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Worth a detour
Rating 1.6 (195 votes)

Cycling the Loire Valley

Listed under Cycling in Angers, France.

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Photo by flickr user celesteh
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This flat pretty region of France is a cyclists dream, there is smooth scenic touring between towns or you can base yourself in in one of several villages and do day trips to some of the impressive local chateaux and other sights. One of the nicest things about cycling in the Loire is the river itself, it winds through the region adding the sights and sounds of a river (bridges, animals, constant changing scenery) to the whole setting, but most people will be drawn to plan their trip in the chateau region between Angers and Blois. A personal list of the not-to-miss chateaux includes Angers, for the tapestry, Villandry, for the garden, Chenonceaux, for the location on the river and Chambord. Many of the regions nicest towns, architecturally and culinary, are within this area so there are plenty of places to stay overnight and plenty of possible routes. A personal list of the best towns to stay in in the Loire would include Angers, Nantes and Blois, but this is taking into account my likings for great food, views and good bike facilities. The best weather for a cycle tour of the Loire is between June and September when it’s driest.

Written by  Jake Marsden.

Other expert and press reviews

“Cycling in France”

Pretty much the whole country is a great cycling destination, at least in the warmer months. Reason being: an excellent network of secondary and tertiary roads, unbelievably varied scenery and terrain, a heavily-developed cycling culture (think Tour de … Read more...

Written by  BikeBrats.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

The new cycle vert path is pretty good if you like riding along a long easy road. However, since the french are generally pro-bike you can follow other paths and I would recommned the IGN maps at 1:100,000 scale to plan a good trip.

Of equal interest and a little quieter go North onto Le Loir (rather than La Loire which you are chatting about here) and ride down empty roads, see the forests whhich made the French Roval Navy and the town where they make the sailors pom-poms (really)

Totally agree with your views and comments on this. I did Orleans to Nantes in 2001 and found it wonderful. Blois and Saumur hold special memories for me. Chambourd is mightily impressive and won't forget the wild boar that met my arrival as you make your way down the the long tree lined lane running up to the Chateaux.

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