After having roamed along La Loire à Vélo from east to west, it’s time to get off the beaten track, beyond the major tourist routes and onto other paths. We made the most of the spring weather for a cycling weekend with friends in the golden triangle of southern Touraine: Loches, Montrésor and Chédigny.
Sleeping in a former monastery-château
When you’re in châteaux country, we advise you to make the most of it! So why not spend the night in a former monastery-château? Our host Jeff plunges us into the history of this place. La Corroirie was the “economic hub” of all of Liget, driven by the Chartreux brothers. And the spiritual centre was right nearby, the Charterhouse of Liget.
Cycling to one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France
After this moment of tranquillity, time to jump back on the bikes to head to one of the Most Beautiful Villages in France: Montrésor. Behind this name hides a legend to be discovered on your visit. I know that the suspense is killing you, but the locals will be more than happy to share this story with you. At Café de la Ville, for example? This little restaurant next to the château ramparts is perfect for enjoying a classic family dish on the terrace.
It seems that there's something Polish about this village... Hang on, let's check. Rue Branicki? Rue Potocki? Well now we're sure, the names of the streets clearly show that something Polski is afoot. Another clue is delightfully discovered at the collegiate church: the hat of Pope John Paul II.
Time to head to the Balcons de l’Indrois observation deck, where you can take in the delightful, picture-postcard landscape: little houses along the river with their own canoes, hydraulic structures and even an Eiffel Bridge (yes, the very same as the Tower). Without a doubt, the highlight is on top of the rocky spur towering over us: the Château of Montrésor. Charline, the guide, gives us a warm and friendly welcome. She explains why so many parts of the town have Polish influences.
A good meal and some night-time wandering
After having cracked the Sherlock Holmes-worthy mystery, it's time for a little break. We enjoy Jeff's macarons at the Montrésor bakery – a pure moment of indulgence, relaxation and tranquillity that we've certainly earned after our bike ride!
We spend the evening in Loches, tasting Régis and Ella's cuisine at Le Prosper. After falling in love with the town, they decided to move to Loches and we can understand why. The industrial-style restaurant features an entirely glass wall and stone from Saint-Antoine Tower, for a striking look. Inside, it's welcoming and all our senses are switched on. The wine-food pairings are a true treat for the tastebuds.
This lovely evening finishes in the historic part of the town. We take a night-time stroll along the cobblestone streets, which turns into a true journey back in time. The high point is when we head into the royal city...
By bike to Chédigny: the village of 1000 rose bushes
After a restful night between the thousand-year-old walls of La Corroirie, we have breakfast amongst intriguing artworks in the château grounds. Full of energy, we’re ready to cycle to the only village in France with the “Remarkable Garden” label. On our journey, we discover beautiful countryside, punctuated by pretty farmhouses and fields of rapeseed forming a stunning sea of yellow. The contours of this real-life painting subtly rise and fall under our pedals – an easy ride! Without breaking much of a sweat, we ride across the gently undulating landscape. The route provides plenty of variation, so we find ourselves on paths through the Loches Forest, where the 100-year-old trees seem to slowly part to let us reach our destination: Chédigny. There is an incredible number of plants in this small village: more than 3,000 perennials and 1,000 rose bushes decorate the walls of houses. The gardens, featuring poetic little signs, and colourful shutters add to the décor. It’s flawless. We grant ourselves a little break at the washhouse, where we slip our feet into the cool water – blood flow activated. We could stay there for hours, listening to the sound of the water, imagining how life was in days gone by… But our stomachs put an end to our daydreams and we head to Le Clos aux Roses for lunch. Then, we head out for another stroll in the incredibly beautiful garden. We take one last walk around the village. A sign shows the way to Chenonceau by bike… it’ll have to be our next cycle trip!
- Accueil vélo - Bikes welcome
Whether heading for an excursion in my local area or to the other side of the world, my bag is always packed and ready for a jaunt. I have made Loches my home and I love discovering wonderful places in Touraine, whether on day trips or for the weekend!Discover the experiences