Loire Valley: Château Country
France Bike Tours
Chitenay – A Stunning Loire Bike Tour
The charming village of Chitenay sits snugly within the Loire Valley region, which is France’s third largest wine region and home of many of the country’s finest châteauxs. One of these is the 16th century Château de Chambord, the "castle of castles". Built to serve as a hunting lodge for King François, it is the largest in the region with grounds of roughly 3000 acres of beautiful gardens and pristine nature. Due to its very distinct French Renaissance architecture, the château is one of the most recognizable in the world. The famous double interlocking spiral staircase is truly amazing, and said to be the work of Leonardo da Vinci.
Ten miles south of Chambord lies the magnificent 17th century Château of Cheverny. Built in 1624, the Château has magnificently adorned interior rooms as well as a renowned collection of tapestries, furniture and other objets d’art.
Cycling Loire further through the enchanting Forest of Russy is the beautiful Beauregard Château, whose expansive Portrait Gallery is a nostalgic lesson in both art and history. It is located close to Blois, which lies along the banks of the Loire between Tours and Orléans.
In the center of town sits the Royal Château de Blois, a medieval Renaissance castle also with a unique spiral staircase. In addition to being the residence of several French kings, the castle is where Joan of Arc was blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before heading off with her army.
Another château overlooking the Loire is Château Chaumont, an 11th century castle that once belonged to Catherine de' Medici (in 1560), who entertained Nostradamus and other astrologers there. These are just some of the over 300 châteaux to be found in the area!
Easy self-guided based tour with predominantly flat terrain and adjustable average daily distances. The excursions suggested in the road book are on cycle paths and small routes recommended for cycling by the label “Pays des Chateaux”. The route focuses on these select cycle paths and small roads with little traffic. Electric bicycles available upon request.
Where You’ll Stay
Accommodations at the 3 star hotel-restaurant Auberge du Centre with friendly staff, excellent food, and brand new swimming pool.
Room category: Superior
- Accommodations for 4 nights
- Daily breakfast
- 4 x dinner
- Route information & maps
- 21-speed hybrid bicycle equipped with saddlebags, high visibility jacket, lock, maps, helmet, and repair kit
- Bike helmet
- GPS files (must be requested in advance!)
What’s Not Included
- Train ticket Paris to Blois
- Taxi to from Blois train station to first hotel in Chitenay
- Bicycle protection
- Trip insurance
Extra nights in Chitenay possible.
Excursion 1: Fougères-sur-Bièvre, 15 mi. (24 km)
A short excursion to discover the Château of Fougères-sur-Bièvre of feudal style in a nice rustic village. The Château illustrates 15th century architecture. Do not miss a stop at a local wine producer for a wine tasting!
Excursion 2: Cheverny, 14 mi. (23 km)
Today's Loire cycle route takes you through fields and vineyards, and a number of villages via the Château de Cheverny, remarkable for its elegantly furnished and decorated apartments, which inspired Hergé’s vision of Marlinspike in the adventures of Tintin.
Excursion 3: Beauregard, 10 mi. (16 km)
Through the Forest of Russy with a visit to the Château of Beauregard – famous for its Portrait Gallery - and enjoy the huge park of 70ha with English style gardens.
Excursion 4: Chambord, 35 mi. (56 km)
Cycle through the rich Domain of Chambord forest, where a stop is essential to visit the most famous and majestic château in the Loire Valley. In its Renaissance splendor, the Château de Chambord boasts no less then 440 rooms.
Excursion 5: : Blois, 20 mi. (33 km)
Through the forest to finally reach the Loire River banks and the nice 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, 23 mi. (38 km)
Passing by the countryside before reaching the Loire banks at Chaumont-sur-Loire where you can visit the nice Château overlooking the Loire and its international “Gardens Festival”.
Excursion 7: Sologne area, 26 mi. (42 km)
A stage in the heart of the vineyards of Appellation “Cheverny”, so do not hesitate to make a stop for a visit to a local wine producer to sample a glass of Cheverny Blanc!
*Distances are approximate.
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