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Help needed cycling Loire Valley

cheddarpaulcheddarpaul Posts: 126
edited January 2018 in Tour & expedition
I'm thinking of cycling a good stretch of the Loire this July and need some help from the collective minds..

Currently, my thoughts are to get the train to Orleans and then head West for a few days, probably covering about 50-70 miles per day for 4 days, before getting the train back to Orleans from Angers(ish) and then back to the UK.

1) How easy/difficult is it to get a bike over there via Eurotunnel? Looking through their site its not easy to understand what rules apply and to where?
2) Any thoughts on heading East to West versus West to East?
3) Accommodation will be hostels hopefully as I like the communal feel, any suggestions of places to stay Orleans, Blois/Amboise, Tours/Chinon and then finally in Angers?
4) Any gems or advice from anyone who's done this route before?

Appreciate any thoughts....
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  • SuntourSuntour Posts: 11
    cannot comment on EuroTunnel - never used it.

    2) As for East to West - West to East - it does not really matter. The Loire Valley is fairly sheltered.

    3) I know you want to use hostels but if you using hotel accomodation as a fall back, do bear in mind that it can be surprisingly difficult to find in the Loire Valley thanks to coach parties who invade most of the big towns along the Loire during the summer months. This is a basic and central but inexpensive Etap hotel in Blois for around €40 a night.

    4) Overall, its a nice route. But I was not impressed with Orleans - does not feel like a rural French town but rather just a satellite town of the Paris commuter belt.
  • andymillerandymiller Posts: 2,856
    Are you 100 percent sure you mean eurotunnel rather than eurostar? You can take the eurotunnel from Dover to Calais, but you then need to get to Paris. Unless you live in Kent (and I'm guessing that with the username cheddarpaul you might not), there's probably no advantage in using the eurotunnel as opposed to eurostar.

    So assuming you meant eurostar, you might find this little step-by-step guide to travelling with a bike on eurostar useful:

    http://italy-cycling-guide.info/getting ... -eurostar/

    The official page is here:

    http://www.eurostar.com/uk-en/trave...n ... e-eurostar

    The TGV trains on the route from Paris to Orleans. Unfortunately the SNCF seem to have made a deliberate decision to make it difficult for UK travellers to find information about which trains have bike spaces, and to book them online. Your best bet is to use

    https://www.capitainetrain.com/search/

    to buy tickets etc.

    You might also want to see this article on how to avoid the hobbled version of the voyages-sncf.com website.

    http://italy-cycling-guide.info/getting ... ss-france/

    You might also want to try seat61.com.

    I haven't cycled this route, but I met a Swiss couple on the train last week who were just returning from the route. They said that they had decided to do the route West-East to avoid the prevailing wind - only to find that they faced a continual headwind from the East. In July though I'd have thought the crowds would be your major problem. I'd suggest going earlier if you can.
  • Have you looked at Couch surfing or air b&b
  • El ReyEl Rey Posts: 83
    Did you do the ride? I am exploring different rides for 2019 and EuroVelo 6 is one possibility.
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