Loire Valley Castles
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Centre based cycle trip exploring the vineyards and chateaux of the Loire valley
The Loire River was once the highway between the Atlantic and the heart of France. Its valley was known as the 'playground of kings' - a neighbourhood of impressive châteaux and vast fortune. Travelling by bicycle is a great way to experience this world famous valley. Based in a delightful family run hotel in the small town of Chitenay you will be provided with a bike, maps and route notes to discover the surrounding forests, vineyards and medieval towns and the famous Chateaux of Cheverny and Chambord. In the evenings, soak up the warm atmosphere of the hotel and garden (including badminton court), and sample the hotel's excellent local cuisine and wine.
- Cycling through the heart of the Loire Valley
- Exploring the many grand Chateaux
- Experiencing the market places and rural delights of the region
- Enjoying the culinary specialties
- Sampling some of the many excellent wines in local ‘caves’
Day 1 Arrival in Chitenay
Arrive in the small town of Chitenay. The hotel is in the centre of the village where there are 3 or 4 simple shops. Check in is in the afternoon after 3pm and you will receive all the route instructions, sightseeing information and your bike at this time. (Note that your bike may arrive on day 2 no later than 9am). Dinner is served in the main dining room.
Days 2-4 Loire Valley cycle excursions of 14-50km
From your base in Chitenay there are 7 different cycle excursions you can choose from to explore the surrounding region and chateaux. EXCURSION 1 - To the Chateau of Fougères sur Bièvre: 24 km – This short cycle takes you to the Feudal style chateau in the heart of a small village. Take your time to soak in the countryside vistas and enjoy a picnic lunch enroute. EXCURSION 2 – Via the Chateau of Cheverny: 23km – this excursion allows you to travel cross country through fields and vineyards and some quaint villages. There is ample time to explore the sumptuously furnished Chateau which inspired Hergé's vision of Marlinspike in the adventures of Tintin. EXCURSION 3 – Russy Forest: 14km – this cycle takes you through the Forest of Russy and gives you the opportunity to visit the Château of Beauregard famous for its Portrait Gallery. EXCURSION 4 – Chambord: 50km - Cycle through the rich Domaine de Chambord forest, where a stop is essential to visit the most famous and majestic château in the Loire Valley. In its Renaissance splendour, the Château de Chambord boasts no less than 440 rooms. EXCURSION 5 – Blois town and chateau 35km: Through the forest to the Loire river banks and the stately town of Blois, worth visiting for its old quarter and also its château offering a brilliant illustration of the evolution of French architecture from the Middle Ages to the 17th century. EXCURSION 6 – Chaumont sur Loire 37km: Passing through the countryside you cycle to the Loire banks at Chaumont sur Loire where you can visit the picturesque chateau overlooking the river. EXCURSION 7 – Sologne Area 40km: A cycle through the heart of the vineyards of Cheverny where you can stop at local caves to sample a glass of Cheverny blanc. NOTE: If you have a car you may choose to drive to Chenonceaux or Amboise on the free day which are 30-40kms from the hotel. Fit cyclists could cycle to Chenonceaux but you should allow at least 2-3 hours in addition to the cycle to visit the chateaux and its impressive gardens including a maze.
Day 5 Trip Concludes Chitenay
Trip arrangements conclude after breakfast.
- 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners (does not include drinks) – continental breakfasts are served in the breakfast room and consist of cereals, toast, boiled eggs, yoghurt, croissants, breads, jams, cheese, sliced meats, coffee, tea and juices. Dinner is served in the main dining room and will consist of 3 to 4 courses which include regional specialties – see below. There is an extensive wine cellar where you can choose a local or regional variety. ***DAY 1 - regular menu - The regular menu is usually one choice per course with 4 courses served (entrée, main, dessert and cheese). As the hotel is known for its quality food served in the restaurant, the regular menu offers good variety and a great balance of flavours and ingredients. ***DAY 2 - a superior menu is offered – this uses more exclusive ingredients and refined cooking techniques. ***DAY 3 - a ‘Terroir’ menu is offered – this menu involves fresh regional produce and a suggestion of wines to complement ***DAY 4 - a gastronomy menu is offered focusing on the rich traditions of food in France.
- 4 nights accommodation in a 3 star hotel on a twinshare basis. All rooms have private facilities. We generally use a 3 star hotel in Chitenay, however at times we will use alternative hotels of a similar standard in nearby villages.
- 21 speed bike equipped with two pannier, helmet, anti-theft device and a repair kit
- Adjustment by a cycling expert
- Road book
- Map and travel documentation
Group Size Min
Group Size Max
Cycle helmet (included), wet weather gear, sunscreen, sandshoes and sun hat (a comprehensive gear list is provided in the pre-departure information provided on booking).