As if the Loire isn’t already one of the most perfect itineraries to cycle already, there’s a new service that can enhance your understand of this incredible river.
There’s a new bike ferry service that crosses the Loire near Blois. This service provides cyclists the unique experience crossing the Loire on a gabarre-type boat, typical of transportation along the Loire in the past. Choosing this option to cross the Loire with your bike doesn’t have so much to do with saving time; you actually only save about 10km by not having to cycle to the Muides-sur-Loire bridge. Rather, it’s about having the opportunity to experience, for just a brief time, what navigation along the Loire was like in the past. If you are traveling with kids, taking this short ferry will definitely be a highlight of their trip.
If you happen to be planning a day trip to Chambord from Blois, taking the ferry both directions could save you almost 20km round trip, allowing more time to cycle the grounds of Chambord, have a relaxing picnic and tour the castle.
To reach the ferry in Cour-sur-Loire, follow the right or north bank of the Loire from Blois. The cycle path passes the lovely villages of Saint-Denis and Menars, a favorite stretch of mine, always peppered with artists creating their impressions of the Loire. Traveling at a very relaxing pace, it will take under an hour to cycle to the ferry crossing in Cour-sur-Loire.
The ferry holds 12 passengers and 10 bikes. The crossing to Montlivault takes about 15 minutes, and costs 2€. Upon arriving in Montlivault, cyclists simply follow the signs for Saint-Dye, and connect to the Chateaux a Velo bike path #11 direction Chambord. The ferry operates until early September this year with the following departure times every day except Monday:
Cour-sur-Loire: 11, 12, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30, 5:30
Montlivault: 11:30, 12:30, 3, 4, 5 and 6
In 2017, service will run on weekends in June and then daily in July and August.
If you’d like to read a first-hand review about taking the ferry across the Loire, take a look at this recent blog post at Aussie in France. I’m adding this ferry trip to my trip along the Loire in 2017. If you’re thinking about bicycling the Loire next year, I hope you do too!