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Tours / Villandry

[ Cycle routes EuroVelo 6 ] [ La Loire à Vélo from Tours to Saumur ]
  • 22 km
  • famille Level Family

Touraine is known as ‘le Jardin de la France’ (The Garden of France) and Tours is a perfect central gateway for exploring it. This Loire à Vélo stage leads you along the south bank of the Cher River to the Château de Villandry, a major stop, with its world-famous gardens, before rejoining the Loire. Either side of Villandry are picturesque cycle paths leading to the great river. This stage proves extremely enjoyable.

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Route
The city of Tours is criss-crossed by many marked cycle lanes. Be careful though taking the side-road along the major Avenue de Grammont leading from Loire to Cher, as it has many intersections. Then the way west alternates between quiet country roads and greenways up to the Cher’s confluence with the Loire.

 

Alternative route
At Villandry, an alternative route leads to the lovely small town of Azay-le-Rideau, boasting another famous château.

Railway station - SNCF

Tours central train station: six trains per day, on average, allow bikes, either going west to Angers and Nantes, or east to Orléans. From Tours’s major eastern station of St-Pierre-des-Corps you can catch direct high-speed TGV trains northeast to Paris or southwest to Poitiers, La Rochelle and beyond. There are regular train links between Tours central train station and St-Pierre-des-Corps.

Don’t miss

Tours: once capital of medieval France; with remarkable historic quarters, monuments and houses around the cathedral and Place Plumereau square; many fine museums; major events year-round, including beside the Loire.
Savonnières: an enchanting mariners’ village on the Cher, still will traditional Loire Valley boats on display; famed crystallizing caves; a beautiful church with Romanesque entrance; a perfect spot to stop for lunch
Villandry: a charming historic village; the beautiful Renaissance château, world-famous for its exceptional terraced gardens, is a must-see sight.

Markets

Tours : Tuesday to Sunday
Savonnières : Saturday and Sunday morning

Tourist Information centre

Tours : +33(0)2 47 70 37 37
Villandry : +33(0)2 47 50 12 66

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The Castle and its gardens to Villandry

Completed in approximately 1536, Villandry was the last of the Loire Valley castles to be built in the Renaissance period. Built by a minister of finance under the reign of François the First, it is most famous for its gardens, whose beds are filled with flowers and medicinal plants and vegetables.

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