Day 1 :
Arrival in Paris. Leave the capital by coach towards the « Val de Loire » region. Continue to Chenonceau. Audio-guided visit in the « Ladies’ castle », jewel of the Renaissance-style architecture: an exceptional site, by its original conception on the river Cher but also by its destiny : loved, administered and protected by women such as Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medicis. Installation in your hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 2 :
Breakfast. Guided tour of the city of Tours by coach and by foot or with the touristic city-train: the Saint Gatien cathedral, the Saint Martin basilica, the Plumereau square. Departure towards Amboise and visit of a cellar with local wine sampling. Lunch in a troglodyte restaurant (cave like residence carved into the mountain). In the afternoon, guided tour of the royal castle of Amboise. This emblematic monument and its landscaped gardens offer one of the most remarkable panoramas on the Loire valley. Then, proceed to the guided tour of the Clos Lucé castle, exceptional because of Leonardo da Vinci’s presence for years. Free time in the park to explore the fabulous machines conceived by the inventor: aeroplane, moving bridge… Back to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 3 :
Breakfast. Departure to board a boat for a river cruise on the Cher. Then, visit of a mushroom cave and a small troglodyte village. Lunch. Continue with the guided tour at the Villandry Castle, inescapable site of the Loire Chateaux, in the matter of arts and outstanding gardens. Back to the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
Day 4 :
Breakfast. Departure to assist to an guided tour of the Chambord castle, creation of François 1st, constructed in the heart of the largest enclosed forest park in Europe. Part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list under « cultural living landscape ». Inevitable landmark, Chambord is the largest and the most prestigious French Renaissance castle. Departure for the return in your country.
Other sites & ideas in the “Loire Valley” :
Castles of Blois, Chaumont sur Loire or Azay-le-Rideau. Bicycle ride along the river Loire.