Tour the Loire with cycle expert Harvey Downard
Summer is a great time to break out the cycle, and there's a bounty of sun soaked landscapes to explore in neighbouring Europe. We sent intrepid cycli...Read more
Cycle from one full-bodied red to another, with plenty to see in between
One of the most famous wine regions in France, the very word ‘Burgundy’ immediately conjures up rich, deep reds you can almost taste just by thinking about them. In between wine tastings and gorgeous gastronomic stop-offs, you’ll enjoy riverside cycling through wonderful scenery, to bustling market towns and grand cathedrals.
Your journey starts at a beautiful château hotel in Fleurville, from which you’ll continue into the hills around Chardonnay and Juliénas, exploring quaint villages - and even some prehistoric caves. All the while, the wine will flow...
We love: Poulet a la crème, the medieval hilltop Eagle’s nest of Brancion, Cluny with its ancient abbey and National Stud Farm, the Château de Cormatin and the endless miles of cycle paths.
• Delicious restaurant meals each night
• Bed and breakfast accommodation
• Expert on the spot support
• Luggage carried between your hotels
• Fully serviced touring bikes
• 100% financial security through ABTA and ATOL
This is a Cycling for Softies Original Tour
SUGGESTED 7 NIGHT TOUR
DAY 1 Arrive at Lyon or Mâcon. Located in the quaint town of Fleurville, your first ‘bijou’ château hotel is set in a beautiful walled garden, just a stone’s throw from the Voie Bleue cycle path. Relax, enjoy a drink al fresco, and take a dip in the pool. Or if you’re feeling energetic, take to the tennis court for a set or two.
DAY 2 Tournus. After a reviving night’s sleep and delicious breakfast, it’s time to explore the area. We suggest a round trip route to Tournus on the River Saône, a delightful little town of old buildings, winding alleyways, antique shops, cafes and restaurants. Pont De Vaux is also nearby, an interesting little market town on the river.
DAY 3 Fleurville to Igé. Today you will follow beautiful winding roads past vineyards and ancient château ruins towards the charming market town of Ige. Your next hotel, ‘Château d’Igé’ is a magnificent 13th century castle transformed into a unique four-star hotel. Dining on the terrace on a fine summer’s evening is a must. (9 milles/15km)
DAY 4 Azé. Today we recommend a day trip to Azé and its fascinating prehistoric caves. The ‘Grottes d’Azé’ was once home to prehistoric man, and is now a listed site complete with an underground river, an archaeological museum and bear skeletons, as well as the caves themselves.
DAY 5 Igé to Juliénas. Time for a drop of Beaujolais. Today you'll take a trip to Juliénas, one of the great Beaujolais vineyards. Here, the naturally steep northern slopes yield wonderfully spicy wines - and the scenery is a joy. Gourmet traditions are taken very seriously here, so it’s the perfect place to enjoy lunch with a glass or two. Also worth a visit is a beautiful caveau (wine cave), for a bottle or two to take home. (15 miles/24km)
DAY 6 St-Amour-de-Bellevue and La-Chapelle-de-Guinchay. With so much lovely wine to enjoy, you may choose to put your feet up in Juliénas today. Alternatively you can cycle to the pretty villages of St-Amour-de-Bellevue or La-Chapelle-de-Guinchay, the latter of which features a beautiful church.
DAY 7 Juliénas to Fleurville. Your final day in the saddle will take you back to Fleurville. Here you can relax in the sanctuary of your château hotel once more, making sure you stock up on local delicacies before heading home! (20 miles/32km)
DAY 8 after a hearty breakfast we say “Au Revoir”.
Not to be missed:
The beautiful abbey in Tournus is well worth a visit
Brancion - one the most authentic medieval villages in Burgundy
Sampling wine in various ‘caveau’ (wine caves) along your journey
A fine selection of hotels to choose from
Built in 1624 by the counts of Fleur Ville, Chateau de Fleurville is surrounded by a 2-hectare park. It has a heated outdoor swimming pool, a hot tub and a tennis court. Creative and gastronomic dishes, cheeses and wines of the Burgundy region are served in their fantastic restaurant.
Chateau Ige is a beautiful & characterful hotel. The rooms are all individually decorated and some have 4-poster canopy beds. The restaurant uses its fresh garden vegetables to prepare fine traditional and regional cuisine. The Chateau also has a lovely garden and terrace for dining in the summer months.
Hotel Aux Terrasses is an upscale boutique hotel with warmly decorated rooms featuring exposed stone walls, beamed ceilings and oak floors. It has a Michelin starred restaurant and an expansive wine cellar, offering a great fine dining experience. The hotel is located on the edge of the old part of Tournus, a short walk from the famous Abbey.
Built on the remains of a Benedictine abbey, this 3-star hotel us in the centre of Cluny and has a pretty flowered courtyard. The rooms are traditionally furnished and spacious.
Hotel Chez La Rose is a charming 3-star hotel located right in the center of Julienas. It has an outdoor swimming pool and a flower filled outdoor terrace. Their restaurant ‘La Rose’ serves regional cuisine along with the world famous wine from the Burgundy region.
This hotel is situated on top of a small hill overlooking the vineyards of the Maconnais. It benefits from an exceptional location in quiet and peaceful surroundings. It has an outdoor swimming pool and the gourmet restaurant offers refined regional cuisine in a pleasant dining-room facing the countryside.
April to September
|Group/Period||3 nights Apr - Sep||4 nights Apr - Sep||5 nights Apr - Sep||7 nights Apr - Sep|
|Child (7-12)||On request||On request||£895||On request|
|Child (2-6)||On request||On request||On request||On request|
All prices per person, based on two people sharing and two nights per hotel. Includes breakfast, gourmet evening meal, bikes and equipment and luggage transfers unless otherwise stated. Travel not included. Single supplement: £65 per night. E-bike supplement: £20 per day.
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