Discover the Loire Valley and its Châteaux, from the gardens at the Château of Chaumont-sur-Loire to the lavish Château of Chambord. Succumb in turn to the charm of the banks of the Loire and Sologne landscape. There are plenty of surprises in Orléans and Blois to satisfy all your city-going desires!
The bonus of the trip: Orléans and Blois are two cities that are easy to get to from Paris by train
Upon arrival you will come face to face with the city centre of Orléans, with its pedestrian zone next to the Loire, Gothic Sainte-Croix cathedral and statue of Joan of Arc, who saved the city in 1429, standing on Place du Martroi and surrounded by lively terraces in summer… Cycle down to the banks of the Loire and head due west towards Meung-sur-Loire. As soon as you dismount, discover the château with is medieval and Renaissance styles. A little further on is Roquelin, a Remarkable Garden planted by a lover of roses. A stop in both these beautiful places is a must! A final few pedal strokes will take you to the end of the first day. Stop in Beaugency, a charming medieval town where you can spend the night without straying from the banks of the Loire!
Les Petits Instants in Meung-sur-Loire, a cultural cafe and convivial venue serving light food that is 100% home made with fresh produce.
Set off in the direction of Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire, the old port of Chambord where you can board La Saponaire for a boat trip (lien). Once you’re back on dry ground, briefly abandon the river to discover Chambord, the most prestigious among the Renaissance gems. Wander through the French formal gardens designed during the reign of Louis XIV and renovated in 2017. Return to your bike to head on to Blois. The royal château is worth a detour in itself. Visit the little streets in the old district and have a drink on one of the cafe terraces on Place Louis XII, for example. End the day by reliving French history at the Sound and Light show at the Royal Château of Blois before turning in at one of “Accueil Vélo” accommodation options in the city.
In Maslives, top up your energy levels in the Chambord biscuit shop.
Spend a while exploring Blois in the morning, then get back in the saddle and cycle towards the Regional Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire. This Renaissance Château and Arts and Nature Centre boasts one of the finest panoramic views of the Loire Valley. Its International Garden Festival is a highlight not to be missed. It is an opportunity to give free rein to your emotions in gardens designed by internationally-known artists. If you didn’t do so the day before, enjoy an authentic experience aboard a traditional Loire boat with a Millière Raboton guide. You have two options for returning to Blois: either by bike or train from Onzain train station, situated 2km from Chaumont. This option will take 20km off your cycle route!
Relax on one of the terraces at the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire. And why not have lunch there? There are different food options available, from sandwiches to gastronomic dining.
- Hire your bike in Orléans and return it at the train station in Blois thanks to the “Accueil Vélo” network of hire companies.
- Do you want to travel with your bike? Consider the Train Vélo Loire service between Blois and Orléans.
- On day 3 you will climb two hills before Madon and Candé-sur-Beuvron, but don’t worry – you will soon return to the mostly-flat landscape on the banks of the Loire.