Few places in France have as much charm as the wonderful Loire Valley, with its fantastic network of cycling pathways, accommodations, food, and vast cultural sites. The river valley is known as ‘The Garden of France’ and is so extraordinary in its cultural contributions that it has been granted an UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. Château de Chambord outside of Blois is an absolute must see, as is Blois, and Amboise. The larger centers of Tours and Angers are also wonderful places to see and stay in, as they make great starting points for exploring the pathways and châteaus of the Loire River Valley.

The 52 million euro Loire à Vélo cycling pathways will take you through two major regions and 6 central cities as they make their way east from the Atlantic Ocean. The Loire à Vélo was purpose-built to take all levels of cyclist through the heart of the Loire and to all the main sights. Visitors to the Loire are often surprised by the diversity of the sights and cities that are found in the Loire, including cave dwellings around Saumur, the dense forests south of Orleans, and the urban centers that all have their own flavour.

The main cities of the Loire each have their own charms and unlike other regions of France, there are very few drawbacks to visiting these charming cities. The major cities of Angers, Tours, Nantes, Le Mans, and Orleans have great night life, shopping, food and their own characteristic charms. The smaller towns of Blois, Amboise, Villandry, and Fontevraud are home to fantastic gardens, abbeys, and châteaux like the aforementioned Château de Chambord. Cycling the Loire Valley is one of the most popular holiday destinations in all of France. The best time to hit the pathways is in spring and early fall, when the hordes of tourists aren’t clogging all the sights. In the fall you may see crisp weather but you will be rewarded with spectacular fall colors to make your trip that much more memorable.

Best Seasons:May - Jun; Sep - Oct
Popular Locations:Château de Chenonceau, Loire à Vélo, Château de Chambord