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Cycling in France will tip the balance in your favour

24 November, 2014

According to the 2014 OECD How's Life? report, Australians rate very poorly when it comes to work/life balance. Surprisingly, we sit in the bottom 20 percent of OECD countries.

We need to take work/life balance more seriously. An imbalanced life results in stress and fatigue, loss of control and can even lead to poor mental and physical health. While many of us have heard this all before and we don’t question its validity, it still appears to be a major challenge to take a proactive stance and do something to restore balance before it is too late.

It would be good to start off by making full use of the leave that you have. Taking time off helps you recharge and gets you prepared for further challenges at work.

To help keep your work-life balance in shape, why not take a holiday that is great for the health of both mind and body? Test your body balance with our partner Select World Travel on a bicycle tour of the Loire Valley where Renaissance châteaux, medieval fortresses, cathedrals and abbeys await your arrival.

This eight day escorted bicycle tour of the Loire Valley will take you to a sampling of the châteaux that make up the UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of France's most popular tourist destinations outside Paris itself. 

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the French countryside. Your journey will take you on picturesque bike routes that hug the riverside, follow floral garden paths, meander through fields of golden wheat, and wind (and maybe wine!) through the vineyards.

Each of the seven castles you visit has a great story to tell.

The defining masterpiece of the Renaissance, Château de Chambord, the home of François I, is also a place where wildlife abounds, including stag and wild boar.

Château de Blois was the favourite residence of the royals of France: Louis XII, François I and Catherine de Medici among others lived here, and it was here that the Duke of Guise was murdered.

Chateau Amboise was one of the many homes of François I, as well as the home of Charles VIII. The body of Leonardo da Vinci, who lived at Clos Lucé, lies in the chapel of this Château.

At Chateaux Villandry, allow plenty of time to wander the spectacular Renaissance terraced gardens. The Château was completed in 1536 by Jean Le Breton, Minister to François I, and was the last Renaissance monument to be built in the Loire Valley.

When there’s no car or bus window between you and the sights, your perspective changes. You become more engaged with your environment and are rewarded with so much more than just postcard perfect pictures.

Cycling between castles allows you to indulge all of your senses – the aroma of the freshly baked baguettes of the quaint bakeries, the almost hypnotic sound of your bicycle tyres rolling along the riverside paths, the warmth of the sun on the back of your neck as you head for the next village where you can sample the array of fresh local produce and fine wines.

Just remember, you don’t need to be lying by a pool drinking cocktails to restore your work life balance. You just need to make the time to do something just for you.

Select World Travel and CBHS have partnered to provide you, our valued members with health and wellbeing holiday ideas. When you book with CBHS and Select World Travel, enjoy discounts on flights, hotels, tours great tours like this one. Tour prices start at $1292 per person twin share. Escorted tours run between April and October. Book with Select World Travel before 31 July 2014 to receive a 10% discount, plus $75 voucher towards your flights.

Phone 1800 242 373 or visit http://www.selectworldtravel.com.au/CBHS

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