Saturday: Montargis, Embarkation
Embarkation 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.
Barge Feniks Embarkation between 12 and 2 PM. Choosing and adjusting the bikes. Possibility to make a bicycle tour in the afternoon
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 Living Museum. There you can see beekeepers and their bees at work, and you’ll be able to sample their delicious honey.
Barge Feniks Montargis – Néronville ca. 40 km
The day begins with a nice bike tour in a large forest (old oaks and beeches) east of Montargis. On our tour further north we are always near river and canal. Ferrières (abbey) and Dordives (glass museum) are on our way to Néronville, near the small town of Château- Landon on a hilltop
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 monastery. After this we go west to the archeological site of Sceaux-du Gatinais. Final destination of today is rural Néronville.
Barge Feniks Néronville – Nemours ca. 40/55 km.
This day leads us on country roads to Nemours. Highlights are the covered market of Egreville and the prehistoric museum of Nemours, a small town on the river Loing.
Tuesday: Néronville – Nemours
Our route today is through an old area, cultivated already in the Gallo-Roman era. First stop is the old Gallic stronghold 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/Feniks again in Nemours. There we may visit the castle or the prehistoric museum of the Ile-de-France region.
Barge Feniks Nemours – St. Mammès ca. 40/55 km.
The Feniks sails from Nemours to St. Mammès, where the Loing and the Seine rivers meet. The Loing is a narrow stream parallel to the canal which is called after the river. Heading for St.Mammès we’ll meet a number of famous rock formations in a forest region. After lunch you can choose for a (short)er ride including visit to Moret on the river Loing. Moret-sur-Loing is famous for the painter Alfred Sisley who lived and painted there at the end of the 19th century. Another possibility is a ride in a lovely narrow river valley with a tea stop halfway. After some short but steeper slopes and nice views also this ride is leading to Moret-sur-Loing. From there to the mooring place is only a few more kilometres.
Wednesday: Nemours - Moret-sur-Loing
Today we have two possibilities. If we choose the long option 55 km , 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 35 km 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, strategically 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.
Barge Feniks St. Mammès – Melun ca. 45 km
The canals with the many locks now are behind us. Downstream the Feniks can cover longer distances in shorter time. We are now getting closer to Paris with now and then more traffic on the road. This region has an impressive history. Many places witnessed historic events. Many castles near Paris were used by French kings and nobility. Visit to the immense castle of Fontainebleau. Then a nice ride through the forest of Fontainebleau and a visit to the 19th-century artists village of Barbizon. Along the Seine river we cycle to Melun.
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. Today there is no dinner on board. You can select one of the local restaurants of Melun.
Barge Feniks Melun – Evry ca. 35/50/60 km.
Near Melun are Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (nice example of a 17th century castle with gardens in French style and the impressive medieval castle of Blandy-les-Tours. Because of the distance today only one castle can be visited, but you can choose which one. They are near each other. We follow our way along the river, with some villages, pass patches of forest and are getting more near to the big city. A boat trip after the bike tour is a nice way to pass the outskirts of Paris.
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. In the evening, citywalk.
The easiest way and nice also to enter Paris is to sail into the city and see the Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower from the barge. The Feniks will moor in the Port Arsenal (near Place de la Bastille) or in Bassin de la Villette (1,5 km east of Gare du Nord train station).
For both barges:
Breakfast and departure before 10 AM.