ROMANTIC CASTLES & DELICIOUS WINES OF THE LOIRE VALLEY SHARED PACKAGE

Highlights

The Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Offers Everything from Castles, Historical Towns to Stunning Landscapes

Sample a Variety of Wines from the Region

See Marvelous Castles such as Châteaux d’Amboise and Chambord & Chenonceau

Visit Leonardo Da Vinci’s Ultimate Residence

Tour the Unique Chateau de Blois, Built During Four Distinct Periods of Architecture

Trip Details

Prices:

4-Star Hotel in Tours: €1,310.00

Single Supplement: €415.00

 

4-Star Hotel in Amboise: €1,785.00

Single Supplement: €1,007.00


When:

Available from March 1 to December 12, 2020.

Beginning days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

 


Duration:

5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS


Where you'll stay:

With this package, you have the option to stay in either Tours or Amboise.


Trip Style:

Shared Multi Day Sightseeing Tour.
Minimum 2, Maximum 8. Larger groups please contact us.


Meeting Point:

Tours or Saint Pierre des Corps Train Station


Inclusions:

1. Arrival/departure transfer in Tours/Amboise
2. 4-night accommodation in 4* Hotel Double room sharing in Tours or Amboise
3. Breakfast from day 2 to 5
4. The services of an expert English speaking driver/wine guide
5. 2 Full day shared tours in the Loire Valley (Chambord, Chenonceau and Azay le Rideau Castles)
6. Entrances fees to the mentioned castles
7. 3 wine tastings
8. Travel in recent, comfortable & fully equipped Mercedes Minivans
9. Shared tours from 2 to 8 passengers.


Exclusions:

1. 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

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 > CHENONCEAU & AMBOISE CASTLES

Breakfast at your hotel.
9.00am Pick up at Tours Tourism Office
9.30am Pick up at Amboise

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 Chateaus 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 

Daniel, oenologist, welcomes you in his cellar, former tuff stone quarries, for a tour followed by a wine tasting session of the most emblematic of Vouvray, Montlouis, Chinon, Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil wines.

Lunch at leisure.

Take a leap back in time as you visit Renaissance Royal Castle of Amboise

Strategically located over the Loire Valley, the building of Amboise Castle dates back to the 11th C. The Golden era of the Castle spans through Renaissance times when both King Charles VIII and Francis I decided to make important reconstructions. The castle is also very famous for having been a major stop for numerous academics and artists and most notably Leonardo Da Vinci. As you follow your guide for a comprehensive tour of the Chateau, you will understand the Political and Artistic importance it played during Renaissance times. Highlights of the tour include the visit of the different towers and underground passage, the Lys Hallway as well as the ramparts.

End the day with a Visit of Leonarda Da Vinci’s ultimate residence

Your final visit will be at Chateau Clos de Lucé. Bought in 1490 by Charles VIII, the Chateau became the summer residence of the Kings of France and even the childhood home of King Francis I. Without a doubt, the most important date for Clos de Lucé is 1516. This is the time when King Francis I and Louise de Savoie invite Leonardo to visit Amboise. Named “Premier Painter, Engineer and Architect of the King” the Master is offered to stay at Chateau Clos Lucé, located at a short distance from Chateau d’Amboise. Here, Leonardo will spend the last 3 years of his life as a guest receiving a generous pension free of any specific responsibilities. He frequently meets with the King and it is said that he possibly designed the famous double-helix staircase of Chateau de Chambord and completed major artworks while in Amboise.

Let your guide take you to all the main attractions that this castle has to offer. After a visit of Leonardo’s bedroom, office, reception room and kitchen, the highlight of the tour will certainly be the visit of the underground rooms where you will admire detailed recreations of de Vinci’s inventions. After, enjoy some time in the gardens before returning to Amboise or Tours meeting point.

Night at your hotel.

DAY 3 > AZAY LE RIDEAU, LANGEAIS & VILLANDRY CASTLES

Breakfast at your hotel.
9.00am Pick up at Amboise Tourism Office
9.30am Pick up at Tours

Come experience a full day of castles and gardens in during this fantastic Loire Valley tour!

In the morning, the driver will pick up your group in Tours or Amboise and take you to the first stop of your Loire Valley day tour: Azay le Rideau. There, you will have the opportunity to visit the iconic castle, built on an island on the Indre river. The castle was built in the 16th century under the patronage of King François I, who loved to come spend time in the Loire Valley. With our day tour of the Loire Valley, you will visit the inside of the castle as well as the gardens, including the famous water mirror with detailed explanations provided by your private English-speaking guide.

The second stop on this Loire Valley is a wine tasting

Most of the wine produced is red, and only a couple percents of the grapes end up in rosé and white. Chinon wines are usually dominated by a red berry smell. They pair particularly well with red meat, cheese (and particularly goat’s cheese from the Touraine region), poultry, and game meat.

Lunch at leisure.

After lunch, this Loire Valley experience will then take you to Villandry

The landmark there is a small country castle built during the Renaissance times and modified during the 18th century. However, the most interesting thing in Villandry is certainly the castle’s gardens. In the early 20th century, the new owner of the castle, Joachim Carvallo, decided to  recreate the Renaissance garden to give the Villandry its grandeur back. If you are lucky enough to have a sunny day on your visit, you will love strolling along the flowerbeds and around the lake.

Finally, your Loire Valley tour will end with a stop at Langeais

Imposing medieval fortress of the 15th century which boasts towers, ramparts, rampart walk and a drawbridge, the Château de Langeais also possesses a beautiful Renaissance facade on the garden side. Remarkable, the inside of the Château de Langeais is richly and splendidly decorated. This is where King Charles VIII and Queen Anne of Brittany’s sumptuous wedding took place in December 1491. This marriage marked the beginning of the incorporation of the duchy of Brittany into the French kingdom.

The Langeais gardens are also not to be missed.

At the end of the tour, your driver will take you back to your pick up point in Tours or Amboise.

DAY 4 > BLOIS, CHEVERNY & CHAMBORD CASTLES

Breakfast at your hotel.
9.00am Pick up at Tours Tourism Office
9.30am Pick up at Amboise

 

Make an appointment with French History as you visit Chateau de Blois

The Royal Chateau of Blois is without a doubt one of the most impressive castles of the Loire Valley. Residence of 7 Kings and 10 Queens, the Chateau is a perfect summary of Court life during the Renaissance times. What makes the Chateau so unique is that the four grand wings were built during four distinct periods of Architecture: Gothic (13th C.), Flamboyant Gothic (1498-1501), early Renaissance (1515-1520) and Classical (1600’s).

Begin the tour of the Castle with your guide and visit some of the most fascinating rooms of the Chateau such as the King’s room where tapestries, carved furniture and silverworks are exhibited and underscore the power of the sovereign and the wealth of the kingdom. Another highlight of the tour is the visit of the Council Chamber that was the theatre of the major drama of Blois: The Assassination of the Duke of Guise! After the visit of the Chateau, we will head to a winery located in the heart of Loire Valley Wine Country.

Participate in a unique Visit & Wine Tasting

“Cheverny” appellation produces elegant red wines from pinot noir and gamay as well as fruity white wines from chardonnay and sauvignon. You will enjoy this moment to taste a wine for real connoisseurs: the “Cour Cheverny Appellation”, a stunning white wine made from a grape called Romorantin, imported by King François I into the Loire Valley.

Lunch at leisure.

Visit the Chateau that Inspired Marlinspike Hall in the Adventures of Tintin

Cheverny Castle has but slightly changed since its construction in the early 1600’s. The architecture of the castle presents an immaculate picture of symmetry, peace & aristocratic good life. The interior of the Chateau, that you will discover with your guide, exhibits a range of fine artworks by artists such as Titian, Rigaud or Jean Clouet. The king’s bedroom as well as the dining room are most exquisite as is the large collection of weaponry that can be seen in the Salle des Armes. After the visit of the Chateau it will be time to head for the final visit of the day, Chateau de Chambord.

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.

Night at your hotel.

DAY 5 > TOURS

Breakfast at your hotel and return transfer to the train station of Tours or Saint Pierre des Corps.

End of our services.

Good to Know

  • English speaking tour, other languages on request
  • Minimum number of 2 participants applies
  • Prices are per person
  • Our standard cancellation policy applies to this tour – Read More Here.

The Ophorus Difference

Contagious Enthusiasm – ‘We had the most terrific guide! Very knowledgeable and enthusiastic’ – Virginia B. (Delaware, US)

Flexibility – ‘The guides really took an interest in what WE wanted to do’  Paul C. (UK)

Area Locals – ‘He was so much more than a driver. He really added local color and local flavor.’ Daniel W. (Georgia, US)

Read more about the Ophorus experience.