Category Archives: Easter

A cycling holiday in the Loire Valley

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This post was going to be about safety and cycling, but there are so many excellent websites dealing with this that my mind switched to options for a cycling holiday in the Loire.  The different nationalities, ages, abilities and ways guests have enjoyed cycling from Les Mortiers is interesting too.

There is a link to a cycling safety website is given below. The site has many other useful links on the subject and worth looking at if you are considering cycling on holiday.

A well seasoned and keen cyclist might look for a specialist offer, where everything is provided,  at a price. However, the region is so well provided for cyclists that, unless you want to spend  every day on the saddle, then being free to pedal as you wish, when you wish and as the weather suits you is a good option.  If your partner or the family do  not share your enthusiasm for a daily ride, then self-catering with cycles provided, or bringing your own, is a good option.

The wide spectrum of people who cycle for instance from our own property is interesting.  Here are a few examples:

  • Keen cyclists from the USA, one family brought their bikes in their suitcases.
  • A father who cycled each morning for the bread with both his children on one bike, one at the front and one at the rear.
  • A family who brought a tag along bike with them, the first we had seen but very popular now.
  • A lady from the Netherlands with a bike with hydraulic brakes.  Mike was in awe!
  • An Estate Agent  from Canada who was privileged to visit Cyfac, a local and highly renowned company making high end cycles and frames for many of the bikes in international races. He was awestruck by the bike he was given to road test
  • A New Zealand girl traveller sponsored on a cycle trip around the world and currently in South America. Her bike was wrapped with inner tubes to mask its value against theft.
  • Guests who have pushed themselves to the limit, not having ridden since childhood and not walking far the next day!
  • An amateur cyclist from the USA who rides like a professional and even helped us put the roof on the new extension to our house!
  • And a family who experienced an exploding tyre whilst they had stopped at Lac Rillé for a picnic! It happened during the excessively hot summer.
  • And, of course, like many of our guests a short cycle in the morning for fresh bread and croissants or  a coffee in the bar.

The countryside, quiet roads and forest routes in Anjou and Touraine are perfect for cycling, whatever your style. The slide show link below has some views from cycle rides around where we live. For the less adventurous a ride to Lac Pincemaille is a pleasant outing with well marked trails through the forests, whereas the more experienced venture to Bourgueil, along the banks of the Loire or as far as Chinon. Information is readily available for the many routes marked around the region. The most famous being the Loire a Velo. We have a library of local cycle routes for our guests including maps for the local area and further afield for the more intrepid or those who carry bikes on their car wishing to cycle a particular route.We have cycles available for your use and a rescue service, if required.

Just for interest, below are some Solex bikes which were for sale at a recent Vide Grenier (car boot sale).


Cycling around Les Mortiers

A site with some useful guidance about cycling and keeping children safe.



Camping or Gite Holiday – best value?

A random search of prices for static tents in Brittany and the Loire area produced a few surprises.

The quality of tents offered by large companies undoubtedly improves each year, showers, fridge/freezers, microwaves, 4 ring hobs, hair dryers, heater and fans, even a stereo and ipod dock. All that you would expect to find in a good quality gite in France.

Then there are the extras to make your life more comfortable, electric lights,  linen hire, welcome pack (payable), company representative on site.

Not too different from renting a gite? It was worth making a rough comparison of prices for Easter 2011.

A 2 bedroom superior tent for 4 people, with linen and welcome pack ranges from 386 € to 494 €. (taken from 4 sites)

Our gite for 4 people over the Easter week is 520 €, with which you get a solid roof over your head, no noise from neighbours, a heated swimming pool and privacy. You do not have to bring your own dishwasher, there’s one already there, the heating is free if the evenings are cooler and the sunset is all yours!

I know we are biased, but we’ll be staying at Les Mortiers for Easter!

Sunset at Les Mortiers

Easter is Vouvray!

Caves de Vincent Raimbault, Vouvray

The 2009 Vouvray is ready! Vincent Raimbault, Vouvray opens his doors this Easter with his annual  Portes Ouvertes. Not only some lovely wines to taste, but also the troglodyte bread oven with be working again, cooking fouaces, brioches and bread with vine prunings and roots.  You can watch (and taste) the delicious Rillons and Rillettes de Touraine being made in the traditional way.  There’s fouaces with rillettes, goats cheese and garlic butter to try too.

Vincent Raimbault is a long term favourite of ours, both for classic and sparkling Vouvray at sensible prices. The 2008 Vouvray Sec and Demi-Sec gained a Silver Medal  Au Concours des Vins du Val de Loire à Angers this February.

With wine tasting in the cave, there are exhibitions from three artists:  Julien Hebras, furniture renovation, marquetry and wood turning, Carine Lepretre, painter and decorator from  l’Atelier du Galet Rouge, and Yvette Kulwikowski, a local artist.