Wonderful cycling getaways for a great weekend

With the A10, A28 and A85, Touraine is regularly seen as a motorway intersection. Along with the TGV high-speed train station, this means it can easily welcome holidaymakers coming to visit the Loire Valley châteaux. But for the past few years, our ‘département’ has also become a crossroads for cyclo-tourism, with the La Loire à Vélo, Indre à Vélo and Le Cher à Vélo cycling trails. Providing even more opportunities for short pedalling breaks.

Local cycle hire specialists have a wide range of bicycles, including traditional bikes, power-assisted bikes and children’s trailers.

We’ve put together the four suggestions below to give you a few ideas for short cycling breaks. Naturally they can be adapted as you wish, based on the four major routes and the fifty or so cycling loops that thread their way through Touraine.

Short Break No.1: Amboise => Tours (25 kilometres)

After you’ve visited one of the three great castles of Amboise, another great tourist classic awaits: the La Loire à Vélo cycle route!  Heading out west, you cycle towards Tours and its half-timbered houses, passing through the Montlouis-sur-Loire vineyards.

A few ‘Accueil Vélo’ (Cyclists Welcome) establishments:

The People Hostel - Tours

The People Hostel - Tours

A short cycling break starting from Amboise

A short cycling break starting from Amboise

Short Cycling Break No.2: Langeais => Chinon (28 km)

Although the marriage of Anne of Brittany to Charles VIII (synonymous with the annexation of Brittany to the kingdom of France) made the Château de Langeais famous, many more chapters in French history are revealed during the tour. Next it’s time to hit the road, once again on the La Loire à Vélo cycle route. The Château d’Ussé is a great place to stop before reaching the Royal Fortress of Chinon.

Useful information:

The grounds at Château de Langeais

The grounds at Château de Langeais

Halfway along the cycle route: the Château d'Ussé

Halfway along the cycle route: the Château d'Ussé

The Chinon 'guinguette', an open-air café opposite the fortress.

The Chinon 'guinguette', an open-air café opposite the fortress.

Short Break No.3: Tours => Château de Chenonceau (35 kilometres)

From the capital of Touraine, following the Le Cher à Vélo (or the “Cœur de France Val de cher – Canal de Berry”, to be more precise), you’ll come to the wonderful Château des Dames or Ladies’ Castle, as well as Canoë Company and La Bélandre for a trip down the river! If you want to mix things up a bit, you can pass through Amboise on your return journey, for a 10 kilometre long cut.

A few establishments around Chenonceaux for this short break: the Auberge du Bon Laboureur, the Le Relais Chenonceaux hotel, the Clair Cottage hotel (Chisseaux), the La Gâtine campsite (Bléré) and the Yourte and Spa campsite.

One of the four short cycling breaks, along the Cher river. Loire Valley by bike, in France.

A well-deserved rest near one of the needle dams on the River Cher.

Short Cycling Break No.4: Azay-le-Rideau => Loches (56 kilometres).

Many photographers play with the reflections of the River Indre, taking away with them beautiful pictures of the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau and the Château de l’Islette. As with the Loire and the Cher, this river can also be discovered by bike, via the Indre à Vélo cycle route. But Loches is a fair distance away. So a few stops along the way will do you the world of good. A few Cormery macaroons should give you the energy you need to reach the lovely Royal City of Loches.

A few establishments for this short break:

The Royal City of Loches keep

The Royal City of Loches keep

Short break at the La Citadelle campsite

Short break at the La Citadelle campsite

Sunbathing between the Royal Residence and the Saint-Ours collegiate church - Loches

Sunbathing between the Royal Residence and the Saint-Ours collegiate church - Loches

To find out more

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In the Cave de la Sibylle…

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