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Loire Valley Cycling LV

Visiting: France
Trip Duration 8 Days
 

Reviews for Loire Valley Cycling

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

Trip notes

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We have the following different versions of the Loire Valley Cycling trip available at present.

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Loire Valley Cycling reviews verified by reevooReevoo

12 reviews

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Loire Valley CyclingScores 9.3 out of 10 based on 12 reviews
(9 out of 10)

Sue

Newark on Trent
The Loire Valley cycling trip is my favourite of the 5 cycling trips I've taken,I was part of a friendly group of fellow cyclists
The weather was great,stunning scenery and generally quiet roads
Andrew was a good tour leader,on this occasion he had Erwin helping who was very friendly and had a fantastic knowledge of history
The hotels were basic but clean with good breakfasts,there is a lack of air conditioning in all of the hotels which did make for uncomfortable nights as it was very warm
The best hotel is in Azay le Rideau,with a small garden where we able to sit for a pre dinner drink
The tour was exactly as it states in the notes with Andrew accompanying us on circular rides and on the days we changed hotels he transported the luggage and joined us around lunchtime
Every morning we had a detailed briefing about the day's ride with information as to where to buy a picnic lunch and the best places to stop for coffee etc
Andrews maps and information were very detailed
We had the opportunity to swim in the river a couple of times which was lovely
The bikes were generally good with a few niggles with slipping gears and chains
Personally I would have preferred one night in Chenonceaux rather than two and an extra night in Amboise,dropping the first day's circular ride
I enjoyed the trip very much and looking forward to booking my next cycling trip with Explore
Confirmed traveller: 08 July 2017
Published on: 19 July 2017
(6 out of 10)

Boo

NEGATIVES - Despite Explore confirming to us a transfer from the train station, after waiting 2 hours, we had to get an 65 euro taxi. There was no response from the telephone number we were given.
The hotels, with the exception of one, were basic, hot and noisy. One had no floor space at all and one had a bathroom the size of a plane toilet - shower included!
This was not an 'easy' tour as advertised. Half the group were experienced riders and wanted to go faster and longer than the other half. It took until the last 2 rides for the guides to tailor route changes for everyones comfort.
Mostly this was a self guided tour which upset many in the group who felt they had paid for the care and expertise of a leader.
Many of the bikes were old and worn. Lots of problems with slipping gears and loose chains - for the less experienced it made them lack confidence in tackling hills.
POSITIVES - a great group of people
Many more chateaus and far less wine tasting than expected - would have liked shorter rides and longer in the stops
Would have liked to stay in the one better hotel MUCH longer - it was perfect.
Beautiful weather and French countryside
Regular morning briefings allowed for 'self-guided' aspect.
Confirmed traveller: 08 July 2017
Published on: 18 July 2017
(10 out of 10)

Bridget

Cheddar
I loved this holiday. The scenery was stunning, the cycling was great and our guide Andrew was very knowledgable and friendly. I especially liked the amount of information that we had about our route each day. The maps and detail of the route was great. I really enjoyed following our route as we cycled along each day. On this trip our guide was not with us 100% of the time but personally I enjoyed the challenge of following the map and joining up with him later in the day. It was a great group and we had lots of fun. I especially enjoyed swimming in the river - so warm!
Confirmed traveller: 08 July 2017
Published on: 14 July 2017
(8 out of 10)

Sarah

Edinburgh
Fantastic trip with some fabulous scenery.
Although it is sold as a guided tour there is self-guiding involved on days when moving forward as the tour leader takes all the luggage to the next destination. When the guide was with us his knowledge of the areas was brilliant so would have been great to have him guiding the full tour.
The first circular cycle around Chenonceaux could possibly be dropped to allow a second night in Amboise.
Confirmed traveller: 08 July 2017
Published on: 12 July 2017
(10 out of 10)

Devon

Vancouver, Canada
This was my husband's and my first bike tour and first tour with EXPLORE. We had a wonderful time and were thoroughly impressed with Andrew Perryman, our guide, the detailed route maps, the comfortable accommodations and marvelous breakfasts. The pace of this trip, which was rated easy, was just right for us. With plenty of breaks in a day of riding even our longest day of 60 km. was completely doable. Staying in one hotel for two nights in two instances provided the opportunity to take a day or two off, too. Andrew has developed some nice traditions on this trip such as stopping for wine tasting (and buying) on day two which allowed for a convivial pre-dinner social hour in one of our hotel's gardens later in the trip. One tip: EXPLORE asks participants to bring their own helmets. Since we didn't want to bring ours from Canada, we bought them at a large sporting goods store in Paris called Decathlon. Thanks Andrew for a great trip.
Confirmed traveller: 01 October 2016
Published on: 21 October 2016
(10 out of 10)

Nigel

Leatherhead
This was our second cycle trip with Andrew. We'd booked it as we had so enjoyed Canal du Midi. In fact, I think there were five of us who were Andrew returners.

He provides great routes, some good hotels and most importantly for us a nice balance between the collective tour and the individual / couples. For example, there is a group meal on the first and last nights and in between you're free to choose what you do. He also organised some pre-dinner drinks in the garden of one of the hotels. We had two dinners on our own and two with others on the trip.

Also whilst on the first day we were very much altogether on the ride, on certain other days there was scope for varying the pace.

The hotels were well-located and fine with a bar / restaurant in two of them (we watched some of the Euro matches!). The hotel in Azay-le-Rideau has a very nice style. Amboise is a bit functional but it’s only for one night.

The cycle routes were great - riverside, countryside, through forest and the occasional hill which everyone seemed to cope with. Each day we’d buy ourselves a picnic lunch and Andrew would recommend a good place to eat it, usually by a lake or a river or with a good view.

Sightseeing highlights for us were Chateau de Chenonceau, the gardens at Villandry, the chateau at Azay-le-Rideau.

Tip: on the last day we chose to do the longer and hillier ride to the Abbaye de Fontevraud which was great. It’s where Plantagenet Kings Henry II and Richard-the-Lionheart are buried and there’s lots to see there. We did the audio-tour. The ride back is pretty easy with a great picnic spot by the remains of a windmill looking down to where the Vienne joins the Loire. It was excellent!


Tip: This was a great holiday which we rounded off with a couple of extra nights in Tours which has a nice cathedral, a medieval town centre and plenty of restaurants (we ate Lebanese, Italian and Thai and stayed in the Hotel Colbert which was very much an Explore type place but which we found on trip advisor). A nice bit of chill before taking the train home.

Thank you Andrew for another great holiday. We take our fourth Explore cycle trip in September!
Confirmed traveller: 09 July 2016
Published on: 30 July 2016
(9 out of 10)

Alvin

Edmonton
This tour was just as I had imagined. Wonderful. Our tour leader Andrew was excellent. Although the accommodation was certainly adequate, I would have been happy to pay a little more for a little higher end hotel.
Confirmed traveller: 09 July 2016
Published on: 20 July 2016
(10 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

The flowers, the food, the chateaux, the slow meandering rivers, the green weeds under the clear water, the reflections of the bridges on the water. The first day when we cycled along the river bank. The picnics, the wine tasting at Montmousseau. All were amazing parts of the Loire bike trip. The heat of the day gave way to the refreshing cool temperature of the wine cave as we sampled the local vintages. Walking through the chateau of Chinonceaux in the footsteps of people from the centuries past was spectacular. We cycled through the corn fields and the sunflowers to Amboise. Seeing Leonardo da Vinci's model of the wooden bike gave us a good appreciation of our hybrids. The longest day's ride was broken up by magnificent chateaux, lovely countryside, some villages that dated back to the twelfth century and, of course, ice cream! The charming village of Azay le Rideau hosted our two night stop. We drank wine and ate cheese in the old school yard and spent a wonderful day exploring the gardens of Villandry. Following the la Loire past the fairytale castle of la Usse, we lay under trees by the slow flowing river where we had our picnic lunch. We arrived in Chinon below the mighty fortress steeped in the history of Joan of Arc. Our final day in this area took us to the Abby of Fontevraud. A day of pastry shops, sunflowers, vineyards, and winding riverside trails brought our cycling week to a wonderful close. Our last evening was spent wandering the wonderful streets of Chinon admiring the architecture of centuries gone by. Attentive, enthusiast, caring, capable, funny, informative, intelligent, just splendidly wonderful! The best! Andrew is an exceptionally wonderful guide. I would highly recommend booking any of his trips; you will be rewarded with a great trip!
Confirmed traveller: 15 September 2015
Published on: 12 March 2016
(10 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

The cycling in the Loire Valley was a pleasure from start to finish, largely due to the experience, organization and equipment provided by Andrew, our guide and leader. He took a special interest in each of the participants, offered alternatives to suit individual taste, and kept the trip light-hearted and enjoyable. The personal change for me was the third day of the trip, the longest, but the routes Andrew chose and the pace he suggested made it possible for my aging body not only to complete it, but to enjoy it. Bravo!
Confirmed traveller: 24 August 2015
Published on: 07 November 2015
(10 out of 10)

Confirmed traveller

The final days cycling with the whole group, led by Andrew, was great fun. I will never forget the wine route ride - we completed it in style!Andrew was simply wonderful. He was a great tour leader who was highly organised, very informative and clearly knowledgeable. He was great fun and had a super sense of humour. I enjoyed his style and approach to this tour very much.
Confirmed traveller: 26 August 2014
Published on: 07 November 2015