The Loire Valley has seen many of France's kings pass through its regions, the "valley" is known as the Kings Valley. It is probably most famous for the King Francois Ier who was under the crown during the building of some of the most extravagent castles during the renaissance. However, many of the castles in the Loire date from the Medieval period and some even before. Listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, the valley offers so many chateaux, mansions, churches, and abbeys that a visitor can't possibly see it all! On this tour from Blois you will hike past Amboise visiting numerous chateaux and historical sites including Blois, Chambord, Cheverny, Chaumont, Amboise, Chenonceau! The daily Loire hikes are mostly over flat terrain and encompasses some vineyards, low river lands, and forests
Day 1:Arrival in Blois, famous for its Royal Renaissance Chateau. Blois is a short train ride from Paris and has plenty to offer for your first night: pedestrian streets, 18th century stone bridge, Saint Louis Cathedral, shopping, restaurants. And since you are spending the night in Blois, do not forget to check if there is a Light & Sound show tonight (in English on Wednesdays!). Dinner on your own. Orientation by phone with our office at 6pm.
Day 2: After breakfast, we will transfer you to one of the most recognizable Chateaux of France: Chateau of Chambord. You can visit the Chateau, walk around in the park, and then start your hike from Chambord to Bracieux through the forest! Stay in a charming 2* hotel in Bracieux, dinner included. (B,D) 9 km hiking.
Chateau de Chambord: it is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture that blends traditional medieval forms with classical Italian structures. One of the architectural highlights is the spectacular double-helix open staircase that is the centerpiece of the castle. 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 castle. There are suggestions that Leonardo da Vinci may have designed the staircase, but this has not been confirmed.
Day 3: Cheverny. This hike will take you to Cheverny, another famous town because of its Chateau. The present Château de Cheverny is an original jewel among the more famous monuments that stretch along the Loire Valley. In fact, Renaissance style did not find its place in Cheverny, which is built in the purest Louis XIII classical style, distinguished by an extraordinarily symmetrical architecture. But Cheverny is primarily known for being an inspiration to Herge, cartoonist and author of Tintin, who drew the castle in his comics as the Chateau de Moulinsart, home to Captain Haddock! Stay in 2* hotel in Cheverny, dinner included at your hotel. (B) 14km.
Day 4: Cheverny to Amboise: In the morning, we will transfer you to Les Montils where you will walk to Chaumont-sur-Loire, a village rich in history and a perfect place for walks along the riverbanks. Each year the International Garden Festival is held in the castle grounds. But Chaumont sur Loire is also known for its feudal castle dominating the valley. After your visit of Chaumont, you have a transfer to Amboise, where you stay tonight. Amboise has a lot to offer and plenty to visit: The Royal Castle, which introduced Italian-style architecture in the 15h and 16th centuries; Clos Luce: last residence of Leonardo Da Vinci, where you can see some of his many projects in different fields. Night in a nice and quiet 3* hotel, dinner included. (B,D) 12.5 km
Day 5: Amboise visit day or optional loop hike in the countryside. Amboise is a very culturally rich town with enough sites to occupy most of the day; so today we give you the time to enjoy them all! The castle and the Clos Luce are must see sites. You can consider a Sound and Light show during the high summer months at the castle, and also work in some wine tastings at caves located right in Amboise. An optional hike includes the Pagode de Chanteloup just outside of Amboise. Same hotel in Amboise tonight, dinner on your own. (B) 8 km optional hiking.
Day 6: Amboise to Chenonceau. Take a scenic walk to the Cher River and the famous Chateau de Chenonceau, erected by Henry II in the 16th century on the Cher River, and then improved by Catherine de Medicis. The castle hides several pieces of historical interest, furniture and tapestries. It is known as the "Ladies Castle" because of the feud between Diane de Poitiers, Henri II mistress and Catherine de Medicis, his wife. Night and dinner in a 4* hotel with 1* Michelin restaurant! (B,D) 15km
Day 7: Departure after breakfast.You can take your time with breakfast. Additional nights can be arranged. Transfer back to Saint Pierre des Corps, Tours TGV station, is on your own. (B)
Tour can start any day, based on hotel availability. April through October.
AU1649 per person, double occupancy. Solo supplement is AU$767 . Triple rate: $1455
Moderate (2) Flat terrain with some hikes up to 15km- average 12.6 km/day.
Tour departs any day, based on hotel availability.
The Trip Includes:
·Included in this package are 6 nights accommodation in 2, 3, and 4 star hotels
·all breakfasts, 3 dinners with 1 in Michelin star
·taxi transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
·orientation upon arrival
·local emergency support
·roadbook with detailed itineraries,GPS included.
We also include travel planning to add Paris hotels, car rentals, France hotels, trains, airport transfers, and more. Note: Son et Lumiere shows are both seasonal and on certain days of the week. Depending on your dates, you may not be able to catch this each time it is mentioned
Arrival is Blois which is accessible by train from Paris. Departure from Amboise/St Pierre des Corp by train to Paris. Train from Paris. 1hour 40 minutes to Blois, 1 hour return.
For more information or to make a booking request click on the happy hiker below: