A very enjoyable day of cycling with a mix of riversides, woodland and farmland. and points of interest along the way including Château de Villandry.
After a short not-so-inspiring urban stretch leaving Tours, suddenly find yourself surrounded by the peace and tranquility of the Loire countryside again. Enjoy pretty villages, plenty more great picnic opportunities, plus a chance to visit the historic Château de Villandry and its splendid gardens.
Today's ride is fairly short and easy but can take longer as there are plenty of sights to see, and the gardens of Villandry take a while to walk around! If you plan to see some sights in Tours, please do plan your departure time carefully.
There are more opportunities to stop today for a riverside or countryside picnic, however there are also more cafes and shops to visit. Savonnières offers a few cafes and shops but these tend to close in the afternoon. Villandry has a number of restaurants and cafes.
Take care on busy roads leaving Tours. Remember just because you are on a cycle lane you should still proceed with caution at every junction. and once you are on quieter roads and paths just outside the city we have noticed some glass on the path to be aware of.
All normal cycle equipment and outdoor gear is required. In particular cycle gloves, waterproof jacket, a warm layer, bottle of water, and food for the day. A helmet and padded cycle shorts are highly recommended along with suncream.
The Cathedral in Tours is worth visiting if you have not done so already. Tours take place at set times advertised outside, but you can also enter to see the main space by yourself to simply admire the spectacle of this immense building, and there is a lot of information on display about the history and art of the Cathedral http://www.paroisse-cathedrale-tours.catholique.fr/
Savonnières offers a great opportunitiy for a waterside picnic. Do make sure you call into the artisan Boulangerie if it is open for some heavenly cakes.
Before Villandry you could stop to visit the ancien caves of Les Grottes Pétrifiantes https://www.grottes-savonnieres.com/english/the-caves/
Do visit Château de Villandry http://www.chateauvillandry.fr/en/ . A walk around the castle and gardens could take you between 1 nd 2 hours. There is a special "car park" for bikes and handy lockers available if you buy a ticket for entrance, should you wish to stow away your pannier bags. The lockers are on a first come first served basis.
This activity is included in the following itineraries: