Cycling holiday Loire Valley, Nevers - Briare

Loire Valley, Nevers – Briare

Cycling through the heart of France

À partir de € 1.400,-
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  • 8 Days Monday to Monday
  • 40 km average per day
  • Start Nevers Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport
  • Finish Briare Paris, Charles de Gaulle Airport
  • Ride along the Loire River
  • Villages and castles in the heart of France
  • Famous Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé vineyards
  • Nevers city of art and history
  • 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. 

Cycling through the heart of France

The Loire Valley between the cities of Nevers and Briare 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 lateral du Loire. The old city of Nevers with its winding streets, castle and churches is our starting point. On the way to the wine city of Sancerre you will visit the Château of Apremont, dating back to the 12th century and lavishly surrounded by gardens as well as the ancient Roman town of La Charité-sur-Loire with a 16th century stone bridge and Notre Dame cathedral. Wine-tasting in the region of Sancerrre and the Pouilly Fumé wines can not be missed. In between you will ride to St. Brisson Forest and through seemingly endless vineyards. Through a beautiful region of lakes and past more castles you will cycle along the Loire and visit Chatillon-sur-Loire with its impressive locks. The small city of Briare with its picturesque locks and aqueduct is the final destination of this week. On the last day you will visit Rogy-les-Sept-Écluses via the Pont Chevron castle.

Daily Program

  • Journée 1 Nevers

    Arrival and welcome at the barge on the mooring place.  A short test ride in the area to get used to your bicycle. After diner there will be an evening walk through the old town of Nevers. The city is famous for its ceramics and it is also one of the major pilgrimage centres of France  because the city has kept the body of Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879). The Old Town, with its narrow winding streets, is full of many buildings and palaces dating from the 17th century.

  • Journée 2 Nevers – Gimouille 25 km

    We start this week in the heart of France with a short ride to the sleepy village of Gimouille on the Canal lateral du Loire. But first you can take some time to visit 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.

  • Journée 3 Gimouille – Cours-les-Barres 40 km

    First thing you will do today is pay a visit to the aqueduct over the Allier River. With its two impressive locks both measuring about 9 meters high this is a must do! With some luck and good planning you might see the Clair de Lune pass through here, high above the river. Later this morning 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. Riding north from Apremont you pass wooded areas with nice villages, castles and country estates.

  • Journée 4 Cours-les-Barres – Sancerre 45 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, you will have a splendid view overlooking the town and its Notre Dame church. Continue towards the final destination of today, the wine town of Sancerre. In Ménétréol, situated under the Sancerre vineyards, there will be an opportunity to try some wine before returning to the ship.

  • Journée 5 Sancerre – Belleville-sur-Loire 50 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 to the charming village of Belleville-sur-Loire.

  • Journée 6 Bellevue-sur-Loire - Briare 45 km

    Todays bike ride to Briare leads you through typical French countryside with rolling hills, country estates and small villages. On the way you will pass the historic locks of Châtillon-sur-Loire and ride on to St. Brisson, where you will see the impressive medieval castle. We end the day with a visit to the magnificent aqueduct over the Loire River in Briare. We spend the last two nights moored in the typical French small-town of Briare.

  • Journée 7 Briare – Rogny-les-sept-Écluses- Briare 50 km

    Your last bike ride this week will lead you to the castle of ‘Pont Chevron,’ situated on a small, picturesque lake. Around lunchtime 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. A worthy ending of your bike adventure in the heart of France.

  • Journée 8 Briare end of the tour

    The tour ends after breakfast: debarkation before 10 AM.

Cycling in France

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.

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

What else do you need to know?

Prices per person in 2024

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

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

Clair de Lune

01 - 29 July 
Double cabin, with double bed € 1.400,-
Cabin with split-level beds € 1.400,- 
Cabin with single bed € 1.510,- 

03 & 17 June, 12 & 26 August and 23 September 
Double cabin, with double bed € 1.540,- 
Twin cabin with split-level beds € 1.540,-
Cabin with single bed € 1.610,- 

09 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,-
Rental E-bike per week (bike insurance included) € 220,- (from 155cm)
Special diet (gluten free, lactose free, vegan) € 75,- per diet (to be specified when booking)


  • All nights on board, 8 days / 7 nights, 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
  • Road book, 1x per cabin
  • GPS tracks
  • Ferry fares on the route

Not Included

  • Reservation costs
  • Contribution Dutch Guarantee Fund (Insolvency Protection)
  • Bicycle rent
  • Entrance fees to museums; approx. € 25,- per tour
  • Other drinks on board (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.


You are expected at the barge on Monday afternoon, between 12.00 AM and 14.00 PM. You can bring your luggage earlier to the barge, but not before 11.00 AM. We are busy cleaning the barge, but we can provide you with suggestions to have a nice walk into town.

The mooring place of the barge in Nevers: Embranchement de Nevers, Chemin de Halage.


The nearest airport to the embarkation point of the barge is Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) By train it is about 3 hours to the railway station in Nevers. Walking distance from the train station to the barge is about 30 minutes. A taxi from the airport in Paris to the mooring place will take about 3 hours.


The nearest train station to the embarkation point of the barge is the Nevers railway station. Walking distance to the barge is about 30 minutes.


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

End of the tour

The tour ends one week later in Briare on Monday morning after breakfast at 10 AM. You will spend the night from Friday to Sunday to Monday on board in Briare. The mooring place of the barge in Briare: in the Canal Lateral á la Loire, at the Rue du Pont Canal

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 17 people.