Loire Valley Chateau Tours – The Good Life France | EUROtoday

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Azay-le-Rideau, a must see for Loire Valley chateau tours

With its majestic chateaux, historic cities and rolling vineyards, the Loire Valley is among the world’s best-known World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO. Think magical properties resembling Chenonceau, Chambord and Cheverny; cities like Blois, Amboise and Orléans; and internationally famend wines resembling Chinon, Saumur and Vouvray.

Far greater than only a assortment of fancy aristocratic houses, the UNESCO-listed space extends for 280km alongside the central part of the river, a ‘cultural panorama’ that mixes historical past, heritage and structure with the flora, fauna and rural panorama that borders France’s longest river.

So for those who actually wish to get underneath the pores and skin of this charming space, it pays to take a tour with an insider who can convey each place zinging vividly to life. Enter Loire Valley Chateau Tours run by husband and spouse crew Graham and Jacqueline. After careers in Britain’s National Health Service, in schooling and in retail, the couple moved to France simply earlier than Brexit to run a luxurious Guest home and run excursions which absorb probably the most enchanting castles of the Loire Valley.

Tour the Chateaux of the Loire Valley

Tour friends keep at their residence within the tranquil village of Ranton, half an hour from the medieval city of Chinon. Built within the 18th century from native Tuffeau stone – constructing materials for the Loire Valley’s signature white chateaux – Maison de Lavande was initially a winemaker’s home and the grape press can nonetheless be seen of their underground wine cellars.

Tastefully renovated with modern however homely furnishings, Maison de Lavande options uncovered stone partitions and A-framed beams alongside trendy services and plenty of luxurious touches. Relax within the indoor sitting room, relax within the massive backyard, or sink into the bubbles of the Jacuzzi.

Guests have a alternative of two small group excursions – not more than six folks – to make sure that everybody receives the identical private service and that friends can get to know one another and share their impressions and experiences of every website.

Six-day tour of the Loire Valley castles

Book the Six of the Best tour for a six-day journey to find a few of the Loire Valley’s most iconic castles and gardens. After settling into your lodging at Maison de Lavande, your first night time’s dinner is in an atmospheric restaurant in Montreuil-Bellay, listed among the many elite band of Plus Beaux Detours de France.

Next day you set off by air-conditioned personal transport to go to the moated gem of Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, adopted by close by Château d’Ussé, inspiration for the Sleeping Beauty fairy story. Tour the gardens designed by André Le Nôtre of Vaux-le-Vicomte and Versailles fame and style a variety of Loire Valley vintages.

Ussé and Azay-le-Rideau are each totally magical, however the chateaux step up considerably in dimension and grandeur over the following two days. With its elegant arches spanning the river Cher and its formal gardens designed for Catherine de Médici and Diane de Poitiers – spouse and mistress of French King Henri II – the Château de Chenonceau is among the most visited within the Loire Valley. Next cease is Amboise with free time to go to the Royal Chateau, final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci, or possibly his ultimate residence on the jewel Château de Clos Lucé only a quick stroll away the place lots of his innovations are reproduced as working fashions in the home and shady park.

After an in a single day keep in a chic city home beneath the fortress, you’ll depart Amboise for the Château de Chambord, leisure palace for Renaissance king François I. Like statistics? Chambord goes into overload with 440 rooms, 282 fireplaces and a chimney for each day of the yr! And do not miss the prospect to check out the double-helix staircase thought to have been designed by Da Vinci himself. One particular person can go up and one other go down on the identical time with out ever assembly!

From Chambord with its huge park and looking forest, you may drive to the Château de Cheverny, residence to a well-known pack of looking canine and the inspiration for Belgian cartoonist Hergé for the Chateau de Mounlinsart within the sequence of books about boy detective Tintin.

After overnighting once more again at Maison de Lavande, your final full day begins within the medieval city of Chinon beneath the partitions of the medieval fortress, a favourite residence of Plantagenet King Henry II and his spouse Eleanor of Aquitaine. After lunch in a bistro, you’ll make the quick drive to Château de Villandry well-known for its excellent formal gardens. Never considered planting greens amongst your flowers and topiary? You’ll suppose once more after wandering the paths of this horticultural haven.

9-day tour of the Loire Valley Chateaux

Chateau Rivau, Loire Valley

If you might have extra time to spare, e-book as an alternative on to Seventh Heaven, a 9-day tour that provides additions to the 6-day itinerary. Discover the lesser-known city of Richelieu, based by Cardinal Richelieu, minister to King Louis XIII and chief villain in Alexandre Dumas’ e-book, The Three Musketeers. Browse the road market to take in the colours and aromas of the Loire Valley’s native produce, then head to the medieval Château de Rivau for lunch and a stroll spherical its 14 particular person gardens themed to well-known fairy tales resembling Tom Thumb and Rapunzel.

Enjoy a free morning in Saumur to go to the hilltop fortress, browse the boutiques or possibly take a river cruise. Then uncover a variety of liqueurs at an artisan distillery and go to a wine domaine producing scrumptious Crémant de Loire glowing wine.

You’ll additionally spend a day visiting three very completely different however equally enchanting villages – Montsoreau and its antiques market; the flower-fringed streets of Candes-St-Martin each Plus Beaux Villages and Montreuil Bellay with its medieval fortress.

All excursions embody assortment and return to native airports at Tours or Poitiers, or prepare stations at Chinon, Tours or Saumur, in addition to personal en-suite lodging, all breakfasts and a full complement of lunches, dinners or picnics. Tours run from early April to late October and dates might be discovered on the web site, however Graham and Jacqueline endeavor to run comparable excursions for teams of 2-6 friends at different instances on request.

In an space the place historical past oozes from each stone, style from each grape, and taste from each succulent mouthful, the experience supplied by Loire Valley Chateau Tours will assist to fulfill all of your senses, ensuring you get the perfect out of your go to to this enchanting space.

Find out extra and e-book your tour at Loire Valley Chateau Tours: loirevallechateautours.com

Loire Valley Chateau Tours