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Loire Gastronomic Cycling


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  • Holiday type
    Self-guided cycling
  • Duration
    6 nights
  • Accommodation
  • Activity level
  • Call usfor dates and prices
  • Departures
    Every two days from 1 Jan '70 to 1 Jan '70
  • What your holiday price includes
  • 6 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of and hotels
  • All continental breakfast and gastronomic evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • GPS route directions and maps
  • Headwater navigation app
  • High quality bikes
  • Standard transfers at the start/end of the trip (if booking inclusive flights)
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Optional Upgrades
  • Electric bikes available
  • Tandems available
  • Room upgrades and extra nights at selected hotels
  • City break add-ons in Paris
  • Suitable for
  • Couples
  • Excellent choice for
  • Food lovers, wine lovers, art & history, swimming opportunities, lake & river routes
      from 87 reviews

Mr Goodwin says...
An enjoyable and unique holiday experience in France. Great accommodation, exceptional food, and easy to follow GPS. The rides were relatively easy, mostly ...
Read reviews »

France: The Loire

Gastronomic Loire Valley Cycling

This trip is currently unavailable. Please call us on 1-800-267-3347 for further details.

  • Easy, flat cycling and short distances - perfect if you've not cycled for years
  • Superb hotels, all with pools, including a bijou waterfront hotel and a luxurious chateau
  • France's finest chateaux: Amboise, Chambord, Cheverny, Chenonceau
  • Truly outstanding gastronomic menus and world-famous wines - tasting opportunities galore
  • Shady riverside Loire Valley cycling paths, lush forest trails, quiet country lanes

This gentle and unhurried gastronomic cycling holiday follows a triangular route through the heart of the great Loire Valley. Highlights include the majestic chateaux of Amboise and Chambord, and the rich Renaissance splendour of Chenonceau. You'll pass vineyards, sunflowers and pretty, sleepy villages, before pedalling gently along shady riverbanks and out through open countryside abundant with wildlife.

On each cycling day, you'll have the opportunity to taste dozens of different wines - stopping at big wineries or village vineyards as the mood takes you - in a wine region more varied and diverse than any other in the world.

The places you'll be staying in have been hand-picked for their elegant cuisine, extensive wines and beautiful settings. All have picturesque gardens and private swimming pools, and the Chateau de Chissay (where you spend 2 nights) is a former royal residence! Headwater's specially created gastronomic menus (typically 4 courses) include dishes such as sandre en croute d'escargots, selle d'agneau a l'ail nouveau and le moelleux au chocolat Valrhona, all washed down with a glass or two of the many fine local wines.

We're here to help

If you have any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347, use our live webchat or email usa@exodustravels.com

Day-by-day itinerary

cycling elevations

We're here to help

If you've any questions about this holiday call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 , or email usa@exodustravels.com

Day 1: Arrive at Chissay

Arrive at Chissay and take some time to enjoy a swim before dinner.
You stay at the Chateau de Chissay (breakfast and evening meal)

Day 2: Chissay to St-Ouen-les-Vignes 29km/18mi

Gentle pedalling along the banks of the Cher will bring you first to the superb Chateau de Chenonceau with its famous arches majestically spanning the river. Described by Flaubert as floating 'on air and water', it's arguably the most beautiful of all the Loire landmarks. Lunch here perhaps on the terrace of the Orangerie restaurant before heading off through the shady Amboise forest and on to Amboise. Don't worry if you don't have time to explore properly today as you can easily come back tomorrow. Your final stretch leads to the elegant village of St Ouen-les-Vignes and Jacques and Odile Arrayet's bijou hotel beside the river. Odile is a professional sommelier, and Jacques artistic chef de cuisine, so you're in for some treats here!
You stay at the Hotel L'Aubiniere (breakfast and evening meal)

Day 3: At St Ouen-les-Vignes

It's just a 5km cycle south to the narrow bustling streets of Amboise. Visit the flamboyant Royal Palace and the elegant Clos Luce, a C15 manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked for the last few years of his life. His workshops house 40 giant models of some of his most spectacular creations, the first plane, helicopter and tank, and the beautifully landscaped gardens bring life to his botanical drawings and geographical designs. alternatively it's an easy 15km return cycle along the river Cisse to wine capital, Vouvray. Here you'll find wine tasting possibilities and the option to visit Chateau de Valmer where King Charles VII once stayed.
You stay at the Hotel L'Aubiniere (breakfast and evening meal)

Day 4: St-Ouen-les-Vignes to Ouchamps 45km/28mi

Cycle through the open countryside to Autreche and on to Chaumont and its spectacular chateau, which hosts the International Garden Festival (May-Oct). A riverside stretch takes you via pretty villages to Ouchamps. Enjoy two nights at the Relais des Landes, a 17th century manor house beautifully set in its own private grounds, with evening meals included.
You stay at the Relais des Landes (breakfast and evening meal)

Day 5: At Ouchamps

Cycle to the 17th-century chateau at nearby Cheverny, with its wonderful white stone facade. Alternatively, head to the magnifi cent Chateau de Chambord by taxi (pay locally) and explore its surrounding parkland.

Day 6: Ouchamps to Chissay 32km/20mi

Head south, to the fortifi ed chateau of Fougeres-sur-Bievre. Freewheel down to the River Cher, medieval Montrichard and on to Chateau de Chissay where a gastronomic dinner (included) awaits.
You stay at the Chateau de Chissay (breakfast and evening meal)

Day 7: Leave Chissay

Please note that cycling helmets are compulsory in France for children under 12. As we are unable to provide these, we strongly recommend that you bring your own.

Please see our Planning you holiday page for full details.

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking.

To find out more call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347, use our live webchat or email usa@exodustravels.com

Find out more on the hotel website.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Chateau de Chissay , Chissay

Swimming Pool IconHair dryer iconNEARBY:

The Chateau de Chissay is a chateau hotel steeped in history, set in 25 ha of parkland overlooking the Cher. Lovingly restored back in 1986, it's said that both Charles VII and Louis XI stayed here.

In the stately dining room, once the guard room, you'll be treated to delicious cuisine inspired by local produce and also a comprehensive wine list.

The rooms have been tastefully decorated and their bathrooms each feature mosaic designs representing famous people from French history who marked the different periods in time.

Please note that the swimming pool at the Chateau is not heated. Pool towels are provided.

Room upgrades: Superior room, Apartment or Suite.
Superior rooms are larger rooms overlooking the Cher Valley. Apartments are either overlooking the swimming pool or the Cher Valley. They have a separate lounge with a sofa bed.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Find out more on the hotel website.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

L’Aubiniere, Saint-Ouen-Les-Vignes

Swimming Pool IconHair dryer iconNEARBY:

L'Aubiniere is in the centre of an elegant village beside the River Ramberge just 5k north of Amboise. The garden is lovely - willow trees are set in lush lawns full of flowers, you can wander down to the river bank.

Good size heated swimming pool with views opening on to the garden and its trees. Pool towels are provided.

All the bedrooms are stunning; all are different - imaginative design and high quality fittings.

Owned and run by Jacques and Odile Arrayet, it is the restaurant that truly demonstrates their combined skills - Odile is a wine expert, a trained sommelier. Jacques is an artistic chef whose trained eye finds the best regional produce to conjure up dishes that are full of taste and natural flavours. A culinary treat awaits!

Room upgrades: Superior Room, Privilege Room or Suite Luxe.
Both Suites are in the newer part of the hotel and are both decorated in modern style and are very spacious. Some have got a balcony.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Find out more on the hotel website.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Relais des Landes, Ouchamps

Swimming Pool Icon

Set in the Heart of the Loire Valley, le Relais des Landes is the ideal resting place for visiting the favourite region of Kings and Queens of France, its castles and its vineyards. This 17th-century manor house in the middle of a 14ha park in blossom surroundings and planted with trees, will allow you to appreciate the charm of a house with a lot of character and the pleasure of its covered and heated swimming pool located in the border of a forest.

Extending your stay

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Find out more on the hotel website.
Read customer reviews on Tripadvisor.

Hotel Le Senat , Paris

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The 4 star Le Senat is simply stunning! There are just 41 rooms, all stylishly furnished and a couple of suites with terraces, if you really fancy splashing out! All have satellite television, mini bar, air-conditioning, safe and hairdryer, plus Internet access.

The hotel has its own small bar - adorned with photographs of eminent artists, being in the heart of the artists' quarter - plus a reading room with complimentary internet access.

Breakfast is taken in the basement, where you'll find a copious buffet of viennoiseries, cereals, fruit salad, ham, cheese, bread, yoghurt, bacon, eggs, sausage, fruit juices, tea or coffee. If you prefer, you can have a continental breakfast served to your room at no extra charge.

Le Senat is perfectly located on a quiet side street just a stone's throw away from the Luxembourg Gardens and metro, and a five-minute walk from the vibrant Latin quarter, where you'll find a plethora of restaurants to suit all budgets.


Transfers can be arranged at a supplement from Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 12:58 and back to Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 10:00.

Call now to speak to our specialist team at 1-800-267-3347 or email us at usa@exodustravels.com for enquiries or to book your trip.


Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted to our website, so that people can make an informed decision based on past experiences before heading off on holiday. We don’t edit the reviews, the only thing we do is proofread them and alter any typos, where necessary, to ensure they are easy to read for everyone. All reviews will be published (except in certain extreme circumstances), and a member of the Headwater team will respond to any constructive criticisms/comments under the reviews, at their discretion. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Mr Goodwin, 03/10/2019

An enjoyable and unique holiday experience in France. Great accommodation, exceptional food, and easy to follow GPS. The rides were relatively easy, mostly flat, but having some bike fitness beforehand to avoid muscle tiredness and saddle sore will definitely make the experience more enjoyable.

Mr Thornington, 28/09/2019

The overall package was first class. The detail route planning was good, but some omissions of significance did occur. For folk of our age maybe the trip days involving many Chateau visits were a trifle busy. Maybe shorter distances might have helped. The milieu of the Loire was totally immersive; we really enjoyed the quiet rural road cycling. The E-bikes were a huge help. Except that one morning they were dead. The support of Helen our local rep was exemplary in solving this issue.

Headwater response:
Dear Mr. Thornington
Thank you for leaving your review. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your overall package. I agree with you that the E-bikes are a great help especially if you have a few hills to contend with! I am so sorry that the battery went flat though but great to hear that Helen was on hand to help.

Mrs Benfold, 18/09/2019

We had a fabulous holiday, cycling in The Loire. Headwater were superb at organising the holiday. I would, personally, recommend e bikes. There are a few tough hills on the itinerary and, in the height of summer, this can be exhausting. The food was wonderful. The GPS map system was excellent, but went wrong when we accepted an 'update', it was quickly sorted and, hopefully, the problem will not arise again.

Mrs Bryans, 13/09/2019

The selected hotels were of a very high standard and the food mainly was of a good standard. The term 'Gastronomic' may possibly be considered a little bit OTT.

Mrs Schulten, 11/09/2019

Very enjoyable - our hosts were very helpful. The only issue was the GPS did not work on our first cycle day. The shower in Relais des Landes did not have a shower door and water went everywhere! Food was superb

Mrs Routley, 08/09/2019

We were a mixed sex group of 7 of differing cycling abilities but Mike and Helen made this holiday the perfect one it was. They assisted with all our concerns and problems with a calm and helpful attitude, a sense of humour and they went above and beyond our expectations in every respect. They are great ambassadors for Headwater.

Mr Taylor, 09/08/2019

A wonderful gastronomic experience.

Dr Henderson, 05/08/2019

Enjoyable easy riding in a beautiful area of France. Support was excellent as was the food.

Mr Geddes, 29/07/2019

Another great holiday with Headwater. Mike and Helen exceeded our high expections of the service provided by Headwater representatives. We upgraded our room at Hotel chissay on the advice we read from other customers. It should be noted that rooms only have a bath with a shower attached to the taps. No shower curtain meant that it was difficult to shower with out water spraying everywhere.

Mr Benner, 28/07/2019

Excellent , beautiful scenery and landscape, delicious food and thoroughly enjoyable

Mrs Feaviour, 26/07/2019

We cycled along quiet roads and beside rivers, it was delightful.

Mr Hill, 24/07/2019

A great holiday and very good guidance from Mike and Helen. Only suggestion is perhaps you could provide a wider array of destinations and experiences for our self guided days. For e.g. restaurants, vineyards, activities such as canoeing.

Headwater response:
Thank you for taking the time to write a review. We're glad that Mike and Helen were able to give you good guidance and your kind words will be passed onto them.
Your suggestions have been shared with the team and you will be pleased to know that we have a variety of 20 new holidays going into next season from as far a field as Costa Rica to nearer home in the Cotswolds and Northumberland.
Keep your eye out for the new brochure dropping through the letterbox!
Kind regards
Customer Service

Mr Mcgoldrick, 12/07/2019

Excellent for convenience with luggage transfers, local information and confidence in the local reps. Very friendly and helpful.

Mr Hignett, 24/06/2019

Generally very good but marred by one poor hotel and some bad weather

Mr Graham, 26/05/2019

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the holiday. The GPS system closed down on a couple of occasions but other than that, for us, the holiday was faultless.

Mrs Tuite-Dalton, 09/05/2019

Very early 6 am flight was quite hard, but achievable. I expected a cycling holiday in the Loire Valley to be fairly flat. As it turned out it was quite hilly sometimes and we had to push the bikes occasionally uphill. Other than that, the scenery was lovely and some of us chose to cycle one day and sightsee the next, giving us a break from the saddle. Having said that, we did cycle a short distance to visit Amboise on the “off” day. Others in our group cycled every day.

Headwater response:
I agree the scenery in the Loire Valley is beautiful. Should you choose another cycling holiday may I recommenced choosing an E-bike that have the additional benefit of a small electric motor to tackle those hills!

Mrs Anderson, 06/05/2019

Our gastronomic cycling holiday along the Loire and Cher rivers was great fun. We travelled as a group of ten people and were the first Headwater cycling group of the 2019 season to hit the region. The weather was kind to us and the routes were varied. They took in some of the most beautiful and interesting Chateaux. We cycled mainly on quiet roads through undulating, rural France. We were surprised to hear so many cuckoos and even to see a red squirrel. We managed to get around any potential problems which President Macron's untimely visit to Clos Luce at Amboise could have caused. The hotels were great and our evening meals were very special indeed. I highly recommend this trip for an experience French culture, the wonderful Loire and Cher valleys and for the thoroughly over-indulgent meals.

Headwater response:
This sounded like an amazing holiday thanks for feeding back with a great review!

Mr Entwistle, 06/05/2019

Excellent accommodation, food and service of reps.

Mrs Macdonald, 14/10/2018

A second brilliant holiday with Headwater. Taken early October, a few sites were closed, but there was still plenty to see. Excellent organisation and help from Marc in particular. I had an e-bike, which was interesting, and took some getting used to, but was helpful on the hills, as I am not a regular cyclist. The food was magnificent, especially at "Auberge de la Caillere" where we were taken as the restaurant at the Auberge du Centre was closed.

Mrs Williams Smith, 26/09/2018

Really lovely way to enjoy rural France. Lots of fun good wine and food.

Mrs Donaldson, 19/09/2018

The bedroom at the Auberge was very small in the roof.

Mrs Denton, 04/09/2018

Very well organised. Great quality of hotels and gastronomic. Bike GPS system was excellent. As a technophobe I was initially very cautious but it was easy to use and a must have!

Mr Smith, 27/08/2018

Excellent experience. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Mrs Price, 08/08/2018

The Loire Chateaux gastronomic experience was exceptional. The three chateaux we chose to visit (it would be overload to visit all the chateaux on offer) were fascinating each in a different way. We loved the many gardens we experienced and appreciated the daily swims. The weather was hot! So the cycling seemed harder than it should have done. The contrasting menus each evening were a highlight. We delayed wine purchase until our last day. That also was highly successful....

Mrs Farr, 01/08/2018

Fantastic holiday for family group of various ages.

Mr Kelly, 29/07/2018

We had an outstanding holiday. The Headwater team making the booking arrangements could not have been more helpful, informed, or responsive. Sharon and Marc, our reps, were were extremely knowledgeable, helpful and welcoming. All of the arrangements worked so well - it was a delight for the 4 of us to cycle through the beautiful Loire Valley surrounded by vineyards and sunflower fields, visiting the stunning chateaus on the way, and then relishing wonderful dinners in the lovely hotels each evening. It met all of our expectations, and we will definitely do more holidays like this, and would be very happy to highly recommend the Headwater team - they were great.

Mr Shorney, 28/07/2018

An excellent wy to enjoy the rolling french countryside with rivers and chateaux gallore. Pretty easy riding with lovely hotels and gigantic meals ,etc.

Mr Kelly, 25/07/2018

My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed this trip in July 2018. Food was very good, bikes were in excellent condition and the cycling was not difficult. Accommodation was also good. Would have no problem recommending if you like biking holidays.

Mr Bowen, 19/06/2018

An excellent leisurely cycle route in beautiful countryside. Chateau de Chissay accommodation was outstanding, and L'Aubiniere first class. Wonderful food in all locations - in truth, probably too much for six successive nights.

Mr Reid, 19/06/2018

I found the bicycle was too big and heavy for me. This did spoil the holiday a bit for me. In the Auberge de Centre we were in a very small room in the Annexe which we didn't like very much. But overall the holiday was very good. The Headwater staff were helpful when we had to come home a day early.

Horner, 18/06/2018

Despite some adverse comments above, we enjoyed the holiday very much, partly because we were with a group pf friends. The food was excellent, but I doubt we could have survived many more six course meals. We were surprised that Marc didn't check with us that everything was OK during the holiday, and that no account was taken of our age (over 75) or level of fitness. 27 miles incorporating a number of fairly steep hills was at the upper limit of our abilities.

Mr Smith, 03/06/2018

A peaceful and engaging easy-going trip seeing parts of France off the usual tourist track. Not too far even for less-than-fit folk like ourselves. We missed the companionship we've had on other trips, but actually it was lovely to come and go as we pleased, in our own time.

Mr Skinner, 30/05/2018

Warm welcomes, great food and lovely leisurely rides through beautiful countryside

Mr Brittain, 16/08/2017

Fautless. The service was excellent from booking to picking up our bikes. Hotels were all unique and food wonderful. We found the cycling a bit much but the countryside was amazing and empty. GPS a great asset.

Mr Davey, 01/08/2017

Fantastic accommodation and food , just make sure you bring well padded cycling shorts, they are a must even with gel covered saddles.

Mr Billingham, 27/07/2017

Great bikes , routes and on the whole hotels

Mr Savage, 23/07/2017

Very pleasant cycling on quiet country lanes and tracks, interesting chateau visits, wine tasting and fabulous evening meals.

Mr Brown, 21/07/2017

1st class service from rep & hotels. Easy cycling over interesting terrain + amazing food

Miss Ward, 16/07/2017

A relaxing holiday in rural France, with quiet cycling on good roads and lots of amazing food.

Mr Page, 06/07/2017

Very enjoyable.

Mrs Simpson, 21/06/2017

Excellent all round, really easy cycling, lovely chateaus to visit, accommodation good, food at hotels amazing, hate to 'moan' but after 3 days I just needed a light salad!

Mrs West, 19/06/2017

A great way to visit chateaux in the Loire Valley. All the hotels had pools which were much appreciated after the cycling and the standard of food was very good.

Mr Holt, 19/06/2017

Really enjoyed cycling and food L'aubiniere

Mr Shallcross, 17/06/2017

A great way for a very keen and a not so keen cyclist to enjoy an excellent cycling holiday together.

Mr Tuffnell, 28/05/2017

Easy cycling, superb countryside, delicious food and lovely people.

Mrs Stephenson, 23/05/2017

Fantastic holiday. My husband is a keen cyclist and I am not, but I loved it. The routes were just the right distance and not too many hills. Add in great food and wine tasting and it was a perfect holiday. We made good use of the wine collection service! Already planning which holiday to book next!

Mr Raper, 16/10/2016

An opportunity to experience something different in a beautiful part of the world with the benefit of the professional way Headwater looked after us.

Mrs Bulmer, 19/09/2016

Overall a very enjoyable holiday. Although not difficult, I do think a reasonable amount of fitness is required. Not sure this was made clear in the brochure.

Mrs Owens, 03/09/2016

We have travelled with Headwater on many cycling holidays experiencing the different Countries and we have never been disappointed.

Everything about the holiday is first class and we look forward to the next.

Mrs Fuller, 30/08/2016

lovely holiday with easy cycling through attractive countryside and interesting hotels each with their own charms.

Mrs Moynihan, 22/08/2016

We had a superb holiday cycling in the Loire Valley. At times I felt i was cycling through a picture postcard, the scenery was so beautiful. The cycling was manageable for our 12 year old twins and the bikes were an excellent standard. The roads were quiet and the French were very polite and patient with cyclists (unlike British drivers!). The food was excellent quality

Mrs Shorney, 22/08/2016

Beautiful scenery, wonderful dining and comfortable cycling in a lovely part of the country

Ms Young, 13/08/2016

The area is beautiful with many castles to visit and easy to cycle. Food is gourmet & delicious, many restaurants and cafes on route. Plenty of history. Weather is great. Though problems I mentioned need to be dealt with.

Mrs Cornish, 10/08/2016

Gentle cycling through beautiful countryside - with stunning chateaux to visit - fabulous fragrances in the air - luxurious accommodation and wonderful food and wine. At the end we were fitter - but possibly fatter too!

Mr Merryweather, 07/08/2016

Leisurely cycling tour through beautiful and quiet countryside with leisurely breaks at excellent hotels, providing sufficient time to visit chateaux and gardens along the way.

Mrs Ng, 04/08/2016

This holiday is a perfect introduction to a cycling break. The guided routes offer traffic free cycling through beautiful countryside, with plenty of opportunity for visits to majestic chateaux, wine tasting and shopping in local markets for lunch. It was so well organised and the Hotel L'Aubiniere is just perfect with the most amazing food. We also loved Chateau de Chissay it is really charming. Thank you for a wonderful trip.

Mrs Skelton, 31/07/2016

Don't take a vegetarian on a Gastronomic tour of the Loire! For the rest of us it was wonderful and the cycling was lovely. Generally friendly hotels - a very stroppy waiter in the second hotel and no services including coffee/teas to be had on the Monday. However, a very peaceful location and a fabulous and friendly dinner that night at the hotel up the road (in the middle of the cow fields) - would it be worth trying to organise a stay at that one instead?

Mrs Southwell, 25/07/2016

Great holiday - easy cycling on quiet roads and cycle routes - delightful reps and first class hotels and food. A very successful Gastronomic holiday.

Mr Strauss, 23/07/2016

We can warmly recommend the Loire Gastronomic Cycling holiday which is particularly suitable for the reasonably fit and active over-65s. The hotels are excellent and all had swimming pools, the meals were really delicious and the cycling was not too strenuous. The countryside is stunning, as are the many chateaux along the route which are of special interest and add greatly to the enjoyment of the holiday.

Mr Crossley, 13/06/2016

Good alternative holiday

Dr Dixon, 25/09/2015

Excellent concept of relatively easy cycling (30km/day) in pleasant countryside. Plenty of places (e.g. chateaux) to visit on the way. Some fantastic food experience (i.e. at l'Aubiniere) that merits the word 'gastronomic'. L'Auberge du Centre was competent too. Chateaux de Chissay was the one disappointment - with poor levels of service - going through the motions but not really getting it unlike l'Aubiniere. They also had large tour parties (Taiwanese in our case) at Chissay which detracted from the experience and the service level in particular.

Mr Maher, 23/09/2015

This is a very pleasant holiday and easy enough for people over 65. There is plenty of interest in the towns along the way - and plenty of chateaux, if that's your go. The weather was a bit mixed in mid-September, but we had good company on the ride which made up any disappointment. We had done the Loire Gastronomic a decade earlier, but the route has changes significantly and it was thoroughly enjoyable. Our ride this time was trouble-free, but the Headwater agents were very helpful always at hand if needed.

Mr Beaney, 18/09/2015

The food was excellent but having 5 course gourmet dinners every night was probably more than we really needed. The hotels were all very comfortable and very different with genuinely excellent restaurants and helpfull staff.

Mr John, 18/09/2015

We had initially considered a Headwater walking tour of Loire as my wife is not a confident cyclist. But reading the website comments - decided Loire region was quite poor walking country but great cycling country. My wife more than coped with the itinerary and we are both raring to go on our next Headwater cycling holiday next year when we will both be 69!

Hotels and meals all excellent but we did feel that the rooms we stayed in at Chissay were a bit tired and in need of renovation, hence the fair rating.

Your HQ staff gave us excellent advice and James and Hazel as tour managers were the most brilliant ever encountered and helped make an excellent experience.

Mrs Craig, 16/09/2015

We had an excellent, well organised holiday ,in beautiful surroundings with delicious food and wine. It was at the correct standard for our level of cycling.

The reps were efficient, friendly, and well informed. The three hotels were very different but all very comfortable with excellent food.

This was our third cycling holiday in France with headwater and by far the best. Previous holidays , Brittany and Canal du Midi, were not such good value and conditions more challenging.

Mr Patterson, 03/09/2015

The gastronomic cycling holiday was a great way to see the Loire valley up close. The notes for cycling were easy to follow and enabled us to enjoy the holiday at our own pace. The bikes were well maintained with a comfy gel saddle which ensured no aches and pains were felt in unwanted places! On this holiday you can keep fit and build up an appetite for the excellent French cuisine and wines which you enjoy guilt-free and come home the same weight as when you left.

Mr Herron, 25/08/2015

Fabulous holiday, very well planned. We were immersed in the countryside and every day we saw beautiful places that we would never have seen travelling by car. Every night we ate a sumptuous meal of fabulous quality. A real joy.

Mr Juckes, 24/07/2015

Had a fabulous time especially in view of the fact that we organised it within 24hours! Great work from Headwater on that.

Weather was brilliant too even with the 39degree heat day. It was always very supportive to know that we could call James and/or Hazel anytime form anywhere and they would help us. We did. One day, we didn't make the whole distance and were picked up without any issues at all.

I didn't take a helmet and I do feel it is compulsory for me, whatever the law. I think a bigger 'heads-up' re taking a helmet could be made, plus at least for the girls, take cycling pants.

All the meals were sensational. The routes were scenic and thoroughly enjoyable, especially the dedicated bike tracks and those along the rivers.

Loved the entire experience and working with this company. Five stars. Thank you.

Ms Zehr, 21/07/2015

We were very happy with the entire trip. The accommodations and food were amazing. I've already recommended this vacation to several friends.

Mr Turnbull, 11/07/2015

We had a fabulous holiday, the support we got from our reps (particularly James) was of a really high standard, and definitely added to the holiday experience.

The hotels (especially Vallagon and Chissay) definitely lived up to or surpassed expectations.

This sort of holiday was new to us, but we would definitely do it again.

Mrs Pryor-Jones, 07/07/2015

We luckily met another couple on our trip with similar interests so it was lovely to meet up in the evenings with them, could have been solitary on our own.

Wouldn't do Gastronomique as food was too much and very similar menu at each hotel, No Air Con at hotel on 1st and last night and it was very hot when we were on holiday. The villages we cycled through had few shops and often seemed closed when we went through them but on the whole this wasn't a major problem. The chateaus were lovely and the hotel staff on the whole very helpful. The bikes were very good.

Mr Ricketts, 15/06/2015

As with my previous Headwater holiday in Brittany last year, the organisation and logistics of this holiday worked like clockwork, luggage was collected and delivered to successive hotels in time for my arrival. In all but one instance the hotel reception was excellent and the quality of the dining experience was commensurate with fine dining. In one hotel only, the restaurant was busy and the front of house staff were flustered and made several mistakes with my menus and orders, but this was compensated by the quality of the food and the wine suggestions of the other staff. One evening our group was taken by taxi for the evening meal to a nearby Hotel/Restaurant as our hotel's restaurant was closed for the evening. This was done with efficiency and the dining experience worth the trip. The Rep, James, made every effort to meet me when I arrived and to explain things to me and took the trouble to see me off as I left. The Reps were very helpful, sending me a postcard with their contact details on before I started the holiday, giving me the confidence that they would be there to help if anything went wrong, which I am glad to say did not happen. If you like French food and good wines this is a good choice for you. I am a keen cyclist and prefer to cycle further each day than the Headwater brochure routes. I appreciate the flexibility Headwater adopt with me in negotiating support for a longer route than the one in the brochure. I will be booking with Headwater again next year.

Mr Betts, 20/05/2015

We were a family group of six with ages ranging from 30 to 67 and we all enjoyed the whole experience. One of our party was a vegetarian which we recognised might be a bit of a challenge for the hotels, given that this was a gastronomic experience, but she was quite happy with the range of vegetarian options available.

Mr Bell, 07/10/2014

Beautiful area of France with easy cycling days,many interesting places to visit and, at the end of the day, mouth watering food to enjoy.

Mrs Cox, 16/08/2014

Great holiday hampered only by poor weather at times but our reps were fantastic. Chissay was lovely. How marvellous to stay in such an historic place. Every single member of staff was very helpful and friendly. We could not fault it. We could not make much use of the pool as it was not warm enough. Hotel Aubiniere was more modern and very comfortable with lovely food. again the staff were great. The Auberge was much more cramped and very busy. We struggled to be able to find somewhere to put the bikes as the shed was so full. Out of the three this was our least favourite but the food was good if a bit over fussy. A great holiday but would not want to do it for longer as the food becomes too much by the end. If we did it again we would do it without the gastronomy just simple meals.

Mrs Barry, 28/07/2014

It was a lovely relaxing holiday. Amazing weather and the cycling routes were really easy to navigate and through beautiful parts of France. We did though feel we had earned out gastronomic dinner at the end of the day - which was perfect! Two of the hotels were lovely, at Chateau de Chissay and Hotel L'Aubiniere the facilities and food were heavenly but we didn't feel the other hotel Auberge du Centre was not quite at the same standard.

Mrs Lamont, 14/07/2014

Headwater provide a fair all around holiday

Mr Hyne, 05/07/2014

Another excellent holiday with Headwater despite the disappointing weather! Delicious food again only wish we could have been there longer.

Mrs Thomas, 23/06/2014

a great holiday with lovely places to stay at night with food that is to die for. during the day we stopped at great locations with good facilities for lunch and exploring, would love to go again as it was a great experience thank you

Mrs Demont, 13/06/2014

Fabulous area for easy cycling, with empty roads and lots of interesting places to visit on 'rest' days. A variety of good hotels in very peaceful locations.

Mrs Lindsay, 03/06/2014

Thanks to careful planning by Headwater our holiday ran smoothly from the initial phone call to our journey home. It was our first experience using Headwater, it exceeded all our expectations and we look forward to another holiday with them in the future.

Mrs Coburn, 23/09/2013

The title 'gastronomique' is deserved - the food was wonderful. The cycling was generally easy and the many chateaux were a delight. Special treats Clos-Luc in Amboise; the gardens in Chaumont; the delightful Cheverny.

Mr Wilkinson, 12/09/2013

Very good holiday.

Mr Fenton, 18/07/2013

The cycling and support from the reps was very good. Unfortunately apart from the one hotel I would not rate the holiday as a gastronomic experience.

Mr Venn, 04/07/2013

Excellent Holiday: Food Excellent. Some of the hotels in need of some upgrading. Bikes great. See me separate email!

Graham Venn

Mrs Forbes, 29/06/2013

Gentle exercise with time to appreciate the rural surroundings; superior and varied accommodation; wonderful food and wine. We have never slept better!!

Mr Griffiths, 18/06/2013

This is not a cheap holiday as the Gastronomic label confirms. I've not eaten 5-6 course meals for 6 nights on the trot before, but you can get used to it very easily when the courses aren't huge. The cycling, chateaux and shivering in icy swimming pools were all great. We really enjoyed it.

Dates and prices

You can be confident that our pricing includes all the standard requirements of your holiday and many additional extras. Always ensure that you are comparing like for like when booking your holiday.

This 6 night self-guided cycling holiday includes:

Hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of and hotels

All continental breakfast and gastronomic evening meals

Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent

GPS route directions and maps

Headwater navigation app

High quality bikes

Standard transfers at the start/end of the trip (if booking inclusive flights)

Luggage transfers between hotels

How to book:

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or click on the 'check availability' links below to complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

To enquire about this holiday, or for further information, call our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or click on the 'Check availability' links below to complete our holiday enquiry form.

Please call for prices

We do not currently have departure dates and prices available on-line. The season may have ended for this tour, or we are still in the process of adding these details to our website. Please contact us for further details.

Holiday details

Please contact us for child prices.

Holiday type
Self-guided cycling Managed locally by Headwater appointed agent.


All continental breakfast and gastronomic evening meals

Electric bikes
It is possible to hire electric bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £120 per person. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.

It is possible to hire tandem bikes for this holiday at a supplement of £125 per bike. As these are available on a first come first served basis, we recommend early booking to avoid disappointment.

Other details
This holiday may be adapted into a 4 night version.

Tailor-made travel

Tour only

Transfers can be arranged at a supplement from Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 12:58 and back to Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 10:00.

How to book

For further details, or to check availability, speak to our sales team on 1-800-267-3347 or complete our holiday enquiry form (we'll contact you at a time that's most convenient for you).

Call now to speak to our specialist team at 1-800-267-3347 or email us at usa@exodustravels.com for enquiries or to book your trip.