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A Sunset Garden Stroll at the Château de la Bourdaisière

Posted on Wednesday, November 13th, 2019

Story by: Ashlea Sullivan | Travel Writer

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Part medieval castle, part Italian villa, classic French châteaux can be found in great supply in the beautiful Loire Valley. These elegant homes are often adorned with antique furniture, Renaissance artworks and tapestries, and surrounding ornate gardens. And while most travelers will be able to explore the few that are open to the public, guests of VBT’s France: Wine & Châteaux of the Loire Valley cycling tour get to take things a step further by spending the night in one.

“The tranquility of the bicycle routes on this tour is something our guests truly appreciate,” says longtime VBT tour developer Anne Minnerly. “The cycling on this tour is rated ‘easy,’ and there’s a great network of bicycle routes, meaning designated bike lanes on paved roads with very little car traffic.”

Estates featured on the tour include the Château de Chambord, the largest castle in the Loire Valley, as well as the Château de Chaumont, whose famous gardens have been capturing the imagination of visitors since the 15th century. 

Guests of this particular tour enjoy two nights at the Château de la Bourdaisière, a property which exudes the elegance and tranquility of château life. “Château de la Bourdaisière is an exquisite, expansive property with walking trails,” says Anne “It’s very quiet, very rural. We actually stay in the château itself, although there are accommodations for other guests on the property. Every room in the château is uniquely magical —different dimensions, different designs —some even have turrets.” 


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Meals at the Château de la Bourdaisière are freshly prepared with ingredients from the estate’s own gardens. “The owners are two brothers, and they’re actually two princes,” says Anne, of the estate’s royal hosts, “Guests get to meet them and can walk the gardens and learn about the history of the property.”

Château de la Bourdaisière’s rural location allows guests to sample freshly made local cuisine, but also the chance to sample a variety of Loire Valley wines, many of which are produced on such a small scale that they can only be purchased directly from the vineyards themselves. The Loire Valley Guided Bike Tour offers wine tastings and the opportunity to pause at small local family-run wineries along the route. Loire wines are known for their light, fruity composition that pairs well with locally harvested goat cheeses. 

“The overall experience, from the laid back nature of the cycling routes to the conclusion of the tour at a working chateau is something our guests really appreciate,” says Anne.

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