Luxury Escape in Chateau Country: Self-Guided

Discover the incredible “Garden of France” in this 8 day / 7 night tour as you cycle at your own pace, stopping to admire the stately elegance of centuries-old chateaux or to visit a museum, church or wine cave, always assured that your charming room and delightful dinner are waiting for you at the end of the day. Cycle through the scenic vineyards and fragrant forests south of Tours and visit the “must-see” Villandry Gardens, handsome Azay-le-Rideau Chateau, the incomparable Chateau Chenonceau, the mighty Chateau Chambord and the best furnished of all the castles, the Chateau de Cheverny. Your luggage is transported each day from hotel to hotel. Daily stages are 22 – 32 miles with the option to cycle more if you choose. Accommodations are in elegant three and four-star chateaux and manors. The food is sumptuous and elegantly served.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amboise
You’ll start your tour in the charming city of Amboise, where you can visit the Chateau d’ Amboise with its breathtaking views over the Loire, or Clos Lucé, the former home of Leonardo da Vinci converted into a museum. Amboise is easily accessible from Paris by train. Your bike will be waiting for you at the hotel on the day you arrive or by 9 a.m. the next morning.

Day 2: Amboise – Montbazon – 28 miles (45 km)
Follow the “Loire à Vélo” cycling paths through the vineyards of Montlouis and its numerous wine cellars producing the famous sweet or sparkling white wines. Then, take time to enjoy the old and vibrant quarters of Tours and especially the “Place Plumereau”, a beautiful square with half-timbered houses. Proceed along the Touraine countryside to reach your next chateau-hotel in Montbazon. In the small village of Montbazon you could visit one of the oldest fortresses in France, Fortress of Montbazon

OPTION: Extra night in Montbazon + excursion to Azay le Rideau – 33 miles (53 km)
Ride on the “Indre à vélo” cycling paths along the winding Indre River and admire its beautiful mills and typical villages, before arriving in Azay le Rideau with its romantic Renaissance château, elegantly enclosed in its water and greenery setting.

Day 3: Montbazon – Chenonceaux – 21 miles (34 km)
You’ll bike today to the remarkable Chenonceau Castle, jewel of the Loire Valley, with grounds that stretch across the River Cher in a perfect harmony of “water, greenery, gardens, and trees.” It’s one of the most visited landmarks in all of France. The chateau is dedicated to the “Ladies of Chenonceau,” six women under whose influence this elegant chateau developed from a fortified mill.

Day 4: Chenonceaux – Cheverny – 30 miles (48 km)
Leave the Chenonceaux to reach the nice medieval village of Montrichard. It is time to ride through the vineyards of Touraine area via the chateau of Gué Péan and the medieval chateau of Fougères sur Bièvre, a perfect illustration of the traditional 15th century building art. A beautiful itinerary through the countryside and vineyards before reaching the famous château of Cheverny, still privately owned and beautifully furnished. It was built between 1604 and 1634 and never altered, presenting an immaculate picture of symmetry and harmony. You might also see the famous hounds used for local hunting by the descendant of the original owner.

Day 5: Cheverny Round Trip – 31 miles (50 km)
Biking on the small country roads around Cheverny is superb, and today you’ll visit the largest of the Loire Valley chateaux, Chateau de Chambord. With 440 rooms it’s one of the most extravagant commissions of its age. You’ll also bike by the much less visited Chateau de Villesavin. In the evening another regional meal, prepared with fresh products, awaits you in your hotel.

Day 6: Cheverny – Amboise – 32 miles (52 km)
For your last cycling day, follow the ‘pays des châteaux’ cycling tracks through nice tiny villages to the château of Chaumont-sur-Loire, which proudly dominates the river. Then continue on the ‘Loire à Vélo’ cycling tracks before arriving at the charming town of Amboise.

Day 7: Tour Ends
Your tour will end today, with departure after breakfast.

Getting There

Take the TGV from Paris to Tours (or St. Pierre-des-Corps, a suburb of Tours) and then a cab to the first hotel, Chateau de Beaulieu. For last minute train schedules visit the website of the French Railways, www.sncf.com.

Meals

Daily breakfast and dinner is included

Prices and Dates

Check out our Tour Calendar

Tour Length

7 days/6 nights

Included
    • – Accommodations in elegant four-star chateaux and manors
    • – Daily breakfast and dinner
    • – 21-speed bike rental, including HELMET, panniers, lock, repair kit, map holder, and odometer
    • – Luggage transportation – pieces of luggage limited to 2 p.p. & 32 pounds per piece.
    • – Route descriptions, maps and travel highlight information
    – Emergency service phone number 7 days a week.
Bicycles

Bikes are included in the tour price. Bikes are very well maintained 21-speed men’s and ladies bikes, equipped with two saddlebags, repair kit, map holder, odometer, and lock. Bike Helmets are included. The bike is adjusted by a cycling specialist.

Level of Difficulty

Easy to Moderate. The cycling itinerary takes place on quiet country roads with little traffic. You will see flat areas along with rolling hills with nice up and downs.

Excluded

– Air fare
– Beverages
– Lunches
– Other items of a personal nature

Weather

Average daytime temperatures in April and May are 55-65, June, July, and August 65-80, September and October 60-75. Average rainfall is 6 days per month.

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