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Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

Sydney, Australia
3 posts
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Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

We are a couple of not so young travelers (65 and 58) who are looking for advice on which means of tour we should take.

We will be booking through a self guided tour company that will transport our luggage each day to the various hotels along the route.

We are spending a week in the Loire Valley either walking or cycling and do not know how difficult the terrain is for cycling as walking would not present a problem at all.

I feel that with cycling we would be able to cover much more ground each day rather than just walking.

We normally do not ride bikes and are considering if our legs and bums can take the strain.

Looking for a little advice on which to choose.

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Loire Valley
Loire Valley
Centre-Val de Loire, France
Le Grand Pressigny...
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1. Re: Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

Try contacting www.loirevalleybreaks.com

Debbie & Mark run both walking & cycling tours based in the vineyards at St Nicolas de Bourgeuil. This is right near the river Loire & loads of great places to visit...

I think they would be happy to pass on the benefit of their experience & advice on what to expect from days of walking & cycling in this area.

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Nicolas
Nicolas
110 Reviews
Paris, France
Loire Valley
Loire Valley
Centre-Val de Loire, France
Bellflower...
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5,411 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

Last September, we drove in the Loire Valley and in Normandy. Our experience found that the French roads,even those in remote locations, are kept in excellent condition. The terrain south of Tours is flat, not hilly; can't say for other parts of the valley.

When do you plan to travel? Do you have enough time to rent bicycles where you live and practice in the intervening time? I don't even know if this is practical, economy-wise; it's just a thought.

Are you planning to walk to a different place every day? I'm very curious.

Good luck!

MrsJAS

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Loire Valley
Loire Valley
Centre-Val de Loire, France
Paris, France
Destination Expert
for Paris, Loire Valley
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3. Re: Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

The terrain around the Loire River is not really all than flat. Those driving a car may not notice so much but those on foot or on bike certainly will. Still, biking is very popular in this area and certain trails have been developed by the French government:

http://www.loireavelo.fr/

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Loire Valley
Loire Valley
Centre-Val de Loire, France
Sydney, Australia
3 posts
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4. Re: Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

Thank you for the information that you supplied to me. I have checked out the site and I will make further enquiries.

Thank you again

Sydney, Australia
3 posts
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5. Re: Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

Thank you for your information.

We are traveling in mid June this year and will hire bikes when we get there, we have been checking out different sites and I think we have found what we want.

Thanks again for the reply

Bourgueil, France
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15 posts
8 reviews
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6. Re: Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

regarding the terrain, it really does depend where in the Loire Valley you mean (It's such a huge area). Of course the area directly alongside the river IS flat - water doesn't run uphill!) but by definition a valley must have hills either side - or else it isn't a valley!

Where we are based - St Nicolas de Bourgueil - there is plenty of flat terrain - that's one of the reasons we chose here for the base for our cycling and walking holidays. To the east of Tours (around Amboise, Vouvray etc) the terrain is much more rolling so you need to like hills!

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Loire Valley
Loire Valley
Centre-Val de Loire, France
Nicolas
Nicolas
110 Reviews
Paris, France
Amboise
Amboise
Loire Valley, France
Vouvray
Vouvray
Loire Valley, France
Memphis, TN
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336 posts
27 reviews
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7. Re: Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

About three years ago we did one day rides out of Blois. We found Blois to be a very good town to ride out of, small enough that we could be in the countryside in 10 minutes, but large enough that we had a variety of restaurants to choose from.

In the area south of Blois it was flat, with the exception of the river bluff at the Loire River which you had to go up & down when departing & returning. There is an excellent network of marked routes that are on lesser used roads. A good thing about this general area is that there is a railroad that goes along the river. If you are doing loop daily rides from a town on the rail line you could ride down the road & catch a train back to your town of origin, the TER trains usually have a car which accepts bikes. I've got some reviews of Blois restaurants & our hotel on Trip Advisor.

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Blois
Blois
Loire Valley, France
Loire Valley
Loire Valley
Centre-Val de Loire, France
Paris, France
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13,161 posts
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8. Re: Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

If you're ever uncertain about what the terrain may be like you can check a topographical map, such as the IGN series. The other maps you can check are the Michelin maps of the scale 1:200,000 or 1:150,000. These maps will have a gradient arrow superimposed on any road with a gradient steeper than 5%.

Memphis, TN
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9. Re: Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

As a sidenote to the above comment, a quick way of seeing topography for an area is to view it through Google Earth. For areas that are generally flat you can go to the Tools/Options menu and increase the Elevation Exageration to see even gradual topography. If you really want to get a view of some routes you can go to the biking website Bikely.com, do a search for rides in the Loire area and see the routes that others have created. Those routes can be downloaded as a .kmz file & loaded into Eath Google; you can then see the route on the 3-D view of the satillite view of an area.

I have loaded many of the Chateaux a Velo routes on bikely, and I also loaded our actual day trips where I used the notes option to mention little reminders of what we saw & did along the way.

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Loire Valley
Loire Valley
Centre-Val de Loire, France
greeley, CO
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10. Re: Cycle or walking tours through the Loire Valley

the loire is easy cycling. for inspiration, read some of the journals at www.crazyguyonabike.com