Useful advice for cycling with young children

  • © J.Damase

La Loire à Vélo routes are completely designed so that you can enjoy exciting adventures as a family with your little ones. Here is some useful advice to keep them safe and happy on your bike tour!

The right equipment and best practices

When planning your cycle trip, safety is paramount. Make sure you’re all fitted out like  top cyclists, with a carefully chosen helmet, a yellow gilet so everyone can see you and a bell!

Choose the right type of bike / bike trailer / tagalong bike for your children’s age.   

Your children can start to cycle on their own from the age of 5. But obviously, you have to choose distances that suit their little legs! Bike trailers and tagalong bikes are excellent options for young children who are not yet independent enough to cycle alone… or if you wish to extend your daily distance! 

On the ground, cycle in single file while supervising your children. If two adults are present, cycle with the children between you. Otherwise, position yourself at the back so they are always in your field of vision.

Finally, schedule multiple stops along your route. Breaks are essential for kids. There are often playgrounds to stop at along the cycle route, or you can pause to take in one of the magnificent vantage points… and don’t forget the survival kit: snacks and drinks!

Don’t hesitate to get your little ones pedalling… they have energy to burn!   

Places to visit and leisure activities for the whole family 

For the breaks you’ll want to plan, there is a wide choice of activities along the route – gardens, discovery parks, leisure centres, zoos, treetop trails, museums, and many more. There is something for every taste, you just have to choose!   

Park your bike while you walk around the Jardin des Kangourous in La Possonnière  There will be unexpected encounters along the way – your little ones will be surprised to meet around one hundred kangaroos roaming freely. 

© Jardin des kangourous

Set off to explore the unique Loire itinerary at Cap Loire Discovery Park. The site is set up with three different areas: an exhibition, which will immerse you in the life of the bargemen, a visit to the helm of the Cap Vert boat, and a one hectare themed garden… just right for stretching your legs!

Entrée de Cap Loire © A. Lamoureux

Sailing, mountain biking, stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking, archery, orienteering, and more… At the Cap Sports et Nature leisure centre in Saint-Julien-de-Concelles, your youngsters can amuse themselves and you can enjoy the opportunity to have a rest… all in a pleasant natural environment, close to the Sèvres and Loire rivers! What more could you ask?!

Treat yourself to a break in Ô Parc, a stones’ throw away from the Loire! Giant inflatables, merry-go-rounds, quad bikes, pedal go-karts, a zip line, water games to cool down when it’s hot, trampolines, wooden games, mini-golf, and more… The activities at Ô Parc will delight young and old! Before pedalling off again, take a break in the hammocks in the relaxation area.

From July to September, you can have fun getting lost in the Labyrinthe de Beaugency. This vast corn-planted maze promises fun times for the family! Riddles and actors will help you find the way out. For teenagers and adults, spooky day and night events are also on offer. Ask for more information!

Do you want to learn about the Loire as a family? Its history, nature and inland waterway shipping? Well, make your way to the Observatoire Loire de Blois. There, you’ll find an interactive exhibition that is both educational and fun, terraces for watching the river and traditional boat trips or bike trips. Explore the Loire in its full glory!

At the Château du Clos Lucé in Amboise, discover the most famous machines invented by Leonardo da Vinci. He spent the last 3 years of his life in the grounds of this château, and now you can have fun operating the aerial screw, boarding the armoured vehicle, or crossing the swing bridge.

See all the activities and places to visit for children

Night(s) in campsites

Whatever their age, children love camping! Here, you can enjoy family breaks that are both restful and fun.

A stone’s throw away from the Loire, the Guyonnière Campsite offers an out-of-the-ordinary experience in the heart of their farm. You can meet the camp animals – hens, cows, pigs, alpacas, deer, peacocks, donkeys, ponies, rabbits, and goats – with chances to have discussions and learn… the children will be enchanted! Between two animal encounters, you can also jump in the heated pool…

Camping de la Guyonnière © A. Lamoureux

The Belle Rivière Campsite at Saint-Luce enjoys a tranquil and verdant setting. Your young children can have fun with beautiful walks, horse rides and canoe trips near the royal river, allowing you to (re)discover the majestic Loire landscapes even more, at different times of day. The name of this campsite is very apt… you will be enchanted!

Spend one or several nights near the commune of Sancerre, a stone’s throw away from the Loire. At the “Les Portes de Sancerre” Flower Campsite, enjoy a pleasant and lush setting. Adults will appreciate the calm, friendly atmosphere, while the little ones will make friends in the playground and inflatable castle!

If you have not yet experienced a night in a caravan, why not try one at the Gien Tourist Campsite, in one of its pretty, coloured caravans. Your children will be delighted to make themselves at home in these funny little cabins! As for activities, the whole family will love the pool and the beach – the campsite is located on the banks of the Loire, with a magnificent view of the town of Gien and its château.

There’s no shortage of nature at the Saules Campsite, with an 8-hectare wooded park, a waterpark with 3 swimming pools and several playgrounds. You can stay on a pitch with your own equipment, in a chalet or in other unique accommodation. Located near the Château of Cheverny, this campsite is a partner of the French Birds Protection League and welcomes no fewer than 58 different species of birds. And to protect the bees, hives have also been set up within the grounds!

Make a stopover at the Loire et Châteaux Campsite. Located in the charming little village of Bréhémont, the whole family can relax here while enjoying the leisure activities on offer. Swimming pool, inflatable castle, table tennis table… A family-oriented and welcoming atmosphere awaits you!

Cycling in complete safety

When you set off on bikes with children, safety is without a doubt an utmost priority. First of all, you should know that the La Loire à Vélo itinerary is an unchallenging one. With very few slopes, it is totally suitable for families cycling with young children.  

La Loire à Vélo includes three types of paths. Some of them are free of cars: 

  • The green lanes are exclusively reserved for non-motorised vehicles. Only cyclists, pedestrians, horse riders and roller bladers can travel along them.  
  • The cycle paths are exclusively reserved for cyclists and separated from traffic lanes. 

Some sections follow routes that are shared with cars. Nevertheless, these are “routes sans transit”, reserved solely for local residents and cyclists, or light traffic roads, where the speed is regulated. 

Would you like to see the different types of paths so you can plan your itinerary? Go to the map, which clearly shows the different “cycle paths” and “shared roads”.