What to see in France

The Loire à Vélo: holidays at your own pace

Photos : JS Evrard - J.Damase - Les Saules
Photos : JS Evrard - J.Damase - Les Saules


Whether you decide to cycle the entire route or just a few stages depending on your planned holiday, the Loire à Vélo is an increasingly popular holiday destination. Put on your bike clips... and follow the guide.

The Loire à Vélo is a circuit of more than 800 km that crosses two regions (Brittany and the Loire Valley), six departments (Cher, Loiret, Loir et Cher, Indre, Maine et Loire and Loire Atlantique), and six towns (Orléans, Blois, Tours, Saumur, Angers and Nantes). Finally, the Loire à Vélo is used by more than 800,000 cyclists every year.

Tailor-made holidays

A bit like the Way of Saint James, you don't have to do the 800 km in one go. You can also do it... "piece by piece" depending on the time you have, the strength of your calves or simply what you want to discover during your holidays.

Les Saules
© Les Saules

The Loire by bike crosses the "Valley of the Kings", a great way to discover the castles of the Loire (Chaumont, Azay le Rideau, Chambord, Cheverny, etc). From this point of view, campsites such as Les Saules in Cheverny, Camping du Port Caroline in Brain sur l'Authion or Isle Verte in Montsoreau offer accommodation for one or two nights as well as "cycle touring" packages for touring or more classic holidays. This is also what is offered by the "Anjou Bivouac" association, which was created by grouping together four establishments in Maine et Loire (L'Isle Verte in Montsoreau, Camping du Port Caroline in Brin sur l'Authion, Camping Morédéna in Morains sur Sarthe and la Guyonnière in la Pommeraie). More generally, there are around sixty campsites along the 800 km of the Loire à Vélo.

Moreover, especially if you have chosen to do only a few stages, you don't have to take your own bike, as many rental companies offer quality equipment. Another service offered is the transfer of luggage from one place of accommodation to another to avoid overloading yourself.

The crossroads

JS Evrard - J.Damase
© JS Evrard - J.Damase

However, you are under no obligation to follow the "Loire à Vélo" route blindly. It can also be an opportunity to deviate from the route, to practice "Bicyclette buissonnière" in a way. So, still by bike, you can visit the Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and visit the most fabulous châteaux of the Loire, Chambord, Azay le Rideau, Chenonceaux, etc. Get off your bike for a ride on a Gabare or a Toue, the traditional flat-bottomed boats that have been plying the Loire for centuries. Further on towards Angers, stop at the slate quarries of Trélazé. In other words, the Loire à Vélo is likely to keep you busy for several years.


See all my campsites consulted