Experience the Loire at its fun-loving best. There's peaceful biking past sunflowers. Fairy-tale castles to explore and history-come-to-life at Leonardo da Vinci's home. A fencing lesson and chocolate-making for the youngsters. Wine tasting and private castle tours for grown-ups. Even the Medici family would've had a blast with Backroads!
1 Around each new bend, another majestic castle is waiting to be explored Check out Château de Cheverny, a fully-furnished privately owned estate and the model for the fictional Château de Moulinsart from the Tintin comic books Spin through postcard-perfect villages and along wooded back roads once favored by horse-drawn carriages.
2 Ride past vineyards and hamlets to Château de Blois, one of the Loire's largest and most extravagant castles, with over 500 rooms and fireplaces Spend time relaxing and enjoying the charming town of Blois The younger set joins a Backroads leader for outdoor fun while adults ride through a forested country landscape.
3 Explore the gentle countryside graced with rolling vineyards, orchards and sunflower fields Join a local vintner on a tour of the family winery, followed by a gourmet lunch Visit Leonardo da Vinci's home, Clos Lucé, nestled in the town of Amboise Kids take part in a hands-on chocolate-making class at a local chocolatier before a special dinner just for them Grown-ups savor Michelin-starred cuisine and spectacular wines.
4 Pedal to Château de Chaumont, an architectural marvel whose edifice spans periods from late French Gothic to French Renaissance, and whose grounds are a fragrant feast for the senses Admire the château's collection of themed gardens and it's award-winning International Garden Festival En garde! Kids learn the fine art of fencing under the sharp eye of a local fencing master.
5-6 Bike past smiling sunflowers and rolling wheat fields beyond the banks of the Cher river, a symbolic demarcation of free France during the Second World War Experience fascinating French history where it actually unfolded at Château de Chenonceau Adults enjoy a private guided tour of the castle while youngsters discover the château grounds and mysterious "black room" An idyllic route leads to the market of Montrichard where you can shop like the locals do, basket in hand.