The Cédi&Clo family is composed of Cédric, aka Papa Cedi; Chloé, aka Mama Clo; Noa, five, aka Noa-chou; Maël, 2 two nearly three, aka Maelous; Buzz, our faithful tandem (the first to arrive in the family and which has already carried us along many roads in France and beyond) and Wouiwoui, the kiddie trailer hired for the occasion that joined the family for the duration of the trip. We set out to discover the Loire and its château during our holiday in April 2022. With all our gear we formed a real quatridem! We aroused amusement, amazement and encouragement wherever we went. From Nevers to Angers, the route offers 511 km of discoveries with pretty towns, château, churches, play areas...
From Nevers to Les Broussailles - 37 km.
After arriving in Nevers at the stroke of midday, we set off in the early afternoon for two weeks of adventure and discovery. Our first stop was La Charité-sur-Loire, a pretty medieval town.
We were quite weighed down! We had a small electric motor and the children were in a Rideweehoo. It was sunny on the first day and we arrived at Motel Les Broussailles after 4 km. Very pleasant, and the boys loved it. We were just next to the motorway so it was fairly noisy but the owner was very nice. The slight technical hitch of the day was that our lowest gear sprocket came completely loose.
Day 2: Les Brousailles to Neuvy-sur-Loire – 56 km
After a good night’s sleep and an excellent breakfast at the hotel, we set off along the Loire Valley cycle paths. A few kilometres later, we arrived at the foot of the Piton de Sancerre. Next came a gruelling climb… at least for us, the kids were singing in the back! After arriving at the top, we bought supplies in the Tourist Office and picnicked with a view of the Loire Valley vineyards.
After this refreshing break, we set off to explore the town. Practically speaking, the access is not easy, but Sancerre is a pretty medieval town that is worth a visit. Two hours later we returned to the bike to cycle to that day’s accommodation in Neuvy-sur-Loire.
Day 3: From Neuvy-sur-Loire to Sully-sur-Loire – 57 km
Departure at 9:30am after a refreshing night’s sleep. We started out on a small earth track before joining the Loire cycle path. That day, the first play area we found was in Châtillon-sur-Loire. But then bang went our luck: the third puncture in 3 days, not bad going! We then crossed the Briare canal-bridge, an impressive 130-year-old structure that allows boats to cross on a bridge… What a crazy idea!
We carried on for a good ten or so kilometres before finding a bakery for a bite to eat in the beautiful town of Gien. After 57 km of cycling, we arrived in Sully-sur-Loire in the middle of the afternoon. We quickly dropped off our things at the hotel and left to visit our first château. The children were enchanted. Maelous, despite being very tired, walked the whole time.
Day 4: From Sully sur Loire to Orléans- 52 km
It was tough getting back on the bike that morning. It was cold and the sun was hidden behind the clouds. We hadn’t had a great night’s sleep. Thankfully, we’d had a good breakfast. We soon arrived at the Abbey of Fleury in Saint-Benoît sur Loire. This beautiful building soon made us forget the bad weather. We dressed the boys for the cold, with two pairs of trousers and jumpers each, and set off again towards Orléans. We arrived in Châteauneuf-sur-Loire at the stroke of midday.
We lost a bit of time entering the city because of construction works. Two other cyclists helped us cross some bushes to reach the road. After a good hot meal, we cycled on energetically to Orléans, where we settled into our little apartment. The next day was to be a day without cycling. We would be exchanging the bike for our trainers to explore the city.
Day 6: From Orléans to Beaugency – 32 km
Time to set off again! The morning saw us back in the saddle and heading off in the direction of Beaugency. We took our time as the stage was fairly short that day. We passed a play area that was definitely worth stopping at, with slides, a wooden post course and a giant swing. The children were delighted.
A few kilometres further on, we stopped for a picnic in Meung-sur-Loire, a pretty little town on the edge of the Loire with its château and a playground waiting for us. We only had 8 km left to do in the afternoon to finish the stage. It didn’t take us long to arrive, despite chain issues. We had coffee and visited the church while waiting for the hotel reception to open.
At 3:30pm, we entered our accommodation in the small, welcoming hotel. We were pleasantly surprised for once: the room was spacious and opened onto a little garden… After a few minutes of rest in the sun, we set off for a walk. Beaugency is a pretty little medieval town that is nice to wander round.
We visited a digital art gallery in the château. The children liked it a lot and added another dimension to the works by dancing wildly! Their favourite work (mine too for that matter) was of course the “château dans le château”, a bouncy castle for playing and jumping on!
Day 7: From Beaugency to Blois – 48 km
Our destinations for the day were the Château of Chambord and then Blois. We quickly travelled the 25/30 km that separated us from the famous Château of Chambord, alternating between shared roads and cycle paths. Upon arrival, when we finally spotted the sumptuous château, we were a little disappointed because it was undergoing renovation works and the scaffolding spoilt the view somewhat!
We couldn’t get the superb postcard photo with our mount and the château in the background. Once there, it took us a while to find the bike stands, but after searching a bit we parked the bike and set off to discover the famous monument. We visited it fairly quickly with the boys.
After a good 2 hours of visit, we set off again towards Blois. A surprise awaited us when we arrived in the city: there was a steep hill to climb to reach our hotel! It was the last big effort of the day to take our mount and its heavy load of children to the top!
After a well-earned rest, we set off along the cobbled streets to explore the pretty little city of Blois.
Day 8: From Blois to Amboise – 47 km
After loading our luggage, we set off towards Amboise. The morning was chilly, grey and rainy, but at about 11 o’clock the sun broke through and blue sky appeared. The city of Amboise is very pretty, overlooked by its Royal Château. Our accommodation was on Ile d’Or. We met our very friendly host. We dropped off the panniers and set off for a bite to eat in the city.
After enjoying waffles, crepes, ice cream and coffee, we went to visit the Château of Le Clos-Lucé, the last residence of Leonardo da Vinci, which made for a unique and very informative visit that we enjoyed as much as the children.
Day 9: From Amboise to Tours – 30 km
We spent the morning cycling to Tours. The cycle path was very pleasant and allowed us to make good progress.
Day 10: Tours – Chenonceau – 0 km of cycling (train trip)
In the morning, we woke to the hustle and bustle of the city. We took the train to visit the Château of Chenonceau, the most-visited château in the Loire Valley. There’s no doubt that the monument’s one-of-a-kind character is worth seeing (a château-bridge castle over the river… What an idea!).
The interior is nice. We discovered the latest 15th-century trends in bedding and decoration and the traditional tapestry and painted portraits.
The weather was rather gloomy so we didn’t spend much time in the gardens, but we did enjoy exploring the maze and meeting Thumper the rabbit, then discovering the 18th-century carriages. After a picnic, we took the train back to Tours. What a joy to ride in these giant moving carriages! The children had a great time, between the folding seats, the announcements of arrivals at the stations and the cars we overtook… Trains really are extraordinary things!
In the afternoon, after an unsuccessful attempt at a nap, we left to wander round the city of Tours. The city has pretty squares surrounded by old half-timbered houses that are well worth seeing. Thus ended our day out of the saddle but active nonetheless!
Day 11: From Tours to Chinon – 58 km
We had a big day ahead of us that day. After leaving our beloved Tours apartment and enjoying a good breakfast at the nearby bakery, we travelled on in the direction of Chinon.
Along the way we stopped briefly at Sleeping Beauty’s Château (Rigny-Ussé) before heading off again. 58 km separated us from our destination… We travelled the distance fairly quickly and arrived at 3:30pm.
After dropping off our belongings at Hôtel Rive Sud, we set off to explore the old city of Chinon and its fabulous Royal Fortress. The visit to the fortress was enjoyable and very interesting. Instead of the usual collections of tapestries etc., there was a fun, interactive visit that appeals to all ages.
We enjoyed the sun, climbed to the top of the turrets and discovered a secret passage in the dungeon. We learned a bit about the fortress, which was held by the English for a long time during the Hundred Years War. We returned to the hotel quite tired at the end of the day but delighted with the experience. After a lovely Reunionese meal, it was straight to bed!
Day 12: From Chinon to Saumur – 34 km
A gentle day of cycling with a break at midday in Montsoreau. We settled into our little Airbnb house near the docks.
Day 14: From Saumur to Angers – 58 km
N and M were grumpy for our last day of cycling, but we were lucky as it is a sunny day. We travelled quickly, alternating between roads and paths along the Loire. To eat, we stopped in a pretty village: Le Thoureil. We returned to the bike to head to Angers. On the way, we took the hand-pulled ferry across the river Authion for a little adventure of the day.
After sore legs, we now had sore arms! The last few kilometres to the flat were hard. The end of the day was fairly quiet. We toured the streets of Angers to stretch our legs, tire the boys out and of course see one last château.
We really enjoyed our cycling trip, feeling the wind in our hair, breathing in fresh air, cycling every day to discover a new place, spending time with the boys, sharing the adventure with them and seeing the stars in their eyes.
See our adventures on our Instagram profile.