- 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!
Published on: 30 July 2016