Chateaux of the Loire Valley
Visit iconic chateaux and experience the beauty of the Loire Valley on this small group tour.
Discover the alluring charms of the Loire Valley on a small group tour to France. Relish an intimate look around one of the region's most historically significant castles, sample distinctive wines from a rising star of the French vintner scene and enjoy accommodation in a prestigious 5-Star hotel, which is, of course, another Château.
Highlights and Inclusions
- First Class rail travel on board the high-speed Eurostar
- Hotel accommodations for 5 nights
- 10 meals including a farewell dinner at Château d’Artigny
- Visit Château de Chenonceau and Château du Clos Lucé
- Guided walking tours of Tours
- Guided tours of Château de Cande and Château du Rivau
- Tour Domaine de Rocheville, including a private wine tasting
- Exclusive meeting point at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional Tour Manager
Day 1 - London to Château d’Artigny
Meet your group and Tour Manager at London St Pancras International, where we travel on the Eurostar service to Paris, enjoying a light meal and drinks as we travel. On arrival we join the direct rail service to Tours, continuing by coach to our spectacular 5-Star hotel, Château d'Artigny, which lies just 15 kilometers south of the city. After settling in, we sit down to a decadent three-course dinner, served in the hotel's grand 18th century-style dining room. (D, Eurostar Meal)
Day 2 - Château de Chenonceau
Today begins with an excursion to Château de Chenonceau, arguably the most iconic of its kind in the Loire Valley. The Château elegantly spans the River Cher and is a fine example of both Gothic and Renaissance architecture. After exploring the Château and its picturesque fountain gardens, we travel by coach to the town of Amboise, former home of the French royal court. Here we enjoy included entrance to Château du Clos Lucé, the last place that Leonardo da Vinci called home. Filled with some of his fascinating inventions, you are free to explore this delightful manor house and walk in the footsteps of the master himself who was so inspired by such scenic surroundings. (B, D)
Days 3-4 - Tours and Château de Cande
We transfer to Tours today where we embark on a guided walking tour. Located on the lower reaches of the River Loire, between Orléans and the Atlantic coast, Tours is the largest city in the Loire Valley and boasts some impressive historical attractions such as the Archbishop's Palace, Saint-Gatiens Cathedral, home to some fine 13th-century stained glass windows, quaint Rue Colbert, Place Plumereau, and Saint Martin's Basilica - built in homage to St. Martin, the Bishop of Tours from 371 to 397 whose relics were the focus of many medieval pilgrimages. We see all of this and more during our explorations, which come ahead of lunch at a local restaurant. Our afternoon is at leisure to explore further.
On Day 4, we enjoy a morning at leisure before an afternoon visit to the elegant Château de Cande and park, the marriage place of the Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson. Dinner this evening is in Montbazon. (Day 3 – B, L; Day 4 - B, D)
Day 5 - Château du Rivau
Marvel at the unique blend of medieval and Renaissance architecture that characterizes Château du Rivau today, set in the heart of Loire Valley. With a rich and fascinating history, it's here that Joan of Arc replenished her stock of horses during the Hundred Years' War, Château du Rivau is everything you could expect from a French castle and more, with many visitors reporting that it seems to have materialized straight from the pages of a fairy tale. There are many features here to admire, from the majestic drawbridge and frescos depicting the Feast of Belshazzar, to the turreted outer buildings and pristine gardens filled with wonderful examples of contemporary art, and which are impressively maintained without the use of modern-day chemicals. As part of this small group tour, we are lucky enough to enjoy a guided tour led by one of the current owners, who project-managed the extensive refurbishments that took place during the 1990s.
Following an enchanting picnic lunch at the Château we make our way to Domaine de Rocheville, a renowned wine estate in the Saumur region whose vines date back over three decades. We are treated to a tour of the wine cellars and given a unique insight into the winery's specific growing, harvesting and fermenting techniques, at the end we even get to sample some of the different wines for ourselves. On our return to Château d'Artigny, we enjoy a final farewell dinner together in the hotel's restaurant. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - The journey home
After breakfast, we transfer to Tours by coach in time for the train to Paris. We then continue our journey back to London aboard the Eurostar, again making the most of our Standard Premier Class seats with a light meal and drinks service as we travel. On arrival at St Pancras International, our tour comes to an end and you are free to make your way home. (B, Eurostar Meal)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Chateau d'Artigny, Montbazon
Whilst this luxurious 5-Star hotel may look like a typical 18th-century Château, it was built in the 20th century by François Coty, a perfumer who pulled down the original building which had stood on the site for over 400 years. The castle sits within a 25-hectare park of manicured gardens and is adorned with antique furnishings, marble flooring, and gilded colonnades. There are plenty of modern touches, such as a spa and complimentary Wi-Fi.
The high-speed Eurostar trains link St Pancras International in London with Paris and Lille in France as well as Brussels in Belgium.
The highest class of Eurostar travel available for leisure customers is Standard Premier Class. In your dedicated Standard Premier carriage you'll find a less dense seat configuration, meaning the seats are larger and you have ample space to relax and stretch out. As part of the service, you'll enjoy complimentary drinks and refreshments, served at your seat by friendly, helpful waiting staff.
Introduced in 1981, France's TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse) was the original European high-speed train. Linking Paris with Lyon, the new service revolutionized train travel and meant that traveling by air over medium and short distances was no longer seen as the best option, even for business travel.
The network has expanded rapidly and today these sleek, stylish trains offer links to over 60 destinations throughout France. Operated by SNCF, the French national rail operator, TGV trains travel over specially constructed high-speed lines. The trains can achieve speeds of up to 186mph (300km/h) on most long-distance routes and 200mph (320km/h) on the new TGV Est line, which links Paris with Strasbourg, Luxembourg, and Basel. Except for shorter journeys, TGVs almost always have an on-board buffet car, serving a selection of drinks and light refreshments.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|19th April 2020||$2,595||Book Now|
|3rd May 2020||$2,745||Book Now|
|17th May 2020||$2,745||Book Now|
|14th June 2020||$2,815||Book Now|
|6th September 2020||$2,855||Book Now|
|20th September 2020||$2,815||Book Now|
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: Departs 19th April 2020 ($2,595), 3rd May 2020 ($2,745), 17th May 2020 ($2,745), 14th June 2020 ($2,815), 6th September 2020 ($2,855), 20th September 2020 ($2,815)
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