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The Essential Loire – bike, walk, drive

Daily Schedule
Tour Dates & Cost

With its meandering rivers and lush green vineyards, fields of sunflowers
and bountiful orchards, this mellow land of plenty has rightly earned the
title of the Garden of France

Although it’s best known for its numerous Renaissance chateaux, the
Loire area has many charming little villages and picturesque towns
you’ll stay in several.

During your active gourmet journey, you'll saunter beside the Loire, Indre,
Cher and Vienne rivers, through mighty forests and poppy-filled fields.


You'll visit famed vineyards and wineries, often housed in limestone caverns, and pique-nique in the shadow of Sleeping Beauty's castle. You'll visit vibrant local markets selling an amazing array of produce. 


Sensational French gourmet dining, invigorating activity and good company.


Interested in this tour? Contact Gail for more information.

Loire Tour Map

The Essential Loire – Daily Schedule​


Day 1
Meal/s included: DINNER

Travel by fast train from Paris to Saumur. Explore some of the highlights of this town, also known as the 'city of the horse' before a traditional dinner in one of the city’s best restaurants. Accommodation in a restored 16th Century hotel in the heart of the old town.


Day 2
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH

Explore the forest and riverside paths south of the town. Enjoy the first pique-nique with supplies collected from local markets. After lunch a visit to a mushroom farm. Dinner own choice.


Day 3
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

Enjoy the large and colourful market in Saumur collecting ingredients for a riverside pique-nique. In the afternoon a tutored wine tasting at a local winery.


Transfer to Souzay-Champigny. Accommodation in a converted staging post and limestone kiln set in the forest above an amphitheatre of grapes. Dinner at our accommodation.


Day 4
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

Ride, walk or drive through vineyards and past troglodyte villages to the Montsoreau market. Enjoy an oyster tasting session before a pique-nique at Candes St Martin, regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in France. In the afternoon visit Fontevraud l’Abbaye, resting place of the Plantagenet monarchs. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.


Day 5
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

Visit a farm which used to host pilgrims en route to Compostella, now the centre of an artisan soap-making venture. Wine tasting at a Saumur-Champigny appellation vineyard. Dinner at our accommodation.


Day 6
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

Ride, walk or drive along the Vienne river to Chinon. A chance to visit the recently restored Chateau de Chinon before a circuit ride or walk in the Chinon Forest and a winery visit.

Pique-nique on the banks of the Loire - picnic
Loire market - Shopping for pique-nique supplies
Loire Château d'Ussé cycling

Pique-nique on the banks of the Loire

Cycling past Château d'Ussé

Shopping for pique-nique supplies

Day 7
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

To Azay-le-Rideau (market day) and circuit ride, walk or drive along the Indre River. Dinner on a local riverboat on the Loire at sunset.


Day 8 – transfer day
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / LUNCH / DINNER

Transfer up river to the Vouvray area, passing the Chateau d'Ussé and visiting the famed medieval garden at Villandry followed by lunch at a local café.

Our accommodation is in a large manor house with troglodyte features. Dinner is a French-style BBQ with a wine tasting featuring local wines.


Day 9
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST / DINNER

A choice between exploring the gardens and wine valleys of Vouvray, or a ride to Amboise, followed by a visit to Chenonceau. Au revoir feast in the evening.


Day 10
Meal/s included: BREAKFAST 

Enjoy the morning​ shopping, visiting the market and galleries in Tours and take the afternoon train to CDG airport for Sunday early morning check-in (accommodation near the airport can be arranged) or alternatively the morning TGV links to midday flights ex-CDG.


Loire cycling tour vineyard
Loire cycling tour dinner

Tour Dates & Cost

04 - 13 June 2020
NZ$5850 pp twin share or double basis 

A single supplement applies (if you prefer an individual room)

Included in each 10-day tour: 
  • Daily support vehicle (no panniers or backpacks needed).

  • Luggage transfer between localities.

  • Any purchases you make in the markets and antique shops can easily be transferred.

  • Hire of quality mountain bikes.

  • Quality accommodation in properties of character mainly with private facilities. We stay two to three nights on average in each place, using the base to explore the environs.

Food and wine
  • Eight gourmet dinners featuring the best of regional specialties – including the
    special au revoir feast on our final night

  • Seven lunches including spectacular picnics. Several times you’ll get the chance to ‘follow-your-own-nose’ for midday and evening meals.

  • All breakfasts, including exquisite homemade preserves.

  • Tutored wine tasting and special events.

  • An experienced facilitator with knowledge of the attractions, the people, and the history of the area.

  • Our active gourmet tours offer a range of routes from undemanding to taxing, through the very heart of stunning countryside. High fitness levels aren’t essential though reasonable fitness is preferable.

  • Pre-trip guidance (and cycle instruction is available if required).

  • Daily briefing and guidance.

  • Rest days and independent exploration possible (we supply very detailed maps which allow a choice of routes).

  • Literature, including a detailed itinerary, clothing guide, use of large-scale maps of the area, and general advice on travelling in Europe.​


A sense of adventure is compulsory!


  • Travel insurance (mandatory)

  • Transfers

  • Chateau and museum entry fees (you choose!)

  • Gratuities and drinks

  • Golf club hire and green fees, kayak hire where applicable

  • Fishing tackle hire and lessons where applicable

  • Visas and passports (as necessary)

  • Personal items, eg, laundry, telephone etc.

  • Optional extras


A limited number of days available?

You can join in for a shorter time. We also offer associated walking or car itineraries for non-cycling partners.


Footnote: Please note that there may possibly be changes outside the organiser's control, such as fluctuations between the NZ dollar and the overseas supplier's currency, or changes in prices or services. Prices shown are correct as at  July 2019. The organiser reserves the right to change any details in this outline, should this prove necessary, at any time until full payment is received. 


See our FAQ page for more information or email Gail to book.

Loire cycling tour through Fontevraud forest

Resting amongst the vines

A gourmet dinner in progress

Fontevraud forest

Keen on a personalised tour?


We will design an itinerary for you, tailormade to suit your needs, interests and time frame. You decide when and how long you wish to tour for, who with and on what mode of transport.


Or we can help you select the most suitable tour from our extensive portfolio of the very best of worldwide activity holidays.

Daily Schedule
Tour Dates & Costs
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