The Bourgueil vineyard by bike

The Bourgueil vineyard by bike © David DARRAULT

Published on 01/01/2015

The perfect place for a stroll along quaint country roads, the bike routes which criss-cross Touraine were obviously designed to serve the needs of cyclists. And there’s one which passes through the bucolic Bourgueil vineyard. It’s a must!

Practical information for your bike tour

Download cycle route 22

If your clients have their own equipment, they can begin their tour at Chouzé-sur-Loire (as shown on the information sheet) or at any location on the route which is clearly marked with a number and a colour. Like all the other routes, route 22 uses safe roads rather than paths and includes places of interest to tourists.

And what’s more, visitors can also travel light when they come to spend their holidays in Touraine! Electric bikes, children’s bikes, baby seats... Cycles Corrivaud (www.corrivaudcyclescooters.com) hires out bikes for all the family from its premises at the heart of Bourgueil, the departure point for route 22. Although it is 40 kilometres long, the route is graded as easy. Please note that your clients can cut the route in half during their ride, if they wish. This option is shown on the map in the leaflet.

Balade à vélo à Bourgueil

We’re off to the Bourgueil vineyard!

The tour begins in Bourgueil, so the superb Maison des Vins (Wine Centre) would make an ideal starting point. It stands in the Place de l’Église, where the actor Jean Carmet lived as a child. On Tuesdays, your clients can fill their picnic paniers with goodies from the charming market, which dates back to the 15th century. And, whatever the day of the week, the route will take them past the Benedictine abbey which was founded on the eve of the second millennium by Countess Emma of Aquitaine.  It was here that the first Cabernet-Franc vines (known in the Loire valley as “Breton” vines) were planted.

As stated in the leaflet, the remainder of the blue route, which passes through four of the seven communes in the Bourgueil appellation, is easy going. Visitors can simply pedal at their leisure along country roads lined with fields, vines loaded with grapes in September, market gardens and meadows where Charolais and Limousin cattle graze. A hat should be worn when the sun is strong. Here and there, a sunken path lined with oak trees provides some welcome shade at the hottest time of day. The route is lined with châteaux (particularly the Château des Réaux), pretty tuffeau stone houses and a washhouse (in Restigné).

Balade à vélo à Bourgueil - Touraine

Spectacular and calming vistas along the course of the Loire

The highlights of the route are the stretches which run alongside the Loire, at L’Ile au Than, Chouzé-sur-Loire and La Chapelle-sur-Loire. The spectacular and calming vistas are a well-deserved reward for the effort expended on this long route.

The Loire riverbank opposite Candes-Saint-Martin, where the Loire meets the Vienne, is the ideal place to enjoy an energy-boosting picnic - with hovering dragonflies for company!

La Chapelle-sur-Loire offers a stunning view of the river and its wide beaches. During the summer, Bateliers des Vents d'Galerne association transports bicycle tourists across the river free of charge. The twice-daily ferry service uses traditional boats to carry bikes and cyclists to the other side of the river - with explanations about the flora and fauna and the days of river transport thrown in! The service has proved so successful that a second covered boat has now been built. It was launched in November 2014.

Sample Bourgueil wines

List of wine cellars in the Bourgueil area which are open to tourists

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The E.U. supports tourist sites’ Quality approach