Reader Q&A: Bike hire and cycling accommodation in the Loire

Published by Lyn on 1 October 2013

Jarman emailed to ask about accommodation and bike hire for cycling in the Loire Valley.

Chateau du Chambord. Photo: Jim Nix

Chateau du Chambord. Photo: Jim Nix

Hi Lyn,

My girlfriend and I would like to ride road bikes for 3 days in Loire Valley. We will be driving a car from Paris on Monday. We also need a good price on a B&B to stay Monday and Tuesday nights. Can you recommend a place and a bike shop to hire bikes and possibly a route to go? We want to ride 25-40 miles a day.

Thanks so much,
Jarman

Answer:

Hi Jarman
 
It really depends what you want to see.

You could follow the stretch of the Loire from Angers to Tours. You could do the entire round trip if you have time, or ride a stretch before turning back to your car. Alternatively, the trains are very bike-friendly so you could ride one way and get the train back to your car with the bikes. It's a simple matter of following the river and there will be maps available locally when you pick up your bikes. 
 
If you want to see the grand chateaux of the Loire Valley, then the stretch from Tours to Orleans is great. It'd be around 200km round trip (give or take with detours). In this area you'll find many of the chateaux mentioned on this page, including Amboise, Chambord and Blois. For something a little longer you could start in Saumur and go Saumur-Tours-Orleans.

I have some cycle-friendly accommodation options listed in my Where to Stay section (search Loire Valley/Centre). There are some lovely options on the chateaux routes mentioned above. You could try Hotel le Fleuray, Hotel Luccotel or Chateau du Marais. The Ibis Hotel at Orleans has secure bike parking, too.  
 
For online maps I suggest this page.
 
For bike hire, I'd suggest contacting the guys at Détours de Loire ([email protected]). They have stores in Saumur and Tours but should be able to deliver bikes to wherever you decide to start, plus offer route advice and maps.
 
If you have no luck with them, then see these other bike hire shops in Pays de la Loire and here for further east in the Centre (eg Tours).

I hope that helps - it would be great to hear how you get on,
Lyn.

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