Chateaux & Castles
Up to 7 days and nights
Approximately 450 miles
Prices and Availabilities:
- all tours are guided and supported
Each of our pit stops will be at one of our favourite places where each member of the peloton will be guaranteed a memorable stay. All the accommodation stops feature lots of history and culture within impressive surroundings and all punctuated by some very fine food and drink. If you want to get off early in the morning to the next port of call or if you want to stay and linger a little longer – it’s entirely up to you. This tour can be a long weekend or spread out over a full week or more. Tell us how long and far you want to cycle and we will do the rest, putting together a full itinerary of rides and stays at the top chateaux in Normandy and Brittany.
The One Week Chateaux & Castles Tour is perfect for the road riding, Francophile, and bon viveur. It consists of up to 7 days and nights cycling approximately 450 miles along Normandy and Brittany’s roads and staying at the very best chateaux in the region. It is the perfect way of taking in the stunning vistas in the company of your cycling group and then relaxing at the end of the day sampling the finest local hospitality in the regions most comfortable chateaux.
‘Chateaux & Castles’ will take you from the tip of the Normandy Peninsula on Day 1 down to the castle in Combieres where, after 60 miles in the saddle you can settle down for the evening in this classified historical monument between Bayeux and Isigny-sur-Mer. The Château de Colombières was one of the most notable military fortresses in Lower Normandy and has existed since early feudal times. This wonderful location lies in the heart of the Cotentin and Bessin Marais Regional Nature Park, and gives the property a richly scenic backdrop. The castle has a compelling story and, there is an opportunity for a personal tour by your hosts.
A château (plural châteaux; French pronunciation: [ʃɑto] in both cases) is a manor house or residence of the lord of the manor or a country house of nobility or gentry, with or without fortifications, originally—and still most frequently—in French-speaking regions
Once back in the saddle the group will head over to the Manoir de Coutainville on the other side of the peninsula between Deauville and Dinard with its stunning seaside vistas and random rurality. Park up in the central courtyard and let any saddle soreness seep out of you. The Manoir is a listed historic monument (ISMH) and was built between 15th and 17th century as a fortified house originally within the local fiefdom of Jean de Costentin, Lord of Coutainville and Tourville. Local and seasonal food is served at the Manoir so be prepared for a treat. Your hosts will provide you with exquisite and original French cuisine. Expect local oysters, shellfish, bocage beef and seasonal orchard fruits as well as regional mature cheeses.
So now it’s really time to burn off some calories and, if you can tear yourself away from the Manoir, the group will head off for La Seigneurie des Ondes in the Bay of Mont Saint-Michel. It was built by Benedictine monks of the abbey of Mont Saint-Michel who later abandoned the buildings. They were reclaimed by Jean de Cherrueix, companion of Foulques d'Anjou in 1129, who returned from the first crusade, repatriated the buildings and became the Lord of St. Benedict.
Today this wonderful, traditional and chic countryside accommodation is an absolute delight. Whilst it may lack some of the grandeur of the chateaux ‘en route’ it lacks none of the charm. Breakfast will be brought to your room with a choice of four different types of jam and there seems to be a bounty of organic strawberries during late summer. If you do not fall asleep at night immediately in one of their very spectacular boudoirs you are an insomniac.
If you manage to get back in the saddle at a reasonable hour we will be off to our next destination at the Chateau de Canisy. This impressive, authentic castle, with towers, moats and parapets provides an impressive vista against which a story of a different France can be told. Each room has its own unique tale and visitors can luxuriate in the beautiful surroundings. A pre-dinner stroll around the grounds is recommended to take in the elegant setting in 800 acres of grounds replete with black swans and woodland. The exquisite fayre provided at dinner will provide you with plenty of calories for the next day's ride.
It’s now time to head north to the Chateau de Pont-Rilly close to Valognes. Designed in 1765, by the architect Pierre-Raphaël de Lozon for the Marquis dʼOurville – it is a sight for sore eyes. We will cycle our last mile along a paved avenue to our destination - one of the most impressive stately homes in Normandy. There is a chapel, a pavilion, stables, barns, a mill and a bakery, all added in 1774 and enhancing the overall harmony of the place.
The chateau is surrounded by extensive lawns that provide grazing donkeys and sheep with an easy life. The lawns are bi-sected by small canals providing an aquatic home for numerous swans and ducks. Inside the Chateau – expect a time warp with Versailles parquet, exquisite wood panelling and rare marble fireplaces providing the perfect setting for plenty of antique furniture. Come the morning it will time to go after a breakfast consisting of home made delicacies – croissants, baguette, cereals and freshly squeezed juice in the exquisite dining room and we shall wave goodbye to Chateau de Pont-Rilly.
Heading south the beautiful Atlantic coastline - the road will take us to our next elegant stay - this time at the wonderful Chateau de Chantore. The chateau was built in 1780 by a lord of Chantore set in a park rich with exotic trees and riders will be assured of a notable stay. This is not so much as a business – more of a labour of love. The owners have restored the Chateau to its former glory so expect to time-travel to the 18th century. It seems that the hosts have thought of everything and every detail of the experience has clearly been carefully thought through. The breakfast is guaranteed to be memorable - in particular, the honey, apple juice and eggs from the Chateau's grounds will provide the ideal start for a calorie burning day.
Journey’s end is now in sight and the our final resting place takes us to St. Malo and to Le Val Marin – a malouinière - not far from the heart of this ancient pirate strong-hold in Britanny. In the eighteenth century, malouinières were a new type of noble home constructed in accordance with the typical architecture of St Malo. These superb buildings were built and owned by proud local ship owners and privateers (Malouins) to cement their reputation and notoriety-as well as to display their wealth. The Valmarin is a typical malouinière and is a listed historic monument, which today is the only hotel of its type in St Malo. It was built in the 17th century in the grounds of a beautiful, old, tree lined park. The group can expect a charming stay in an exceptional setting and a fitting end to our journey.
General Stuff: When we embark in Normandy the 'rescue van' will take your non-cycling kit and transport it onto the next destination. Just make sure you keep all your cycling essentials in your rucksack. There will be a spare bike in the van should anyone need it. The speed will be 'medium' pace (around 14 mph) and we will definitely not be in 'race-mode'. Anyone wanting to skip a day's cycling can get a lift to the next destination. The overall objective is the breathe in the Norman/Bretton countryside over 450 miles and seven days but if your feel the need to increase the pace the peloton will meet you at the next pit-stop.
Contact us for more details