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Loire Tours - Châteaux, Abbeys & Vineyards

The gentle wine region around Saumur, Fontevraud L'Abbaye and Chinon is an intoxicating destination, just ripe for a short circular cycling break to enjoy with family or friends. This tour along some of the Loire Valley's most picturesque quiet tracks and lanes blends vineyard slopes with feisty fortresses, châteaux treasures and the resting place of the Plantagenets.

Tour details

Tour Name
Châteaux, Abbeys & Vineyards
Tour Reference
FLS6
Tour Duration
6 days and 5 nights
Start Day
Mon, Tues, Weds & Thurs
Tour Grade
1-2
Board Basis
Bed & Breakfast
Price
From £768 to £768 per person
Accommodation

is in three star hotels.

Tour at a Glance

A circular tour which gives the full flavour of this delightful part of the Loire Valley. Visit Plantagenet tombs at Fontevraud L'Abbaye, the deep caves at Brézé, the mighty fortress at Chinon as well as many châteaux treasures and countless vineyards together offering a complete spectrum of colourful wines.

Availability
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Itinerary

Day One - Arrive & explore
     Settle into Saumur and as you start to explore, it's clear that there is something rather refined about the place. The 14th century castle with its high octagonal towers and mullioned windows sits strangely aloof of the Loire. At the National Riding School some of the world’s most talented horsemen perform distinguished dressage displays. Even the local white wine aspires to the sparkling products of France’s Champagne region. This is a great town to relax into with a refreshing glass of something local.

Day Two – Red wines & royal abbeys
     Your journey starts by cycling away from the river towards the Saumur Champigny vineyards and the magnificent Château de Brézé. The castle might look like just another huddle of Renaissance turrets, but inside there's a whole kilometre of underground caves which are home to everything from a bakery to bottles and even an icehouse. The cellars are captivating, so too the views from the vineyard slopes. Back in the saddle, the picturesque route leads on to Fontevraud L'Abbaye, one of the greatest monastic sites in Europe where you'll be spending your next two nights. The 12th century Romanesque Abbey dominates the town - fascinating, vast and intact. It is the haunting resting place of the great and good of the Plantagenet dynasty including Richard the Lionheart and very well worth a visit.
Miles: 28 Kms: 45

Day Three – From Plantagenets to power houses
     It's tempting to spend a day at leisure exploring the amazing monastic city of Fontevraud l'Abbaye, but it's well worth heading out towards the waters of the River Thouet on our circular day ride too! You'll be rewarded by a real discovery in the literally massive, fortified château town of Montreuil-Bellay. The castle combines solid medieval styling with Renaissance flair including 650 metres of medieval walls with a drawbridge and 13 interlocking towers - like its many highly decorated rooms and delightful gardens within, it's a truly impressive sight.
Miles: 28 Kms: 45

Day Four – Legends & legacies
     Today the beautiful Loire Valley landscapes lead you towards the River Vienne where the royal fortress of Chinon promises another formidable medieval encounter. First though, there’s a chance to be charmed by the fairytale gardens and legendary stables at the Château de Rivau. Make the most of your overnight in Chinon by ambling through the tiny historic streets, stopping for a delicious glass of something from Chinon's very own vineyards on a café terrace or two.
Miles: 22 Kms: 35

Day Five – Colleges & caves
     Leaving the medieval splendour of Chinon, it's time to pedal back towards the mighty Loire itself today. Don't miss the magnificent collegiate churches at Candes-Saint-Martin on the way to Montsoreau, another lesser known but still mightily impressive medieval town whose château-bastide almost has its toes in the waters of the Loire. From here, the route leads along the river to return to Saumur for your final overnight, passing troglodyte sites which are home to everything from the locals themselves to much-prized harvests of Saumur Champigny and even champignons!
Miles: 22 Kms: 35

Day Six – Depart after breakfast.

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