7 nights in France
Each summer, the Tour de France races across the country, giving a select group of very talented cyclists a chance to see the country from a blurry perspective. On this cycling tour of the Loire Valley, knowing the difference between a front derailleur and a rear dropout isn't necessary. Hop on a bike and experience ornate châteaux, rustic markets, vineyards, and rural Gallic charm. Think of this as the perfect combination of slow food, fine wines, and remote country tracks – ideal for seeing the inspiring scenery.
|Hotels (7 nts)|
|7 breakfasts, 1 lunch|
|Flights not included|
|Travel insurance is mandatory and not included|
Blois Chateau entry - EUR 6 Blois Chateau & Sound & Light Show - EUR 14.50 Blois Chateau & House of Magic - EUR 14.50 Blois Chateau & House of Magic & Sound and Light Show - EUR 19 Le Clos Luce - EUR 13.50 Amboise Chateau - EUR 10.50 (with brochure), EUR 14.50 (with audio guide) Villandry Chateau - EUR 9.50 (audio guide Eur 3.50 extra) Usse Chateau - EUR 14 Mushroom Museum - EUR 8
On this trip, we will be travelling between each destination by bike and you will need to carry your own day packs. There will be a vehicle to carry the bulk of our luggage to the next accommodation for you.
Today is an arrival day so there are no planned activities and you may arrive at any time throughout the day (please note that check-in at the hotel is usually around 2-3pm). After the meeting, you may choose to join your CEO and travel companions for an optional dinner in a local restaurant. Additional Notes: Look out for a message from your CEO at the hotel reception detailing the time and location for an important meeting in the evening, during which meet your CEO and fellow group members, complete some admin and learn more about the trip. If you arrive late, your CEO will leave you a message detailing where they can be contacted and when to meet the following morning. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
First day on your bike today. Cycle onward towards the village of Chenonceau. Additional Notes: Please note while you are cycling you will only be responsible for your day pack. Luggage will be transferred to the hotel. Included Activities: Chateau de Blois Visit Transport: Bicycle (24km) Bicycle (26km)
Cycle through villages and countryside to the town of Tours, via the city of Amboise. Along the way stop at a variety of markets, and pick up some succulent local fare. Find a suitable stopping point, relax with a great picnic and enjoy a lazy afternoon by the river. Included Activities: Chateau de Chenonceau Visit Transport: Bicycle (25km) Bicycle (27km)
Following the river along through the green fields and flower strewn meadows of the Loire to the medieval citadel of Chinon. The terrain here is known as 'bocage', which refers to rolling hills filled with forests and pastures. Included Activities: Château d'Ussé Vineyard Visit and Tasting Transport: Bicycle (60km)
Wander around historic Chinon in the morning before taking off once more on our bikes. After leaving Chinon, the terrain changes and a steep white limestone cliff rises above us, known as 'Tuffeau'. Cycle in the shadow of this cliff along the river, admire the houses built into the cliff face as you pass. Transport: Bicycle (36km)
In 'the garden of France' as the Loire region is known, you might be able to help yourself to some of the delicious roadside fruit along the way. Gennes, as with many of the villages here, is close to a large chateau, that of Milly-le-Meugon. On arrival there will be time to explore the surroundings and see more of the town. Included Activities: Pierre et Lumière Museum Visit Transport: Bicycle (20km)
After a week of leisurely cycling across the Loire, today is the last opportunity for you to stretch your legs and enjoy the great scenery along the route. The bulk of the route here is on specific cycle paths, but we do spend some time cycling on the main roads as well. It's fairly flat cycling through mostly countryside along the way. Angers is the final stop, so tonight is a great opportunity for one final taste of the great French cuisine and wine that the Loire is famous for. Transport: Bicycle (40km)
Depart at any time. Included Activities: Departure Day
It is important to note that accommodation in Europe tend to be quite different to other areas of the world you may have travelled in. Buildings and rooms are generally old and may not have been renovated or maintained to the highest standard. Downtown hotels in Europe were not build to be hotels but rich owners houses, which have been changed into hotels. Therefore unusual room sizes are common as large rooms have been partitioned in the past, resulting in rather "thin" walls. Reception areas, rooms and bathrooms tend to be very small as they were often added into an existing room, and may have a hand nozzle rather than a conventional shower head. On this trip you can expect to stay in small family-run hotels or pensions (with the exception of the start and finish hotels, which are often larger city hotels), which will vary a little in standard and facilities: some may not have elevators, air-conditioning or English-speaking staff, but most importantly all are locally-run, with some traditional character, and in excellent central locations to give you maximum time for exploring the sights. You can expect to find clean, safe, simple accommodation in convenient locations. Staff can occasionally demonstrate less than perfect customer service. As accommodation is in short supply, especially during the summer months, hotels can charge a premium and there is sometimes little motivation to improve facilities.
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