Expanded Loire Bicycling Website Simplifies Trip Planning

By Maggie LaCoste

Cyclotourism is becoming a huge pastime in France, and no where is this more true than along the Loire River.  If you are a follower of my blog, you know that the Loire River Valley is one of my favorite bicycle destinations in France and even Europe, and it has been my destination of choice for the last two summers.  Despite having logged over 600 km along this route, there are still many more areas I have yet to explore. Every day along the Loire is an adventure into French history and culture and it is hard to not want to go back to this area again and again.

View along the Loire a Velo near Langeais

The regional governments of the Loire have invested over 52 million Euro to improve and signpost this route.  And this investment is beginning to reap rewards:  well over  700,000 cyclists travel some part of the 800 km Loire a Velo each year.

Routes signposted in both directions

If you’ve thought about taking a bike trip along the Loire, but couldn’t find the right resources, or weren’t interested in a packaged tour, it’s time to reconsider! Planning a bicycling trip to the Loire region has become much easier with the release of a greatly improved website by the Pays de la Loire and Centre Regions.  The new Loire a Velo website is a wealth of basic information to help you plan a trip to this beautiful area.  From information on what to see, where to stay, where to rent bikes, how to arrange for luggage transfer, chateaux to visit and wines to drink, this website is one of the best resources for bicycling in France.

Loire a Velo Approved Lodging

This destination is perfect whether you are biking alone, with a friend/spouse or with a family.  The route is very safe and is popular with families from throughout Europe.  The Loire a Velo route is comprised of quiet roads with little traffic (about 37%), greenways, roads reserved exclusively for non-motorized traffic and pedestrians (about 27%), no-throughfare roads (24%), cycle tracks and lanes reserved exclusively for cyclists (12%).  This route is unlike anything that you may have experienced in the US.  Even first time bicyclists find this route a fun and safe adventure.

Biking is a family affair in France

There are itineraries for a long weekend, and there are itineraries for a week or more.  The 800 km stretch of the Loire a Velo is part of Eurovelo 6, the European cycle route that runs from the Atlantic to the Black Sea via the Loire, the Rhine and the Danube Rivers.  So if you are really industrious and have two months or more, you could even tackle bicycling the entire Eurovelo 6 route.

So if you have started thinking about planning a summer bicycling vacation, or if you are considering adding a weekend bike excursion to a trip in France, take a look at the new Loire a Velo website to get some great ideas for itineraries.

The Loire A Velo near Orleans




Posted by Maggie LaCoste

I love the adventure and unpredictability of experiencing France by bike. Cycling in France is the ultimate slow travel adventure, an opportunity to see it through the back door in a way few tourists experience. One week on a bike in France and life takes on a different meaning! I created Experience France By Bike to inspire recreational cyclists to visit France the slow way....by bike, and to be the best source of information for planning the perfect bicycling adventure. I encourage readers to embrace the uncertainty of the road ahead and to take the path less traveled, exploring roads, towns and villages that you would never experience traveling by car.

  1. Wonderful! Looking forward to spring when we can try out some more areas. Last summer, we added a few kilometers to our Eurovelo 6 experience, particularly in Germany with the Rheinfalls – magnificent!

    1. So jealous that you are in France and can do so much more cycling! Please keep me up to date on your favorite routes. I am in the process of setting up my itinerary for this summer–so much fun, can’t wait to write about it. Do you actually live in/near Paris?


      1. Yes, I live right in the middle of Paris. I am also about to sign the final contract of sale for a beautiful house in Blois built in 1584, of which I will be renting out the bottom half (holiday rental) from mid-April 2012 to June 2014 when we will move there for good. So I hope we’ll be able to meet up if you’re coming to the Loire Valley (or Paris).

  2. You might be interested in http://www.aussieinfrance.com/2012/02/sundays-travel-photos-chenonceau/. Have you been on the bike path (well, it’s more a walking track) on the north bank of the Cher at Chenonceau?

    1. Hi Fraussie!

      Thanks for the comments on the Cher at Chenonceau! That is one of our favorite areas in the Loire Valley! Hotel La Roserie is like a home away from home for us and we love bicycling on the back roads around the chateaux! We definitely seem to love cycling the same kinds of routes!