|wonderful cycling holiday|
The French Pays de Gâtine, is a marvellous rural paradise with a network of hundreds of miles of meandering country lanes.
Unspoiled, varied and interesting landscapes – a true delight to cyclists.
Drivers of the few other vehicles you will encounter are mostly polite and considerate to cyclists.
Excellent road surfaces .
Clear route-notes and high-lighted maps supplied in laminated A4 format
Well maintained, fully-equipped touring bikes provide.
Friendly information, support and information available.
Easy, moderate and challenging routes.
Varied and interesting countryside.
South of the Loire Valley where the weather is blissful with average 2,250 hours annual sunshine.
START THE DAY
Guest rooms have tea and coffee facilities, so if you need a cup of tea or coffee first thing, no need to wait until breakfast.
First-class Continental Breakfast comprises delicious crusty French bread and croissants, brought fresh from the boulangerie to le Moulin every morning, with creamy local butter, home made confitures and steaming fresh coffee, tea or chocolate.
Muesli, cereal flakes, dried fruits, yoghurt, etc, are provided at breakfast as well as an abundance of seasonal fresh fruits .
Mouth-watering Packed Lunch contains a generous sandwich of freshly-baked baguette with a different filling each day and your choice from selections provided, of fresh fruits, cakes, cereal bars, crisps, etc, and a wide selection of drinks from the guest’s gratis 24/7 fridge. Just what you need to keep the cycling energy levels up.
A Personalised Dossier contains high lighted maps and routes notes - one set for each of the suggested itineraries.
Carolynn and Peter will be on hand with friendly advice and information and support you may wish for.
In hot weather, some cyclists start their ride shortly after breakfast, to be back in the shade by the pool before the day gets too hot.
preparing to leave le Moulin
happy bovine families and a happy cyclist
The self guided-cycling holidays are based at le Moulin du Chemin – a family-operated 'Maison d'Hôte' in a leafy valley in le Pays de Gâtine. A wide variety of cycle rides are available ranging from the 16km/10miles la Fazilière, recommended as a leg-stretcher on arrival, to the 43km/26mile 'Roof of the World' ride.
Each day you have the option for a shorter and longer ride and existing routes can be adapted to suit your own particular distance requirements. A different sector is proposed for each day and the diversity of the countryside means routes are interestingly different from each other.
Routes are categorised introductory, moderate and challenging. Whichever you decide upon, it is necessary to be reasonable fit. If you are used to regular exercise the routes should pose no problems.
If you are looking for even longer and more arduous routes see:
|APERITIFS-AT-SEVEN AND THE EVENING MEAL|
Twenty-five to thirty percent of reservations at le Moulin du Chemin are repeat bookings or come from a previous guest's recommendation. The popularity of holidays at le Moulin du Chemin has a lot to do with the Marvellous Ambiance that prevails.
Aperitifs-at-Seven is an opportunity to enjoy some distinctive local wines with the other guests.
Aperitifs-at-seven usually takes place under le Moulin du Chemin's pergola.
If the venue changes Peter or Carolynn will advise you.
Aperitifs-at-seven is followed by a leisurely Four-Course Evening Meal where superb and varied cuisine is accompanied by plenty of excellent wine. The resulting ambiance is marvellous.
BRILLIANT CYCLING REGION
The Gently Rolling Countryside, known as ‘bocage’, is characterised by timeless pastures, majestic forests, cool woods, attractive ponds and pleasant orchards criss-crossed by ancient hedgerows and crystal streams. You will hardly see another soul – and certainly no tourists – while the glorious countryside abounds with wild flowers, birds, butterflies and (harmless) wild creatures.
Clear Route-notes and Highlighted Maps – choose a ride from the Personalised Dossier that cycling guests receive on arrival. The dossier comprises a set of professional route-notes and high-lighted maps provided in a handy A4 laminated format which attach easily to the handlebar map holders supplied.
Meticulous preparation of the route-notes and maps ensure you should not get lost, but in case of lapsed attention, the friendly local inhabitants will help you or you will be able to call the le Moulin du Chemin for support and assistance.
Most of the routes include a welcome bar or two, as well as WCs.
One of the circuits visits a magical valley strewn with house-size boulders between which are rooted ancient oak trees. Another takes in a colourful country market where local produce is sold, including live chickens, ducks and rabbits.
For guests bringing their own bikes it is possible to visit to different locations to see interesting places outside a day's cycling distance.
Cycling (and boating) in the Marais Poitevin is enjoyed by le Moulin’s guests. Coulon, the “capital” of the Marais Poitevin, is a good base for a visit to the Marais Poitevin, as also is Maillezais. In Maillezais are magnificent medieval ruins of the Abbey of St Pierre.
Mervent Forest is another much appreciated cycling destination with rivers and lakes set in a magnificent forest of oak, beech and chestnut. Nearby is Vouvant is a pretty medieval fortified village with pavement cafés, English (and French, of course) newspapers as well as plenty of folk-lore and history.
romanesque church at Maillé
country-produce market at Coulonges
|tow path in the Marais Poitevin|
a bank of roses
typical riverside cottage in Venise Vert
magnificent medieval ruins
|traditional country garden|
A Civilised Picnic Lunch
Once a week all the guests at le Moulin du Chemin are invited to a civilised picnic lunch at a pre-arranged spot beside the lakes at le Beugnon.
The picnic typically comprises fresh baked baguettes, eggs from le Moulin's free-range chickens, country pâtés, delicious French cheeses, chilled rosé wine - often the distinguished Cabernet d'Anjou - followed by desert, fruit, coffee or tea.
some of the myriads of wild flowers to be seen, mainly in spring, around le Moulin du Chemin
some of the butterflies you can expect to see while out on your bike
some of the many varieties of hedgerow fruits to try, according to season
The wild creatures you may chance upon on your rides include deer, genets, martins, otters (rare), coypu, squirrels, etc. Edible dormice can sometimes be seen, although these are mostly nocturnal. So far we have managed to get pictures of the coypu and the squirrel.
squirrel pictures by Joshua Comaish
APRèS CYCLING (or if you decide on a bike-free day)
To quench your thirst after your ride, don't forget the well stocked drinks fridge
(beer, wine, cider, soft drinks and fruit juices) is available 24/7 without extra charge.
Plenty of Interesting Things to Do There are plenty of interesting things to do and places to explore if you get back early from a ride, or if you decide to have a day of rest.
The pool and terrace can be very inviting after a summer ride. Table tennis, boules and other games are available and le Moulin du Chemin has an extensive library of popular books.
The pool is heated to 29°C, as required at the beginning and end of the season.
relaxing by the pool
a game of boules in the garden
A selection of interesting walking routes and the opportunity for horse riding are also available.
Many Places of Historical, Cultural and Natural Interest
The region is rich in attractions of historical, cultural and natural interest. Carolynn and Peter will be happy to advise you about these. Further information and directions to these places are also provided in le Moulin's guestrooms.
property for renovation?
historic Ile d'Aix
modern stained glass windows by Carmelo Zagari at Faymoreau
WINE TASTING BONUS!
Enjoy twelve or more lovely wines during a six-night holiday.
At the aperitifs-at-seven try some delightful local wines from the Loire Valley, particularly superior Crément de Loire, Anjou wines and Muscadet-sur-lie as well as, from time to time, wines from the the up-and-coming Fiefs Vendéen and Brem.
A different wine is served each day with the evening meal including some rather special 'connoisseur' Bordeaux wines from small traditional family vineyards, as well as some wonderful quality wines from the French South West and Rhône Valley.
A well stocked drinks fridge is also available to guests 24/7, without charge.
a glimpse inside le Moulin's glorious wine cave
Peter is always happy to explain something about the wines, to anyone who wants to listen.
ALL wineS are included in the HOLIDAY price
Maison d'Hôte: Carolynn Grimaldi,
2 lieu-dit le Moulin du Chemin, 79240 Scillé, France
+ 33 (0)5 4995 9487 firstname.lastname@example.org
remote and undiscovered
yet easy access from UK,
Ireland and other parts of Europe