Saturday: Montargis, Embarkation
Embarkation at 3 AM in Montargis. Montargis is, with its 15.000 inhabitants the biggest town of the Loiret after Orléans. Unfortunately this former royal residence was destroyed by fire in the 16th century, but the canals are still there. They are decorated with lots of flowers and give the town a certain charm. In the afternoon, welcome speech and crew introduction. In the evening, welcoming drink, dinner and town walk.
Sunday: Montargis, round tour
From Montargis we bike along the l’Ouanne to Château- Renard, where we can visit the ruins of a castle from the 10th century. We will also visit a Apiculture’s Living Museum. There you can see beekeepers and their bees at work, and you’ll be able to sample their delicious honey.
Monday: Montargis - Néronville
Today we first join the Fleur to the lock of Cepoy. Our bike tour goes through the forests of Montargis, north-east of the town. These forests are old and beautiful. Next stop is the mediaeval town of Ferrieres with its old town center, which has been preserved beautifully. In the middle of the narrow streets we find a splendid monas tery. After this we go west to the archeological site of Sceaux-du Gatinais. Final destination of today is rural Néronville.
Tuesday: Néronville – Nemours
Our route today is through an old area, cultivated already in the Gallo-Roman era. First stop is the old Gallic strongholt Château-Landon, a beautifully situated fortified town on a rock. Its Abbey of St.-Severin dates from the 13th century. We will have a guided tour with a local guide. Later on we find the rocks of Nemours on our way and we meet the Fleur again in Nemours. There we may visit the castle or the prehistoric museum of the Ile-de-France region.
Wednesday: Nemours - Moret-sur-Loing
Today we have two possibilities. If we choose the long option, we follow the valley of the Lunain with its old farmhouses and castle ruins. On our way we pass a fruit farm and a cheese farm. You might end up with home-made jam in your pannier! In case we bike the shorter option we stay in the valley of the Loing and visit Grezsur-Loing. In the town hall we can admire a few magnificent impressionist paintings. We stay overnight in Moret-sur-Loing is a charming mediaeval fortified town, strate gically situated on the banks of the Loing, where painter Sisley found inspiration for his beautiful impressionist paintings. We can visit the house where he was born.
Thursday: Moret-sur-Loing - Melun
Today we bike through the wonderful forests of Fontainebleau. First destination is the city of Fontainebleau, with its palace, much in favor among the French kings, because of the extensive possibilities to hunt in the surrounding forests. In the castle itself there is a museum of Napoleon, among other things. Fontainebleau is also a pleasant town to walk around or to shop. After this, we continue our tour to the artistic village of Barbizon, where since the first half of the 19th century many painters have found inspiration. At the time, a group of landscape painters formed the ‘school of Barbizon’. We can visit the local museum. Final destination of your bike tour is Melun, a town which is known as‘le domaine des reines blanches’, because in former years it used to be the domain of the widows of the French kings.
Friday: Melun - Paris
We are getting near to Paris which means we have to deal with more traffic. In the morning there is a short bike ride, following the river banks of the Seine to the lock of Evry, from where we will join the Fleur into Paris. Lunch on board, the mooring place of the Fleur is the port d’Arsenal, not far from the Notre Dame. In the evening, city walk.