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Walking and Cycling in the Loire

Walking Holidays in the Loire Valley

Timeless in its elegance, refined in its splendour, the majesty of the Loire Valley is apparent at every turn. Covering an area in excess of 800km2, the Garden of France beguiles keen walkers and culture enthusiasts alike, with its fairytale châteaux and old-world towns representing the pinnacle of traditional French grandeur. Whether tackling moderate climbs or following the path of the Loire as it winds its way through this region of delicate beauty, a walking holiday in the Loire Valley will create enduring memories.

Through the Garden of France

Fontevraude Abbey

With vineyards that stretch as far as the eye can see, and flower-decked villages evoking a sense of serenity, the Garden of France offers a number of trails that reveal the very best scenery it has to offer. The limestone banks of the River Loire act as the perfect guide to exploring fertile fields and diverse flora, while the beautiful forest of Fontevraud and its Abbaye Royale can also be discovered.

Picture-perfect villages

The underlying charm of the Loire Valley is best experienced in the tranquil, traditional villages that act as waypoints across the region. Life in the towns and villages can be uncovered on strolls through Chissay and Ambiose, home to Leonardo da Vinci’s La Clos Luce residence, and the commune of Noizay where an opulent château stands. Many villages can be discovered by following gentle tracks that trace a path through vivid landscapes that can’t fail to inspire.

Wandering through wine country

Loire Vineyard

The Loire Valley is nothing if not renowned for the vineyards that decorate its terrain. What better way to experience some of the finest products of the region than by wandering among the leafy vines and savouring both the surrounding splendour and the sampling some of the many wines that are developed there? Each walk among the Loire Valley vineyards will uncover something new, and offer a fresh insight into wine production in the area.

Cycling Holidays in the Loire Valley

An area of rich natural beauty deserves to be explored at a pace that combines gentle travel with short intervals that introduce life in the towns and villages. A cycling holiday in the Loire Valley presents a unique opportunity to travel through gentle terrain, along winding routes beside the meandering river, and down country lanes that lead to majestic châteaux.

River trails

The acclaimed Loire à Vélo cycle route provides the perfect trail over which to explore the charms of the region. The full route stretches some 800km, crossing through the Pays de la Loire and winding along the banks of France’s longest river. It incorporates tracks through such enchanting towns as Amboise and Blois – all of which possess a certain joie de vivre that embodies classic French life.

Country paths

Château de Cheverny

Of course, a cycling holiday in the Loire Valley would be incomplete without a visit to the many illustrious châteaux dotted across the region. Easy cycling paths pass through expansive vineyards and verdant countryside en route to impressive structures dating back more than three centuries. Experience the elegant Château de Chissay, discover the lavish interior of Château de Cheverny, and explore the wooded parkland of the 17th century Relais des Landes, all complemented with tastings at the premier wineries of the Loire Valley.

Traversing the Loire by bike is undoubtedly one of the most enjoyable forms of discovering the region. Whether it’s to marvel at the opulence of the architecture, or to simply take in the remarkable scenery, this is an area that always surprises.