Our first tour of the year takes us on the best country back roads of France down to the beautiful Loire Valley with its pretty villages and historic Chateaux. We have a two night stay on the magnificent island and seaside resort of Ile de Re before we return to the Loire region and onto the historic WWI areas of Northern France.
This tour is planned and run on minor and back roads unless otherwise stated or when there is a need to progress on a motorway or main road.
Day 1. Saturday May 13th. Calais to Evreux (approx. 175 miles)
After arriving in Calais we head towards Rouen and to crunch some miles the first 100 miles will be on motorway. When we leave the motorway we cut through the beautiful Normandy countryside, stopping in Lyons- la-Foret, a picturesque Norman village with a covered market dating from the 17th century. We then cross the Seine and continue onto our first night's hotel in Evreux where dinner with wine is included.
Day 2. Sunday May 14th. Evreux to Saumur (approx. 160 miles)
South-west this morning and we pass through small towns and villages such as Verneuil-sur-Avre and Nogent-le-Rotrou, as we head to Le Mans and its famous race circuit. Providing there is no racing today, our route will take us down the Mulsanne Straight! South again and we move deeper into France and to the Loire Valley and tonight’s four-star hotel in Saumur, overlooking the River Loire and Chateau de Saumur. Just a short walk to the old town centre means we’re free to eat out tonight.
Day 3. Monday May 15th. Saumur to Ile de Re (approx. 140 miles)
This morning we hug the River Loire, heading west towards Angers and the coast. We go south at Gennes and continue via Martigne Briand and on to Parthenay, an ancient fortified town sat on a rocky spur encircled by the River Thouet. Continuing to Fontenay-le-Comte, we then ride through the fenlands, past the canals and meadows of the area known as Green Venice. Onwards to La Rochelle where we take the bridge over to Ile de Re for our two-night stay at our four-star hotel on the beach. Dinner with wine is included tonight.
Day 4. Tuesday May 16th. Day off
Relax at the hotel, which has an outdoor and indoor swimming pool, sun terrace, spa and solarium or take a promenade to the beach, just a minutes’ walk away. Bicycles can be hired from the hotel if you fancy exploring the island on less powerful two wheels or cross back over the bridge to explore the medieval old town of La Rochelle. Tonight we will be free to eat out.
Day 5. Wednesday May 17th. Ile de Re to Chinon (approx. 140 miles)
After crossing back to the mainland we head north via Lucon, where Cardinal Richelieu was once Bishop and on to Chantonnay and Saint-Michel-Mont-Mercure, a high point of the Vendee area, then back towards the Loire where we follow the river eastwards. At Condes-Saint-Martin we pick up and follow the River Vienne to Chinon. Our hotel tonight sits on the riverside and is only a short walk from the old centre where we’ll be free to eat out.
Day 6. Thursday May 18th. Chinon to Orleans (approx. 125 miles)
This morning we skirt around the busy city of Tours before re-joining the Loire River which we continue to follow east via the pretty town of Amboise, where Leonardo Da Vinci once lived and is now buried. With its numerous chateaux, we follow the river until we reach Blois. This hillside city on the banks of the Loire is known for being the base for Joan of Arc before her attack on Orleans. Remaining river side we make our way to Beaugency and Meung-sur-Loire with their impressive chateaux, before we finish on the outskirts of Orleans. Our four-star hotel has an outdoor, heated swimming pool and dinner with wine is included tonight.
Day 7. Friday May 19th. Orleans to Compiegne (approx. 170 miles)
As we leave the Loire region we travel north via Pithiviers and to Nemours which stands on the River Loing. Continuing north, we miss Paris and keep on the quieter country roads to Chateau Thierry on the Marne River. On to Pierrefonds with its fairy tale chateau dominating the town centre, then from here we make our way to the Clairiere de l’Armistice where Germany surrendered in WWI and Hitler made the French sign their surrender in 1940. Now a short ride to our four-star hotel in the centre of the historical city of Compiegne. Dinner with wine is included tonight.
Day 8. Saturday May 20th. Compiegne to Calais (approx. 150 miles)
Main road and peage motorway today as we take the quickest route back to Calais in time to catch an afternoon ferry back to Dover.
Total tour mileage approximately 1,060
Please ensure you have read our Terms & Conditions
Rider sharing a room
Rider & Pillion
Solo rider, single room
N.B. If you do not require the ferry crossing, deduct £100 per motorcycle.
We both wanted to say thank you so much for a great tour. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. The hotels, food and weather were all great. However, the main reason for us joining a Brettour is for the riding and that certainly did not disappoint. From day one the scenery was spectacular and the roads good quality.