Châteaux, Gardens & Wines Of The Loire
If it is a touch of French grandeur that you are after, then look no further than the glorious Loire Valley and this stylish getaway. Historic châteaux, sublime gardens, rambling estates, exquisite wines and picture-perfect towns and villages all abound in this much-loved region of France. Based in the elegant Loire town of Amboise, your itinerary features some of the most impressive châteaux of the region (2 entrances included). And with a day to explore beautiful Amboise itself plus a chance to sample some of the delectable local wines – what’s not to like?!
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
DAY 1 – After joining your holiday coach, travel to Dover for the short sea crossing to Calais. Continue via the auto-routes of France to your base in Amboise. Porterage is included. Buffet dinner, bed & breakfast.
DAY 2 – 4 (or 6) – At leisure in Amboise with two (or four) included excursions. Buffet dinner, bed & breakfast.
You will have a day to explore Amboise itself. The hotel is less than 2km from the centre (approx 20 – 25 minutes’ walk) but return transfers will be provided on your free day. Amboise is an utterly charming royal town and favourite residence of French Kings, gloriously situated on the south bank of the Loire and guarded by its own Renaissance style Château. Built on the foundations of an old fortress, it was the childhood home of Charles VIII and is the final resting place of the incomparable Leonardo da Vinci. Perched high on a promontory overlooking the Loire, the Château affords wonderous views (entrance not included – approx €13 pp in 2020).
Chaumont & Cheverny with Wine Tasting (all tours)
Enjoy a visit to the romantic Renaissance castle of Château de Chaumont, set in stunning landscaped grounds with remarkable views over the Loire Valley. The impressive gardens are a wonder to behold and every year visitors flock to the ‘Festival des Jardins’, a summer-long celebration with around 20 themed gardens, created by different landscape designers and artists bringing the château surrounds to life with colour and fragrance (entrance to the Château and garden included). Continue to the little town of Cheverny, complete with its own Château (entrance not included) for a visit to the Maison des Vins for a ‘hi-tech’ tasting of some delicious local wines. You will receive a glass fitted with an electronic chip which allows you the freedom to choose any 3 of the many wines available.
Château de Chenonceau – in, under and around (all tours)
Surely one of the most romantic and distinctive châteaux in France, the magnificent Château de Chenonceau spans the River Cher atop a beautiful arched bridge. The setting is absolutely glorious, and it is hard not to be moved by the sheer magic of the architecture and the elegance of the formal gardens which were laid out by two remarkable women, Catherine de Medicis and Diane de Poitiers. Before the actual visit to the Château, you will start the day in Chisseaux to board a boat for a 50-minute cruise along the languid River Cher passing beneath arches of the Château itself.
Sparkling Saumur (7-day tour only)
Follow the Loire to the pretty riverside town of Saumur, dominated by its awesome fortified castle set high above the town and built from the local light-coloured stone (entrance not included). Saumur oozes an air of relaxed sophistication and you will have time to explore its warren of cobblestone lanes, jumble of half-timbered buildings and grand white tufa (a type of limestone) townhouse which run along the waterfront in the shadow of the majestic castle. Saumur is particularly renowned for its excellent sparkling wines and so it is only appropriate that you partake in a brief visit and tasting at the nearby Langlois Château vineyard (fully accessible).
Tour to Tours (7-day tour only)
Enjoy a relaxed day in nearby Tours, the charming capital of the Loire Valley. Your driver may be able to offer you an optional guided walking tour of the historic centre with a local English-speaking guide. Tours is full of charm and heritage and is the birthplace of Balzac. You will feel like you have stepped back in time as you stroll through the narrow-cobbled streets and passed half-timbered houses. The stone façade of the monumental Saint-Gatien Cathedral gives the city a charming medieval air.
Last Day – After breakfast, travel back to Calais for the return Channel crossing and the journey home.Back to top
Located in the hills approx. 2km from the centre of Amboise, this modern 4* Novotel Amboise offers a tranquil setting for exploring the Loire Valley. The hotel has a terrace, tennis court and an outdoor swimming pool and enjoys panoramic views to the town and Amboise Château. Contemporary guestrooms are air-conditioned and all include a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, WiFi and tea / coffee making facilities. There is a bright and airy restaurant as well as a newly renovated bar.