Start: Nevers Finish: Orléans
You individually travel to Nevers. Check in at your hotel and take a walk through the charming town centre. Visit the potters, known for their faience pottery, a skill introduced by Italian craftsmen in the 16th century. Palais Ducal with its renaissance façade is also worth a visit. It’s one of the first castles that was built along the Loire. Nevers is a stop on the well known pilgrims’ route to Santiago de Compostella.
You leave the Burgundian town Nevers and you go on your way to the village Cuffy, the place where the Loire and the Allier unite. This is the official start of the long ‘Loire a Vélo’ route, 800 km in total, ending after 13 stages at the Atlantic Ocean. You go to the monastery town Charité-sur-Loire where you reach the magnificent Roman church ‘Notre Dame’ via the oldest bridge (16th cent) across the Loire. This monastery church, included in Unesco’s heritage, is certainly worth a visit.
Challenge: 45km, 26m ascent, 57m descent
Cycle through the beautiful natural reserve ‘Loire Valley’ along vast, undulating vineyards. Admire the lovely bell tower/belfry of the church in Pouilly-sur-Loire. You go on through the woods and fields to the famous Sancerre wine region. Take a break on the way to taste a local wine grower’s (white) ‘Sauvignon Blanc’, of course this should be accompanied by a Chavignol goat’s cheese. Enjoy the magnificent view of the Loire Valley from Sancerre situated somewhat higher and dominated by its 15th cent donjon.
Challenge: 27km, 171m ascent, 27m descent
Leave Sancerre via the tow path along the ‘Canal Latéral’ and go via Bannay to the flower town Cosne-Cours-sur-Loire, beautifully situated on the right bank. Then go to Belleville-sur-Loire, Beaulieu-sur-Loire and finally the small town Briare. Admire the metal canal bridge, a monumental piece of hydraulic engineering, realized at the end of 19th cent. It bridges the Loire by a giant step and connects the 2 adjacent canals. With its 72 lampposts and decorated pilasters a beauty of former technique.
Challenge: 54km, 56m ascent, 213m descent
Cross the Loire river via the canal bridge, the ‘Pont Canal de Briare’, and cycle to Saint-Brisson-sur-Loire with its medieval castle, specialized in catapults and cannons. This is followed by the lively town of Gien with its panoramic view. Here too is situated the castle of Anne de Beaujeu, built about 1500, and the beautiful 18th cent bridge with 12 pillars. Your destination is Sully-sur-Loire with again a remarkable medieval castle, completely surrounded by canals/moats and with a gorgeous view of the river.
Challenge: 38km, 99m ascent, 114m descent
Today on your way to Orléans. Enjoy the grand views on the way to Saint-Benoit.Once there visit the 11th-13th cent abbey that belongs to the most remarkable Roman churches in France. Then go to Chateauneuf-sur-Loire, one of the important ports of the Loire in the 18th cent. You get the first sight of your destination: Orléans, the town of ‘art and history’, liberated from the English (rule) by Jeanne d’Arc. Be sure to take a walk through the beautiful, historic centre.
Challenge: 51km, 99m ascent, 112m descent
End of your trip after breakfast. We advise you to extend your stay in order to take the time to visit the beautiful city of Orléans. Once it was the capital in the early French Middle Ages, but nowadays it’s a lively, modern town where there’s a lot to be seen.
The upper course of the Loire still shows what the Loire has always been: a natural, untamable river/stream. Cycle along the sandbanks, old river curves and islands. Pass age old bridges and medieval castles. Admire the technical ingenuity of the canal bridge in Briare. And enjoy: ‘Chavignol up to Sancerre’!
The total ‘Loire à Vélo’ route runs from Nevers to ‘l'Océan‘, let's say from ‘source' to mouth. The route can be divided into 3 various stages which can also be booked separately.
You can add additional detours during this trip. This excellently marked first stage varies from flat to slightly sloping.
This b&b has been created in a 1936 mansion, entirely renovated. It is ideally located in the city center of Nevers opposite Roger Salengro park. The house is located 100m from the Sainte-Bernadette shrine, and the Ducal Palace and the Cathedral are on the other side of the Park.
Located in the city of Charité-sur-Loire which is well known for its priory built in the 11th century and for being The city of books; the hotel Le Bon Laboureur welcomes you in a warm and friendly atmosphere, before settling in one of its rooms which are all without exception, welcoming and with all the necessary comfort for a memorable stay.
The Hôtel Le Clos Saint-Martin welcomes you all year round in the heart of Sancerre, in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Perched on the hill of Sancerre, the hotel has a character typical of the 19th century, pleasant, discreet and elegant. Completely renovated in 2008, the 3-star hotel Le Clos Saint Martin benefits from modern comfort, while retaining the charm and authenticity of the Sancerre style.
On the banks of the Loire, on the borders of Berry and Puisaye, between the Valley of the Kings and the Sancerre vineyards, the lovely little village of Briare will be an ideal stopover for you. In the heart of the city, next to the marina, the hotel Le Cerf, affiliated with the "Logis de France", will welcome you in a friendly setting.
The three-star hotel, La Closeraie, is the result of the complete renovation of a 19th century house, a stone's throw from the moats of the Château de Sully sur Loire. Its owners welcome you in a cozy and warm atmosphere.
Treat yourself to a relaxing break in our hotel in Orléans. You will love the "urban" and cosy atmosphere in these double or twin rooms and you’ll love their view too. As they overlook Empreinte Hôtel's courtyard and the city roofs, they are a wonderfully quiet place to stay. Ideal for a romantic break.
Departure any day fo the week from April to October
The international Paris airports Charles de Gaulle in the north and Orly in the south are served by a large number of scheduled and low cost airlines.They are connected with Paris by metro and bus services. From Paris you can take a train to Nevers, see below.
From Paris to Nevers (approx. 2h40 - 250 km). Acces to driving routes see the website ViaMichelin.
Parking possibilities at the first accommodation in Nevers (5 €/day)
HYBRID RENTAL BIKE
VELO DE VILLE Trekking A200, 24 Speed
The bikes come with pannier, handlebar bag, spare tube, tools, pump, helmet and lock
ELECTRIC BIKE RENTAL
VELO DE VILLE CEB 400 Belt
The bikes come with pannier, handebar bag, spare tube, tools, pump, helmet and lock
GPS tracks are available on request