Private bike tours outside Paris
Bike Tour Along the Marne River
Our first visit will take of us to the medieval part of the town of Saint-Maur-des-Fossés. Here we'll learn about the miraculous medieval statue of the Virgin Mary inside the 13th century church and the centuries long tradition of pilgrimages and processions she inspired. Next door we'll see the ruins of a 7th century abbey, one of the oldest in France, and then proceed to bike along the Marne River for the remainder of the ride.
Along the river we'll learn about guinguettes (famous drinking/dancing establishments), gangsters and some other interesting historical tidbits. Mostly we'll enjoy a beautiful ride along the banks of the river, lined with willows, flowers and 19th century villas.
Near the end of the ride we'll stop at the stately château of Champs-sur-Marne and visit its Le Nôtre inspired gardens.
Our last stop brings us to The Menier Factory, the worlds first automated chocolate bar production facility. Five generations of the Menier family oversaw the construction and operation of one of the worlds largest chocolate production facilities of the 19th century. The factory exemplifies the grand ideals of 19th century industrial era philanthropy whereby the factory was the source of enlightenment and liberation for the workers. Its grand architecture is one expression of this ideal but its defining legacy is the workers village constructed for its employees. The village was the Menier's attempt to improve the lives of their workers by providing them affordable but attractive homes with gardens, education, healthcare, decent wages, entertainment, retirement housing and everything needed for the basics of day to day living. Today it is a charming village of attractive brick town homes and buildings that leaves the visitor nostalgic for a time that once was.
Tour Cost: 185€ - 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 – 7.60€pp Bike Rental – 20€-30€pp
Times – 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: 15 minutes
Train time: 1 hour
Touring Time: 5+- hours
Total Tour Time: 6-7 hours
Distance: 25km / 16 miles
Level of Difficulty: Easy. A very flat ride, good for families and novice bikers.
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