Published by Lyn on 22 March 2015
John sent me a message via Facebook asking for route advice and hotels for a self-guided Loire cycling holiday for a large group of riders. Here's what I came up with.
I'm looking to organise a self-guided Loire cycling trip for 15-17 experienced cyclists (we did Ventoux last year) and one (very fit) paraplegic on a hand bike. We have our own bikes with a van to transport luggage. We need hotels, and ideas for route detours/wine-tasting etc. Three days cycling starting in Orleans and ending on the coast (400kms). Can you help?
I wrote back:
I guess I'd recommend something like this:
Orleans-Tours = Around 120km (Lunch Blois)
Tours-Angers = Around 130km (Lunch Saumur)
Angers-Saint-Nazaire = Around 140km
The route is fairly tried and tested and basically follows the river, taking in all the major chateaux en route. See here for ones you don't want to miss.
For wine-tasting ideas, I recommend getting in touch with Cathy and Nigel at Le Tasting Rooms. They work with Alison and Jon for the wine experience elements of their cycling holidays at Loire Life Cycling Holidays.
For hotels for cycling in the Loire (and specifically in the cities mentioned above).
Saint-Nazaire: I recommend the Holiday Inn Express. It's nothing posh but the guys there love hosting cyclists. Contact: General Manager Laurence Hebting (speaks English) via email@example.com and tell him I sent you. More here on the hotel.
Tours: Ibis Tours Centre (above) – I emailed them and they say they can store 17-18 bikes safely.
Angers: Hotel du Mail (above) – I emailed them and they say they have a large garage that can easily take 17-18 bikes. Another option is Le Royalty, whose management say they are used to welcoming cyclists and can safely store your bikes in the hotel.
Orleans: Best Western Hotel d'Arc (above) say they have a closed area for bikes and can safely store your bikes.
I hope that helps.
Let me know how you get one.