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The following itinerary is an example of a possible route with various activities.
It can reorganized to fit your interests, budget and schedule. It can also be combined with any of the other programs on our website.
Your trip starts in Paris. Just landed in Paris airport pick up your rental car and drive south to Orlèans. En route we suggest a stop at Chartres, famous for its Cathedral, a masterpiece of gothic art, is also included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Orléans - 1° Overnight
After breakfast in your hotel, drive south along the Loire river to the castle of Azay-le-Rideau after just leave behind Tours. The romantic and harmonious chateau is set on a small island of the Indre river and is one of the first castles built as a residence and not as a fortress.
Lunch in the village.
Arriving in Chinon late afternoon, you will be able to refresch in your room before dinner (with Chinon wines of course...) in this small medieval town before a well deserve good night rest. Your hotel is Le Diderot, a small and charming hotel, family owned and run in the heart of Chinon, it will be your home for the next 4 nights.
Chinon - 2° Overnight
After breakfast, a short drive will bring you to Chateau d'Usse for a stop. This castle is still occupied by its owner's since it was built in the XV century; his exceptional and imposing presence inspired Perrault for his Sleeping Beauty novel.
Then Le Chateau de Villandry for a visit of the most beautiful medieval gardens. Entirely replanted twice a year to follow the season a large part of the gardens uses colorful vegetable, herbs and fruits for stunning displays. Lunch in the village of Villandry.
Back in Chinon, if time permits, you will stop by Couly Dutheil, consistently producing high quality Chinon or, at the Chateau de Coulaine where the welcoming family de Bonaventure, has been working the land since the 13 century.
Dinner on your own. Night at the Le Diderot.
Chinon - 3° Overnight
En route for Saumur, you will stop by the village of Turquant for troglodytes house and artisans' shops. Before lunch in town, you will have time to admire the castle built in the 14th century for the Duke of Anjou, towering above the old city and the Loire river.
After a stop by the charming village of Candes Saint Martin and its 10th century church, at the confluence of the Vienne and Loire rivers, you will revive Alienor d'Aquitanie in the beautiful 11 century Abbey of Fontevraud. Twice Queen (Franch then England) and mother of two kings, Alienor's life is a fascinating novel set in medieval times.
This region produces remarkable bubbly as well as excellent still whites; glasses of Saumur will help you to finish the day at the Langlois Chateau winery for a short class on "how to make bubbly" and a tasting of their production.
Dinner on your own. Night at the Le Diderot.
Chinon - 4° Overnight
Amboise and the Royal castle where Leonardo da Vinci is buried, is your morning stop. A tasting of their famous whites in the caves of the Cooperative de Vouvray will be a perfect aperitif before lunch in a village.
You will then spend the afternoon in the most stunning gardens of the Loire Valley in Chaumont sur Loire. Besides the spectacular castle and the permanent gardens, a "Festival des Jardins" is organized each year, following a given theme. One constant: an always extraordinary dispaly of imagination and colors.
A tasting of local goat cheese at the farm, the famous Sainte Maure de Touraine, will end the day (if time permits). Evening at the excellent restaurant Les Annees 30 for a farewell dinner to Chinon. Last night at the Hotel Diderot.
Chinon - 5° Overnight
Leaving early this morning you will drive north towards Paris with three stops on the way for a busy last day in the Loire Valley. Full visit of the sumptuous Chateau de Cheverny a fully furnished private castle, only partially open to the public.
Chenonceau. Built, owned and cared for by women during its entire history, this spectacular castle has an abvious feminine cahrm and beauty.
Saved for last: Chambord, the most spectacular castle of the Loire Valley. Build in the 1520's by Francois 1st, it's the largest of the Royal castles.
A two hours drive will bring you to the French capital and your hotel; charming, very Parisian and wonderfully located. We suggest to dinner in a traditional Parisian bistro, wine included!
Paris - 6° Overnight
If this is your first time in the "City of lights", Globe Trotter Travel will help you to plan your day city tour and to discover Paris.There are more than 100 museums in the city itself. Le Louvre and D'Orsay are the two "big ones", a must if this your first visit.
Notre Dame, Carnavalet, Delacroix, Invalides, Cluny, Sainte Chapelle, the Opera, etc... Many sites also deserve to be included: Montmartre, Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysees, Le Louvre, Le Palais Royal, Place des Vosges, Le Marais etc... And don't miss obviously the Eiffel Tower!
You know, you will have to come back!
Paris - 7° Overnight
If shopping is on your program, the Galeries Lafayette, the Printemps and the small exclusive shops of the Marais, Opera, Bastille, Saint Germain, Faubourg Saint Honore or Avenue Montaigne districts are waiting for your today.
We suggest to pick up a bike (or "Velib") at one of the many stations to ride freely around Paris. Lunch on your own.
Paris - 8° Overnight