré de Balzac said it was like “a faceted diamond set in the Indre“. This beauty is definitely worth a visit.

Day 4
Azay-le-Rideau to Montbazon
15 Miles / 25 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

The first part of today will be spent cycling through the Indre Valley, following the gentle flow of the river. You will find great views of cliff dwellings built into the limestone mountains along you way.Once at your destination, you will find the impressive Fort of Montbazon which towers imposingly over the village.

Day 5
Montbazon to Chenonceaux
22 Miles / 37 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

From Montbazon you’ll head towards the small market town of Bléré. After crossing the river, you’ll arrive at the Chateau de Chenonceau, which spans the river on five elegant arches. It is one of the most perfect and beautiful castles of the Loire region in respect of its architecture, site, contents and atmosphere. The gardens are fantastic with a natural maze, fun for the whole family.

Day 6
Chenonceaux to Amboise
9 Miles / 15 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Today you will cycle through the former royal forests towards Amboise. Shortly before reaching your destination, you will be able to visit an outside museum full of miniature castles of the Loire Valley. Great fun for kids and a great opportunity to get a real feel for the history of the area. Amboise is a lively little town where you can visit the castle and the famous Clos Lucé, once home to Leonardo de Vinci.

Day 7
Amboise to Tours
16 Miles / 25 Kms
  • Meals: Breakfast

Today you’ll cycle along the Loire back to Tours. Along the way you will discover the troglodyte cave dwellings that litter this region. You’ll also be passing close by Luluparc (an adventure park with games and activities for kids of all ages). Set in a green space of 3 hectares, it’s entirely reserved for children. You’ll find toboggans, a ball park, pedalos, scooters, childrens’ farm, swings and slides!

Day 8
Departure from Tours
  • Meals: Breakfast

Time to say au revoir to this beautiful, family cycling destination.

Back to Top

The Cycling

Terrain

The majority of the route is along a mixture of traffic-free cycle paths, cycle lanes and flat riverside paths. (Only around 10% of the route is shared with vehicle traffic). This, along with the daily distances not exceeding 40 km/ 25 miles, makes the Valley of the Loire an ideal tour for those looking to take it easy, and really take in some lovely surroundings. The route is mainly flat, and if your legs need a rest, on days 5 and 6 you can catch the train to your next destination (tickets not included). We recommend a hybrid bike for this tour, but road bikes with semi-slick tyres would suffice.

francefamilycycling7.jpg

Family Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 1 : Easy

Distances generally between 10-20 miles / 15-35 kms per day

For those looking for an accessible cycling holiday

Manageable daily distances

Predominately flat terrain

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

If your little ones are new to cycling, or perhaps you haven’t ridden your bike for while, then the relaxed rides on our Grade 1 tours might be for you. Of course no route can be pancake flat the entire way, with some gentle slopes being inevitable, but if you‘re looking for short, daily distances on mostly flat terrain, (with plenty of time to go at your own pace and explore your destination), then these trips would be a good place to start. We’d expect those on a Grade 1 tour to be able to ride their bike confidently and generally be fit and healthy.

Back to Top

Dates & Prices

Departures are available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays between 27/03 and 31/10.

We are able to offer the following discounts on the land only price for children (when the child is sharing a room with two fully paying passengers, dependent on availability.)

0 – 1 years – Free Place

2 – 11 years – 50%

12 – 16 years – 10%

Contact us on 1-888-414-6437 or email info@skedaddle.com to check availability for your specific date.

Choose your date
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
8 days
Price
$1,220.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin / double en suite rooms) in a mixture of 2*,3* and 4* hotels and chambres d‘hôtes (family rooms on request)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B-Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Local representative (with welcome meeting)

D) Detailed route notes and maps

E) Luggage transfers

F) Tickets to visit Miniature Castles in Amboise

What's not Included Cross

A) Bike hire (available if required)

B) Flights and charges for travelling with your bike

C) Travel to first hotel on arrival day

D) Travel from final hotel on departure day

E) Single room (available if required)

F) Travel insurance

G) Meals not stated in the itinerary

H) Personal clothing and equipment

I) Personal expenditure (souvenirs, bar bills, hotel facilities etc)

J) Entrance fees to museums and other attractions en route

K) City tax (payable locally) – between €0.80 and €1.50 per adult per day (where applicable)

Back to Top

The Essentials

Travel Options

For this tour we ask that you make your own way to your hotel in Tours on arrival and onwards at the end of the trip. Please aim to arrive before 17.30 if possible.

The most convenient airport to fly into is Tours (TUF). Flights from North America require overnight travel, and may take several days, requiring more than one stop in intermediary airports, with Norwegian combining with another airline being a common combination for this trip. There is a bus service that operates after every inbound flight into Tours which operates between Tours Airport and the town centre.

Another option is to fly into Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG). From North America, most large airports offer direct flights to CDG with airlines such as Norwegian and Air France. There are good TGV connections via Paris to Tours, which from Paris take just over an hour. You can book tickets via www.raileurope.co.uk. You may also catch the TGV from Paris CDG airport to the TGV station in Tours (St Pierre des Corps).

Please check with Skedaddle before making any travel arrangements so that we can ensure they fit in with the tour schedule.

Accommodation

Accommodation (shared twin or double rooms) will usually be ensuite in 2 and 3 star hotels and chambre d‘hôtes. Family rooms (triple and quadruple) are available on request and subject to availability. Generally our standard hotels in the Loire do not have pools.

On this trip you have the option to upgrade to a mixture of 3 and 4* hotels, and typically this will include 5 nights in accommodation with a pool. Please select the upgrade option on booking.

Bike Hire

If you don’t own a suitable bike or would prefer to avoid bringing your own we have bikes available to hire. These bikes are typically hybrid bikes with semi slick tyres, 21 gears, and a relaxed riding position. If you do decide to hire we can include a helmet on request; please request helmets when making your booking. If you choose to hire an e-bike, there will be a 250 Euro deposit required on arrival, which can be paid using a credit card. This will be fully refunded when the bikes are returned undamaged. Hire bikes come with pannier racks and bags, emergency repair kit including spare inner tubes, bike pump and bike lock.

We also have children’s bikes, tag-alongs, trailers and child seats available to hire.

Back to Top

News, Reviews & Stories

Customer Story: Loire Valley

David and Leila set their wheels on the land of fairy tale castles.

The Loire Valley in Autumn

Reviews

No reviews available yet!

You May Also Like...

Back to Top