Cycle touring in the Loire Valley of France

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of February 7-14, 1996
Cycle touring in the Loire Valley of France
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Cycle touring in the Loire Valley of France
Q: I am thinking of going on a cycling trip in the Loire Valley in France with a major U.S. active vacation company this August. A friend has advised me not to go in August, as many Europeans are on holiday and many sites, vineyards, etc. may be closed. What is your opinion--does the month really make that much difference?
Jane Dove Corl
Raleigh, NC
[email protected]
The Chateaux of the Loire Valley provide a perfect backdrop for a bike tour
A: Don't worry, just because most of Europe's on holiday in August doesn't mean you should scrap your plans for a Loire Valley bicycle trip. In fact, most vineyards, châteaus, and cafés stay open to cater to European tourists. And while there are plenty of other travelers around to keep things open, the Loire Valley isn't overrun with summer people like the Mediterranean coast. For proof of this, check various outfitters' schedules. While most run trips to Europe in May, June, September, and October to avoid midsummer weather and crowds, August is actually a prime time for the Loire Valley.

Butterfield & Robinson (800-678-1147) runs two five-day inn-to-inn bike tours in August and Backroads (800-462-2848) offers two six-day trips. Don't forget, though, that this is Europe in the summer: Be prepared for hot and occasionally muggy weather.

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