The area of the Valley of the Loire between the cities of Briare and Nevers in France is a very suitable region for a relaxing bike & barge holiday.
This area, approximately 100 kilometers in length, offers a landscape with slightly rolling hills and a mild climate. During the summer it is dry but never too warm. The Loire Valley region is also known for its rich history and culture. The many impressive castles and small villages make this cycling holiday a unique experience.
Day 1: Saturday: Briare
Arrive your barge and check-in at 3 pm. There is time to try out your bike in this small city with its picturesque locks and aqueduct.
Day 2: Sunday Briare - Chateau Pont Chevron - Rogny-les-Sept-Ecluses – Briare Cycle 50 km
Explore Briare then cycle to the Chateau Pont Chevron, which is picturesquely situated at a small lake. Around lunchtime you will be in the village Rogny-les-Sept-Écluses, known for its seven historical locks. Continue to the 16th century chateau near Bléneau, then via Ouzouer-sur-Trézée, across a lakeland area back to Briare.
Day 3: Monday Briare – Belleville-sur-Loire Cycle 45 km
Start with a visit to the magnificent aqueduct over the Loire River in Briare. Cycle on to the Chateau of St. Brisson, an impressive medieval chateau. Cycle past the historic locks of Châtillon-sur-Loire, and the aqueduct that will take you over the River Loire. Continue towards Belleville-sur-Loire through typical French countryside.
Day 4: Tuesday Belleville-sur-Loire - Sancerre – Menetreol Cycle 50 km
Visit Sancerre and then take a picturesque route right through the vineyards of the Sancerre region where Sauvignon is now mostly grown. Cycle through the vineyards of the Pouilly Fumé wines to Ménétréol where there is the opportunity to try some wine before returning to the barge.
Day 5: Wednesday Menetreol - Cours-les-Barres Cycle 45 km
Leave the region of Pouilly Fume wines and cycle to La Charité-sur-Loire, an ancient Roman town. Crossing the 16th century stone bridge to the centre, you will have a fabulous view over the town and its Notre Dame church. Continue to the barge in Cours-les-Barres for the night.
Day 6: Thursday Cours-les-Barres – Gimouille Cycle 40 km
Cycle to the town of Aprémont and visit the 12th century Chateau and its fabulous gardens. continue on the Canal Lateral du Loire. On the way visit the aqueduct over the Allier River with its two impressive locks measuring 9m high!
Day 7: Friday: Gimouille – Nevers Cycle 25 km
It’s just a short ride to the beautiful town of Nevers where winding streets are lined with houses dating back from the 14th to the 17th century. Nevers’ has a splendid castle and interesting churches.
Day 8: Saturday, Nevers
Arrangements end after breakfast.
Moderate with plenty of rolling hills, so you need to have a reasonable level of fitness.