Private Tours by bicycle that allow you to travel at your own pace on back roads and cycle tracks with the support of a minibus carrying luggage, lunch, etc.
LOIRE from Orleans to Angers – outline
Day 1 5.00pm meet for drinks and introductions at our central hotel in Orleans. Walk to DINNER at a restaurant.
Day 2 Cycle 26kms along the Loire river through the gentle Solonge countryside to the flower-filled town of Beaugency.
Day 3 Cycle 46kms, explore the forest of Domaine de Chambord and its huge chateau of 440 rooms, en route to BLOIS, a lovely town with a rambling royal chateau, bishop’s garden, museums and cathedral..
Day 4 FREE DAY to relax and discover Blois, OR take a 49km cycle excursion to the elegant Chateau de Cheverny, where Tintin fans will love the permanent exhibition of the Secrets of Marlinspike Hall. Return to Blois via Domaine de Montcy to taste their Cheverny wines, which includes a light aromatic white made from the rare Romorantin grape. Overnight BLOIS. Evening free.
Day 5 Cycle 42kms, following the Loire to Chaumont-sur-Loire, famous for its International Garden Festival and avant-garde landscape design, then to AMBOISE.
Day 6 FREE DAY to relax and discover Amboise; its chateau, charming streets and Leonardo da Vinci’s home, OR a 38km cycle excursion to Chenonceaux for its magnificent chateau and gardens. Return to Amboise via Civry-de-Touraine for a wine tasting at the family owned winery, La Cave du Pere Auguste. Overnight AMBOISE. Evening free.
Day 7 Cycle 35kms through the Montlouis vineyards to Chateau de la Bordaisiere; noted for its vegetable garden and tomatoes, and on to TOURS.
Day 8 FREE DAY to relax and discover Tours’ magnificent cathedral and the half-timbered houses of the medieval district. Evening free.
Day 9 Cycle 41kms to the grottos at Savonnieres and to Villandry for its famous gardens, then through Saché to AZAY-LE-RIDEAU for its elegant Rennaissance chateau reflected in the Indre river.
Day 10 Cycle 32kms, crossing over the Loire to the feudal castle at Langeais, then follow the river to Ussé for its fairytale chateau, before reaching medieval CHINON.
Day 11 FREE DAY to relax and discover Chinon. Evening free.
Day 12 Cycle 36kms to Fontevraud for its Royal Abbey, then through the rolling vineyards to Saumur.
Day 13 Cycle 57kms through gentle terrain, past mushroom caves and vineyards to ANGERS.
Day 14 FREE DAY to relax and discover Angers, noted for its cathedral, museums, shops, cobbled streets and ancient castle, which houses the Apocalypse tapestry.
Day 15 Transfer to the railway station. Tour ends.
Optional extra nights in Angers to discover this wonderful town, which has good TGV connections with Paris and Brittany.
BURGUNDY from Auxerre to Beaune (Macon) – outline
Day 1 5.00pm meet for drinks and introductions at our central hotel in AUXERRE. Walk to DINNER at a restaurant.
Day 2 Cycle 62kms for a longish first day, but on easy terrain along the tow path to Clamecy
(option of making this two days with an overnight stop at Mailly le Chateau).
Day 3 Cycle 40kms to the hilltop wine village of Vezelay, crowned by its magnificent basilica, then continue to AVALLON, perched above the confluence of two rivers.
Day 4 FREE DAY to relax and discover Avallon and the Cousin Valley. Evening free.
Day 5 Cycle 50kms through gentle rolling countryside to the Burgundy Canal and overnight in MONTBARD.
Day 6 Cycle 36kms to CLAMEREY, with optional visits to the Cistercian Abbey at Fontenay, the chateau and gardens of Bussy-Rabutin, the medieval village of Semur-en-Auxois and Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, where ‘Chocolat’ was filmed.
Day 7 Cycle 33kms, following the canal to CRUGEY, with optional visits to the fortified village of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois and Chateau de Commarin.
Day 8 Cycle 43kms through the beautiful Ouche Valley, visiting the former Abbaye de la Bussiere before arriving at Dijon; the capital of Burgundy.
Day 9 FREE DAY to relax and discover Dijon. Evening free.
Day 10 Cycle 20kms through the Cote de Nuits vineyards to Clos Vougeot, Gevrey Chambertin, and NUITS ST GEORGES.
Day 11 Cycle 25kms through the Cote de Nuits vineyards to BEAUNE.
Day 12 FREE DAY to relax and discover Beaune (big Saturday market). Evening free.
Day 13 Cycle 36kms for a circuit to Savigny-les-Beaune and up a beautiful wooded valley to Bouilland, then loop through the vineyards to return to BEAUNE. Evening free in Beaune.
Day 14 Cycle 46kms through the Cote de Beaune vineyards, visiting Pommard, Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault, and the chateau at Rochepot. Evening free in Beaune.
Day 15 Transfer to the railway station in Beaune. Tour ends.
OR extend the tour through the Chalonnais vineyards to Chateau Cormatin, Cluny and Macon.
NORMANDY from Paris to Mont St Michel – outline
Day 1 5.00pm meet for drinks & introductions at our central hotel in PARIS. Walk to DINNER at a restaurant.
Day 2 Free day in Paris, or walk the Promenade Plantée from Porte de Vincennes (on the Peripherique) to Bastille (5kms) followed by lunch at a bistro.
Day 3 Train to Rambouillet and check-in to our 3 star hotel, collect the bikes then visit the chateau and its extensive wooded park.
Day 4 Cycle 50kms through Epernon and Maintenon, with the option of visiting the chateaux, to CHARTRES and our central hotel.
Day 5 FREE DAY to relax and discover Chartres, its historic centre and magnificent cathedral with exceptional stained glass windows. Evening free.
Day 6 Cycle 32kms into the Perche region, a land of woods, meadows and farms, passing Chateau de Frazé and grand manor houses en route to NOGENT LE ROTROU and our 3 star hotel.
Day 7 Cycle 42kms, following quiet roads, before looping north to Condé-sur-Huisne for the Voie Verte cycle track to BELLEME.
Day 8 Cycle 52kms, passing through the village of La Perriere to Le Mele-sur-Sarthe for the Voie Verte cycle track to ALENCON and our 3 star hotel.
Day 9 FREE DAY to relax and discover Alencon, its Flamboyant Gothic church and museums. Evening free.
Day 10 Cycle 51kms through the Foret d’Ecouves to Chateau de Carrouges, which dates from the 14th century, but has been slowly transformed from a fortress into a comfortable residence. Continue to the charming spa town of BAGNOLES DE L’ORNE.
Day 11 FREE DAY to relax and discover BAGNOLES DE L’ORNE and its Belle Epoque buildings.
Day 12 Cycle 62kms through gentle terrain, mainly on cycle tracks, enjoying the rich Normandy landscape and orchards en route to ST HILAIRE DU HARCOUET.
Day 13 Cycle 48kms on the Voie Verte cycle track to the coast for an unforgettable view across the fields and salt marshes to MONT SAINT MICHEL.
Day 14 FREE DAY to relax and discover Mont St Michel – a “Marvel of the Western World”, which dates from 8th century – and its environs.
Day 15 Transfer to the station which has frequent buses to Rennes for onward train connections. Tour ends.
Optional extra nights in Rennes, which has a delightful old centre and warrants at least a full day’s exploration.