The Loire Cycle Route

The Loire Cycle Route : From the source in the Massif Central to the Atlantic coast

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The 1052km Loire cycle route starts at the source of the Loire in the Massif Central mountains of central France and finishes at the Atlantic opposite St Nazaire. It descends past extinct volcanoes, crater lakes and deep gorges before joining EuroVelo route 6 and the fully waymarked Loire a Velo, France's most popular cycle trail.

Following the river downstream in 26 stages, the route is generally downhill or level often on dedicated traffic-free cycle tracks. Packed with a wealth of useful information - from practical planning advice to fascinating insights about the river and its surroundings - the guidebook features detailed route descriptions and informative mapping. Details of facilities and places to stay, and a French glossary are included.

The route goes through the heart of France as the Loire becomes the royal river, bounded by extravagant chateaux, fields of Charolais cattle and vineyards. It passes through historic cities like Orleans and Tours, continuing past Angers and France's fourth largest city Nantes.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 116 x 172 x 14mm | 280g
  • Kendal, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised
  • 2nd Revised edition
  • 81 colour photos, 96 colour maps
  • 1852848421
  • 9781852848422
  • 53,209

Table of contents

Map key

Overview map



The route

Natural environment


Getting there and back



Food and drink

Amenities and services

What to take

Safety and emergencies

About this guide

The Loire Cycle Route

Prologue Getting to the start

Upper Loire

Stage 1 Gerbier de Jonc to Goudet

Stage 2 Goudet to Le Puy-en-Velay

Stage 3 Le Puy-en-Velay to Retournac

Stage 4 Retournac to Aurec-sur-Loire

Stage 5 Aurec-sur-Loire to Feurs

Stage 6 Feurs to Roanne

Stage 7 Roanne to Digoin

Middle Loire

Stage 8 Digoin to Bourbon-Lancy

Stage 9 Bourbon-Lancy to Decize

Stage 10 Decize to Nevers

Stage 11 Nevers to La Charite-sur-Loire

Stage 12 La Charite-sur-Loire to Sancerre

Stage 13 Sancerre to Briare

Stage 14 Briare to Sully-sur-Loire

Stage 15 Sully-sur-Loire to Orleans

Lower Loire

Stage 16 Orleans to Beaugency

Stage 17 Beaugency to Blois

Stage 18 Blois to Amboise

Stage 19 Amboise to Tours

Stage 20 Tours to Brehemont

Stage 21 Brehemont to Saumur

Stage 22 Saumur to Angers

Stage 23 Angers to Montjean-sur-Loire

Stage 24 Montjean-sur-Loire to Ancenis

Stage 25 Ancenis to Nantes

Stage 26 Nantes to St Brevin-les-Pins (St Nazaire)

Appendix A Stage summary table

Appendix B Facilities summary table

Appendix C Tourist information offices

Appendix D Youth hostels and gites d'etape

Appendix E Useful contacts

Appendix F Language glossary
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About Mike Wells

Mike Wells has been a keen long-distance walker and cyclist for over 20 years. He has cycled the C2C route across northern England as well as the Camino and Ruta de la Plata to Santiago de la Compostela. He has completed an end to end traverse of Cuba, a circumnavigation of Iceland and a trip across Lapland to the North Cape.
He has walked all the major British trails, the GR5 through the Alps from Lake Geneva to the Mediterranean and has explored the Italian Dolomites' Alta Via routes. He has also walked in Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Norway and Chilean Patagonia.
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