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France The Loire Valley and Amboise's Marvelous Châteaux and Vineyards

  • Off the beaten track
Central France’s Loire Valley impresses with its stunning castles, rich history, and the unique harmony between its natural and cultural sites. A 125-mile (200-kilometer) stretch along the Loire River between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its great beauty and historical importance. Visit the incomparable Château de Chenonceau. Marvel at Leonardo da...

Central France’s Loire Valley impresses with its stunning castles, rich history, and the unique harmony between its natural and cultural sites. A 125-mile (200-kilometer) stretch along the Loire River between Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its great beauty and historical importance. Visit the incomparable Château de Chenonceau. Marvel at Leonardo da Vinci's genius at the Château du Clos Lucé. Stroll through the Château de Villandry's themed gardens. After exploring all of these royal palaces you'll be ready to eat like a king or queen! In Tours, a private local guide will take you to an authentic French market to choose the best seasonal produce, then invite you back to her home to prepare and enjoy a real French meal together. Later you'll sample and learn about Loire Valley wines in a Vouvray A.O.C. vineyard and a 16th-century troglodyte wine cellar. The trip culminates with a hot-air balloon ride over the stupendous valley.

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Tour itinerary includes
  • Wine tasting
    Wine tasting
  • Countryside
    Countryside
  • Food and drink
    Food and drink
  • City
    City
  • Local culture
    Local culture

Customizable tour itinerary

This tour idea is fully customizable

This itinerary has been crafted by our Local Agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and your interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.

Day 1: Train from Paris to Tours in 1st class

Duration: approximately 1 1/4 hours 


Private transfer to your accommodation 


A private driver will pick you up at the railway station and drive you safely to your accommodation (approximately 25km).


Overnight stay including breakfast at a château-hôtel in the center of Amboise.


Included:  train ticket , transfer arrival , bedroom and breakfast.

Visited:
Tours Amboise
Accommodation
Château in Amboise (Amboise)

Day 2: Full day private guided tour of the Château de Chenonceau

Discover both sides of the Château de Chenonceau during a 90-minute bicycle ride through its magnificent park and gardens.


A picnic lunch will be organized in a shady spot next to the chateau with delicious homemade fare.


Enjoy a private guided tour of this prestigious water castle, nicknamed the “château des Dames”  for the powerful noblewomen who left their mark on its history. Built by Kathrine Briçonnet in 1513, it was later enriched and transformed by Catherine de' Medici and her rival Diane de Poitiers.


Revisit the period between the Renaissance and the 17th century on your visit from the ancient keep to the medieval fortified mill and to Diane de Poitiers’ gardens.


Follow the steps of the great French philosophers and poets Voltaire, Marivaux, Montesquieu, Buffon, and Rousseau (during their time, esteemed guests at the castle).


The tour includes hotel pick-up/drop-off and picnic lunch.


Duration: 7 hours.


Overnight stay including breakfast at a château-hôtel in the center of Amboise.


Included:  chauffeur/guide , lunch , entrance fees , equipment rental , transportation , bedroom and breakfast.

Visited:
Chateau de Chenonceau Amboise
Accommodation
Château in Amboise (Amboise)

Day 3: Private full day tour of the Loire Valley

A chauffeur will meet you for a private transfer between your lodging and the day's tour stops.


Hotel pick up and drop off - Lunch and entrance fees at own expenses.


Duration: 8 hours.


Entrance ticket to the Château du Clos Lucé 


Château du Clos Lucé is a relatively small 15th-century palace in Amboise. The château was the childhood home of king Francis I. It is famous for being the palace where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final three years as the guest of the France King. Today Clos Lucé is a museum dedicated to the life of Leonardo da Vinci. Models of his designs are displayed in the château and in the large landscaped garden.


Entrance ticket to the Château d'Amboise 


Explore the royal residence, chapel, gardens, and Leonardo da Vinci's tomb at your own pace.


French Kings used this place as a residence from the 15th to the 19th century. As impressive as it is today, the château was even bigger in the 16th century before many of its interior buildings were demolished. As you wander through its halls, you'll travel chronologically through rooms decorated in medieval, early-Renaissance, and through to 19th-century styles. The 130-foot Minimes Tower offers impressive panoramas.


After touring the château, stroll through Amboise’s pleasant, pedestrian-only commercial zone.


Overnight stay including breakfast at a château-hôtel in the center of Amboise.


Included:  chauffeur/guide , transportation , entrance fees , bedroom and breakfast.

Visited:
Amboise
Accommodation
Château in Amboise (Amboise)

Day 4: Full day private guided visit to Tours and its traditional markets followed by cooking and lunch in a real French home

Meet your local guide and host Cathy, spend the day with her and learn the art of living (and eating!) in the Loire Valley.


Your tour starts with a morning visit to the medieval part of the city of Tours, at the heart of the Loire Valley. This relaxed “Ville d’Art et d’Histoire” (city of art and history) delights visitors with its rich cultural heritage, traditional riverside cafés, and great shopping areas.


Your host will guide you through a typical French market to taste and choose the best seasonal products (cheese, charcuterie, wine…).


Once you have all the ingredients, Cathy will welcome you in her countryside home, in a regular French village, where you will prepare together all the courses of a real French meal: "coq au vin", goats cheese, apple pie, “madeleines’’ and Loire Valley wine…


In the afternoon you may relax on the terrace, learn the basics of the French language, walk to a nearby small historic château.


The tour includes hotel pick-up and drop-off.


Duration: 7 hours.


Overnight stay including breakfast at a château-hôtel in the center of Amboise.


Included:  chauffeur/guide , lunch , entrance fees , equipment rental , transportation , bedroom and breakfast.

Visited:
Tours Amboise
Accommodation
Château in Amboise (Amboise)

Day 5: Private full day tour of the Loire Valley

Your private driver-guide will pick you up at your accommodation and drive you safely to the various activities of the day.


Hotel pick up and drop off - Lunch and entrance fees at own expenses.


Duration: 8 hours. 


Entrance tickets to the Château de Villandry 


The Château de Villandry is one of the most impressive of the castles of the Loire Valley, in part for the castle itself but especially for its very extensive gardens, the highlight of the visit and the main reason that people are attracted here. The interior of the castle also has some beautiful decoration and furnished rooms to see when you visit, including the dining room and kitchens.


Although the castle is best known for its French-style formal garden, there are actually several areas of gardens here in quite different styles... the vegetable garden, the ornamental garden, the water garden, the "jardin du soleil" and the herb garden.


The castle was built in the early 16th-century and was the last Renaissance-style castle to be built in the Loire Valley. You can see the castle courtyard without entering the castle. The interior of the Château de Villandry, although less visited than the gardens, still has a great deal of interest. Most of the interior was redesigned in the 18th century and the furnishings are from this period. Highlights include the staircase and the beautiful ceiling in one of the rooms, as well as the views across the gardens from the castle keep.


Guided walking tour through the vineyards of the Vouvray A.O.C. (protected designation of origin) 


Walk in the vineyards of the Loire Valley, in the heart of Touraine. Immerse yourself, for a few hours, in the activities of a family winery and learn the whole process from grapes to wine.


Myriam, your guide, grew up in the region and worked in several wineries and wine houses, with a passion for oenology education.


You will discover the vineyard landscapes and the "terroir" of Vouvray, as well as the work of the winemaker throughout the year during a guided walk in the vineyards.


After your walk, enjoy a visit to a cave (remember to take with you a jacket or a sweater) where you will learn how cellar conservation works.


The tour concludes with the tasting of 6 local wines matched with food.


Small group (maximum number of people: 12).


Duration: 3 hours.


Overnight stay including breakfast at a château-hôtel in the center of Amboise.


Included:  chauffeur/guide , transportation , entrance fees , excursion , bedroom and breakfast.

Visited:
Villandry Chançay
Accommodation
Château in Amboise (Amboise)

Day 6: Private full day tour of the Loire Valley

Your private driver-guide will pick you up at your accommodation and drive you safely to the various activities of the day.

Hotel pick up and drop off - Lunch and entrance fees at own expenses. 

Duration: 8 hours. 

Private hot-air balloon flight over the châteaux of the Loire Valley 

Fly over the Loire Valley, castles, vineyards, and forests; you will discover the garden of France as you have never seen it! After the flight, you will celebrate this event with a traditional toast and you will receive a commemorative flight certificate signed by your pilot.

Climb aboard for an exhilarating and memorable journey and experience adventure and emotions. Just drift with the winds and float over exceptional sites. At sunrise or sunset, flora and fauna will unveil under your feet: welcome on board!

Your flight program includes: The welcome,  Balloon inflation, Boarding for a one-hour flight, Storage of the balloon in its bag,  Passengers' toast and delivery of their flight certificate, Return to the meeting place.

Duration : 3 hours.

Private tour of a "troglodyte" cellar with wine and cheese tasting 

The Loire Valley is the largest wine region in France, producing a wide variety of wines thanks to the diversity of climates and soils.

Meet your local guide Daniel, passionate about oenology, and walk through his own 16th-century troglodyte cellar. Formerly quarries dug for their tufa stone, which was used to build many of the Loire châteaux, the so-called troglodyte galleries are ideal places for storing and tasting wine!

Daniel will introduce you to the “philosophy” of wine, tell you the history of the Loire Valley grapes and soils, show you how the local wines are made and stored. At the end of your visit, you will taste 3 wines, each wine paired with local cheese.

Duration: 1 hour - commentaries in French and English.

Overnight stay including breakfast at a château-hôtel in the center of Amboise.

Included:  chauffeur/guide, transportation, guide, equipment rental, visit, tasting, bedroom and breakfast.

Visited:
Chateau de Chenonceau Amboise
Accommodation
Château in Amboise (Amboise)

Day 7: Private transfer from your accommodation

A private driver will pick you up at your accommodation and drive you safely to the railway station (approximately 25km. 


Train from Tours to Paris (1st class) 

Duration: approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Included:  transfer departure , train ticket.

Visited:
Amboise Tours

Tours Amboise Chateau de Chenonceau Villandry Chançay

Price details

This tour idea is fully customizable

The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.

Approx. $5,700 / 7 days
Excluding international flights
2 pax 4 pax
Person per person $5,700 $4,450

Included in price:

  • All services set out under “included in the program”
  • A travel folder with the reservation vouchers
  • A phone contact in case of an emergency during your trip

Not included in price:

  • The suggestions (can be booked on demand)
  • Transport (unless indicated otherwise)
  • Cancellation and repatriation insurances, all-risks coverage
  • Meals (unless indicated otherwise)
  • Personal expenses (drinks, tips etc.)
  • The tourist tax has to be paid on the spot

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