Loire self guided cycling holiday
Description of Loire self guided cycling holiday
On this self guided cycling holiday, you’ll spend nine days discovering the highlights of the stunning Loire Valley, using leisurely pedal power to get around. The Loire is famous for its many chateaux - there are over 300 over around these parts - and you’ll get the chance to visit many of these fairytale structures. Among them are Chenonceau - A Renaissance marvel straddling the Cher river; Chaumont, which was once the home of Catherine de Medici; and the dramatic royal palace of Amboise, set in a charming riverside town.
All of your accommodation is carefully hand-picked and includes a renovated riverside wine broker’s lodge and a castle with its own private parkland. Food and drink also play a major part in your journey. This is one of the world’s foremost wine regions, and there will be plenty of opportunity to visit vineyards and wineries (and to taste their wares)! Evening meals on this trip are all included and the chefs use local, seasonal produce to create memorable, multi course meals.
Planet and peopleAccommodation & meals: We spend the eight nights of this cycling holiday in lovingly converted castles, manor houses and inns, some family-run, in Chissay, Chenonceaux, Chaumont-sur-Loire, Saint-Dye-sur-Loire and Chitenay, where at least 75% of the staff are local residents. Our customers provide income to an area that does benefit from tourism; however the hotels we use are small properties (40 rooms or less). The evening meals on this holiday are all included and the chefs use locally-produced and sourced seasonal goods where possible for their regional fayre. Local wines are always suggested to accompany meals. Our hoteliers have also demonstrated commitment to sustainable practices in some or all of the following areas: waste management, saving water and saving energy.
Community: We have designed the trip, in collaboration with local agents who have the best inside knowledge. On this trip we encourage and enable our guests to try local cuisine and support local businesses, to chat with local people, visit local attractions such as the magnificent castles along the river, cafes and bars, purchase local produce including the wines and world-famous patisseries, and discover what life is really like amongst the beautiful gardens and fine art of the Loire! We also offer a wine service in the Loire region - any customers who want to purchase local wines can do so en route and any purchases are collected by our Local Representative and delivered to the final hotel on the route.
Group size: This is a self-guided holiday with departures every 2-3 days and low passenger numbers, helping to keep environmental impact to a minimum, and reduce over-tourism. Self-guided holidays in our regions with Local Reps (including The Loire) are possible with a minimum of one person on any departure dates; however we would always hope that more people would want to visit this amazing wine-producing and historical region!
Activity: Few holidays have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a cycling trip. It is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. We encourage our customers to either walk or cycle between hotels therefore reducing the overall carbon footprint on the holiday. We do believe in leaving more than just bike tracks and encourage our customers to calculate their own carbon footprint for their holiday and make a donation to offset their effects to the World Land Trust.
UK office: In addition to the careful planning that goes into each and every one of our tours, we also have a policy of operating our office in a responsible manner - to reduce the impact on our local environment. We turn off all lights, printers, photocopiers and PCs at the end of each day: a PC monitor switched off overnight saves enough energy to microwave six meals; leaving a computer on 24/7 costs four times more than if you switch it off; a photocopier left on overnight uses enough energy to produce over 1,500 copies. We use energy-efficient light bulbs and make sure they're regularly cleaned - dirty bulbs can reduce the amount of effective light by over 25%. We've turned down every radiator by one degree in a bid to reduce energy consumption by as much as 10%. All our brochures are printed on paper from sustainable sources and sent in bio-degradable packaging. We strive to reduce paper consumption and, what we do use, we recycle. We recycle all our used laser printer and inkjet cartridges.
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Idyllic cycling in France with great food, wine and bonhomie