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About us

Origins of the project

The "Pays des Châteaux", is an association of sixty five municipalities which joined together to lay-out and maintain over four hundred kilometres of cycling trails, brought into service between between 1997 and 2002. Ahead of its time and now widely copied, the objective was to take a fresh look at ways to visit the chateaux of the Loire valley.

The € 3.7 million jointly invested by the Pays des Châteaux, the Regional Council and the General Council of the Loir-et-Cher has come to fruition, most particularly since 2010, when the Loire à Vélo network was connected, making rides into the rural areas of the Sologne possible, diversify the opportunities for sightseeing.


An innovative tourism product

 Bike rides with family or friends in the unique environment of the castles of the Loire... a holiday full of tranquility and relaxation with the Blois | Chambord Tourist Office. All the promise of the jewels of French heritage, in the setting of the beautiful Sologne countryside — a fantastic place to put aside the stress of everyday life.


 400 km of cycling pleasure


Only one and a half hours from Paris, Les Châteaux à Vélo is the perfect get-up-and go alternative to motoring. With 400 kilometres of clearly marked and safe cycle paths, bike enthusiasts will experience some unforgettable moments of riding pleasure, companionship and relaxation. A haven of greenery and calm, and an endless feast for the eyes, the Caâteaux à Vélo trails crisscross the heart of the Loire Valley, listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

More than just a bike ride, this is an opportunity to breath some real fresh air, while making some fabulous and unexpected discoveries — enchanting Chambord, magnificent Cheverny, the beautiful and mysterious Sologne, not forgetting Chaumont-sur-Loire overlooking great river Loire.

Whether you're an occasional rider or an experienced cyclist, whether your mount of choice is a racer or a mountain bike, whether you're alone for a week or with the whole family, including the youngest, looking for a great weekend, the Blois | Chambord Tourist Office has something to satisfy you.

Everyone will find a way to enjoy their visit to the “Valley of the Kings” in a way best suited to them. Some will prefer the to explore freely, using our tourist map in four languages (French, English, German and Dutch), created by the Blois | Chambord Tourist Office and given-out free of charge. It gives details of thirteen rides — all loops — from 16 to 43 kilometres in length. Others will prefer more organised itineraries, such as those proposed by the travel agency Loire Valley Travel.

Responding to the trend for the great outdoors, disconnection from the rat race and getting closer to nature, “Châteaux à Vélo” fits perfectly into the scheme of the “Loire à Vélo” project, an ambitious undertaking which it joins at one of the first sections. The Loire à Vélo routes now cover over eight hundred kilometres from Sancerre to the Atlantic coast.



A remarkable environment for tourism


Cycling means the freedom to explore the environment, landscapes, villages, and heritage at your own pace.

One of the strengths of “Châteaux à Vélo” is a geographical relief entirely suited to recreational cycling, in order for your ride to be above all a pleasure, allowing you to appreciate the cultural and natural resources of the Blois | Chambord region!



From castles to mansions...


Saddle up! The perfect ride might begin in the Grand Alley of the Domaine de Chambord where, at the end of the woods, the castle appears in all its splendour. Then, riders will marvel at the richness of the countryside around Cheverny and its château, where you can find Tintin in the permanent “Secrets of Marlinspike” exhibition. On to Villesavin and its “Museum of the Treasures of Marriage”! The châtea de Beauregard, meanwhile, will appeal to art lovers, with its wonderful interiors and woodwork. Many of the manor houses and châteaux appearing on the thirteen routes around the Blois | Chambord area are well-known tourist destinations, but you will also have the opportunity to discover some lesser-known places, such as the medieval castle of Fougères-sur-Bièvre, the châteaux of Troussay de Madon, the Dovecote of Frileuse or the eighteen chateaux grouped together in the village of Cellettes! As you ride closer to the Sologne, the châteax change their appearance, with more red brick becoming apparent — the trademark of the Sologne region.



A treasure hunt!


To discover different traditions, landscapes and nature, just follow, in whole or in part, the routes of the Pays des Châteaux. “Flavors and Fragrances”, “In the Realm of the Stag”, “Windows on the Loire”, “Lights and Shadows” with innumerable invitations to step off the beaten track and investigate churches, old stone wash houses, village ponds, or gourmet food, for example. On the paths of the mysterious Sologne, around hidden lakes with reed beds, moors and heather, you'll hear the croaking of frogs, admire a flight of mallards, pheasant and heron and... perhaps at the bend of a road, a deer or even a stag, master of the woods. Near Fontaines and Bauzy you'll enjoy the highly reputed strawberries and asparagus of the local farmers. Another setting and other delicacies are to be found around the Boulogne forest, where the smell of apples and blackcurrants buds will taunt your taste buds!

To wine making traditions of the region should be honoured with a visit to a grower, who will reveal all the subtleties of Romorantin and the unique AOC Cour-Cheverny grape variety.

And then there it the Loire, full of surprises from sunrise to sunset, showing all the colours of the coutryside palette as sand banks combine with the rolling greenery for a view to dream of. At the junction of the Loire and its two small tributaries, the Cosson and the Beuvron, you may even happen upon the timid inhabitants of the riverbank — a family of beavers!



A sense of freedom and safety


Cycling routes as well marked and inspected for safety as those proposed by Blois | Chambord are rare. They offer a new approach to the region's heritage and allow cyclists of all ages to enjoy a high quality holiday environment.


Particular attention to safety


With 105 km of paths exclusively for bicycles, everyone can enjoy ideal conditions for cycling free of danger.

These 105 km include disused railway lines renovated especially for bikes, an old railway bridge that has been completely transformed for the occasion and numerous old footbridges crossing rivers and other watercourses.

Châteaux à Vélo also boasts 62 km of metalled roads of excellent quality and 320 km of minor roads rarely used by cars (less than 300 vehicles per day).

Finally, specially designed junctions intersections have been built on the minor roads to ensure maximum safety for all road users.


Clear and frequent signs


Direction signs, to accompany the tourist map, tourist map, are to be found along the entire 400 km of cycle routes.

Each village on the different itineraries has an information post marked “Relais d’information service”, where you will find information on tourist attractions, heritage, history, curiosities, local legends and lots more.


Unspoiled landscapes


The surface chosen for the cycle paths plays an important role in the enjoyment of riding. That's why the Pays des Châteaux has decided to use “stabilized reinforced” polymer instead of bitumen, where respect for the countryside requires it. This material, beige in colour, has road surface qualities identical to those of bitumen while blending perfectly into the landscape. With their grainy, appearance, cycle paths coated with stabilized reinforced polymer resemble gravelled tracks.

However, unlike gravel, the surface is solid, reducing the risk of falling and skidding.

The surfacing notably suits the park of the Domaine de Chambord, allowing cyclists to ride safely without compromising the beauty and quality of its environment.

For the same reasons, the Pays des Châteaux has chosen to position its direction signs on wooden poles which do not disturb the natural environment.



“Châteaux Vélo” a formula for everyone!


Riders can discover the “Châteaux à Vélo” in the way that best suits their requirements and wishes.


Freedom to ride, with “Accueil Vélo”


The “Accueil Vélo” label (formerly “Velotel - Vélocamp - Vélogîte”) groups together hotels, camp sites, guest houses and other accommodation with a tourist service that includes cycling facilities. By adhering to this quality charter, service providers undertake to provide secure storage for bikes, a parking space or a garage for vehicles, to provide roadside assistance, to offer bike rentals, and to provide tourist and weather advice. They may also, upon request, prepare picnic baskets or a breakfast adapted for a day's exercise.

Booking directly with a member of “Accueil Vélo” ensures the guarantee of an enjoyable stay. Tourists can then organise their routes, stops and visits freely.

Find all Accueil Vélo and Loire à Vélo accommodation in the section “Organize your stay”


Peace of mind with the “all inclusive” formula.


The travel agency Rando Vélo / Loire Valley Travel, specialist in activity holidays, has lots of ready-to-go ideas for cycling holidays.


Tel: +33 (0)2 54 78 62 52


Promotion, Communication & Reception

The Blois | Chambord Tourist Office is responsible for communication and promoting the Château Vélo project. Some of the pages in this site wear its colours proudly!

Requests for documentation and information are also managed by the Blois | Chambord Tourist Office reception service.


Practical information