This tour starts in thriving Paris and ends in Montargis in central France. It offers a combination of history, culture, nature, and agreeable rides in a varied countryside. You will bike in a historically very interesting part of France and will visit the palace of Fontainebleau and its vast forest. The tour is not only historically but also culturally interesting. It leads you along famous painters' villages like Barbizon and Moret-sur-Loing where Alfred Sisley lived and painted.
The Feniks will be your home during the bike tour. You will stay in a twin cabin with a shower and toilet ensuite. Originally, the Feniks was built in 1928 as a freight barge for the Dutch, Belgium, and French inland waters. It is a strong vessel with many years of service and is known because of her beautiful form and speed.
In 1992, the Feniks has been converted into a hotel passenger ship and put in service for various sailing holidays. Since then, she has undergone several refits to keep the ship up-to-date with all modern facilities. Aboard, you will find a comfortable and well-lit lounge, where you can relax on the sofa or have a good meal.
It also has a library, a varied collection of CDs and DVDs, a television, and magazines to keep you entertained. Of course, it has lots of information and maps of the route, the sailing area, and the places you will visit.
The cabins are clean and well taken care off. All cabins have an individual bathroom with sink, shower, and toilet. The Feniks has three cabins, each with two standard beds, and six cabins with bunk beds. All beds have hotel-standard mattresses. The cabins are equipped with central heating, 220-volt outlets, and of course all essentials for a good sleep. Your personal laundry will be taken care of. If you need anything, just ask and they will see if they can do it for you. Most of the times they succeed.
There is a sundeck to relax on or you can sit under the canopy, which gives you shelter from the sun or light rain. If the weather allows, they serve the meals outside on the deck.
The tour is most of the time in a slightly sloping countryside with some steeper hills. This is a one-week tour and can easily be fitted into your other holiday plans. Montargis has excellent railway connections with Paris to continue your trip in Europe.
Depart for a river cruise on the Seine, around Île de la Cité (Notre Dame), and then to Evry.
Visit the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, a 17th-century castle with gardens in French style, or the impressive medieval castle of Blandy-les-Tours.
This region has an impressive history. Enjoy a visit to the 19th-century artist village of Barbizon, then through the forest, and a visit to the immense castle of Fontainebleau.
Visit Moret-sur-Loin, famous for the painter Alfred Sisley who lived and painted there at the end of the 19th century. Then head for Nemours to see a number of famous rock formations in a forest region.
This day will lead you on country roads from Nemours to Néronville, a small village along the Loing. Highlights are the prehistoric museum of Nemours and the covered market of Egreville.
You will leave Néronville near the small town of Château-Landon on a hilltop and bike along Dordives (glass museum) and Ferrières (abbey) to Montargis.
On your last day, you will make a tour in and around the city of Montargis. The countryside around Montargis is very beautiful and offers the possibility of a shorter or longer last day tour.
Feniks Charter has well-maintained 21-speed bicycles with handbrakes, and you get a bike that fits your size. The bikes are in a perfect condition and equipped with a pannier, a water bottle, and a lock. Your guide will carry the necessary bike repair equipment during the tour and takes care of the bicycles.
Feniks Charter will give you a small repair set if you prefer to cycle on your own. Some guests prefer to bring their own pedals or saddle. If there is something else that you need, you can also visit a bike shop on the way. If you would like to cycle on a different bicycle like a tandem or one with foot brakes, they can hire it for you, but there may be some extra costs involved. They do everything they can on board (and on land) to make your stay comfortable.
For those bikers who like to have some support while biking into the hills, they have several e-bikes. It is really a solution if you need some more long-lasting power. As one of their elderly guests said, "It is four, maybe six, or even eight times easier than biking on a regular bike." These e-bikes can be reserved in advance or rented on board on a first-come, first-served basis.
This cycling tour will take place in France, starting in Paris and ending in Montargis. Some of the destinations you will visit are Seine, Île de la Cité, Evry, Château Vaux-le-Vicomte, Blandy-les-Tours, Barbizon, Fontainebleau, Moret-sur-Loing, Nemours, Néronville, Dordives, Ferrières, and more.
The Feniks is well known for its great food. Their professional cooks will spoil you every day with homemade food using natural ingredients. They will let you taste the local cuisines with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables straight from the marketor local suppliers. They will serve you good-quality fish, chicken, vegetarian food, and meat. Their meals have a lot of diversity to make sure everybody is satisfied.
During the tour, you will enjoy wonderful and delicious meals, tasteful and with all the things you need after a good day of biking. In the morning, you will be served a hearty breakfast with cereals, eggs, bread, fruit, a choice of cheeses and meat, fresh salad, a good cup of coffee or tea, orange juice, yoghurt, and milk.
You can pack a lunch to take on the road. Your tour guide will also schedule several coffee stops, and you will have enough time to visit a typical French bakery, a market, and more to get a taste of what the locals like to eat. When you arrive on the boat after a good day of cycling, you will have some tasty snacks ready to eat or a bowl of homemade soup, salad, or cheese with bread to enjoy. You may even have a taste of the local wine.
Your dinner is also all homemade food, lots of greens, vegetables served with meat, a chicken or vegetarian dish, potatoes, rice, or pasta. You will finish dinner with an ice cream or yogurt with fresh fruit, homemade cakes, and more, and of course, there is coffee and tea. In the evening, dinner is served outside on the deck when the weather allows. Otherwise, you can enjoy dinner in your cozy guestroom, which is also your living room during the tour.
Once a week, guests enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant, not included in the tour price. They have suggestions for you for nice places to eat and can make a reservation. On those days, the crew of the Fenix is busy with extra work on board, such as cleaning the ship, carrying out maintenance, and doing more shopping to ensure that the rest of the week goes well.
Gluten-free and lactose-free diets are welcome. If you have specific wishes about your food or if you have a special diet, just let them know and they will adjust the meals for you.