Loire Valley Tours

A visit to the The Loire Valley is to experience French history at its best. It is renowned for its 1,000 magical castles, renaissance & medieval architecture, and a diverse range of fantastic wines. The Loire has inspired poets and novelists for centuries. Rabelais and Balzac were native sons and set their stories here. When Charles Perrault wrote the famous fairy tale 'Sleeping Beauty', he was inspired by the Chateau de Usse. In the 1800's, George Sand wrote her first successful novel, 'Indiana' at Chateau de Nohant in Berry where she was raised.

Discover the renaissance Chateau de Villandry and remarkable reconstruction of the 16th century gardens divided in three terraces. The last of the great Chateaux of the Loire, it reflects a combination of influences from Renaissance and Classicism. The impressive medieval fortress of Langeais and Chateau d'Azay Le Rideau an archetypal early Renaissance Chateau with a magnificent staircase are also worth a visit. The setting is one of the most romantic in the Loire Valley, between two branches of the Indre river. “A diamond with two facets, set in the Indre, mounted on a flower-covered support”. And of course the Chateau of the Dames, the fairy tale bridge castle built over the Cher river, and famous for the great women who lived in it (Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de Medicis...) and for the beauty of its Renaissance gardens.

Some of the most striking events of France’s history have taken place in the Loire Valley including the rise of the French English Kings and the triumph of Joan of Arc.

Touring from Paris requires 12hrs and from the station at Tours about 8hrs, so you can depart.

Offers 



Loire Valley Castle Tour: 750€

Available Daily

Pick up around 9.50am at Tours station by you English Speaking private guide for a day of castles and countryside. Pick up at 7:00am in Paris available. Price on request

Includes: Private driver guide Exlcudes: Entries/ Lunch / Train

Castle of Chenonceaux

We start our tour with a morning visit of the castle of Chenonceau (and optional walk along the Cher river if arriving by train). Built on the river Cher, where the unique beauty of its architecture reflects in the water, Chenonceau is not only remarkable for its architecture and history but also for the fine quality of its collections as can be seen from the inside visit: Renaissance furniture, a vast ensemble of XVIth and XVIIth century tapestries and a great number of masterpieces.

Lunch : An elegant lunch at the L’Orangerie (in the park of castle) or in Amboise

Chateau Cheverny

After lunch we will visit the 17th century family castle Château de Cheverny, an original jewel among the more famous monuments that stretch along the Loire Valley. In fact, Renaissance style did not find its place in Cheverny, which is built in the purest Louis XIII classical style, distinguished by an extraordinarily symmetrical architecture. Or a guided visit of Clos Luce the last residence of Leonardo da Vinci and the gardens where the inventions of this genius are displayed or a visit of Amboise Castles one of the first royal defensive medieval castle overlooking the Loire and its charming city; a combination Gothic and Renaissance with interesting furniture.

Chateau Chambord

Follow us up the double spiral staircase, where two people can go up or down without ever meeting, and head to the royal apartments of François I and Louis XIV. The floor above immerses you in the world of royal hunts. Continue up to the terraces and you’ll find yourself surrounded by roofing and chimneys forming a fairytale village, as if suspended in the sky. Look down towards the grand canal and... beyond to the wild game reserve.

Loire Valley Castle Tour Cost: 750€

Available Daily

Pick up around 9.50am at Tours station by you English Speaking private guide for a day of castles and countryside. Pick up at 7:00am in Paris available. Price on request

Includes: Private driver guide Exlcudes: Entries/ Lunch / Train


Castle Langeais

We will start the day discovering the medieval Chateau de Langeais is a castle built on a promontory created by the small valley of the Roumer River at the opening to th Val de Loire. The tall fortified hall at the rear of the enclosure is thought to be among the earliest datable stone examples of a keep in Europe.

Azay le Rideau

The château of Azay-le-Rideau was built from 1515 to 1527, one of the earliest French Renaissance châteaux. Built on an island in the Indre River, its foundations rise straight out of the water.

Lunch time in a small regional restaurant close to the castle of Azay


Troglodytic Goupillieres Valley

In the shadow of the castles of the Loire, we will take afternoon stroll through a rather unusual medieval village because here the Tourangeau peasants lived in troglodytic farms, creating their living environment made out of the local Tufa stone used for centuries in the construction of stately homes and castles of the Loire. Life was hard and people were in constant fear of war and brigands looting their food so to protect themselves the farmers dug a an underground refuge, which use some tricks that will astonish you! Not too dissimilar to the early christians in Cappadoccia in Turkey who built long underground tunnels to protect themselves from the Romans.

Loire Valley Castle Tour + Wine Tasting Lunch : 189€pp*

Available Daily

Meet at Tours or Amboise station. Tour three castle based on the below itinerary for each day, and enjoy a wine tasting lunch.

Includes: Transport with English speaking guide / lunch & entries - Excludes train tickets


Route 1: Chenonceau / Amboise Castle / Clos Luce - Wednesday, Saturday

Arriving in the Loire Valley by TGV at Tours Station, you'll start your day visiting the chateau de Chenonceau. Followed by lunch and a wine specialists, welcomes you to his stone quarry cellar, for a tour followed by a tasting of Vouvray, Montlouis, Chinon, Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil wines. The wines will be paired with a selection of meats and fine cheeses. After lunch, you will tour the Royal Castle of Amboise, the Saint Hubert Chapel, which houses the grave of Leonardo da Vinci. Finally, a few steps away you will see the Manor du Clos Luce. Le Clos-Luce, the Renaissance house Francis gave to Leonardo da Vinci, where he spent his last days from 1516 until his death on 2 May 1519, and which is very close to the Chateau d’Amboise. It was in these gardens that Francis would spend time with Leonardo discussing plans for the palace he wanted to build at Chambord as well as the entertainments which Francis provided for his courtiers and that dazzled the courts of Europe.

Route 2: Blois Castle / Chambord / Cheverny - Tuesday, Friday

The tour begins with the guided visit of Royal Castle of Blois. The four wings of the castle courtyard (Medieval, Flamboyant Gothic, Renaissance, and Classical) offer a great survey of the architecture in the Loire Valley. We then drive to Cheverny for wine and cheese lunch at local wine producer. The "Cheverny" appellation produces elegant red wines from Pinot Noir and Gamay as well as fruity white wines from Chardonnay and Sauvignon. You will discover the "Cour Cheverny", a white wine appellation made from the Romorantin grape, imported by King Francois I into the Loire Valley.
After lunch you'll take a guided tour of the chateau of Cheverny, which has been owned by the same family since the 13th century and illustrated in the famous comic book Tintin. It is also famous for the tradition of the horse-back hunt and its impressive pack of 100 dogs. Drive to the national game reserve at the estate of Chambord. The castle is a unique monument with more than 400 rooms and its double spiral staircase conceived by Leonardo da Vinci.


Route 3: Villandry / Azay le Rideaux / Langeais - Monday, Thursday

Start the day with guided tour of the chateau of Azay le Rideau positioned on an island on the Indre river and stroll around the exquisite English style garden Lunch will be at a family domain, in the vineyards. Cheeses, meats and organic wines with AOC Azay le Rideau. After lunch a guided tour of medieval Chinon and picturesque castle which saw Joan of Arc, King Charles VII, and Richard the Lionheart. Finally, a guided tour of one of the most spectacular medieval and Renaissance gardens of the Touraine at Villandry on 15 acres. Visit the Love Garden, Kitchen Garden, Aromatic and Medicine Plant Garden, Water Garde, Sun Garden and also 1150 linden trees are not to be missed.