Castles of the Loire by canoe and bicycle

The best of canoeing and cycling in the Loire Valley

Highlights

The Cher by canoe passing under the arches of Chenonceau
The Loire by canoe between Amboise and Tours
The Loire by Bike between Blois and Tours
The Cher by Bike between Tours and Chenonceaux
The castles of Chambord, Cheverny, Le Clos Lucé, Chaumont

The story behind the trip

Be it on a bike or canoe, we share with Canoë Company the same passion for the Loire Valley. A passion for adventure, nature, history. It was at Canoë Company that we rented our first canoes to change our point of view on the banks of the river and its tributaries. We clicked, we share the same values. Since then, we wanted to offer you the best of our services in a single bike and canoe adventure: the discovery of the golden triangle between Tours, Chenonceaux and Chambord.

We had to wait for the new cycle route between Tours and Chenonceaux for this canoe and bike trip to see the light of day. The Canoë Company agency offers genuine Canadian canoes for original outings such as the descent of the Cher passing under the Château de Chenonceau which spans across the river.

Live a unique canoe and bike experience on the Cher and the Loire

This loop trip from Tours, takes you to discover the Loire and the Cher, by bike and canoe. Enjoy cycling through the country of castles to discover Chambord, Cheverny and Chaumont sur Loire.

The most beautiful outing on the water in the region is undoubtedly the canoe ride under the castle of Chenonceau. This little canoe trip on the Cher is a 2 hour descent on Canadian canoes. It’s an unforgettable moment. As you go canoeing down the Cher, you will discover the generous nature of this river, its calm, its needle dams and of course the Château de Chenonceau. The second canoe descent of this trip takes you on the Loire from Amboise to Rochecorbon, near Tours. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Loire Valley is majestic. By sailing on the river, you appreciate its scale.

You ride on the best cycling routes in the region. From Tours to Chenonceaux, the new Cher by Bike cycling route allows you to ride along the river in complete safety. You then cross Sologne to discover the country of castles by bike. A network of cycle routes and greenways allows you to easily and pleasantly reach the Château de Cheverny, made famous by Hergé, its architecture serving as a reference for the Château de Moulinsart in the adventures of Tintin.

You then cross the park of Chambord to discover the famous castle of François I. It is on the Loire by Bike route that your stay continues towards Blois and Amboise, the city of Leonardo da Vinci. You come across a number of great men that have made History and who have left their traces here forever. Your wheels follow their steps to appreciate, as they did, the warm and delicious atmosphere of the place.

Carte séjour : Les châteaux de la Loire en canoë et à vélo
Niveau EasyEasy or Niveau LeisureLeisure
Day 1

TOURS

Arrival on your own and check in to your hotel. Orientation with our guide today. Take the time to visit the cathedral or the “guinguette”, a bar on the bank of the river with a lively atmosphere.

Meeting with our local guide

Before your first ride, meet our local guide at your departure point. This is the perfect time to catch up on the latest practical advice, find out about the addresses and experiences you shouldn’t miss, answer any questions you may have, make the final adjustments to your bike and get your trip off to the best possible start.

Day 2

From TOURS to CHENONCEAUX 35km 96m Niveau Facile

Leaving from the city center of Tours, you take a cycle path that you don’t leave until Chenonceaux! On the banks of the Cher, this route finalized in 2020 is comfortable, peaceful and flat. You cross a few small villages like Azay sur cher. You discover the needle dams and the Cher locks. A few kilometers before Chenonceaux, you are at the Canoe Company base camp.

After your canoe ride, still on the edge of the Cher, you reach the village of Chenonceaux. When you arrive in Chenonceaux, take the time to visit its famous castle (of the same name without the X) built in 1513, one of the most beautiful in the Loire Valley.

When you arrive at the Canoe Company base camp, you change your bikes for superb Canadian canoes. You can choose from 2 to 6 people per canoe! A shuttle takes you to the start of your ride which lasts approximately 2 hours. Before your departure, take the time to discover the lock with its needle dam. These dams allow navigation in summer and bear witness to the channeled Cher. The Cher is a calm and bucolic river. Your canoe trip lasts about 1 hour. You reach the Château de Chenonceau by the river and pass under the arches. It’s an unforgettable moment to see this superb castle reflected on the water while sailing in a canoe. Return to the Canoe Company base camp, and enjoy a short break at the bistrot quai bar under the shade of a weeping willow tree on the banks of the Cher.

Day 3

From CHENONCEAUX to CHEVERNY 49km 230m Niveau Loisir

You leave Chenonceaux on a peaceful route along the Cher to Montrichard. You enjoy its town center and its old half-timbered houses. You continue your journey towards Bourré where you have the possibility of visiting a mushroom farm or taking a wine tour in an old tufeau (limestone) quarry.

You then enter Sologne, enjoy the beautiful roads through the forest and discover castles such as Fougères and Troussay to end your day in Cheverny.

Day 4

From CHEVERNY to BLOIS 20km 52m Niveau Facile

From the Château de Cheverny, which inspired Hergé and which will remind the most passionate of the famous Tintin comics, the Château de Moulinsart you take the road to Blois. Direction the forest of Russy. At the heart of it you will be surprised by the sudden appearance of the Château de Beauregard!

  • For a few more km 45km 165m Niveau Loisir

    On the long version, you start in direction of Chambord which you cross by bicycle on one of the routes of the country of castles by bike. Chambord reflects François’ desire to create a work that reflects his power. An architectural masterpiece in every respect, Chambord is the most emblematic castle in the Loire Valley. You will once again follow a marked and easy route to end your day in Blois.

Day 5

From BLOIS to AMBOISE 44km 175m Niveau Loisir

You ride along a river of a quiet strength with a relaxing effect. It shows the way to go. You first stop in Chaumont sur Loire for its fifteenth century castle and gardens. Every year, the gardens of Chaumont sur Loire are renewed and propose a new theme. A must visit of the region, you can also stay for a very nice lunch break. You discover more and more vines to Amboise. You enter the vineyards of Touraine and, on the banks of the Loire, you can see the first cellars and troglodyte houses.

Day 6

From AMBOISE to TOURS 13km 105m Niveau Facile

From Amboise, you change your bikes for canoes for a ride on the Loire. You navigate on a majestic river and discover its fauna. After your canoe trip (about 2h30 – 14km), you are in Vouvray, you find your bikes to cover the 13 kilometers you have left to reach Tours.

From Amboise to Vouvray by canoe

Departing from Amboise, you embark on one of the most beautiful sections of the Loire in Touraine for a duration of 2.5 hours (14 km). Navigating the Loire gives you a feeling of freedom and space. You discover many islands, sand, and an omnipresent nature. You arrive at the canoe base, a few kilometers before Vouvray and its vineyard that you begin to see on the heights.

Day 7

TOURS

End of stay after breakfast.

You make the most of your morning in Tours to visit the CCCOD contemporary art creation center or the museum of Compagnonnage. Or simply relax at the guinguette de Tours, a bar on the banks of the Loire, a popular place for Tourangeaux. Finally, make a small detour to the Halles market or the flower market on Boulevard Béranger.

 

Essential Range

You want to enjoy your itinerary without anything fancy. Our ”essential” range offers a simple accommodation for a good night’s rest in a simple hotel, guesthouse, rest house or hostel.

Accommodation example
Hôtel Saint Hubert - Cour-Cheverny Hôtel-Louise-de-Savoie

Starting from 840€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Comfort Range

Our quality standard at Abicyclette. This type of accommodation includes 2 and 3 stars hotels. Depending on the itinerary, you might spend some nights in approved guesthouses. You enjoy a double bedroom with private bathroom and toilet and adapted welcome for you and your bikes.

Accommodation example
façade Hôtel restaurant La Roseraie Hôtel Saint Hubert - Cour-Cheverny Hotel Anne de Bretagne

Starting from 920€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Privilege Range

Opt for total comfort in charming 3 and 4 star hotels which offer all the services you need and a special welcome for you and your bikes.

Accommodation example
façade Hôtel restaurant La Roseraie Façade RELAIS DES TROIS CHÄTEAUX - CHEVERNY

Starting from 1215€/participant in Self Guided option | See detailed prices

Price includes

  • Accommodation: 6 nights in a Double room
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 1 dinner
  • Luggage transfer
  • Phone assistance 24/7
  • Access to our exclusive travel application to follow your route, inform you about places of interest, restaurants, facilitate your assistance in case of emergency, find all your travel documents and our practical advice.
  • Application fee
  • Canoe hire and shuttle service for the Chissay – Civray canoe trip under Chenonceau
  • Canoe hire and bike transfer for the Amboise – Rochecorbon canoe trip (near Tours)
  • Tourist taxes
  • Itineraries described on the following documents:
    • The loan of a hiking GPS
    • A practical, descriptive route book with all our recommended addresses
  • Additional services included:
    • Day 1 : A personalized greeting with our team at the beginning of the trip to receive your travel documents
    • Day 2 : Canoë Company - Canoe trip to Chenonceau castle
    • Day 6 : Tours & Canoë - From Amboise to Vouvray by canoe.
  • Price does not include

    • bike rental (see option)
    • Breakfast on day 1
    • Lunches
    • Dinners not included in "Price includes"

    Homemade and fully tested itineraries
    • Routes selected for their cycling and touristic interest entirely tested and away from traffic
    • Accomodations selected for their hospitality, atmosphere, services and quality meals
    • A flexible organisation to suit you needs and wishes: You choose the date you want to you leave on! We check the availability of each accomodation to make sure it is possible.

    Close assistance
    • One of our guides greets you on your first day. He will hand out all the needed documents for the trip (hotel vouchers, maps of the area,GPS, practical guide), get you settled on your bikes (for rental bikes).
    • Phone assistance, you can reach the Abicyclette team whenever you need
    • A Luggage transfer service which respects your hours of rest (we pick them up after 10:00 and deliver them before 16:00)

    Follow your itinerary anyway you like – modern, practical, traditional

    appareil GPS TwoNav Cross

    • We loan you a GPS so that you can easily follow your itinerary without having to look for your way around (bike support included)
    • A practical cycling guide with all the useful information (addresses, highlights for the day, topo maps, and touristic information)

     


    You can also

     

    On our guided tours (for groups on demand), we accompany you every step of the way
    • One of our state qualified instructor and professional cycling guide accompanies you every step of the way
    • Full board (all meals covered unless asked otherwise)
    • A picnic buffet set up for lunch with a wide choice of fresh and local produce

    We offer a high-end bike rental service. Our bikes are suited for road and gravel road long-distance cycling. Fully equipped and highly reliable, they are faithful travel companions.


    Trekking bike

    A layed out and dynamic position

    Mixed aluminum frame, telescopic fork. Straight handlebars. Disc brakes. Transmission Shimano 24 to 30 speeds.

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 back bag 20L (waterproof)
    • 1 front bag 4L with plastic map holder (waterproof)
    • 1 lock
    • 1 repair kit (patches, tube, tire lever)
    • 1 multi tools box
    • 1 pump
    • 1 bike computer
    • 1 bike water bottle
    Vélo Abicyclette Voyages

    Touring bike

    An upright and easy going position

    Mixed aluminum frame, telescopic fork. Straight handlebars. Disc brakes. Transmission Shimano 24 to 30 speeds.

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 back bag 20L (waterproof)
    • 1 front bag 4L with plastic map holder (waterproof)
    • 1 lock
    • 1 repair kit (patches, tube, tire lever)
    • 1 multi tools box
    • 1 pump
    • 1 bike computer
    • 1 bike water bottle
    Vélo Rando Abicyclette Voyages

    Ebike

    With an autonomy of almost 120km, cycling has never been so easy!

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 back bag 20L (waterproof)
    • 1 front bag 4L with plastic map holder (waterproof)
    • 1 lock
    • 1 repair kit (patches, tube, tire lever)
    • 1 multi tools box
    • 1 pump
    • 1 bike computer
    • 1 bike water bottle
    EBIKE VELO DE VILLE

    Children Bike

    Recommended bike size (to be confirmed when booking) :

    • 16 inches from 105cm to 120cm (or 6 to 7 years old)
    • 20 inches from 120cm to 135cm (or 7 to 10 years old)
    • 24 inches from 135cm to 145cm (or 10 to 12 years old)
    • SPORT XS bike (adult frame) from 145cm to 155cm (from age 10)

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet
    • 1 inner tube
    • 1 bike water bottle
    Vélo enfant 24 pouces pour vacances à vélo

    Bike trailer

    Thule Chariot Cross 2
    Children’s trailers can only be rented for installation on one of our bikes.
    We do not provide this service on any other bike. There is too much risk of incompatibility and breakage.
    Por one or 2 children.
    Max child trailer load: 45kg.

    Supplied equipment per bike

    • 1 helmet (or 2 if 2 kids)
    • 1 inner tube
    • 1 bike water bottle (or 2)
    • Accessories on request: baby hammock. A padded hammock that supports baby’s sides and offers maximum stability (1 to 10 months). Use only the newborn hammock for walking.

    Getting here

    Departure city : TOURS

    Coming by car

    • at 2h30 from PARIS
    • at 3h30 from BORDEAUX
    • at 4h30 from LYON

    Parking*

    • Interparking Palais Jaurès – TOURS
    • Parking Champ Girault – TOURS
    • Parking Vinci Gare – TOURS

    Coming by train

    • Tours train station - 1h30 from Paris
    • Saint Pierre des Corps train station - 1h from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Tours airport

    Arrival city : TOURS

    Coming by car

    • at 2h30 from PARIS
    • at 3h30 from BORDEAUX
    • at 4h30 from LYON

    Coming by train

    • Tours train station - 1h30 from Paris
    • Saint Pierre des Corps train station - 1h from Paris

    Coming by plane

    • Tours airport

    *Parking: Since many of our clients travel by train or plane, we do not include parking in our packages. In addition, many accommodations don’t have the capacity to park a vehicle for the duration of your cycling vacation. So if you’re planning to arrive by car, we suggest you check parking options when you make your reservation. If you reserve a parking space at the first or last accommodation of your stay, you must pay the accommodation provider on site.

    * Abicyclette Voyages accompanies you on demand, including transportation solutions.

    Recommended equipment

    Bike

    • All-Terrain Bike (ATB) or Touring Bike or Gravel Bike
    • 18 to 30-speed transmission
    • 26- to 29-inch wheels
    • Tires: 35 to 42 section, reinforced against punctures
    • Disc brakes recommended
    • 2 bottle cages
    • Bell
    • Front and rear lighting

    Clothing and equipment

    • Helmet (supplied with bike rental unless otherwise specified locally)
    • 1 bike mount for smartphone to use the mobile route planner application
    • Suitable cycling clothing:
      • bib, shorts or tights: elastic and breathable, to facilitate movement and wick away perspiration
      • Breathable T-shirts, synthetic or merino wool
      • Breathable windbreaker
    • Thermal or fleece jacket
    • Waterproof jacket
    • 1 pair of sunglasses
    • 1 pair of cycling shoes
    • 1 backpack or 1 or 2 carrier bags
    • 1 or 2 water bottles (supplied with bike rental in France)
    • 1 lock (supplied with bike rental)
    • Technical details, recommended by the team for optimum comfort:
      • 1 pair of gloves or mittens, depending on season and destination
      • Padded bib (chamois)
      • High-visibility vest or fluorescent belt
      • Neck warmer and cap

    Bike maintenance

    • Emergency repair kit: 2 or 3 inner tubes, patches, pump, tire levers, multi-tools
    • Maintenance kit: rag, oil, brake pads

    Other

    • A suitcase for your belongings carried in the vehicle (limited to one per person)
    • Street clothes
    • 1 pair of evening shoes
    • Fleece jacket for the evening
    • Toiletry bag
    • Telephone and charger

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