Cycling holiday Loire Valley, Briare - Nevers

Loire Valley, Briare – Nevers

Cycling in the vineyards of the Sancerre

À partir de € 1.400,-
Book now
  • 8 Days Monday to Monday
  • 45 km average per day
  • Start Briare Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport
  • Finish Nevers Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport
  • Famous Sancerre
  • Pouilly Fumé vineyards
  • Beautiful Sancerre and Nevers
  • Ride along the Loire River
  • Guided Tour
  • Group Tour
  • Bike & Barge
  • Cycling level 2

    Distance: 40-60 km average per day. Altitude: 100-500 hm average per day. Not too steep and not too long slopes on not very difficult terrain. 

Loire Valley, Briare – Nevers

The Loire Valley between the cities of Briare and Nevers in the heart of France is a very well suited region for a relaxing bike and barge holiday. Following the flow of the Loire River you gently ride through the green countryside with charming little villages and old castles and palaces.

The rich landscape boasts many fruitful vineyards. Especially well known are the Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé wines. Both wines are reckoned to be among the most prestigious in the world. You will also see impressive examples of canal building engineering along the Canal Latèral à la LoireThe small city of Briare with its picturesque locks and aqueduct is our starting point. On the first day you will ride to Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses via the Pont Chevron castle. Through a beautiful region of lakes and past castles you will cycle along the Loire and visit Chatillon-sur-Loire with its impressive locks. Wine-tasting in the region of Sancerre and the Pouilly Fumé wines can not be missed. In between you will ride to St. Brisson Forest and through seemingly endless vineyards. On the way to the city of Nevers you will also visit the ancient Roman town of La Charité-sur-Loire with a 16th century stone bridge and the Château of Apremont, dating back to the 12th century and lavishly surrounded by gardens. The final destination of this week, the historical town of Nevers, is in itself already worth a visits of a few days.

Daily Program

  • Journée 1 Briare short round tour 15 km

    Arrival and welcome at the barge on the mooring place. Boarding is possible until 3 PM. After arriving on board you can put your luggage away in your cabin and then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea. It is also a good moment to become acquainted with the guide, skipper and crew and of course your fellow passengers. Tryout bike ride in the surrounding countryside.

  • Journée 2 Briare – Rogny-les-sept-Écluses – Briare 50 km

    Our first real bike ride this week will lead us to the castle of ‘Pont Chevron,’ situated on a small, picturesque lake. Around lunchtime on this first cycling day you will be in the village Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses, known for its historic seven locks. Via the 16th-century castle near Bléneau you will cycle through a region of lakes to Ouzouer-sur-Trézée and eventually back to Briare.

  • Journée 3 Briare – Sury-Près-Léré, 38/51 km

    Today we start with a visit to the magnificent aqueduct over the Loire River in Briare. With some luck and good planning you might see the Clair de Lune pass through here, high above the river. Later you ride to St. Brisson, where you will see the impressive medieval castle. Further on you will pass the historical locks of Châtillon-sur-Loire. The bike ride towards Belleville-sur-Loire leads you through typical French countryside with rolling hills, country estates and small villages.

  • Journée 4 Sury-Près-Léré – Sancerre, 34 km

    Sancerre wines, and especially the white wines, are famous all over the world. The first mentioning of winegrowing in this region dates back to the 6th century. Until the 19th century the region mostly grew Pinot grapes, but after a disease that devastated the grapes Sauvignon is now mostly grown. And with success! The ride today takes you on a picturesque route right across the Sancerre vineyards and through the surrounding villages. In Ménétréol, situated under the Sancerre vineyards, there will be an opportunity to try some wine before returning to the Clair de Lune.

  • Journée 5 Sancerre – Beffes, 38 km

    Right after breakfast you will hop on your bikes and begin this days cycling tour through the region of the Pouilly Fumé wines to La Charité-sur-Loire, an ancient Roman town. Crossing the 16th century stone bridge to the center, there is a splendid view overlooking the town and its Notre Dame church. Continue towards the destination of today, Beffes.

  • Journée 6 Beffes – Guetin, 37 km

    Riding south from Beffes you pass nice wooded areas with again many nice villages and country estates. Later in the day you will end up in the small town of Apremont, where you will have the opportunity to visit the 12th-century castle and surrounding fabulous gardens. After, you will continue to the sleepy village of Guetin on the Canal Lateral du Loire. On the way a visit to the aqueduct over the Allier River with its two impressive locks both measuring about 9 meters high is a must do!

  • Journée 7 Guetin – Nevers, 23 km

    We end this week in the heart of France with a short ride to the town of Nevers where there are many sites to see including the winding streets filled with houses dating back from the 14th to 17th century. The origins of Nevers date back to Roman times. Nevers is since the 5th century the seat of the bishop and has among others a castle and a few interesting churches. To celebrate the end of your cycling week you can of course also take a well-earned rest on the several terraces in town and enjoy the local wine.

  • Journée 8 Nevers

    After breakfast: debarkation before 10 AM

Cycling in France

Cycling along the Loire

Our carefully selected routes will lead you along the most beautiful spots of the country. The average daily distance is around 45 kilometers. Most participants prefer riding in a group with the cycling guide, but you can also ride individually. A road book is included (1x per cabin). Gps-tracks can be provided by e-mail.

Briare, aqueduct
La Charite-sur-Loire
La Charite-sur-Loire
Apremont, aqueduct
On the road

What else do you need to know?

Prices per person in 2024

! Note: in 2024, the tour starts on Monday ! 

Reservation costs € 25,- per booking
Contribution Dutch Guarantee Fund € 5,- per person (Insolvency Protection)

Clair de Lune

08 July - 05 August
Double cabin, with double bed € 1.400,-
Cabin with split-level beds € 1.400,- 
Cabin with single bed € 1.510,- 

27 May - 24 June, 19 August & 30 September
Double cabin, with double bed € 1.540,-
Twin cabin with split-level beds €1.540,- 
Cabin with single bed € 1.610,- 

02 & 16 September
Double cabin, with double bed € 1.675,-
Twin cabin with split-level beds € 1.675,-
Cabin with single bed € 1.800,-

Extra options:
Rental touring bike per week (bike insurance included) € 110,- 
E-bike per week (bike insurance included)  € 220,- (from 155cm)
Special diet (gluten free, lactose free, vegan) € 75,- per diet (possible on request up to 14 days prior to start of the tour)


  • All nights on board, cabin in the booked category;
  • Full board (7 x breakfast, 6 x self-made picnic lunch for bike tours, 7 x three course dinner)
  • Use of bed linen and 2 towels (change of towels possible)
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • Tour guide, cycles with the group
  • Min. 3 city walks with the tourguide
  • Free WiFi is limited available in lounge and on deck
  • Route information
  • Ferry fares on the route
  • GPS tracks (on request)

Not Included

  • Reservation costs
  • Contribution Dutch Guarantee Fund (Insolvency Protection)
  • Bicycle rent
  • Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 45,-
  • Other drinks on board (cash payment on board)
  • Personal insurance

Special details

  • This tour is operated by Cycletours
  • Please take good notice of our Terms & Conditions.
  • Due to weather conditions or unforeseen circumstances, the route/program may be changed without notice.
  • We do not allow private e-bikes on board (due to safetly regulations)
  • If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus. In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; lactose free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 75, – per week.
  • Cycletours Holidays reserves the right to cancel tours with fewer than 12 participants up to 21 days prior to the date of departure.


Boarding is between 2 PM and 3 PM.
You can recognise the barge by the banner with Cycletours written on it. The name of your barge is printed on the voucher, which you will receive separately. After arrival there’s coffee and tea on board. Other drinks are also available on cash payment. If you want you can bring your luggage in advance: from noon onwards.

The mooring place of the barge in Briare is Canal Lateral du Loire, Rue du Pont Canal, near the city center of Briare.


The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) By train it is about 2,5 hours to the railway station in Briare. Walking distance from the train station to the barge is about 20 minutes. A taxi from the airport in Paris to the mooring place will take about 2,5 hours.


The nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is the Briare railway station. Walking distance to the barge is about 20 minutes. A taxi will take about 10 minutes and will cost around 30 euro.


Should you arrive by car, we strongly advise to arrive earlier to unload your luggage.

End of the tour

The tour ends one week later in Nevers on Monday morning after breakfast at 10 AM. You will spend the night from Sunday to Monday on board in Nevers. The mooring place of the barge in Nevers: Embranchement de Nevers, Chemin de Halage.

Our barge, your hotel

Imagine a floating hotel sailing to the next stage, while you are calmly pedalling along. No lugging of luggage: that is exactly what Bike & Barge is all about! In the pleasant atmosphere on board you can have a chat, go through the day with the others, and enjoy the meals prepared specially for cyclists. In the evenings you can enjoy a drink in the salon or admire the setting sun on deck. Do not expect a cruise ship with its passive luxury. The Bike & Barge Holidays are for people who really enjoy the physical activity of cycling and who value sociability more than wholesale luxury.
Free WiFi is (limited) available in lounge and on deck.

What are the cabins like?

Most cabins are 2-person cabins (twin or double beds), but some barges also have single and triple cabins. All cabins have central heating and a porthole or window; they are provided with running water (hot and cold), private shower/toilet and 220 voltage. Some barges have airconditioning. There is limited storage space in the cabin. We recommend 1 suitcase per person. You can slide the suitcase under the bed.

The team, hospitality comes first

The captain/skipper, the chef and your tour guide all welcome you warmly. They are prepared specifically for these trips and will provide good and safe passage, good meals, and a friendly, pleasant atmosphere. They will, of course, also give you a great deal of interesting information during and after the cycling and sailing. The skipper is responsible for the smooth running of things on board; the cook is in charge of the catering. A tour leader accompanies you during the bike ride and can assist in case of breakdowns. He/She will be your guide to point out the things of interest along the way and is multi-lingual (Dutch/English, some speak German and/or French).

The meals

Your chef is used to cook delicious meals for hungry cyclists. Besides an extensive breakfast, you will also be offered a packed lunch for on the road. It consists of different types of bread and sandwich fillings, juice, a snack and a piece of fruit. Lunch package needs to be prepared by yourself after breakfast. Dinner is different every day. There is a first course, main course and dessert The meals on board are included in the price, as are coffee and tea. Soft drinks and alcoholic drinks can be obtained at a reasonable charge. When you return on board after the day’s cycling, a cup of tea or coffee with a biscuit will be waiting for you.
If you have special meal requirements we ask you to mention this when booking, but at the latest until 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best  to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus.
In case of Celiac; gluten free diet; lactose free diet; vegan meals there is an additional charge of € 75, – per week.

You and the group,new friends from around the world!

One of the most attractive aspects of the Bike & Barge holidays is that you encounter an international company on board, including people from e.g. USA, Canada, Australia, France and United Kingdom. It’s a great opportunity for you to get to know various cultures at the same time! We have people of all ages, solo travelers, couples and also families with children (during the school holidays). Most groups are made up of 12 to 26 people.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you accommodate for special diets

    Yes, this must be notified when booking, but no later than 14 days before arrival. Diets which need a special preparation or special ingredients can only be offered in limited form. We will do our best to meet your needs, but we also ask for your understanding as due to limited logistic possibilities on a barge we are not able to prepare complete specialized menus.
    On some trips, in case of a gluten-free diet; lactose-free diet or vegan meals, a surcharge of € 75,- per diet per week applies. This is stated per tour.

  • What happens when it rains?

    Most of the participants then wear rainwear. When the weather is so bad that cycling becomes really impossible (but that is almost never the case!), you can stay on board or your guide can organize an alternative program with, for example, cultural excursions and city tours (at your own expense).

  • Which countries do the participants come from

    The main countries represented by our cycling guests are: United States and Canada. We also receive guests from United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and New Zealand. The common language on board is English.

  • Can I rejoin the barge before the end of a stage

    No, the barge doesn’t take the same route as the cyclists do. Sometimes the route may be altered because of weather conditions or repairs to bridges or locks and then the guests and the guide can arrange with the skipper to be met at a different place. Naturally you can always stay on board for one or more days.

  • What is the average age of the participants

    The average age varies between 50 and 80, but of course we have younger and older guests. In particular it is quite possible during the school holidays that children might be booked on your tour.