Ukein’, Barge & Bike

Note: Our Sept. 8 – 15, 2018 trip from Montargis to Paris is currently SOLD-OUT!  However, we are currently planning another Ukein’, Bike, Barge trip in Italy, September 2019, staring in the Italian Renaissance city of Mantua and ending in Venice.  Click here to learn more about this new trip and reserve your place…..before we sell out on this one, as well.  

Montargis to Paris

This is the iconic European Bike and Barge vacation with a significant difference. ‘Ukulele maestro Phil Doleman will be along to ensure we have ample opportunity to enhance our skills and make beautiful ‘ukulele music together.  And what a wonderful place for this grand adventure to occur!

The route from Montargis to Paris through the Seine Valley is a movable feast of natural beauty, history, and poetry, encompassing wild and rambling woods, cultivated gardens, medieval towns, and flower-lined canals. Its textures and colors inspired the Impressionists and will inspire us, as well, as we absorb everything this beautiful region of France has to offer, while we also learn, play, and sing aboard the “comfort-plus” barge, Fleur.

And during the day we can ride through the French countryside on our bikes. . . . .or not.  The bike rides are optional and, if you choose, you can stay on board the Fleur and practice your ukulele and enjoy the scenery as the barge moves from port to port. (Or, have an electric assist bicycle at your disposal for an additional fee!)

Here’s what the itinerary looks like, based on where the Fleur will anchor each night. Ukulele classes, workshops, and sessions will play a part in the daily activities, when and wherever possible

Day 1 (Saturday, Sept. 8): Montargis

2.00 pm Arrive in Montargis, a picturesque French town, 68 km south of Paris and easily accessible by train from Paris. Though the royal residence was destroyed by fire centuries ago, the lovely flower-lined canals of Montargis remain. This will be our home away from home for two nights.
13.00 pm Staff introduction, bike fitting, and safety talk
6.30 pm Dinner on board
8.00 pm  Optional walk in town and/or ‘ukulele!

Day 2 (Sunday, Sept. 9): Montargis

8.00 am  Breakfast
9.00 am  Optional 45 km bike ride along the l’Ouanne River to Château-Renard to visit the ruins of a castle from the 10th century and the Living Museum of Beekeeping where we will see beekeepers and their bees at work and sample some delicious honey.  The total length of today’s bike ride through the lovely French countryside is about 45 km, and we should arrive back in plenty of time for an ukulele workshop with Phil.

17.00 pm Rather than eat on board, tonight we will have dinner at one of the excellent restaurants in Montargis.

Day 3 (Monday, Sept. 10): Montargis – Néronville

8.00 am  Breakfast/workshop while sailing to the lock of Cepoy with possibly ukulele workshop enroute.

9.00 am Today’s bike tour takes us through the beautiful forests of Montargis, to the medieval town of Ferrieres, with its beautifully preserved old town center and splendid monastery. From here we will bike to Egréville to visit the sculpture garden, Bourdelle, before rejoining the Fleur in lovely, rural Néronville. The total length of today’s bike tour is 43 km.

6.30 pm Dinner on board and evening ukulele workshop and/or session.

Day 4 (Tuesday, Sept. 11):  Néronville – Nemours

8.00 am  Breakfast

9.00 am Today we ride through a region first cultivated in the Gallo-Roman era in the first century B.C.! Out first stop will be at Château-Landon, a Gallic stronghold with an abbey that dates from the 13th century. We meet the Fleur again in Nemours and then decide whether to visit the castle or the prehistoric museum of the Ile-de France. The length of today’s bike ride varies between 30 and 40 km, depending on which route we choose. There could be an ‘ukulele workshop before dinner for those who arrive back in time.

6.30 pm Dinner on board and evening workshop.

Day 5 (Wednesday, Sept. 12): Nemours – Moret-sur-Loing

8.00 am  Breakfast
9.00 am  Today we stay in the valley of the Loing River and visit Grez-sur-Loing, a popular summer travel destination for American artists in Paris in the 1860’s and a place for “youthful exuberance and bohemian camaraderie.” (We have to go no further than the town hall to admire a number of magnificent impressionist paintings.) From there we ride to Moret-sur-Loing, a charming medieval town, where painter Alfred Sisley found inspiration for his beautiful impressionist paintings and we can visit the house where he was born. Today’s ride may be 25 or 45 km long.

6.30 pm Dinner on board and evening workshop.


Day 6 (Thursday, Sept. 13): Moret-sur-Loing – Melun

8.00 am  Breakfast
9.00 am  Today we bike through the wonderful forests of Fontainebleau and its lovely chateau, much in favor among the French kings because of the extensive possibilities to hunt in the surrounding forests.  The castle holds a museum of Napoleon, among other things, and Fontainebleau is a pleasant town to walk around. From here, we continue our tour to the village of Barbizon, where a group of landscape painters formed the “school of Barbizon.” Our final destination today is Melun, a town known as le domaine des reines blanches, because in former years was the domain of the widows of the French kings. Today’s ride is about 40 km.

6.30 pm Dinner on board and evening workshop.


Day 7 (Friday, Sept. 14):  Melun – Paris

8.00 am  Breakfast
9.00 am  As we approach Paris, there will be more traffic.  Never the less, we will take a short bike ride in the morning, following the banks of the Seine, to the lock of Evry, where we will join the Fleur for the final sail into Paris. The Fleur moors in the center of Paris, not far from the Notre Dame.  Today’s ride is about 3o km.
1.00 pm Lunch on board.
6.30 pm Dinner
8.00 pm City walk

Day 8 (Saturday, Sept. 15):  Paris

8.00 am  Breakfast
9.00 am  Departure

*All distances are approximate. The planned itinerary is subject to change due to changing wind and weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances having to do with mooring requirements, etc.

  • Accommodation for 7 nights
  • 7 breakfast, 6 picnic lunches during bike tours, 6 three course dinners
  • 11 speed Gudereit hybrid bike, hand brakes, pannier bag, water bottle, and helmet
  • Use of bed linen and towels (change of towels daily possible)
  • Daily cleaning service of the cabin
  • Welcome drink, presentation of barge and crew and briefing on the first evening
  • Tour leader (multilingual) for fully guided cycling tours
  • Daily briefings of the bike tours
  • Entrance Jardin Bourdelle
  • Entrance Apiculture’s Living Museum
  • Complimentary daily coffee and tea