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Recreation Cycling Tour in Western Loire

Self Guided Cycling Tour in France

The Mayenne and Sarthe regions form part of the “Western Loire”. Lying just North of the Loire Valley, there are rolling hills, gentle rivers, sparkling lakes and a history that stretches back to the stone age. Pretty villages are tucked away in folds of the wooded hills, hidden in forests and on the banks of rivers. There are more inhabited chateaux in Mayenne than anywhere else in France. This truly is the part of France which time forgot.

The Mayenne cuisine allows its visitors to savour the delicacies developed by the association of Master Chefs known as”Goutez a la Mayenne”. Its logo,the red apple peirced by a fork , symbolises the local agriculture, the many apple orchards in a region famous for its cider and calvados. It is also a region rich in traditional cheeses, with goats cows and sheep all providing milk for the local creamy delixacies.

Cycling through the Mayenne from your base hotel in Moulay, you encounter many rivers including the tiny meandering Loir. Your journey from Moulay to Saulges will take you through flowered villages and fields of sunflowers. Why not stop for lunch amongst the Roman ruins of Jublains, one of the most important gallo-roman sites in the West of France.

Your home for the next two nights will be the pretty village of Saulges, with its 7th Century church of St Pierre and the Frotte de Rochefort and Margot, with their prehistoric paintings. Leaving Saulges visit the fortified hilltop town of Saint Suzanne with its old streets,ramparts and museum. The town was besieged by William the Conqueror between 1083 and 1086 and you can see the remains of his “camp anglais”

Next you stop at La Relais de la gue de selle. This hotel started life as a farm and now stands majestically over an 80 hectare park. A large lake stands next to the hotel where you can fish or just take an evening stroll before enjoying dinner on the terrace. Nearby is the vibrant town of Evron which hosts one of the finest markets in the region every Thursday.

Enjoy the comfortable ride back through deserted farm lanes to your base hotel in Moulay to enjoy a swim in the heated pool prior to your final nights dinner on the veranda.

This is the France of an almost forgotten era and one we can’t wait to share with you!

Please note that we would grade this route as an easy ride.

Detailed Route Cards and Maps

We take pride in our cycling route cards, checking and update them regularly. We also provide a map (usually 1:50,000). Our route cards are your guide, providing much more information than the basic directions. Just as a guide would tell you about the places you pass, our route cards include information on historic villages, places of interest and momuments along the way. If it’s worth making a short detour to a fantastic viewpoint, we point this out too. We even suggest cafés and restaurants where you can stop for lunch. We can also provide you with GPS files for this tour.

What to bring

Wearing a helmet while cycling in France is not mandatory. However, for the purposes of this trip, your safety and for insurance purposes we request that you wear a helmet whilst riding. Please bring your own or we can supply one for you.

It’s important to be comfortable when cycling so we recommend wearing cycling shorts, jersey and gloves. In my opinion cycling shorts are a must, if you are not comfortable on the saddle you will be less likely to want to ride. Trainers are fine for cycling and for when you stop off to visit places on foot.

Your luggage transported

We want you to enjoy your self guided cycling tour in Western Loire to the full so, for your comfort, we arrange the transportation of your luggage from one hotel to the next. All we ask is that you leave your suitcases in reception each morning and will ensure that they are waiting for you at your next hotel. All you need to carry with you are drinks, a camera, some cash and sun cream.

Chateaux & Castles Cycling Tour Itinerary

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7Day 8Price

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Arrival

Arrive at Moulay and check into La Marjolaine Hotel. Maybe take a swim in the heated pool before enjoying a welcome drink with your representative who will give you your bikes, welcome pack and all the advice that 15 years of living in the region can bring to make sure that you have a memorable holiday. Enjoy dinner on the patio overlooking the hotels gardens and grounds.

Moulay Circular Ride

Take a gentle ride from the hotel along the banks of the River Mayenne which borders the hotel grounds. Stop off in the town of Mayenne to visit the chateau and is museum before picking up the cycle track the beautiful village of Ambrieres les Vallees. Meander along quiet country roads to the village of Lassay les Chateaux with its superb castle and stop for lunch in one of the many bars in the village centre. On your return journey take a look at the Castle Thibault just outside the village before the gentle undulating ride back to Moulay.

Route:

  • Distance 50km Total Ascent 300m

Jublains & Saulges

Today you will enjoy a beautiful scenic ride along quiet lanes, winding through sleepy villages. Not to be missed en route is the gallo-roman site of Jublains. The ruins of Noviodonum the ancient regional capital are astonishing and some of the best preserved in the whole of France. The adjoining museum records the early history of Mayenne and attracts visitors year round from all over the globe. Take a few moments to check out the Roman baths in the centre of the village and maybe a spot of lunch in the pizzeria. Continue your ride south along deserted lanes through fields of sunflowers to the village of Saulges and your 2 night stay at Hotel L’Ermitage.

Route:

  • Distance 55km Total Ascent 300m

Sainte Suzanne

Start your day with a potter around this charming village before setting off on a Tour of the Erve Valley. A scenic 20k ride and you will arrive in the small medieval town of Sainte Suzanne with its old streets surrounded by ramparts. With the river Erve running at its feet,visit the chateau which dominates the skyline for miles around. It was besieged by William the Conqueror from 1083-1086 and take time to visit the “Camp des Anglais”. The original chateau ruin now includes a superb internal metal staircase that allows you to climb to the top with views across the valley. Take a gentle ride back to Saulges before enjoying a well earned meal.

Route:

  • Distance 45km Total Ascent 400m

Relais de Gue de Selle

After breakfast set off for your ride through the French countryside to your next stop the Relais du Gue de Selle in Mezangers. Your ride today will take you to the tiny 12th Century village of St Pierre sur Erve with its church and ancient bridge and wash house perfectly restored. Follow the pretty road by the river and visit the caves, Frotte de Rochefort and Grotte de Mangot home to prehistoric man. Stop off in the village of Neau and take a look at the Romanesque church with its outstanding frescoes. Why not have lunch in the bakery at nearby St Christophe de Luat which still makes its bread in the traditional manner using a wood fired oven. Arriving at the beautiful Relais de Gue de Selle enjoy a drink on the veranda overlooking the lake. The hotel was originally a farm house owned by the local parish. It was decided to convert it into a hotel to encourage visitors to remain in the area a little longer. The hotel prides itself on its beautiful gardens and is surrounded by a lake where you can swim, sail and windsurf.
Route:

  • Distance 45km Total Ascent 300m

Rest Day

Time to rest those weary legs today so take the short ride into the thriving town of Evron on market day. Sample all the local delights which the market has to offer and why not visit the town church which dates back to 632 and its first pilgrim. The present basilica is currently 18th Century but contains much older sections. Look out for the stone front the Bruges tapestry and 14th Century frescoes.

Return to Moulay

Your final day in the saddle will take you through forests and farm lanes back to your starting point in Moulay. Whilst winding your way through the traffic free lanes don’t forget to take a look at the Chateau de Bourgou in Montortier and call in for a drink by the lake and beautiful setting at la site de la Fonderie. When you arrive back at your hotel why not take a dip in the heated pool before enjoying a beautiful meal on the patio. Your regional representative will be there to meet you and enjoy a drink and share your experiences.

Route:

  • Distance 40km Total Ascent 200m

Departure

We say “Au revoir” before you leave for home or maybe you have chosen to continue your holiday elsewhere in France. In either case”A Bientot”and hope to see you again soon.

Prices

Prices

  • €1350/Person (3nights Half Board & 4 Nights B&B Basis)
  • Bike Hire is included in the price
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Availability

JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovemberDecember

January

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour is not available in January.

We run this Tour in June, July & August Only.

February

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour is not available in February.

We run this Tour in June, July & August Only.

March

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour is not available in March.

We run this Tour in June, July & August Only.

April

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour is not available in April.

We run this Tour in June, July & August Only.

May

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour is not available in May.

We run this Tour in June, July & August Only.

June

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour can start on any day of the week, we can also make the Tour shorter or longer to suit your schedule. Please contact us for availability, we will do our best to accommodate you.

July

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour can start on any day of the week, we can also make the Tour shorter or longer to suit your schedule. Please contact us for availability, we will do our best to accommodate you.

August

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour can start on any day of the week, we can also make the Tour shorter or longer to suit your schedule. Please contact us for availability, we will do our best to accommodate you.

September

September

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour is not available in September.

We run this Tour in June, July & August Only.

October

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour is not available in October.

We run this Tour in June, July & August Only.

November

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour is not available in November.

We run this Tour in June, July & August Only.

December

Our Chateaux, Castle and Cuisine Tour is not available in December.

We run this Tour in June, July & August Only.