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Freewheeling Around the ‘La Vallée du Loir’: 3 Fun and Easy Cycling Itineraries

Far from the hustle and bustle of cities, La Vallée du Loir is a carefully protected natural environment of gently rolling hills, vineyards and orchards: a quiet paradise just 40 km north of ‘La Loire’ near the royal city of Blois and in the epicentre of the Vendôme country. 

The recently inaugurated La Vallée du Loir’ cycle route, one of the most beautiful in France, is 320 km long. Take a look at this video of the region’s fabulous itineraries and you’ll see that it’s pure heaven for cyclists! Here are some nuggets to start you on your way. You’re sure to be back for more!  

Couture-sur-Loir 41800, 1h15 min, 17 km. A leisurely tour of the Loir Valley’s small villages and green country. Thrill-seekers will revel in the jet skis and fly boards at Tréhet’s extreme sports centre. But if history and architecture are more up your alley, be sure to visit Villedieu-le-Château, a small out-of the-way village with priory-fortress, 15th century church and a spectacular view of the valley. Back in Couture, head out to the ‘green island’ for a picnic and the Manoir de la Poissonnière, the birthplace of the renowned 16th century French poet, Pierre de Ronsard. 

Vendôme 41100: 1h30 min, 24 km. A tour of the Vendôme countryside, past glens and meadows, and carefully tended crop fields interspersed with little villages. You’ll catch a glimpse of tiny winegrower shelters, outdoor washhouses, the region’s famous AOC vineyards as well as the stunning view of Vendôme, a magical city on the riverbank often called the ‘Venice of North’ because of its picturesque and seemingly endless maze of canals. Stop on your way back for a refreshing halt by the lovely Saint-Ouen lakeside.

Fréteval - Fréteval 41160: 45 min, 13 km. A tour through the Upper-Vendôme countryside, including parts of the Saint-Jacques à Vélo and the Vallée du Loir à Vélo trails. You’ll travel along the Loir River, across forests, tiny villages and by the Saint-Lubin Lake. Cool off with a dip at the Morée leisure centre, then enjoy a pause at one of the many picnic sites en route. A fabulous tour for nature lovers who will get a sweeping view of the river and first-hand look at its rich and varied wildlife. History buffs can visit the impressive medieval castle in Fréteval as well as the intriguing 19th century ‘Château des Enigmes’ and its splendid park.

For more information and maps, click here:   
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