France’s “Loire à Vélo” (Loire by Bike; www.westernloire.com) continues to develop. By this summer, it will cover more than 250 miles (most of it paved and flat), spanning from Orléans, south of Paris, to the Atlantic, passing along the Loire River through the heart of chateaux and vineyard country.
BikeToursDirect has nearly daily departures from March through October, for programs ranging from five to 14 nights. They include two- or three-star hotels with private baths, daily breakfasts and dinners, luggage transfers, bicycle rentals, an orientation with a local representative, detailed maps and tour information, and a service hotline.
Of the nine programs offered, the “Loire Gastronomy” tour includes six nights‚ lodging and dining at top regional restaurants for 998 euros, while the guided “Castles of the Loire Valley” program offers seven nights‚ lodging with breakfasts and dinners, a ride-along guide and a support van for 858 euro. On the “Loire Valley by Bike and Boat” tour, guests overnight and dine on a river barge for seven nights for 749 euro, choosing daily cycling excursions or relaxing on board as the barge moves along the river. Most tours average 20-30 miles of cycling per day.
BikeToursDirect provides more than 200 guided and self-guided cycling programs in 30 countries.