AN INTIMATE EXPERIENCE IN THE LOIRE VALLEY FROM TOURS
- Duration: 4 Days (approx.)
This private package in the Loire Valley has been carefully designed by our travel specialists so that you may combine the visit of the most gorgeous Chateaus of the area with an introduction to the many different wines that are produced here. During your two days of private touring with your own personal certified English-speaking driver/guide, highlights include the visit of Chateau de Chambord & Chateau de Chenonceau. For the wines, we will take you to the Vouvray & Chinon wine producing areas. You will be picked up and dropped off at your accommodation every day and the tour is conducted by a professional English speaking driver/guide who can be flexible on the itinerary but will surely be there to show you the best this beautiful region of France has to offer.
DAY 1 - ARRIVAL TRANSFER IN TOURS / AMBOISE
Pick up in Tours or Saint Pierre des Corps Train Station. Transfer to your centrally located hotel in Tours or Amboise and check in. Night at your hotel.
DAY 2 – FULL DAY CASTLES OF THE LOIRE VALLEY
Breakfast at your hotel9.30am Pick up at your hotel.
A comprehensive guided Tour of the ‘Chateau des Dames’
Because it was marked by a large number of women throughout history, Chenonceau Castle has earned the title of being the Women’s Castle. Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de Medici or Louise de Lorraine are just some of the women that have contributed in making Chenonceau one of the most exquisite Chateau’s of France.Spanning the River Cher, the castle is a delight to all visitors as it is very difficult not to be impressed by its breathtaking landscape & architecture. On the exterior part, the Chateau is completely surrounded by numerous gardens. You will surely take some time to wander along the “floating parterre”, created in the Renaissance and that has remained unchanged since the time of Diane de Poitiers. Another unique attraction is the Maze that was desired by Catherine de Medici, planted with around 2,000 yew trees and that covers more than a hectare in Size.
Inside, follow your guide as you tour this incredible monument. As you listen to the tales, history and intrigues that took place in the Chateau, highlights of the tour will include the visit of the Five Queens’ Chamber, name given in the memory of Catherine de Medici’s two daughters and three daughters in law; but also Diane de Poitiers Bedroom, the Gallery - a 60 meter long ballroom, Louis XIV’s drawing room showcasing a portrait of the “Sun King” and much more.
Enjoy a fun & informative Wine Tasting session around the Wines of Vouvray
Daniel, enologist, welcomes you in his cellar, former tuff stone quarries, for a tour followed by a wine tasting session. Here, you will discover a large range of vintages, from 1947 to our days. Based on Chenin Blanc grape variety, Vouvray is a mineral wine with a high acidity level that gives the wine a great aging capacity. Vouvray is also famous for producing local sparkling wines. After the tasting session it will be time for you to have lunch and your guide will be happy to make suggestions according to your wishes.End the day with the visit of the Most Grandiose Renaissance Castle of the Loire
Instantly recognizable because of its very distinctive French Renaissance Architecture, spectacular Chateau de Chambord stands out from all the other Chateaus of the Loire Valley. By far the largest of all the Chateaus, it is composed of 440 rooms, a fireplace for every day of the year, a surrounding wall that is 20 miles long & the River Loire was probably diverted to make space for the building.
Enter the Chateau with your professional tour guide and discover the open double spiral staircase supposedly designed or at least inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. The two helices ascend the three floors without ever meeting, illuminated from above by a sort of light house at the highest point of the chateau. Another highlight of the visit is the ornate roof that makes the Chateau so recognizable. When you reach the top level of the Chateau, you can walk between the towers and admire the enormous attention to detail in the masonry work. After the visit, return to Amboise or Tours. Return to Tours or Amboise and night at your hotel.
DAY 3 – FULL DAY WINES OF THE LOIRE VALLEY
Breakfast at your hotel.9.30am Pick up at your hotel
Begin the day in the greatest appellation of the Loire Valley
This morning, reach the Vouvray wine producing area considered to be the greatest appellation of the Loire Valley. It isn’t just the quality that gives Vouvray an advantage over the other appellations located here, it is also diversity. Depending on the vintages, the Vouvray wines can be sweet – extremely rich and flavorful. It is said that on the most famous vintages, these wines have an aging ability of 100 years! The other types of wines are of course the dry whites, that are considered remarkably mellow. Finally, you cannot miss the ‘bubblies’, with light bubbles that allow high vinous qualities. This is the historic product of Vouvray. Reach a local winery for a visit & wine tasting session of Vouvray wines. Created in 1875, this Domain has been expanding for the last five generations and now owns 26 hectares of organic vineyards. The tour of the cellar is done while wine tasting.
Then taste some of the most pleasant Cabernet Franc Wines in Bourgueil
Our next stop will be at Chateau des Minière winery. spread out over the entire « terroir » covered by the appellation, from the gravel shores along the Loire River to the clay, limestone and silica (mineral) soils of the hills overlooking the valley. This diversity of soils enables us to produce tasty, delicate, fruity wines to be consumed young, as well as more full-bodied, age-worthy wines with tannins that become silky over time. The red and rosé wines produced on the domain are presented under the appellation « Bourgueil ». They stem 100% from the « Cabernet Franc » grape, introduced by the monks of the Abbey in the XIth century. The wine-making and bottling is done on the grounds of the château by the owners, assisted by Eric Goujat, wine maker. After the visit & tasting it will be time for lunch that is possible on site at the winery (optional). Other suggestions will be made by your driver/guide depending on your wishes.
Admire the ‘Flower’ of the Garden of France - Chinon
The Loire Valley is often coined as being “the Garden of France”, its parks & gardens were in fact one of the main reasons why UNESCO declared the area World Heritage in 2000. Within this Garden, the town of Chinon is considered as THE most beautiful flower – a medieval town rich with culture, history and of course dotted with small parks & gardens. The winding streets that lead up to the castle are lined with shops, inns & cafés. Here, you will enjoy a guided walking tour of the town with your guide.
Then taste A Red with Attitude
The Loire’s largest red wine appellation is located around Chinon, town from which the appellation takes its name! In Chinon the cabernet franc is unique and has many forms: refined and intense, balanced and structured, red or rosé, without forgetting some pockets of Chenin which discretely produce some great, dry, white wines. As you reach the local winery you will be greeted by Jérome and his wife. Jérôme’s vineyard, displayed like an Amphitheatre, can be discovered with one glance which gives us the chance to visualize all the different terroirs at the same time. According to the age of the vine, the soil, the sun and wind exposition, the different techniques in the wine making itself, Jerome will elaborate a great variety of wines from the same grape variety, producing thirst quenchers or rich and complex red wines. After a visit & commented wine tasting session it will be time to return to your hotel. Night at your hotel.
DAY 4 - TOURS
Breakfast at your hotel and return transfer to the train station of Tours or Saint Pierre des Corps. End of our services.
INCLUSIONS1. Arrival/departure transfer in Tours or Amboise
2. 3-night accommodation in 4* Hotel in Tours or Amboise double room sharing
3. Breakfast from day 2 to 4
4. The services of an expert private English-speaking driver/wine guide
5. Full day around Chenonceau and around Chinon
6. Entrances fees to the mentioned castles
7. Wine tastings in Vouvray, Bourgueil and near Chinon
8. Travel in recent, comfortable & fully equipped Mercedes Minivans
EXCLUSIONS1. Meals, drinks unless specified
2. Personal insurance and expenses
3. Entrance fees to monuments, museums, attractions other than mentioned in the program
4. Eventual gratuities