Discover Loire Valley
Loire Valley's Famous Raspberry Liqueur
The Loire valley is famous for its wines, but did you know that according to the liqueur maker Chambord, their recipe takes after a raspberry liqueur made in the Loire Valley in the late 1600s? The liqueur is created from raspberries, blackberries, Madagascar Vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey, Cognac and other spices and is an easy way to turn your glass of Champagne (or Prosecco!) into a cocktail just by adding a splash of this delicious liqueur. Chambord is also used in many cocktails, including the "French Martini", consisting of Vodka, Chambord, Black Raspberry Liqueur and pineapple juice.
Fun fact - Despite its name, the 'French Martini' was invented in New York! But it is known as the "French" Martini because it's made with this French raspberry liqueur!
Why Choose Macs Adventure to book your Cycling holiday in Loire?
Macs Adventure has been running self-guided walking & cycling holidays in France since 2008. Our tours in France initially started with walking the Tour du Mont Blanc, which led us to seek out more and more areas where we could help people discover France on foot and bike.
From humble beginnings, we now send over 2000 walkers and cyclists to France every year, each cycling or walking the route that excites them the most. We provide the freedom to choose your way, itinerary and travel companions and discover France at your own pace.
We know how daunting it can be, setting off on an adventure of this scale, and we quickly realised how important it was to have excellent partners on the ground in France to deal with any issues that you might come across. We are proud to say that we work incredibly closely with all our accommodation suppliers and luggage transfer teams, and should you have the slightest issue, they will fall over themselves to help you out.
Expect comfortable, friendly overnight accommodation in local B&Bs and guesthouses (on our Luxury tour, it is a higher standard). We carry your bags to lighten your load so you can concentrate on enjoying the unique culture, food and scenery of Loire. No hostels, no leaky tents, no heavy bags on your back, just a straightforward active holiday that you can book with confidence that we have it all covered for you.
Famous Chateaux of the Loire - Which One Should you Visit?
The Loire Valley has over 300 chateaux! Some are architectural masterpieces, and others range from fortified castles to splendid residences. Many were built on hilltops to defend against enemies, and some were inspired by Italian designers.
Historically they are the legacy of French kings and queens who loved this area of France and had royal estates here. Then came the tradition of majestic gardens, so you will often find these in the grounds.
Whatever your particular interest, we are sure that you will revel in visits to the following, most of which you can visit on our Loire Valley Cycling and Walking Tours.
Described as a fairy-tale castle, this imposing structure was built in the 16th century and has turrets and a moat. It was actually built on an island (in the middle of the River Indre) during the reign of Francois 1 and is a combination of French and Italian design.
This magnificent chateau is the largest in the Loire Valley and is a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture, built-in white limestone. Explore its sumptuous interior. Rather than simply a residential palace or a hunting lodge, it is a fantastic work of art inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. It also has an 18th-century French formal garden that links up with the surrounding forest.
This castle is a feat of medieval architecture, spans the River Cher and was built in 1513. If you visit during the summer months, you can take an illuminated night walk. It has a rich museum collection of furniture, paintings and tapestries and also has extraordinary gardens, one of which was designed by Catherine de Medici.
Located in the town centre, this chateau has frequently been remodelled and has buildings that span the 13th to the 17th centuries. It has four wings and a diversity of styles stemming from the fact that it was designed and built by seven kings and ten queens of France. You can see a Sound & Light Show in the courtyard from April to September.
Loire Valley Wildlife
Not only is the Loire the longest river in France, but there is also an abundance of wildlife that live in it. For the bird watchers, expect to see buzzards, eagles, woodpeckers and larks. When cycling through the forests, be sure to also lookout for the many uncommon bird species you might find, such as the short-toed treecreeper and the European bee-eater (which can eat up to 250 bees a day!). It's not just birds either! There are many land animals such as wild boars and aquatic creatures, so keep an eye out for bitten tree trunks, as you might see a beaver! Beavers were reintroduced to the area around 30 years ago and are commonly seen along the river.
Interestingly, another semi-aquatic rodent seen in the Loire river is a Coypu (pictured). Coypu origins are in South-American, and they found their way over to France due to fur traders in the 1940s. When the market collapsed, they escaped and still inhabit the river to this day.