|Important: Itinéraire et l'information uniquement disponible en Anglais.
Wichtig: Nur englische Routenbeschreibung.
Level of difficulty: 2
Did you know that the Loire is the only large river in Western Europe that still follows its natural course? Not canalized and no dams, but a true winding river, with sandbanks, rapids and a natural biotope. It gives a varied and intimate landscape that justly bears the name of The garden of France. You ride on well signposted cycle paths and small roads with little traffic. And of course, you ride along that string of jewels of beautiful castles, abbeys, historic towns and picturesque villages.
The route starts in beautiful Tours. Sometimes you ride on paths close to the river, and other times you take winding little roads through half-open farming land. You ride through an old cultural landscape, with forests, wheat fields, sheltered fields and of course, vineyards. After all, here you are riding through the largest wine area of the Loire valley. A patchwork of 20,000 hectares of vineyards that together make up 28 appellations.
And the highlights of this route? The castles of Villandry, Azay le Rideau, Langeais and Ussé for instance, the medieval Chinon, the abbey of Fontevraud, the beautiful town of Saumur, or the hidden world of the troglos, the partly inhabited caves and tunnels hacked out of the tufa rock. But do also pause – literally and figuratively – for a moment in one of those little villages along the route, the houses built of yellow tufa rock, at the sweetly scented orchards along the road, or near the profusion of birdlife of the river forest.
This stage through The Garden of France has a suitable end in Angers that justifiably calls itself the most ornate town in Europe.
Program from day to day + km
Day 1 Arrival in Tours.
Day 2 Tours – Azay le Rideau, 36
Day 3 Azay le Rideau – Chinon, 39
Day 4 Chinon – Saumur, 43
Day 5 Saumur – Angers, 62
Day 6 Departure
1 km = 0.62 miles