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Bicycling and Kayaking in Loire Valley - Trip Report

I spent two days biking and kayaking in the Loire Valley, and it was the highlight of my trip to France. I pre-arranged my travel with Loire Velo Nature: http://www.loirevelonature.com/ who had amazing customer service.

I took the train from Paris to Tours. At Tours, I left my luggage with Hotel L'Europe, which was located right across the train station. They only charge 2euros a day for left luggage, and you don't even need to be a guest. Then I picked up my bicycle at the Best Western hotel, which is where Loire Velo Nature has a pick-up location. I bicycled about 14km to Savonnières, where somebody from Loire Velo Nature picked up my bicycle, and gave me a kayak. Then I kayaked about 1kkm to Bréhémont, the main store of Loire Velo Nature, and returned my kayak. I stayed one night at a bed and breakfast in Bréhémont run by Loire Velo Nature's owner, Celine. The next day, I got back on the bike and biked back to Tours, stopping by 3 chateaus along the way (~40km). Then I stayed at Hotel L'Europe and went back to Paris the next morning.

The bicycle route was very smooth and it's a great way to see the countryside. My only issue is that there's no place to fill up on water along the way, so I was very dehydrated by the time I got to Savonnières. Bring more water! The kayak trip was absolutely amazing. The Loire is definitely the cleanest river I've ever been on. I only saw one piece of garbage (a water bottle) the whole time I was on the river, so I picked it up myself and threw it in a trash bin later. I saw many birds and fish, and it was incredibly peaceful and beautiful.

I highly recommend this kind of trip to experience the Loire Valley, and also highly recommend Loire Velo Nature to help you arrange the pickups and dropoffs.

Ana C.

Posted by
7605 posts

Sounds absolutely fantastic! Sounds like you found a great company to work with. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by
8293 posts

Ana, thank you for posting this. Very helpful info. I agree with Kim, your trip sounds wonderful! I would love to do this and after reading this... maybe I will!

Posted by
8772 posts

What a great idea! I'm curious, for kayaking what did you wear? I'll be in the Loire in early October and I don't know if I want to bring special clothes for kayaking for a few hours one day. We will have a car so we can kayak from any location. I guess I'll have to investigate places to rent them.

Posted by
8772 posts

I was just looking at the website for Loire Velo Nature. One of their rental conditions is -

"Participants must be in good physical and morale condition. They must be able to immerse themselves and swim 25 meters (possession of a swim certificate issued by a qualified); they must have a doctor’s certificate to practice canoeing and kayaking."

How did you meet this requirement, or did they not ask for it?