Day 1: Arrival in Blois
Arrive in Blois at the time of your choice (depending on your mode of transportation). Once you check in at your hotel, you might be able to go for a bicycle fitting to prepare for tomorrow’s ride. You will also meet with our local representative, who will brief you about your tour, or in this case, give you the pedal-by-pedal details. The rest of the day is your leisure time – we highly recommend that you explore the Chateau de Blois, an architectural gem filled with tales of historical drama, and the old town Blois. Walking amongst the half-timbered houses, straight out of a fairytale, will put you in the mood for the magical week you’re going to experience.
Day 2: Blois - Blois (Approx. 50 km or 31 miles)
After breakfast, your first ride will take you through growing fields and tiny villages, to your final destination: one French king’s favorite hunting lodge. As you approach, you’ll notice a magnificent castle looming behind the trees. By the way, this “hunting lodge” has over 400 rooms! You’ll arrive at the Chateau de Chambord, where you are free to roam the grounds or climb the double-helix staircase inside. If you are up for visiting more (smaller-scale) castles, we’ll give you a route that passes Villesavin and Beauregard. You are free to ride the back roads of this charming, welcoming region to castles or candy shops! We suggest getting back to Blois for a filling dinner of crepes and a night of rest.
Day 3: Blois - Amboise (55 km or 35 miles)
Consider an early start to your day for full enjoyment of peaceful paths along the river. Let the Loire be your guide as you start on the northern bank riding to the Forêt de Blois, a quiet place once filled with royal hunting parties and roaming minstrels. Imagine the goings-on from centuries past and take a turn across the Loire River to reach Chaumont-sur-Loire. It’s a great place to grab lunch and pause to take in the fanciful turrets of the chateau, whose militaristic appearance blends with Renaissance style. Pedal onward to glorious Amboise, whose chateau towers marvelously over the well-preserved town. Follow a main street upwards, past homes built right into the hill, until you reach the red-brick estate of Clos Lucé. Leonardo da Vinci spent his last three years living here, and inside the mansion - now a museum - it may seem like he never left! Don’t miss the models of his inventions in the cellar or scattered around the gorgeous grounds. You may even be riding one of his inventions to your lodgings in Amboise tonight – some say da Vinci designed the bicycle!
Day 4: Canoe day between Chaumont and Amboise / Amboise - Chenonceaux (12 km or 7,5 miles)
We've kept today's mileage to a minimum, permitting you the luxury of sleeping in, if you so desire, or allowing time to visit the town of Amboise. Another option to consider is a canoe trip on the Loire River between Chaumont and Amboise. Give your legs a break and see the Loire Valley from the river’s point of view! Later on, your bicycle ride will take you by the Pagode de Chanteloup, a seemingly displaced Asian pagoda in this land of Renaissance castles, which is actually the remnant of an 18th century Château. On the other side of the Forêt d'Amboise, you'll reach Chenonceaux, your home for the night.
Day 5: Chenonceau - Tours (35 km or 22 miles)
What’s with the “x”? Chenonceaux is the village, while Chenonceau is the marvelous 15th century castle, designed and lived in by some famous noble women. Don’t miss the rich interiors or the lovely gardens surrounding the Château de Chenonceau, whose graceful gallery expands over the River Cher. Even more chateaux loom on the horizon as you continue cycling, including the 16th century Château de Nitray. Continuing along the river, you’ll arrive in Montlouis, a small wine-producing region. Stop to admire the vines before you proceed to Tours, where you will spend the night.
Day 6: Departure
After breakfast, depart Tours at the time of your choice.