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Châteaux of the Loire Valley

  • Jardins à la française Chateau de Chambord © Ludovic Letot

    Jardins à la française Chateaux de Chambord, France © Ludovic Letot (13)
  • Chateau de Chenoneau © Chateau de Chenoneau

    Chateau de Chenoneau, Touraine, France, jardin ©Chateau de Chenoneau
  • Château de Villandry

    Chateau de Villandry, Loire, France - Exterior and Garden (NCN_AFR)
  • Sunlight reflecting on a wine glass

    Lake Garda
  • Chateau de Cheverny

    Chateau de Cheverny, Loire, France (NCN_AFR)
  • Chateau de Chenonceau, Loire Valley © Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

    France, Loire Valley, Chateau de Chenonceau © Photo courtesy of pixabay.com
  • Chateau d'azay le Rideau, Loire Valley © Photo courtesy of pixabay.com

    France, Loire Valley, Chateau d'azay le Rideau © Photo courtesy of pixabay.com
7 day tour
From £385.00 per person

Jewels of the Loire Valley

Considered to have once been the favourite region of French Kings, the Loire Valley boasts a rich and regal history. The area is full of treasures that are waiting to be discovered as it is brimming with vineyards, historic towns and architecture.  The majestic châteaux that are dotted throughout are one of the main draws of the area. Each of the many châteaux has its own unique character, but all of them are equally wonderful. From geometric gardens to reflective lakes that are the stuff of fairytales, there is something to suit everyone’s taste. This stunning region features on the UNESCO World Heritage list and is one of the world’s most prolific wine producing areas.

Some of France’s finest Châteaux

Boasting more than 20 châteaux, you don’t have to travel far through this province before you find one. Based in Tours, at the eastern end of the valley, this tour allows you to visit the very best of them. Comic fans will recognise Captain Haddock’s home, the beautiful Château de Cheverny. While the Château de Chambord is the largest of all the castles, it was only really used as a hunting lodge! Because of this, the beautiful castle remains largely empty.  You can also enjoy the glorious gardens that surround the castles. Lose yourself in the spectacular Renaissance gardens at the Château de Villandry. Furthermore, in the nearby Caves des Producteurs de Vouvray allows you to sample one of the region’s specialities – wine.  The city of Tours itself is picturesque, full of historical sites. Because of its ideal location, the town of Tours is your gateway to explore the stunning Loire Valley.

 


Dates

5th and 31st July 2020


Suggested Itinerary

Day 1/2

Travel to the Loire Valley

Depart from your local area in the UK and travel towards Dover for the ferry crossing to Calais. Arriving in Calais, continue through France, stopping in Rouen or similar for an overnight stop. The following morning, continue to your hotel in the city of Tours, your base for the next four nights.

Day 3

Tours, Château de Chenonceau and Wine Tasting

This morning, there’s free time to explore the cobbled streets and elegant fountains of historic Tours. In the afternoon, we visit the Château de Chenonceau, arguably one of the most impressive and memorable of all the châteaux in the Loire Valley. We then enjoy a wine tasting at the Cave des Producteurs de Vouvray.

Day 4

Azay-Le-Rideau and Villandry

Enjoy a visit to the highly recommended Château d’Azay-Le-Rideau. Surrounded by and reflected in the river waters, it is perhaps the most romantic and attractive château of them all. Considered an excellent example of French Renaissance architecture, the château is one of the most popular in the Loire Valley.

Continue to the Château de Villandry, with its magnificent Renaissance gardens including a water garden, ornamental flower gardens and vegetable gardens. They are all laid out in geometric patterns created with low box hedges and are truly a sight to behold.

Day 5

Chambord and Cheverny

Visit the Château de Chambord. Although the largest of all the Loire Châteaux, it was in fact only used as a hunting lodge. The amazing architecture is reminiscent of a fairy-tale castle and it is one of the most recognisable château in the world. Don’t miss the spectacular staircase, the centre-point of the castle. Fine furnishings and tapestries were brought into the château temporarily to impress visiting dignitaries; otherwise it remained virtually empty, as it is today.

Continue to the Château de Cheverny, a lovely place and familiar to fans of the Tintin cartoons as ‘Moulinsart’, the imaginary home of Captain Haddock. The château has belonged to the same family for six centuries and was built in the early 1600s. The interior reflects the history and tastes of the family and the grounds offer an orangery, used as a safe haven for famous works of art during WW2. Listen out for the hunting hounds kept on the grounds!

Day 6/7

Departure

It’s time to leave the Loire and return to the UK. Retrace your steps through France, stopping overnight en route back to Calais, where you will take a return ferry back to Dover before continuing home to your local area.


Featured hotels

Ibis Tours City Centre ***

Located a 15-minute walk from the centre of Tours, ibis Tours Centre Gare offers free Wi-Fi access and an on-site restaurant. The rooms feature a desk, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom with a shower. A buffet breakfast composed of sweet and savoury dishes is served every day. Coach parking is available at the station.

Novotel Tours City Centre ****

This hotel is ideally situated in the town centre of Tours. Recently renovated, rooms are en-suite with minibar, safe, TV, telephone, radio, WiFi and air-conditioning. There is a bar and Novotel Cafe onsite. The TGV railway station and Le Vinci International Congress centre are both within walking distance. Coach parking is at the hotel or the station – about 2 minutes away.


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7 days by Land and Sea, departing Hotel Half Twin Single Supplement
5th July 2020 Ibis Tours Centre Gare From £385.00 per person From £139.00 per person
31st July 2020 Novotel Tours Centre Gare From £455.00 per person From £197.00 per person

 

Price based on exchange rate of £1.00 = €1.154. All prices are per person based on sharing a double or twin room and with coach driver's free place in a single room both are based on a minimum 25 full fare paying passengers. Prices do not include UK coach hire or travel insurance. Dates are subject to availability. Smaller groups can be quoted for on request. Greatdays Holidays Limited are a member of ABTA (Y0380) which means you have the benefit of ABTA's assistance and Code of Conduct. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. Greatdays Holidays Limited has an ATOL licence (4279) and all of our air package tours are protected under this licence. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the Civil Aviation Authority will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any monies you have paid to us for an advance booking. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this tour are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate. Our website policy is to use only copyright free images or images which have been authorised to us for free use by the owner. If you consider an image to be unauthorised or to be your property, please contact us immediately and if invalid we will have the image removed. If your image requires crediting or is missing a copyright statement then we will be pleased to add this to the webpage, contact us at info@greatdays.co.uk

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