The Loire is a wild and beautiful river.
Its cycling route covers 900km!
A superb route along its banks and around the castles. It is one of the most beautiful cycling routes in France, and in the world.
Here are all our tips to make the most of the Loire Valley by bike.
6 planning tips
1. Starting point of the Loire à vélo (Loire Valley by bike)
Depending on the section you want to cycle in, the main stations to arrive at are :
- Nantes (2h by TGV from Paris or via the airport)
- Angers (1h30 by TGV from Paris)
- Tours (1h15 by TGV from Paris)
- Blois (1h30 by regional train from Paris)
- Orléans (1h15 by regional train from Paris)
- Nevers (2h by regional train from Paris)
2. When to cycle
The landscapes are beautiful all year round.
However, the weather is more suitable for cycling between April and October.
In July and August, the bicycle paths are much more crowded, especially around the most beautiful castles of the Loire.
June and September are our favorite months.
But if you don't mind lower temperatures, in October, the autumn landscapes are worth a visit.
3. How long to leave
There are plenty of beautiful sections, so it's easy to go for just a few days or several weeks.
The main sections are up the river:
- The Loire estuary : 95km
- Nantes to Angers : 105km
- Angers to Saumur : 65km
- Saumur to Tours : 100km
- Tours to Blois : 78km
- Blois to Orleans : 73km
- Orleans to Nevers : 230k
To really enjoy the trip, we recommend a minimum of 5 days.
And to make the whole trip: if we plan 40km per day, with 900km of tracks it represents 22 days. But that's without counting all the detours to see the castles!
4. Find your way from the beginning : Map of the Loire à Vélo -
5. How many routes to plan each day
It depends on your level, the presence of children and how many castles you want to visit.
For beginners, it is recommended not to exceed 40km per day.
But if you want to visit and enjoy a lot, we recommend 25 to 35km per day.
6. Anticipate the booking of accommodation
There is a good choice of hotels and accommodations along the Loire by bike route. Some have the label "Accueil Vélo". But the Loire castles are very popular and the best hotels fill up quickly.
So remember to book early.
See our favorite accommodations along the Loire by bike (coming soon).
Cycling in the Loire Valley: the best sections
The 18-stage Loire Valley cycling route.
Our favorites for the moment are :
- From Blois to Amboise with Chamont-sur-Loire and the detour of Chenonceaux
- The hillsides of Sancerre
- Saumur to Tour with the confluence of the Vienne at Candes-St-Martin
Which castles not to miss
- The Castle of Chenonceau (detour)
- The Castle of Sully-sur-Loire
- The Rivau castle (detour)
- The castle of Chaumont-sur-Loire
- The Villandry castle and its gardens (detour)
DON'T MISS THE BEST CASTLES IN the Loire Valley
- the most beautiful castles of the Loire Valley - discover
- the most beautiful gardens (to come)
- the châteaux of the Loire Valley where to stay (5 unforgettable hotels) -discover
- the best Loire Valley castles to do with your family (coming soon)
- itineraries: 3 days
- or our list with more than 100 castles of the Loire Valley - discover
A very well organized itinerary
The article will be completed soon.
Tips for discovering the Loire by bike with your family