Tag Archives: Rille

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).

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Cycling around Les Mortiers

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

www.frenchholiday.co.uk

 

Chambre d’hôtes – we love you!

I love being in the country, I miss the fresh air when I am in a town or a built up area, I love the sound of nature and I love to see the open sky, morning light and the evening sunsets.

I find most hotels are often bland, you know the room layout will nearly always be the same and it could be gaspingly hot and dry at night. The hotel staff welcome you on arrival, but the next morning there is a different person there.

There’s lots of chambre d’hôtes in beautiful parts of the country, yet I was a little apprehensive about booking a chambre d’hôte, not quite knowing what it would be like.

Two recent journeys have convinced me that chambres d’hôtes are a better choice. The internet has made life so easy and changed things dramatically, even the smallest chambre d’hôte has a website which gives you an instant feel for the place and makes contacting the owner so easy. Whilst travelling recently, we searched the internet the night before departure and quickly arranged accommodation for the following night.

If you want to learn about the locality of where you are staying, what better than asking a local and that is the opportunity you get with a chambre d’hôte. Real live information rather than a brochure from a stand in the hotel.

We are novices as far as chambre d’hôtes go, but here are two we have enjoyed and a third which I visited last week – a new friend from Facebook just a few kilometres from our home.

Normandy – Basse Copette

Tucked away in a pretty valley in Normandy, yet convenient for our trips back to the UK and Northern Europe. Basse Copette is situated a comfortable distance from the autoroute, easy to find and a calm situation. A warm, relaxed welcome, excellent food and a host with a wealth of knowledge about the area and farther afield too.  Thomas provides a superb breakfast, a perfect start to a day at Giverny to visit Monet’s Garden or a day trip to Paris. We love it here.

Jura – Saint Ligier, Baums Les Bains

We took a detour recently on our way back from Germany to see the River Doubs, famed for its fly-fishing and for us a ‘must do’ as we make fly fishing lines in pure silk.  The scenery was stunning, sparkling streams, green valleys and high mountains. We stayed in Baumes Les Bains at the Ferme Auberge St. Ligier. We ate on the terrace in the evening looking across at the mountains and down to the town below us. We started with an aperitif and warm choux filled with Cantal cheese, then we worked our way through terrine de lapin, veau, rosti et champignons, local Cantal cheese and a delicious hazlenut gateau. There was a good list of local wines too. The milk from the farm went to the local co-operative to make the cheese we ate, the eggs and meat came from the farm too.


Pays de la Loire – L’Epronnière

Sometimes you do not realised how good things are close to home, in fact only 10 minutes away.  I went to meet the delightful Joëlle Dachelet who found me on Facebook. Joëlle and Patrice run L’Epronnière which is situated on the banks of Lac Rillé. Their property is tucked away in a protected zone for ornithology and offers amazing views over the lake. They even have built a bird hide high up in the trees on the edge of the lake which you can use. If you love nature and country life, this is a wonderful place to stay.

You may know of other little gems? I’ve already thought of several more I would like to visit.

Please post your link so others can find them too.