Loire Valley Day Trips by Bicycle
Escorted Departures, May 19 & 20, July 7 & 8, September 22 & 23
Jump to available departures for all of our short cycle trips.
Just a short train ride from Paris: tour the Loire valley’s elegant châteaux, royal forests, and bucolic villages and farmlands, by bicycle or country bus.
Blois, Chambord and Cheverny are all on your route. Move through the day at your own pace, with a trouble-shooter / factotum in the background to help.
- Blois is home to the valley’s most historically important château, the de facto royal palace during the golden age of the renaissance. The medieval town spills happily down the hillside surrounding the château: white stone, red brick chimneys, and roofs of blue slate.
- Chambord is the valley’s biggest château, though built as a “mere” hunting lodge. A veritable jewel of renaissance architecture, 440 rooms of royal excess surrounded by a forest. Da Vinci designed the staircase, some clown diverted a river to pass in front... there is a lot going on. And finally...
- Cheverny, one of the most sumptuously furnished of the region’s châteaux, and one of her most harmonious. Built in the 17th century in a unified style, Cheverny’s classical architecture presents a pleasing contrast with renaissance Chambord and largely pre-renaissance Blois.
And in between, the sunflower fields, oak forests, and babbling brooks of the Jardin de France, France’s beautiful and self-assured heartland.
Pedal from château to château, following dedicated bike paths and country lanes with minimal traffic.
A wonderful way to feel the breezes and enjoy the bucolic countryside of the Jardin de France. Terrain is flat, distances can be expanded or contracted to taste....
Meet at Paris’ Austerlitz station, at 9a.
An alternate meeting is available in Blois, at 11:15a.
Details are below, “Meeting Your Trip.”
An express train brings us to Blois, in the Loire Valley, in 90 minutes.
Unless he has to go down early with extra bikes, a Blue Marble representative is aboard to answer questions about the valley, destribute route information, and be generally helpful. If he’s asleep in a corner, go poke him.
We size our bikes in the station forecourt, and off we go! First stop: Chambord....
A detailed route guide leads you on a 16-kilometer (10-mile) pedal through fields and forests. All but a couple of k are on bike paths or farm lanes, and traffic is minimal. Our “sweep rider” follows the rear cyclist, and is available to help you learn how to change gears, or with any mechanical issues.
Lunch in the Chambord forest (not included).
Cafés, restaurants, and picnic tables with spectacular views of the château are all available.
Visit the château, or maybe change steeds and go for a horseback ride in the forest.
In the afternoon, return to Blois via a different route, or tack on a longer ride via Cheverny.
The ride via Cheverny is 39 kilometers / 25 miles.
Unless everyone chooses that route, our “Sweep Rider” will follow the direct route back to Blois. But we stay at the Blois station until the final rider is in, on call to assist a stranded rider.
In the evening, our train returns us to Paris circa 7:30p.
Or continue your ride tomorrow, to Chenonceau, Amboise, Vouvray, Tours.... The link will take you to another page, discussing our connecting day trips.
Meeting Your Trip
Trips assemble at the bumper for track 12 of the Austerlitz station, at 9a.
The bumper is the thing at the end of the track, the point at which an arriving train would plow into concrete were it to fail to stop.
An alternate meeting is available in front of the Blois station at 11:15a.
As you face the station from the street, our meeting spot is to the right of the main entrance, beyond the café terrace.