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The Loire Valley Itinerary

Day 3

Sleeping Beauty Woz 'Ere

View over the gardens to Château Villandry, Loire Valley

Today is fairly light cycling as we have a lot of château-action to fit in. We can start with a tour of the castle of Chinon. As well as home to English Kings, the castle contains the tower where Joan of Arc ‘heard the voices’ telling her she would be granted an army to relieve the siege of Orléans.

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, the inspiration for Charles Perrault’s 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 des Chateaux, on the outskirts of Azay-le-Rideau from where is a short stroll down into the town for perhaps our finest dinner of the week.


Distance = 33 miles / 52 Km

Click this link for Day 3 route map on mapometer.

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