On the way to the Atlantic coast in 10 days! France-Bike, your partner for cycling holidays in France recommends this bike vacation through this less known region along the Loire River. On daily bike tours you'll discover varied landscapes, the impressive estuary mouth and finally the Atlantic coast with the famous Salines of Guérande and the salt marshes. Dreamy villages, little towns and elegant and historic cities like Tours, Angers and Nantes will certainly astonish you. And at the end of the tour you finally 'take the plunge' into the Atlantic Ocean at Le Croisic.
Day 1: Arrival in Tours
We recommend to visit the historical center and the gothic cathedral.
Day 6: Tours > Azay-le-Rideau, ~41 km
A bike path leads you along the dreamy Cher River to Villandry castle whose gardens are the most beautiful of all castles in the Loire valley. Then you'll ride to the Indre River and discover Azay-le-Rideau and its Renaissance castle from the 16th century.
Day 7: Azay-le-Rideau > Chinon, ~35 km
You'll ride back to the Loire River and arrive at Langeais and its big castle of the 15th century. Its rooms have original furniture of that time. You'll continue along the Loire River on a very nice path before you'll discover the next castle in Ussé. Finally, the medieval town of Chinon awaits you for a stay on Vienne River. There are a lot of wine cellars that invite you to taste the good red wines which Rabelais already appreciated very much!
Day 8: Chinon > Saumur, ~36-48 km
You always continue along the Loire River before you make a detour to the Fontevraud Abbey where you'll find the tombs of King Henry II of England and that of King Richard I of England and their French wives. The gothic cloister and especially the Romanesque kitchen are also worth a visit. From the abbey you will ride on little roads to Saumur whose castle dominates the Loire valley.
Day 9: Saumur > Angers, ~57 km
The Loire River conducts you to Angers. We recommend to visit the old town and particularly the Norman castle where you can admire the very famous tapestry of the Apocalypse (14th century).
Day 10: Angers > St.-Florent-le-Vieil or Ancenis, ~50 km/65 km
From the heart of the vineyards of Anjou you will follow the slopes of the Loire River to Aubance and Layon. Continue along the banks of the Loire until you come to Chalonnes, where Loire and Layon run together. And finally you will arrive in St.-Florent-le-Vieil, where you’ll spend the night.
Day 11: St.-Florent-le-Vieil or Ancenis > Nantes, ~55 km/40 km
Continue along the Loire river banks where you can enjoy the different natural landscapes and observe the wild animals and birds. Enjoy a peaceful ride until Champtoceaux, in its magnificent setting marking the boundary between Anjou and Brittany. Proceed to Nantes: a very dynamic city offering a large choice of visits and where you can enjoy a sight-seeing through the numerous pedestrian streets.
Day 12: Nantes > Saint Brévin, ~58 km
Leave the city via a small boat to cross the river and continue on the cycling path of ‘Loire à vélo’. Further on, you will follow a narrow canal for a peaceful moment along marshlands and countryside to finish at the estuary of the Loire river in St Brevin les Pins: a seaside resort which offer a large sandy beach surrounded by sand dunes and Pine trees forest. This is an ideal place to relax after long day biking.
Day 13: Saint Brévin > Le Croisic, ~53-60 km
From the estuary of the River Loire you will ride to the wild sea coast of Le Croisic. The opportunity to discover the famous salterns of the medieval town of Guérande should not be missed.
Day 14: Alas! Departure
You’ll get back to Angers individually by train.
9 nights in 3*** and 4**** hotels in cat. A
9 nights in 2** and 3*** hotels in cat. B
9x copious breakfast
luggage transfer (1 piece per person)
travel folder with maps
self-guided tour - 10 days / 9 nights
arrival every day
route (1)-(2): ~394 km/245 miles
flat and sometimes hilly
how to get there
by car: motorway to Tours
by train: station Tours, from Paris (1h30) direct with TGV
by plane: Airport Nantes Atlantique
package 'entrance Chateaux'
Château d'Azay Le Rideau
Villandry Gardens (gardens + château)
1 wine tasting
Château de Nantes
visit of the Guérande salt marshes
from Le Croisic to Tours on request
are available in Tours and Le Croisic in both categories in double and single room, prices on request
some of our bike tour suggestions