Day 08: Savonnieres to Amboise    

Château de Villandry and gardens

19 June 2015
Distance: 54.2 km
Lodging: Hotel
GPS Download: Day 08 Savonnieres to Amboise.gpx

We started the day with breakfast in a park in Savonnieres alongside Le Cher river. Then back down to Château de Villandry (N47.34062° E0.51450°) to tour the chateau and gardens. The gardens are spectacular! Plan at least two hours to walk through the gardens. The chateau was nice but there are better chateaus interiors along the Loire, so you can skip the interior tour if you are short on time. 

From Villandry we headed back up the Cher River to Tours, where the cycleway crosses from the Cher River to the Loire River valley. We cycled in one side of Tours and out the other (Tours is a busy city with lots of traffic but a surprisingly efficient bike route to get through it). Shortly after departing Tours on the opposite side of the river is the town of Vouvray and the Vouvray wine region. If you are a wine aficionado you may want to detour to try some wines. The cycleway follows the Loire to Montlouis-Sur-Loire where it climbs out of the river valley and up into the vineyards on the bluff above the river. As the cycleway takes a hard left hand turn and starts to descend back to the river keep your eyes out for Domaine de Montory (N47.39349° E0.91734°). 

Domaine de Montory wine cellar

We were cruising downhill when we saw a small sign written on a chalkboard at the side of the road, “ CYCLE FRIENDS, Tasting, Visit a troglo cellar.”  At this point the bikes seemed to develop a mind of their own, as they braked, U-turned and stopped at the wine cellar. After a short tour through the wine production and aging cellars, we had a wonderful tasting of 6 varieties and bought one bottle of wine. We would have bought more, but decided the panniers were heavy enough. It was a great experience. From there it was a short ride into Amboise. There is a campground on Ile d'Or (N47.41766° E0.98768° ) with great views of the Chateau; however, after the rain the night before we opted for a hotel.

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