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The Loire Valley Itinerary
Sleeping Beauty Woz 'Ere
Today is fairly light cycling as we have a lot of château-action to fit in. We leave the Vienne and continue our cycling tour back towards the Indre and the Loire.
Overlooking the Indre is the first of the big-league château, Château Ussé, reputedly the inspiration for the castle in Sleeping Beauty.
Next on our hit-list is Villandry, an unexceptional château, but with gardens that Michelin rate as a 3*** attraction - 'worth a journey in their own right'. There are three gardens - a vegetable garden, a flower garden and a water garden.
Each year the gardening team choose a theme and tell a story in flowers. Villandry is really something, and not to be missed.
Finally today on our cycling holiday we will travel the 11 km or so to Azay-le-Rideau, another member of the Premier League of Loire Châteaux. Azay-le-Rideau is surrounded on three sides by the River Indre, which has been carefully landscaped to provide a beautiful reflective setting for this ornate château.
There was no military purpose to Azay-le-Rideau, it was just designed to be beautiful, and it is.
Tonight we stay at the Hotel Biencourt situated in the cobbled approach just yards from the château. This is our first chance to visit one of the son et lumière after dinner, and the spectacle at Azay-le-Rideau is worth the stroll.