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Canoe-ing and/or biking along Loire or Cher rivers, one or the other? Both?

Hi all,

We're going back for our second France trip next spring and planning a week in the Loire after Paris, staying near Chenonceaux. I'd love to canoe on one of the rivers, and also we'd like to rent bikes (on bikes-only paths, because French roads seem suicidal to cycle on).

Has anyone rented canoes around the chateau Chenonceau on the Cher, or the Loire? Any preference?

And...biking, same question? We're not hard-core cyclists or anything, just a leisurely ride along the river would be nice.

Thanks for any tips! Can't wait to go back!

Posted by
12197 posts

There is a bike trail from Amboise to Chenonceau. It connects to the bike trail that runs along the Loire maybe three or four blocks west of Amboise center. It's generally an easy trail, both the roughly 20 km to Chenonceau and along the river. The hard part is the first mile climbing out of Amboise. After the top of the hill it's fairly gentle rolling hills the rest of the way.

You can take the bike path to the gardens at Villandry. I did, but lost the trail going through Tours (followed bad guidance on my bike mode GPS) and rode in some fairly hairy traffic on narrow roads. Fortunately the French are very respectful of bikers. The trail goes the other way too, but I didn't go past Amboise Chateau or Clos Luce (also a pretty good climb off the river).

Posted by
6113 posts

I did some cycling around the Saumur region in the Loire in late May this year. There are many interesting cycle routes around the town and motorists always give way to cyclists. I am certainly not a hard core cyclist, but I found cycling easy there. The roads out of town were practically empty. Cycling in the various regions of France that I have tried are much, much less busy than roads in England and the drivers are far more considerate.

I didn’t hire a canoe, but out of season (ie not July or August), things have more limited openings or availability or are closed.

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks you guys! I never even thought of late May being possibly too early to canoe, but that's something to check into. Thanks for the info :D