Châteaux and bicycles: the perfect combo!
Cycling with your hair streaming in the wind along safe routes and circuits to reach a château – yes you can! Bowling along between woods and wheat fields, cooling off on the banks of the Loire, picnicking in the shade of a willow tree near a river, sipping a drink on the terrace of a café in a small village... Hop on your bike, we’ll take you there!
By bike to the château of ChenonceauIf you follow the Cœur de France à Vélo route along the banks of the Cher from Tours for example, amidst lush landscapes, woods and fields, you will reach the château of Chenonceau and its famous arches spanning the river. After visiting the château, take the time to stroll through the magnificent gardens of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici. You can also choose to climb into a canoe for a trip on the water which will take you underneath the superb gallery of the château, built above the River Cher. If you wish to continue cycling, you should know that the route takes you to Beauval Zoo! For an enjoyable break, stop off at Bistrot’Quai in Civray-de-Touraine: we're sure you’ll love it!
By bike to the château of Cheverny
What would you say to visiting the château of Cheverny by cycling along one of the many cycle routes of Châteaux à Vélo? During warm weather, you will appreciate the cool of the undergrowth of the forest of Cheverny while you enjoy a picnic of delicious local produce purchased from local producers and shopkeepers. After this break, set off to explore the château of Cheverny. Is its outline familiar? It's not surprising, its elegant white silhouette inspired Hervé’s creation of the castle of Captain Haddock, Tintin's companion. Make the most of the 6 gardens of the estate and abandon your bicycle for a trip in a boat or a small electric car to explore the vast grounds.
By bike to the château of Beaugency
Two major EuroVélo routes will take you to the château of Beaugency, on the banks of the Loire. La Loire à Vélo (EuroVélo 6) and La Scandibérique (EuroVélo 3) sometimes follow the same route as is the case on this section. Take the time to stroll around this charming little town. Walk along the riverside and admire its impressive, 23-arch bridge under which the Loire flows. Then head for the château of Beaugency which reopened in July 2021. Now a Digital Art Centre, the château will combine heritage with the digital arts. Artists in residence, temporary exhibitions and mapping projected onto the façades... Another way of discovering the place.
Not far from the Val de Loire, other cycle routes and circuits also await you!
By bike to the château of Valençay
Climb into the saddle and set off on the route of the La Vallée du Loir à Vélo! Here the little river Loir flows peacefully along its pretty twists and turns. Take the time to enjoy the charm of its rural, lush landscapes as you cycle by at your own pace. As you exit the village of Illiers-Combray, dear to Marcel Proust, or Bonneval, a charming town nicknamed the “Little Venice of Beauce”, head in the direction of Châteaudun and its château. On your arrival, you will be impressed by the tall silhouette of the Château de Châteaudun which looks out over the Loir. Explore its interior, its hanging gardens and the incredible view which opens out before you!
By bike to the château of Valençay
How about combining “Bikes & cheese” during a bike trip? The 52 km “Le Goût du Valençay” circuit combines gourmet stops, meetings with passionate producers, and the discovery of pretty undulating landscapes and charming little villages. Not forgetting of course the famous Valençay Pyramid. This goat’s cheese, made from raw, full-fat milk, is very distinctive, and carefully protected by an AOP (Protected Designation of Origin). After these taste discoveries, the Château of Valençay, the residence of the Prince de Talleyrand, awaits you. With its remarkable furniture and many paintings and precious objects, it is a testimony to the art of living in the 19th century.
By bike to the Château of Ainay-le-Vieil
Set off once again along the Cœur de France à Vélo route, in the direction of the Château of Ainay-le-Vieil. Charming lock houses, aqueducts and lift bridges are interspersed along the way. In the small village of Drevant, make sure you go and see the exceptional Gallo-Roman theatre, a relic of a large ancient city. On your arrival at the Château of Ainay-le-Vieil, you will fall under the spell of this splendid, gothic-style château surrounded by fortifications flanked by high towers. Outside, stroll through the gardens starting from the rose garden and discover the 5 chartreuses, open-air rooms on a terrace overlooking the canals and linked by a succession of arcades.