You may be unaware that it is in Loiret that the River Loire offers its finest jewels. The Loire à Vélo cycle route has no equivalent elsewhere in France: and in Loiret alone, some 155km of cycle routes have been developed along the river or in the vicinity. The ideal setting for an escapade full of discoveries. Whether you prefer a long and athletic or a short and relaxing cycle... Freedom is the name of the game here!
A great escape
Looking for a change of scenery, need a break? Loiret is naturally THE perfect destination to get away from the routine and to unwind in the fresh outdoors. Set off to discover the Loire's many mysteries. Discover its idiosyncrasies, its fauna and flora and, above all, revel in the inimitable 'Loire light'. Each tour or detour along your way will offer a brand new experience.
Designed for your comfort, the cycle route runs exclusively along asphalted green ways or narrow roads and paths with low traffic.
And you'll never be far from a market town, a stopover, a natural curiosity, a monument or a place to stay.
Signposting, equipped rest areas (picnic tables, benches, cycle stands, etc.) and a vast range of service providers located along the route ensure that you make the most of the pleasures offered by the 'Loire à Vélo' route.
La Loire à vélo © Ludovic Letot
La Loire à vélo © Ludovic Letot
La Loire à vélo © Ludovic Letot
La Loire à vélo à Châteauneuf-sur-Loire © Christophe Lörsch
7 stages from east to west
From Beaulieu-sur-Loire to Briare
On the right bank, the route, which is scattered with a number of hydraulic structures, takes you to Briare and its famous aqueduct over the Loire. (21km/13 miles – app. 1 h 30 minutes).
From Briare to Gien
After crossing the Loire, head for Saint-Brisson-sur-Loire and its château. From here, you'll soon be in Gien, where you can visit the Faïencerie (earthenware factory). (12km/7.5 miles – app. 1 h)
From Gien to Sully-sur-Loire
Here, you can delight in the site of the majestic Château de Sully-sur-Loire, once home to the grand Duke of Sully, minister to Henri IV. (28km/17 miles – app. 2 h)
From Sully-sur-Loire to Châteauneuf-sur-Loire
Back to the north bank for a cycle scattered with exceptional sites: the Guilly meander, St. Benedict's Abbey, Germigny-des-Prés oratory... (20km/12 miles – app. 1 h 30 minutes)
From Châteauneuf-sur-Loire to Saint-Denis-en-Val
Return to the south bank to revel in some quite remarkable viewpoints over the Loire and its islands, home to many bird species, including terns in particular. (22km/14 miles – app. 1 h 45 minutes)
From Saint-Denis-en-Val to Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Mesmin
After Sandillon, cross the Loire at Orléans and follow the quayside route before heading for the Courpain headland, at the confluence of the Loire and the Loiret. (22km/14 miles – app. 1 h 45 minutes)
From Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Mesmin to Tavers
Splendid panoramic views over the Loire, its alluvial forest and its sand banks. The route runs through two characterful towns: Meung-sur-Loire and Beaugency. (25km/16 miles – app. 1 h 45 minutes)
16 routes 'made in Loiret'
Looking to venture away from the riverside? No less than 16 cycle marked round-trip cycle routes offer you an initiatory journey through the treasures of Loiret, starting from the Loire à Vélo route. They are all easy routes that cyclists of all levels can enjoy. They run through quiet roads with low traffic across Orléans Forest, Sologne, Beauce, Berry and Puisaye. Near Orléans, but far from the busy roads, the Charbonnière wood green way is the perfect route for a pleasant family cycle.
We pamper our cyclists
When the time comes for a break after a good day pedalling, it is important for you as a cyclist to be able to count on accommodation providers that offer appropriate services: to repair and service your bike, to prepare your ongoing itinerary and your visits, to rest and recharge your batteries over an excellent meal, to wash your clothes, etc... The many service providers awarded with the 'Accueil Vélo' (cycle-friendly) quality label go to great lengths to ensure you have a perfect stay.
Electric mountain bikes.
Tired, not sure you'll make it all the way, happy to accept some assistance? Then opt for an electric bike! Fully equipped for cycle touring (with a 'Safety Pack' including helmet, vest, spreader, repair kit, etc.) and offering 40 to 60kms of autonomy, these bikes are available for hire from a half-day basis.
Perfect for all cyclists, thanks to their low frame, they are the ideal solution for an effortless cycle tour. Ask our 'Accueil Vélo' cycle hirers for advice.
Forget about your luggage!
If you're travelling along the 'Loire à Vélo' route between Orléans and Angers, Bagafrance can look after transferring your luggage from one accommodation point to the next; they can also transport your cycles or move your car. A practical solution!
Tel: 0033 (0)7 86 38 41 27 – www.bagafrance.
When your cycles go for a bus ride
From May to September, on weekends and public holidays, certain lines on the Ulys Loiret Council bus network offer the possibility to transport your cycle at no extra cost. A great idea for getting from one point to the next on the cycle route. Booking required. 0 800 05 45 00 (48 hours before travelling) - www.ulys-loiret.com
How to get here
By train: railway stations in Orléans, Meung-sur-Loire, Beaugency and Gien
A10 motorway: Orléans Centre or Meung-sur-Loire exits
A71 motorway: Orléans Centre exit
A77 motorway: Gien or Briare exits
Can I come from Paris with my bike?
Yes, on 'Intercités' (intercity) trains.
Paris-Austerlitz ⇨ Orléans: 1h - Paris/Bercy ⇨ Gien: 1 h 30 minutes
Book your bike on the train on the voyages-sncf.com website by ticking the 'je voyage avec mon vélo' (I'm travelling with my bike) box. In the high season, the Train Vélo Loire (TER Regional Express Train) also offers a cycle transport service in special carriages and without needing to book.
What's the best time of year?
From March to October.
Where are the departure points?
You can start and end your tour wherever you like.
How much does it cost?
Cycle routes are accessible free of charge – your only cost being if you need to hire a bike. For accommodation, meals, visits, etc. cost largely depends on your personal choice.
HOW TO BOOK
02 38 78 04 04
Prepare your stay 'à la carte' and book your accommodation at www.tourismeloiret.com
Don't forget to shorten your distance between stopovers to allow enough time to relax and visit.
And if you'd rather pedal light, so you can make the most without worrying about logistics, then ask a travel agent to organise your holiday for you. Consult the detailed list on the www.loireavelo.fr website.