Castles & Monuments
41,41 Km
2 h 45 min
I cycle often
La Châtre
Gargilesse-Dampierre

41,41 km cycling route from La Châtre to Gargilesse-Dampierre

This is the final stage of this cycle route through the old province of the Berry before you reach the Creuse Valley, a great source of inspiration for artists. Following what was a front line in the Hundred Years War, a number of medieval vestiges stand out, for young and old alike to enjoy exploring. The châteaux in these parts, such as Sarzay, resemble castles depicted in children’s books, with tall towers emerging from wooded surrounds. While traces of pilgrimage may have been less visible cycling through the Berry so far, at Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre, the circular Basilique Saint-Etienne, inspired by Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre, is a major attraction, and features on UNESCO’s World Heritage listing dedicated to the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage routes through France. It’s certainly worth while leaving your bike to go and admire its surprising interiors.

Elevation of the stage

325 m 275 m

Waytypes of the stage

By road: 41,40 km

Surface of the stage

Lisse: 0,41 km Inconnu: 40,99 km

Cycle route from La Châtre to Gargilesse-Dampierre

Signposting is excellent on this stage up to Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre and St Stephen’s Basilica.  
Once again, keep to the small roads, the D41a and D51, and be aware that the D927 isn’t safely set up for cyclists and doesn’t lead you past that architectural gem, the Château de Sarzay.
After Neuvy-Saint-Sépulcre, you’ll soon reach the Creuse Valley. This steeper area doesn’t have such a dense network of roads, so the choice of route switches to busier roads here. You’ll follow the fairly busy D38 to Gargilesse-Dampierre, a member of the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France.

Tourist information

  • Agence française des chemins de Compostelle – 05 62 27 00 05
  • Office de Tourisme Intercommunal Pays George Sand, 134 Rue nationale, 36400 La Châtre - 02 54 48 22 64
  • Maison du Tourisme du Val de Bouzanne, 2 Rue Emile Forichon, 36230 Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre
  • Office de Tourisme de la Vallée de la Creuse - Bureau de Gargilesse 36 190- Pl. du Château - 06 31 86 47 94

SNCF train services

  • Please note, no train stations serve this stage until the town of La Souterraine, but, if you’re willing to take a slight detour, northern to Argenton-sur-Creuse (14 km) or southern to Eguzon-Chantôme (15 km).

Don't miss

  • La Châtre: the Musée George Sand et de la Vallée Noire, containing a collection some 6,000 objects and documents going from Antiquity to contemporary times, covering many themes; an exceptional half-timbered home, known as La Maison Rouge, built in the 15th century.
  • Sarzay: the château
  • Neuvy-Saint-Sépulcre: the Basilique Saint-Étienne (St Stephen’s Basilica), and the historical trail
  • Cluis: the fortress of Cluis-dessous (to be viewed on a steep bend on which you’ll have to slow down, or even to stop on), a centuries-old fort built on a rocky outcrop looking down on the Bouzanne Valley; Cluis Viaduct, some 500m in length, with 20 arches, each 25m long, to be discovered on your right as you ride along the D38 road towards Gargilesse-Dampierre.
  • Le Pin viewpoint: to quote George Sand’s descriptive words, ‘this mound of earth descending right to the bed of the Creuse resembles a landslide that peacefully flowed down between the two rocky ramparts rising to either side that enclose the river’s course in the meanders of their craggy walls as far as the eye can see.’
  • Gargilesse-Dampierre: a member of the association Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, its tightly-packed houses and steep roofs giving it an indisputably romantic charm.

Accommodation on the stage

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