LE THOUET BY BIKE, FROM ONE BRIDGE TO ANOTHER
Thouet valley is perfect for bike riding. Many signposted cycle routes cross the hilly landscapes. Here, we suggest a circular route, taking in the river, Roman bridges, lake, and historic towns and villages.
Off on an adventure !
Last weekend, to switch off, we decided to go cycling near our home in Deux-Sèvres. A breath of fresh air in the heart of a beautiful region. The hardest part was choosing a circuit because there are so many. Finally, a two day circuit along the Thouet caught our attention. The adventure began in Gourgé. We pedalled north to explore the Thouet Valley. The stepping stones, washhouses and private residences were surprising; the landscape was hilly. At lunchtime, the Trompe-Souris was a timely find and we ate on the terrace above a charming river dotted with chirons (enormous round blocks of granite). Then we discovered the small church of Saint-Généroux, one of the oldest in Poitou, which faces a Roman bridge. We headed south towards Airvault, where we left our bikes at the bed and breakfast, Le Vieux Château, and then explored this Petite Cité de Caractère®. The narrow medieval streets, abbey church, covered market, underground fountain and the area around the château are magnificent. We made some lovely discoveries, particularly a small and fascinating museum (free entry), Jacques Guidez, which retraced the rural life of my grandparents. And we finished our day with a delicious meal at the Le 12 restaurant.
Refreshing stroll along the Thouet...
In the early morning, we set off again for Saint-Loup-Lamairé. Also a Petite Cité de Caractère®, the narrow village streets are lined with half-timbered houses from the 15th and 16th centuries, and lead to the château and the church of Notre-Dame de l’Assomption, with its remarkable altarpiece. After a delicious meal at the Relais du Chapeau Rouge, we got into our canoes for a refreshing trip along the Thouet. A little more pedalling and the magnificent Cébron Lake was revealed. We gave our calves a well-earned rest in the pool. We finally picked our car up again in Gourgé to end this delightful break with a visit to the church with the painted murals, and the Roman bridge, an incredible sight at the end of the day, in the light of the setting sun.
WHERE TO SLEEP AND EAT, WHAT TO DO?
Don’t miss any of the elements of Pauline’s break !