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bei Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent, Pays de la Loire (France)
From the starting point you cycle down into Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent, and then up and down to the D161 on the river Loire. You choose a small road/cycling route along the Loire until it ends up at the D161, and then follow this relatively quiet and well-paved road along the Loire River through a few villages. In the village of Cunault you turn away from the river, climb a little hill and then descend into Gennes. Here is a small stretch of badly paved cycling path, which you could avoid (see waypoint). You cross the Loire and Île de Gennes here on two bridges to Les Rosiers-sur-Loire. Here you turn eastward on the busier D952, on the river dyke along the floodplain. After 2.3 km you turn away from the river, through flat countryside to the smaller river Authion. You follow this river, cross it again, and keep following it for a bit more than 7 km. You then cycle south towards the Loire River, which you meet again in Saint-Lambert-des-Levées, across from Saumur. Here you follow the busier D952 again along the river, with occasionally magnificent view up and down the river. After about 6 km you cycle away north from the river again to a small forest with little streams and lakes. From here you continue to Varennes-sur-Loire, where you cross the Loire again. The south bank is lined with white chalk rock faces in which mushroom growers, troglodytic houses and wine caves can be found. In Turquant you cycle close to the rock face for a while, and then take a steep 18% road up the chalk cliff to the countryside with vineyards on the hills beyond. You cycle through this undulating countryside until you are close to Saumur. From the Rue des Moulins in Saumur you have great views across the Loire, Île d'Offard, Saumur and at the last moment also Saumur castle. You cycle around the castle down to the center. You cross the bridge to Île d'Offard and cycle around the entire island. Near the eastern end is about 120 m of semi-paved road. When you have completed the circle you cross the bridge back to Saumur and cycle along the river to cycle paths through Parc du Breil. The cycle path takes you across a bridge of the Le Thouet river. Here is a short stretch of semi-paved cycling path. After crossing the river you cycle uphill to the starting point.