Walking & Cycling Holidays in the Loire Valley
The Loire, France’s longest river, glides peacefully between the grand chateaux and vineyards that line its banks. This is the historic heart of France, its Valley of the Kings. There are so many chateaux and historic sites to visit, so many wines and fine meals to enjoy, that, of necessity, the pace of our walks and rides is leisurely, like the gentle undulating terrain that is as easy on the legs as on the eyes. The novelist Balzac said he loved Touraine as an artist loves art, and we are sure that you’ll adore it too.
Self-Guided Walking Holidays in the Loire Valley
The route of our self-guided walking holiday in the Loire Valley takes in the chateau at Amboise, where Leonardo da Vinci spent his twilight years, Chenonceau where the castle spans the River Cher, and Azay le Rideau, so delicate it was surely not built for war. At Fontevraud Abbey you can visit the tomb of Richard the Lionheart. On the way is the fortress of Chinon and the medieval town beneath it. As a break from visiting Chateaux you can pass troglodyte caves, explore the vineyards and taste the wines of Touraine, Chinon and Saumur or visit the Gardens of Love at Villandry.
The walks in the valleys of the Indre, the Cher and the Vienne are as gloriously peaceful and rewarding as the man-made attractions of the Loire valley. The terrain is gentle, altitude ranging from 150 feet in the river valleys to 400 feet on the intervening plateaus. This is one of the more northerly wine producing areas in France so the best vineyards are on south facing slopes. Elsewhere the soft chalky rock has been excavated for wine caves or troglodyte dwellings. Along the river banks are water meadows shaded with willows and poplars, while away from the rivers glorious old forests abound.
GUIDED CYCLING HOLIDAYS IN THE LOIRE VALLEY
Cycling the quiet roads of the Loire Valley you can encounter this region's rich history, culture and delightful scenery. Our guided cycling holiday in the Loire Valley takes in highlights such as the magnificent 12th century castle and gardens at Apremont, the ancient Roman town of La Charité-sur-Loire and the local market in Châtillon-Coligny. Enjoy the charm of the rolling landscape as you cycle tour along quiet country roads passing world famous vineyards and charming old towns where there is plenty of time set aside for discovering the cultural and consumable delights the region offers. By night retire to our private barge custom built for sailing on the French canals. The relaxed atmosphere aboard will make you feel at home quickly as will the comfortable cabins, most of which have private facilities.
Our Walking & CYCLING Holidays in the Loire Valley