Cycling Loire Valley: the Loire by bike trail

The great châteaux in Amboise, the Montlouis-sur-Loire vineyards, the pretty town of Tours, the chateau and gardens of Villandry, the castles of Langeais and Azay-le-Rideau, the royal fortress of Chinon… when you are preparing your cycling holidays in France along the Loire by bike trail (“The Loire à vélo”), don’t forget, along with the distances to ride, to set aside time for sightseeing.

The Loire by bike, a unique route

In France, the Loire by bike trail was the first marked and safe cycle route. The project was initiated in 1995 by the Centre Val de Loire and Pays de la Loire regions to form the western section of Eurovélo 6. This major route thus runs alongside three major European rivers (the Loire, the Rhine and the Danube), crossing France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, the Servie, Bulgaria and Romania.

From the foothills of the Massif Central to the beaches of the Atlantic, the Loire by bike follows the banks of Europe’s last great wild river. Over almost 900 km, an exceptional diversity of landscapes is on offer to lovers of nature and heritage.

Loire by bike in Candes-Saint-Martin - Cycling France on the Loire à vélo trail. La Loire à Vélo, Eurovélo 6 - Anjou (Saumur, Angers...), Loir-et-Cher (Blois...). Pers. This stage of La Loire à Vélo on the road from Candes-Saint-Martin to Saumur offers a rich journey for the whole family, alternating between prolific vineyards, castles and troglodyte sites in the heart of France. Come to the Loire Valley between Orélans (Loiret), Blois (Loir-et-Cher), Saumur (Maine-et-Loire) and Nantes (Loire Atlantique) and discover the Loire Valley castles such as Villandry castle, Azay-le-Rideau castle, Ussé castle or the royal fortress of Chinon, Chambord, and discover the vineyards of the Loire Valley to taste Chinon wine and Saumur wine. Ideal for a day trip or a family stay in hotel rooms between Blois, Angers (Anjou) and the banks of Saumur (Anjou), this cycling itinerary in Candes-Saint-Martin (Indre-et-Loire - France) will make you discover the most beautiful heritage castles in France. (Duration for 4 people: 1h12min - level: easy). Discover the beauties of the Loire Valley in France by following the itinerary of the Loire by bike from the town of Candes-Saint-Martin to the town of Saumur (near Angers in Anjou). Between the Loire Valley and the banks of the Vienne Valley, the Loire by Bike itinerary is ideal for a day trip or a family holiday as the route passes over bridges and small country roads to the most famous Loire castles in France. Take a trip to discover the banks of the Loire Valley by bike, a day that will take us on the road from Avoine to Saumur via Candes-Saint-Martin (Indre-et-Loire, France). The stage begins with a 26 kilometre cycle route (duration for 4 people: 2h30min - easy level) from the town of Avoine in the Indre-et-Loire region of France, which will take cyclotourists to Saumur (in the Anjou region of France), passing through the village of Candes-Saint-Martin, then Montsoreau and its Loire castle and Saumur. This cycling route is ideal for a family day trip to visit the country of France, taking advantage of the May bank holiday to stay in a hotel and book several hotel rooms (pers) before taking the train back to Saumur castle and its cycling route. The bike route passing by the castle of Angers (Anjou - France) is accessible for a family of 4 people (duration: 2h - intermediate level) to make a stop on the bridge of the right bank of the Loire valley near the saint of Saumur (Anjou - France).

The Loire by bike in Candes-Saint-Martin

In Touraine, to be precise, cycling along the Loire River itinerary takes you to the heart of the Val de Loire and its great châteaux, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For just under 100 km, your knurls will take you to the ramparts of Amboise, the lively heart of the city of Tours, the entrance to the gardens of Villandry or the walls of the royal fortress of Chinon.

The castles of Langeais and Ussé are also on your route, as is the Aquarium of Touraine. And that’s not all! Antennas allow you to deviate from the main route, to reach the castles of Chenonceau and Azay-le-Rideau, The Rétro Mecanic City Maurice Dufresne, the Haute Couture gardens, the Royal City of Loches, but also to catch up with other major routes such as the Indre by bike, Cœur de France by bike (Val de Cher – Canal de Berry) or even the Camino de Santiago by bike. Note also that in Chinon, a greenway leads to the “ideal city” of Richelieu, via the fairy-tale gardens of the Château du Rivau.

In addition to the castles, the Loire by bike itinerary will also take you through several vineyards. It’s up to you to improvise a tasting break in the tourist cellars of Amboise, Montlouis, Azay-le-Rideau, Chinon or Bourgueil!

Cycling the Loire by bike trail, in Amboise - Loire Valley, France.

Cycling the Loire by bike trail, in Amboise - Loire Valley, France.

Tours: unvoidable stage of the Loire by bike with the Plumereau square

Tours: unvoidable stage of the Loire by bike with the Plumereau square

The gardens of Villandry

The gardens of Villandry

An easy cycling route, even with children!

With its flat, safe, well-marked route and numerous facilities, the Loire by bike itinerary is accessible to all. From the age of 7 or 8, experience is possible, with stages of 20 to 30 kilometres per day. Of course, the little ones can also make the journey, using a cargo bike or a suitable trailer. This makes it possible to combine a visit to the châteaux of the Loire Valley with the adventure of a family cycling tour. A very fun way to visit France and its wonderful heritage!

To get to your starting point, or to get back to it (if, for example, you need to pick up your vehicle / practical: link to the parking areas in Tours), rail links pass through the stations of Orléans, Blois, Amboise, Tours, Chinon, Saumur, Angers and Nantes. During the summer, the Train Vélo Loire operation even allows you to take your bike on board free of charge: they have specially equipped carriages. Given the success of this event, please make sure to book!

For accommodation, there are campsites, hotels and guest houses all along the Loire by bike route. Many of them have the “Loire à Vélo” label, which means they propose good services, adapted to cycling visitors, like luggage transfer (Bagafrance…).

Practical tips to cycling Loire Valley:

Map of the Loire by bike route

Cycling Loire Valley, and tour the Loire Valley Chateaux, not far from Paris. French cycle holiday, a trip with beautiful view.

The Loire by bike route around the city of Tours

Download a pdf of the “Loire by bike” route to cycle in Touraine:









Cycling Loire Valley: dynamic map

Distances for the Loire by bike route

To prepare your stages each day, book your hotel for the night, and spot your Loire Valley chateaux visits, count on an average of 15 km/hour (around 9 miles/hour) and make your calculations using the distance table below.

Orléans Blois Amboise Tours Langeais Saumur
Orléans 65 km 103 km 130 km 159 km 209 km
Blois 65 km 38 km 65 km 94 km 144 km
Amboise 103 km 38 km 27 km 56 km 106 km
Tours 130 km 65 km 27 km 29 km 79 km
Langeais 159 km 94 km 56 km 29 km 50 km
Saumur 209 km 144 km 106 km 79 km 50 km

Cycling Loire Valley – Logistics

To get to the starting point of your route, or to come back again (for instance, if you have to pick up your car), connecting train services run to the stations of Blois, Amboise, Tours, Chinon, or Saumur. In summer, the Train Vélo Loire operation even lets you take your bike on some trains (with specially designed carriages) running between Orléans and Nantes.

Also in summer, you can add some variety by crossing the River Loire free of charge by boat near Chapelle-sur-Loire (on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays in July and August). The crossing, run by the boatmen of Les Vents d’Galerne, will open up the way to the Bourgueil wine region, where there are several cycling trails: Au gré de la Loire & Grands Crus et Belles Demeures. On the french website, you can find the different circuits and routes criss-crossing the Loire à Vélo trail.

The Loire by bike… all inclusive!

If you are planning a cycling holiday for the first time, with accommodation to be found for each stage, it is certainly easier to go through one of the agencies specialising in organised trips. Below are some agencies and examples of all-inclusive “Loire by bike” trips:

  • RandoVélo. In the heart of the greatest castles of the Loire Valley. 3 days, 2 nights, from 310€ TTC. 40 to 50 km per day. Blois, Chambord, Cheverny, Chaumont-sur-Loire, Amboise, Chenonceaux.
  • Abicyclette Voyages. Loop on the Loire, the Cher and the Indre by bike. 7 days and 6 nights, from 755€ TTC. Between 22 and 41 km per day. Passage through Tours, Amboise, Chenonceaux, Loches, Montbazon, Azay-le-Rideau, Langeais.
  • The Vélo Voyageur. The Loire by Bike between Tours and Saumur (canoe + bike). 4 days, 3 nights, from 459€ TTC. Between 21 and 35 km per day. Passage through Tours, Villandry, Azay-le-Rideau, Ussé, Chinon, Montsoreau (if canoe option) or Fontevraud (if bike option), and Saumur.
  • Evazio. The castles of the Loire Valley by bike from Blois to Saumur. 7 days, 6 nights, from 765€ TTC. Between 36 and 57 km per day. Passage through Blois, Cheverny, Amboise, Chenonceaux, Tours, Villandry, Azay-le-Rideau, Ussé, Chinon and Saumur.
  • Safrantours. The Loire by bike from Amboise to Saumur. 7 days, 6 nights, from 1 170€ TTC. Between 24 and 39 km per day. Passage through Amboise, Chaumont-sur-Loire, Tours, Villandry, Langeais, Azay-le-Rideau, Ussé, Chinon, Candes-Saint-Martin and Saumur.
  • La bicyclette verte. The Loire by bike, from Orléans to Tours. 5 days, 4 nights, from 569€ TTC. Between 25 and 65 km per day. Passage through Orléans, Beaugency, Blois, Amboise, and Tours.

More information on the Loire by bike route

Taking you beyond Touraine, on the general website you can see the entire route from Cuffy (in the department of Cher) to Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique), including the chateau of Chambord, the chateau of Blois, the royal chateau of Amboise, Tours and Chinon.

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