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Châteaux, Abbeys & Vineyards

Tour: FLS6
Circular Cycling Holiday
Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday

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. Read More

Destination

Europe, France

Start Day

Mon, Tues, Weds, Thurs

Board Basis

Bed & Breakfast

Prices from

£768.00

Duration

6 Days, 5 Nights

Availability

Mar - Oct

Tour Grade

Grade 1 (Very Easy)

Read Overview
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Overview

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.

Tour Code:
FLS6
Activity:
Cycling
Type:
Circular Cycling Holiday, Hotel To Hotel Cycling Holiday
Country:
Europe, France
Area:
Loire
Duration:
6 Days, 5 Nights
Board Basis:
Bed & Breakfast
Availability:
Mar - Oct

Itinerary

Day 1 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.

Overnight in Saumur

Day 2 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.

Overnight in Fontevraud L’Abbaye

Miles: 28 Kms: 45

Day 3 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.

Overnight in Fontevraud L’Abbaye

Miles: 28 Kms: 45

Day 4 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.

Overnight in Chinon

Miles: 22 Kms: 35

Day 5 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!

Overnight in Saumur

Miles: 22 Kms: 35

Day 6 Depart after breakfast

Accommodation Options

In Saumur (2 nights), Fontevraud L’Abbaye (2 nights) and Chinon.

is in three star hotels.

Upgrading accommodation is an option on this tour (suppl. £69 per person).

More Information

Useful websites, travel information and tips to help you plan your journey to and from the country and location of your holiday.

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