Want to take life slow? Treat yourself to a weekend exploring the banks of the Maine and the Loire, exclusively by bike. Enjoy a hassle-free and car-free weekend of exploring at your own pace, on the Loire à Vélo cycle route between Nantes, Angers and Saumur. An utterly relaxing weekend in exceptional natural surroundings is just a ride away.
The Loire à Vélo route includes over 800 kilometres of cycle paths and greenways through the Loire Valley UNESCO World Heritage site. Loire à Vélo is part of the EuroVelo 6 route, which runs between the Atlantic Coast and the Black Sea. It covers 3,653 km of cycle paths – including 1,300 km in France – crossing 10 countries and six European rivers.
You need look no further for an amazing cycling experience.
Leaving from Tours, after having visited a few Loire Valley châteaux, continue along the river towards Saumur and the Anjou vineyards. Don’t hesitate to stop at one of the visitor-friendly wineries (known as ‘Caves Touristiques’) to become acquainted with Loire wines.
On your way to Saint-Mathurin-sur-Loire, admire the panoramic view of the ‘wild’ Loire river and make a stop at the Loire Odyssée visitor centre to learn all about it.
Angers, on the Loire à Vélo cycle route
When you arrive in Daguennière, there are two possible routes.
We fully recommend that you take the route into Angers, the capital of Anjou.
It’s the opportunity to make a real stop, to discover the Medieval castle, the narrow streets of the historic quarter and the charm of a town surrounded by rivers and countryside. You won’t be disappointed !
Spend a day in Angers to visit its must-see sights, staying over in the centre of town before pedalling off the next day.
If you decide to stay a few days more (we can understand why you would!), don’t hesitate to visit the Terra Botanica park, or the visitor experiences of Angers’ world famous liqueurs, Cointreau and Giffard’s Menthe Pastille.
In the summer, you’ll also be able to enjoy the terraces of riverside cafés (known as guinguettes in French), or concerts by the water.
Back on your bike, on the Loire à Vélo’s cycle paths
Next take the towpath to Bouchemaine with its paved streets, boatmen’s houses and the charming atmosphere of the ancient harbour village of La Pointe.
From here, head on to the village of Béhuard, a ‘Petite Cité de Caractère’ on an island in the Loire. Our tip: try some fried eel, one of the Loire’s specialities, at Béhuard’s riverside café La Croisette.
Two or three more pedal strokes are all it will take to arrive in the village of Savennières. Epicureans and wine lovers mustn’t resist a wine tasting there at one of the four wine estates: Château d’Épiré, Domaine aux Moines, Domaine Taillandier, Château des Vaults – Domaine du Closel.
It will be the chance to taste the exceptionally elegant wines of Savennières, Coulée-de-Serrant, and Savennières-Roche-aux-Moines.
You’ll continue on to Possonnière, Chalonnes-sur-Loire, and then Montjean-sur-Loire, a picturesque village on the banks of the Loire with a panoramic view of the river and the vineyard hillsides.
Brief guide to the Loire à Vélo stages:
- Loire à Vélo from Tours to Saumur: 81 km
- Loire à Vélo from Saumur to Angers: 64 km
- Loire à Vélo from Angers to Nantes: 107 km
- Saumur / St. Rémy la Varenne 31.8 km
- St. Rémy La Varenne / La Daguennière 11.3 km
- La Daguennière / Angers 15km
- Angers / Bouchemaine 8.8 km
- Bouchemaine / Chalonnes-sur-Loire 16 km
- Chalonnes-sur-Loire / St Florent-le-Vieil 28 km