Spring Cycling in Spectacular France
Spring and early summer is the perfect time to start thinking about cycling, and cycling trips. The weather is getting warmer, the snow has melted away, and you’re itching to feel pedals under your feet. Maybe you’ve never really been that into biking, but you’re ready to give it a try, or perhaps you’re just ready to get out and see a destination you’ve always dreamed about in a different way. Whether a cycling enthusiast, an “I like to bike to get from here to there” kind of person, or someone who just loves to have unique travel experiences, one of Austin-Lehman Adventures’ France Loire Valley bike tours will fill all of your needs and desires.
The Loire Valley is located just slightly south west of Paris and it is very easy to reach. There is hardly a region in France which is so steeped in history. The town of Blois was Joan of Arc’s base when she led the Siege of Orleans, her first major victory during the Hundred Years War. Leonardo da Vinci called Amboise home at the end of his life. Tours has been around since Gallic times and was part of the Roman Empire until its fall in the 4th century. Though the city was heavily bombed during Second World War, the town continues to harbor many quaint neighborhoods and a few splendid art museums. The nearby Château de Villandry is famous for its gardens, which are among the most beautiful in all of France. Speaking of châteaux, the entire Loire Valley is well known for its stunning collection! (All of which can be enjoyed from the saddle of your bike.) Each château has a unique historic style; from the largest in the valley, the Château de Chambord, to one spanning a river, the Château de Chenonceau.
As you pedal from town to town, and château to château, you’ll find yourself surrounded by idyllic, pastoral country side. Lush vineyards, verdant woodlands, and the meandering Loire River (a UNESCO World Heritage site) will never be far from your side. Away from the hustle and bustle of Paris, you’ll gain glimpses into the quiet French country life as you roll through the region. The Valley’s relatively flat terrain makes it an accessible destination for all skill levels, especially kids. For those looking for more of a challenge, distance can always be added to any ride.
It’s impossible to think about traveling in France without dreaming about French food and wine. On your tour, stop and enjoy a midday wine tasting when you pedal past a vineyard, or relax over a dinner of beef tournedos while sipping on a glass of red Chinon wine from Touraine. Savor a picnic lunch of fresh bread and cheese on the grounds of one of the region’s grand châteaux, or enjoy one of the best pastries you’ll ever have at the Pâtisserie & Chocolatier Maison de Rabelais in Langeais, opposite of the castle.
The best way to explore the Loire Valley is from the seat of your bike. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or are introducing your kids to the sport, this is truly a vacation to suit all needs. I hope to see you saddled up and the roads of La Loire!