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FRANCE

The Chateaux of the Loire by Bicycle

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Bicycling

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Road Scholar
Program #3165RJ
13 Days | 12 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Equipment Requirements
Participants must bring and wear their own bicycle helmet.

Itinerary for Jun 7 — Jun 19, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Saturday, June 07 - In Flight
Evening: Overnight flight

Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Ideal location opposite Chinon Castle on the banks of the river Vienne, just outside the medieval city of Chinon.

Contact info:
11, rue Digue St-Jacques
Chinon, 37500 France
phone: +011 33 247 98 46 46
web: www.all-seasons-hotels.com/gb/hotel-7864-all-seasons-chinon-futur-ibis-styles/index.shtml

Room amenities: En-suite facilities, Telephone, TV, WiFi, Hairdryer

Facility amenities: Restaurant with traditional cuisine, Terrace, Swimming Pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Based on availability
Participants can contact the hotel directly if they wish to book additional nights prior to the start of the program.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Sunday, June 08 - Arrival/Coach to Chinon
Morning: Arrival at Nantes Airport and transfer by coach to the hotel in Chinon.

Lunch: Lunch on own to explore local fare.

Afternoon: We’ll fit your bicycle to you to assure a safe, comfortable program.

Dinner: Join us tonight for our welcome dinner.

Lodging: ibis Styles Chinon

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Ideal location opposite Chinon Castle on the banks of the river Vienne, just outside the medieval city of Chinon.

Contact info:
11, rue Digue St-Jacques
Chinon, 37500 France
phone: +011 33 247 98 46 46
web: www.all-seasons-hotels.com/gb/hotel-7864-all-seasons-chinon-futur-ibis-styles/index.shtml

Room amenities: En-suite facilities, Telephone, TV, WiFi, Hairdryer

Facility amenities: Restaurant with traditional cuisine, Terrace, Swimming Pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: Based on availability
Participants can contact the hotel directly if they wish to book additional nights prior to the start of the program.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Three: Monday, June 09 - Safety and Corner System Lectures/Joan of Arc/Châ...
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: After breakfast we will present a lecture on safety, rules of the road and the IBT corner system. We’ll also attend a lecture about the life of Joan of Arc, the chateau of Chinon and the Loire Valley. In town, we’ll see the statue of François Rabelais - the great humorist and satirist, who used the pseudonym Alcofribas Nasier - on the banks of the river. It was at the chateau that Jehanne La Pucelle (Joan the Maid), later known as Joan of Arc, met Charles VII.

Lunch: Lunch on own to explore local fare.

Afternoon: We take a guided excursion to the castle, affording splendid views of old Chinon.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Evening: After dinner, we’ll have group introductions and T-shirt distribution.

Lodging: ibis Styles Chinon

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Situated on the Indre River surrounded by the vineyards of Touraine.

Contact info:
50/52, rue Nationale
Azay-le-Rideau, 37190 France
phone: +011 33 247 45 28 29
web: www.bestwestern-valdeloire.com/

Room amenities: En-suite facilities, cable/satellite TV, Alarm Clock, Hairdryer, Coffee/Tea Maker, Safe Deposit

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Lounge, Tennis Court

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Four: Tuesday, June 10 - Château d'Ussé/Bicycle to Azay-le-Rideau
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: After breakfast, we're off, heading north to Château d'Ussé, built on the site of a medieval fortress. Each century a variety of building styles were added by the successive owners. The result so inspired Charles Perrault that he used it as a setting for his Sleeping Beauty. We explore this remarkable chateau and its gardens.

Lunch: Lunch on own to explore local fare.

Afternoon: We continue to Azay-le-Rideau.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Val de Loire

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: Situated on the Indre River surrounded by the vineyards of Touraine.

Contact info:
50/52, rue Nationale
Azay-le-Rideau, 37190 France
phone: +011 33 247 45 28 29
web: www.bestwestern-valdeloire.com/

Room amenities: En-suite facilities, cable/satellite TV, Alarm Clock, Hairdryer, Coffee/Tea Maker, Safe Deposit

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Lounge, Tennis Court

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Five: Wednesday, June 11 - Bicycle to Villaines-les-Rochers/Château d'Azay-...
Bicycle to Villaines-les-Rochers/Château d'Azay-le-Rideau/ The History of France and its Royalty

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: We’re off on a leisurely ride to Villaines-les Rochers, a small village where the local wicker craftsmen grow their own wicker, strip it and use it to create various objects. We return via Saché where Honoré de Balzac, the famous French novelist, wrote some of his finest works. In the village square of Saché one also finds a sculpture of Alexander Calder.

Lunch: Lunch on own to explore local fare.

Afternoon: We will take an excursion to the chateau in Azay-le-Rideau, a magnificent example of Renaissance architecture, and end the day with a lecture on the history of France and its royalty.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Val de Loire

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
12, rue des Lézards
Loches, 37602 France
phone: +011 33 247 91 30 30
web: www.luccotel.com/

Facility amenities: Sauna, Tennis Court, Billiards, WiFi, Covered, heated pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Six: Thursday, June 12 - Montbazon/Bicycle to Loches
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: First stop is Montbazon where, on top of a ruin, a huge Madonna statue stands. After buying groceries and fruit, we continue along the River Indre until we find a good place for a picnic. The area is mostly farmland and fields of sunflowers.

Lunch: A picnic lunch is planned, weather permitting.

Afternoon: Expect very little traffic as we wind our way south to the medieval city of Loches where we are expected for the night.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Lodging: Luccotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
12, rue des Lézards
Loches, 37602 France
phone: +011 33 247 91 30 30
web: www.luccotel.com/

Facility amenities: Sauna, Tennis Court, Billiards, WiFi, Covered, heated pool

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Friday, June 13 - History of Loches Lecture/Excursion to the Châtea...
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: We start the day with a lecture and field trip to the old town and a visit to the chateau in Loches (located within the city walls). Joan of Arc stopped here in 1429 on her way to Reims. Of interest is the donjon (keep), where prisoners were kept. One such prisoner, Ludovico Sforza, who was Leonardo da Vinci’s patron, wrote on the walls of his dungeon “he who is not content," a sentiment probably shared by others in the donjon.

Lunch: Lunch on own to explore local fare.

Afternoon: You are free to explore Loches before attending a lecture about life in a chateau.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Lodging: Luccotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
9, rue du docteur Bretonneau
Chenonceaux, 37150 France
phone: +011 33 247 23 90 17
web: www.hostelduroy.com/

Room amenities: Telephone, Television

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eight: Saturday, June 14 - Bicycle to Chenonceaux/Visit its chateau on the R...
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Many chateaux in France are privately owned (and some are for sale, too) and are not always open to the public. During our two weeks in the Loire Valley we will be passing scores of lovely chateaux, one prettier than the other. A short ride brings us to Chenonceaux, home of the Château de Chenonceau (spelled without the x at the end). The chateau lies on the River Cher and is surrounded by forest; contrary to some fortress-like chateaux, this one conveys instead lightness and grace. In the 1700s, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a tutor to the son of Madame Dupin, the mistress of Chenonceau, said of the chateau: “Life was delightful in that lovely place; I ate very well and grew fat as a monk." We will enjoy this lovely place on our excursion to the Château de Chenonceau.

Lunch: Lunch on own to explore local fare.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Lodging: Hostel du Roy

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: Nestled among the most famous chateaux - Chambord, Blois, Chaumont, Amboise and Chenonceau, the site is 210 acres of peaceful countryside.

Contact info:
Nationale 152
Chouzy-sur-Cisse, 41150 France
phone: +33 254 20 49 00
web: www.lacarte.com.fr/

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Brasserie, Golf Course, Swimming Pool, Tennis Court

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Nine: Sunday, June 15 - Bicycle to Amboise/Home of Leonardo da Vinci
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: We're off to Amboise to admire the clock tower built by Charles VIII. Leonardo da Vinci worked and died in Amboise and we will take an excursion to his house, now a museum.

Lunch: Lunch on own to explore local fare.

Afternoon: After lunch we continue to our day’s destination, Chouzy-sur-Cisse. Tonight is as good a time as any to sample the local (white) Vouvray wines, grown alongside the Loire River. If you enjoy this wine, look for it at home, Vouvray is widely sold in North America.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Lodging: Golf Hotel de la Carte

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Resort

Description: Nestled among the most famous chateaux - Chambord, Blois, Chaumont, Amboise and Chenonceau, the site is 210 acres of peaceful countryside.

Contact info:
Nationale 152
Chouzy-sur-Cisse, 41150 France
phone: +33 254 20 49 00
web: www.lacarte.com.fr/

Facility amenities: Restaurant, Brasserie, Golf Course, Swimming Pool, Tennis Court

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Ten: Monday, June 16 - Château de Chaumont/French Politics and Retiremen...
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: The Château de Chaumont, on the River Loire, is first on the agenda. We take an excursion to this beautiful chateau with its luxurious stables, a pleasant reminder of the days when horse-drawn coaches were the only means of transportation. The name Chaumont came from the 16th century when it was occupied by Charles and his wife Catherine de Sauvigny: their coat of arms was a burning hill and thus the name "chaud mont."

Lunch: Lunch on own to explore local fare.

Afternoon: We attend a lecture on politics and retirement.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Lodging: Golf Hotel de la Carte

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Contact info:
34, Grande rue
Chitenay, 41120 France
phone: +011 33 254 70 42 11
web: www.auberge-du-centre.com/

Room amenities: Canal+ satellite television, WiFi

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Eleven: Tuesday, June 17 - Château de Blois/Bicycle to Chitenay
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Today we attend a lecture on Blois’ important chateau with its beautiful inner courtyard. The chateau holds several wings named after former occupants. The François I staircase is of great significance: the guests entered the chateau and were greeted by the guards on the balconies.

Lunch: Lunch on own to explore local fare.

Afternoon: We'll have free time in Blois before we continue through the forest to Chitenay.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Lodging: Auberge du Centre

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Contact info:
34, Grande rue
Chitenay, 41120 France
phone: +011 33 254 70 42 11
web: www.auberge-du-centre.com/

Room amenities: Canal+ satellite television, WiFi

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.


Day Twelve: Wednesday, June 18 - Château de Chambord
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Our last day on the bicycle. The highlight of all chateaux awaits us: a lecture in Château de Chambord. Approaching the chateau from the forest, its looming presence is quite breathtaking. You, too, will understand why this chateau is the favorite of many visitors who come to the Loire Valley. For the next few hours we will walk through the estate of the former counts of Blois.

Lunch: Lunch on own to explore local fare.

Afternoon: After returning to the hotel, we reluctantly relinquish our bicycles. Say farewell to your friends at the farewell dinner.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel

Lodging: Auberge du Centre

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Thirteen: Thursday, June 19 - Departure
Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel

Morning: Coach transfer to Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris for departure. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you return on more rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
11 nights of accommodations
22 meals: 11 breakfasts, 0 lunches, 11 dinners
8 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips

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