Private bike tours outside Paris
Bike Tour from Fontainebleau to Milly-la-Forêt
The château and town of Fontainebleau were traditionally one of the four main places of royal residence for the kings of France. This importance is reflected in the both the style of the town's architecture and the size and grandeur of the château. We'll explore the lively cobbled pedestrian streets, full of cafés, restaurants, food stores and boutiques, and visit the beautiful gardens of the château.
After leaving town we ride through the cool green forest to Barbizon, famous as the founding place of the 19th century Realist art movement. Its famous residents Jean-François Millet and Théodore Rousseau, whose works can be found in Paris's Musée d'Orsay, attracted other noted artists of the day (Monet and Sisley among them) and the works of these artists gave birth to the Impressionist art movement.
Leaving Barbizon we ride through some lovely country villages and agricultural fields, passing a few impressive but unknown châteaux on the way.
Our final major destination is Milly-la-Forêt, formerly a walled medieval town. In Milly we'll learn about medieval medicinal herbs and Saint Blaise, whose use of the herbs helped ease the suffering of lepers. We'll also learn a bit about French icon Jean Cocteau and visit the tiny chapel he decorated and transformed into a magnificent work of art.
We finish with some more countryside riding before arriving at the train station to return to Paris.
Starting the Day: We start the day meeting at the bike rental store and then ride through Paris to the train station Gare de Lyon. We take the bikes on the train to Fontainebleau and start the ride. At the end of the ride we take the RER train back from the small town of Maisse to Châtelet-les-Halles and then ride to the rental store to return the bikes.
Tour Cost: 260€ This is the price for your group, not a per person cost. It includes my guiding fee and a picnic lunch for 3 participants (four including myself). I can't carry everything on my bike so we can stop along the way so additional participants can get picnic lunch supplies.
Additional Costs: Train Ticket – Mobilis Pass 15.65€ pp Bike Rental – 20€-30€pp
Time: Below are the estimated times to ride from the rental store to the train and back at the end of the day. You'll also find the estimated train travel times (from and back to Paris) and the time spent touring. The train time includes time spent upon entry to the train station, waiting for the train and time spent on the train. The time spent touring is inclusive of breaks, lunch and time to visit any scheduled sites.
Ride from the rental store to the train station and back: 35 minutes
Train time: 2 hours
Touring Time: 7-8 hours
Total Tour Time: 9-10 hours
Distance: 40-45km / 25-28 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. There are a few small hills in the forest of Fontainebleau. There is also an ascent of 10+ minutes at the end of the ride that will require some effort. Although the ride is ranked Easy to Moderate due to this hill and the length of the ride it is recommended you be fit and active to do this tour. The majority of the ride, however, is on flat terrain.
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