3 days / 2 nights
After you've been exploring Normandy and maybe also Brittany, prolong your visit of the Western of France with the Loire country valley.
9 am: Meet at the hotel in Bayeux (or at the Mont-Saint-Michel, Saint-Malo or Paris).
Route to Tours and arrival for lunch. Visit of this beautiful and lively city with its cathedral, churches and monasteries. The old Tours offers lots of well restored half-timbered houses and mansions, narrow streets and charming places like the Place Plumereau with remarkable 15C timber-framed houses.
Gardens of Chenonceau.
We will also visit the amazing Museum of Compagnonnage (Craft Guilds museum), unique in the world. This museum traces the history and customs of associations of craftsmen and guilds. It contains a large collection of tools and masterpieces that the "compagnon" had to submit before becoming a master craftsman. Dinner at leisure, overnight in Tours.
9 am: Meet at the hotel with your guide and route to Chenonceau. Visit of the castle, maybe the most elegant of the Loire valley due to is beautiful setting over the river Cher, amidst a large park and remarkable French style gardens. It is also well decorated and offers to the visitor a large collection of antique furniture, tapestries and paintings. You will also discover the kitchens well restored in the basement.
After lunch in the castle's Orangerie, we will continue our route to Amboise, located on the river Loire. On Sunday a typical and colourful market take place on the quays along the river Loire. The town is dominated by its imposing castle (optional visit), the first royal residence of the French renaissance. Invited by François Ier, Amboise is also the city where Leonardo Da Vinci spent the last years of his life. To evocate this great man, we will visit the Clos Lucé Manor, his residence. In the museum and the gardens you will see 40 models of machines created by Da Vinci and made by IBM using original materials.
In the late afternoon we will continue our route through the Vouvray vineyards: visit at a local producer with the cellars and the vineyards to learn more about this white wine (tasting).
Dinner at leisure, overnight in Tours.
9 am: Meet at the hotel with your guide. Route to the royal city of Blois where we will visit the castle with its magnificent spiral staircase. The castle offers around its courtyard four wings built in different periods.
We will reach the Chambord domain for lunch, the most famous and beautiful castle of the Loire country valley. Considered as the architectural masterpiece of the Loire valley and the Renaissance, it was built by desire of François Ier. This imposing castle has no more than 156 meters long and houses 440 rooms... One day would not be enough to discover this sumptuous residence that foreshadows Versailles. The apartments, the famous unique double-return stairs, the park and forest.
Tour ending in BLOIS at the rail station around 5 pm.