|"How to live like a French king"||"How to live like a king"|
|"Fairytale castles galore in Loire Valley"||"Bons Fluidos"|
|La République du Centre|
|"Le Centre à la conquête des Brésiliens"|
Food and Travel presents one of our great bike tours page 88.
Biking tour around Amboise, Chenonceau & Chambord
“Cycling in the Loire Valley is all about the good life: pit-stops in vineyards to sample the local wines, long alfresco lunches and nights spent in luxurious Renaissance Châteaux. Even when pedalling the pace is relaxed, as the gently rolling landscape between the historic towns of Amboise, Chenonceaux and Chambord unfurls to reveal historic castles and beautiful gardens. Hightlinghts include the Château d'Amboise, a 15th and 16th-century splash of classic Italian architecture nestling on the left bank of the Loire, and Château du Clos Lucé. The last residence of Leonardo da Vinci, the property and landscaped estate contain a number of this inventions and sketches. However, nothing prepares you for the grandeur of Château de Chambord, the largest of the Loire Castles. With 400 rooms and over 300 chimneys, Chambord is a jewel in the French Renaissance crown. Cycling is the perfect way to soak up the charms of this serene region. Away from cars and coaches, the only sound you'll hear is birdsong, while reaching regal residences under your own steam makes for a rewarding and intimate encounter. With short distances between each stop-off point, cyclists can be sure that time spent in the saddle is equal to time spend sipping wine in the shade of the Loire's linden trees.
Details: Loire Valley Tours (00 33 254 33 99 80; loi-valley-tours.com) offers a four-night Châteaux by bike self-guided tour. Prices start at €945 per person, including two evening meals in Michelin-starred restaurants and entrance to a number of Châteaux en route."