Ride to the Loire Challenge Picture 1
Ride to the Loire Challenge Picture 1

Next departure:  Please Call for Details

Best Time of Year: April - October

Max alt:  310m

Dist:  510km

Min age:  18

Duration:  6

Ride to the Loire Challenge Ride

Bike Adventure

Our ride, from the moment it leaves Le Havre and crosses the mouth of the Seine to Honfleur, is a true exploration of rural France. We shall ride across rolling cornfields, lined with poppies, and through sleepy villages with locals collecting their morning bread. We shall pedal through the GeoParc of Normandie Maine and then on to historic Rennes, and into Angers beside the Loire itself. Get ready for a real tour of France!

This ride is perfect either for those wishing to take a new and different slice across France, or for folks who have never ventured outside of riding in the UK. Daily distances are around 120km, with a slightly shorter final day to allow you to explore a little in Saumur. And whilst its not flat, the daily elevation gain is typically around 1000m, which is manageable for most riders with some training in the legs. This trip will start with a ferry crossing and then a short ride to pretty Honfleurs, and its from there that the trip really begins. 



Day 1 - (Cycle 23km) - Ferry from Portsmouth to Le Havre then ride to Honfleur 
Early depart from home, in time to catch afternoon ferry which reaches Le Havre late afternoon. A short ride awaits to reach Honfleur (bags transported in our support van) Here we shall overnight - have a good hearty meal and prepare for the onwards journey - taking a little time to iron out any little issues with bikes, packing, equipment etc.

Day 2 - (Cycle 125km) Honfleur to La Ferte Mace. 

After breakfast we shall continue southwards and head into Normandy, and more specifically the Calvados region famous for its Apple Brandy. Onwards and we climb up into the Foret d'Andaines (our highest point on the ride), before descending into La Ferte Mace. We shall spend the evening in either La Ferte or a nearby town - having ridden around 125km for this day.  

Day 3 - (Cycle 125km) La Ferte   Rennes 

A classic day's ride awaits us today - as we ride through the Andaines Forest, along quiet country back roads, before continuing out into the beautuiful town of Fougeres which is in the Brittany Region. After a quick turn through the cobbled streets and via the main square with its ancient Spire, we shall make our final ride into the regional capital and incredibly historic city of Rennes. 

Day 4 - (Cycle 133km) Rennes - Anger

Today we shall continue southwards - but the countryside remains beautiful, as we ride into rural Brittany and out into the Loire region itself. Todays ride is slightly further, but also the hill profile delivers a few less long climbs. We actually pedal through the gastronomically famous town of Chateaubriant, before our final descent down into the Loire Valley at pretty and historic Angers. 

Day 5 - (Cycle 100km) Angers to Saumur - Via The Loire Valley

Today is our chance to explore the wonderful countryside of the Loire. We shall zig zag across the river and maybe even manage a rideby on one or two of this regions famous Chateaux before entering Saumur itself. Now one last night to savour the wonderful Gatronomie of France - and some of the towns famous wines!

Day 6 - Final Day - wake, breakfast, and return home either by train or by flight. Bikes will follow by support vehicle. (Please note bikes may be delivered wither to Le Havre, Portsmouth or Taunton - or you may bring a soft case to fly your bike home if this is simpler for you.)


Route Map


5 nights accommodation. Each evening we shall use accommodation as we are able to find it, in each location at the end of our day's ride. Sometimes this may be small gite style accommodation, other times a more normal small hotel. At all times we shall always try to arrange good quality, clean hotels with en suite bathrooms.


What is a Level 3.5 Cycling Challenge Like?

These challenge rides are either longer, with more ascent, or span several days. In the case of single day events, you can expect up to 10 hours cycling. In the case of a multi day ride, you can expect lower daily durations - but of course - the effort is sustained over a longer period. You need to be a keen cyclist for these events, and to enjoy training, and to ride regularly. If the ride is outside the EU, it is likely to be easier in terms of the physical riding, however, you will need to be more resilient - due to more basic living conditions (in the case of Asia / Africa especially)


How Fit Do I need to be to join a Level 3.5 ‘Bike Ride’?

You need to have good endurance for these events. You must be used to doing long rides in the countryside - 6 hours + . You should be doing regular exercise - with some serious cycle training. Your typical comfortable cycling speed will be at least 22-24 km/hr, and you should be able to cycle at high speed for up to 1 hour or 25 km. You may also be concentrating on other types of exercise - but for longer periods of time (ie sessions in excess of 1.5 hrs.) - however cycling is the best preparation (obviously!)


Medical Issues

Please note, it is extremely important for this physical challenge that you are in good health. If you have any pre-existing medical conditions, please consider carefully whether you should be joining the challenge. Please ensure you fill in the booking form accurately and honestly, this is important. In the case of serious conditions (epilepsy, diabetes, heart conditions, recent illness or operations), please discuss the challenge with your GP. Please also ensure you notify us of any allergies or similar.

It requires stamina and good aerobic fitness - but good willpower will also come in handy! Failure to disclose medical conditions is a serious omission - that could have serious repercussions on any of our challenges.


Special Notes

Please note that you will need to arrange transport to reach Portsmouth at the start of this event, and return from Saumur home afterwards. You may wish to consider driving to Portsmouth, and then returning from Saumur by train to Le Havre to catch a return ferry so you can join back up with your car. (In this i9nstance, Adventure Cafe can return your bike to Portsmouth for you)


Visas / Redtape

None required for this trip (if you are an EU citizen - at the current time). If from further afield you will need to check requirements.


Included In Trip

Leader (experienced with first aid qualification, and experienced mechanic), Support Vehicle with driver, 5 nights Hotel accommodation B&B basis. Ferry Portsmouth to Le Havre. 4 lunches. Water Top Ups throughout each riding day. Transfers for bikes back from Saumur to UK (at specified time) - subject to confirmation of service by Adventure Café.


Excluded From Trip

Transport to and from event. Bike Hire.


Equipment Required

Kit lists specific to your trip dates and location will be issued upon enquiry...below is our guide advice to give an idea of what you should bring on a multi--day ride in Europe

Bike Items
Road Bike / Hybrid Bike (with puncture resistant tyres) - please call us for guidance on type of bike on a trip by trip basis
2 X Water Bottles (bladder system/cycle water bottles)
Cycling Gloves, Bike Lock, Neck Scarf, Inner Tubes*, Multi-Tool (with allen keys)*
Day Bag for support vehicle, Small Holdall (for overnight gear)
Bike Lights (front and rear, head torch can be worn)
Saddle Bag (recommended - can be used to carry asterisk* items)
Puncture Repair Kit*, Spare parts for your bike (specialist parts and spokes), Pump (suitable for your valve type)

Helmet (compulsory)
Personal Medikit  Suncream, Plasters, Vaseline, Painkillers, Sunbloc, Insect Repellant


Warm Clothing Medium Weight Softshell, Long sleeve Jersey / insulating layer Lightweight Gloves.

Cycle  Clothing
Padded Lycra Cycling Shorts, Cotton Shorts, or Long Cycling Trousers (Tights/Tracksuit Bottoms)
Short Sleeve Cycling T-Shirts (wicking type material) or Cycle Top with rear pockets
Cycling Shoes (approach shoes or sturdy traners suitable), 

Spare Shoes/Sandals for after ride

Casual Evening Wear - tracksuits, jeans, T shirts, fleece ...

Waterproof Clothing
1 Outer Fully Waterproof Jacket (gore-tex, e-vent) - comfortable to cycle in

Travel Documents, EHIC (European Health Insurance Card) Credit Cards, Cash, Local Currency, Mobile Phone, chargers, EU plug adaptor, Sunglasses
Snacks for Cycling Days (dried fruits, nuts, flapjacks, cereal bars etc)
Travel insurance (not included), Passport

Make sure you do not ‘over pack’ - bring only what is essential for the trip. It is advisable to check that your travel insurance covers the value of any expensive items of kit that you chose to bring along with you. 

A final kit list will be provided in your ‘Final Joining Instructions’ pre-departure


Safety Information

By nature all activities contain an element of risk.Your leader will be first aid qualified and will carry the appropriate safety kit for the activity, such as mountain safety shelters, walking rope and from time to time mobile radios. Safety equipment carried will be appropriate to trip. The leader's primary role is to ensure your safety, but it is your responsibility to listen to their guidance and instructions.



Be prepared for hot and sunny conditions - so be prepared to protect against the sun. Equally however, we could get unlucky! So pack rain jackets and warmer clothes too! Just in case! Typically during May we can expect warm sunny weather.


Optional Extras

Bike Hire - either Aluminium Road bike or Carbon Road Bike Hire.


Notes on Cycling Events

This is our standard range of Cycling Challenges in the UK, Europe and further afield. However, we offer completely tailormade itineraries to your specification. Call us to discuss! Please note that for overseas point to point cycling challenges we can transport soft cases for bike transport - but not hard cases, due to space limitations on board our support vehicles. On all our cycling events, please pack sensibly and bring a reasonably sized soft holdall type bag. To participate in an overseas Adventure Cafe challenge - you must carry Travel Insurance (to be for the activity you are participating in, and to include repatriation to the UK). Please also note that you should have a good level of cycling experience and be competent to handle your bike. We ride on roads shared with other vehicles - and you need to be able to deal with this safely.


Adventure Cafe Booking Terms and Conditions

By booking an event with Adventure Cafe, you agree to these standard terms of booking. Please ensure that you read the appropriate document for your type of event carefully.

Adventure Cafe Terms & Conditions - For all types of event

To Reserve Your Space on this Challenge

You should fill in the Google Form - linked here below, and then please call us on 01823 444 246 to advise of your payment method. We can accept card payments over the phone, or Bank Transfer. Please note that your space is not confirmed until you have received your booking receipt.

CLICK HERE: Adventure Cafe Challenge Booking Form - For Challenge Events



Guide price

£Price on application



This Challenge is for exclusive group departures – please call us for more information

Event Location

Ride to the Loire Challenge Picture 2
Ride to the Loire Challenge Picture 2

Ride to the Loire Challenge Picture 3
Ride to the Loire Challenge Picture 3