Loire Valley Chateaux Tour
This escorted tour of Loire Valley Chateaux, one of the most delightful day excursions from Paris, takes you to visit two of the most legendary chateaux of France. It also introduces you to the beautiful Loire Valley (often called the cradle of France), and leads you into the realms of some of the most colorful personages of French royal history. It further gives you the opportunity to sample the wine and cuisine of one of the country's most renowned regions.
A one hour drive from Paris takes you past Blois, to the magnificent Chateau de Chambord, the personal creation of François I, using designs possibly drawn by Leonardo da Vinci. In scale, this is the most grandiose of the Loire chateaux and the stunning first view of it often remains burned indelibly in the eye of the visitor. This is one of the first chateaux to reflect the influences of the Italian renaissance in French architecture, and is also one of the first to be built primarily for the pleasure of its use, instead of defense.
The Chateau de Chenonceau could hardly offer more of a contrast:
although built at virtually the same time as Chambord, in the early 16th century, there is a feminine refinement in the lines of Chenonceau that reflects the roles in its creation of Catherine Briçonnet, the wife of its builder, and Catherine de Medici, who later transformed it. Chenonceau was also the home of Henri II and Diane de Poitiers, whose lifelong affair colors and suffuses its history. Diane's Italian garden and Catherine de Medici's park are equally attractive highlights of this tour.
To relax between visiting these two chateaux, this tour offers the chance to lunch at either of three Michelin one star restaurants in either near-by Amboise (Choiseul), Blere (Cheval Blanc) or the village of Chenonceaux, (Bon Laboureur) or at the modest but lovely Restaurant de l'Ecole at Pontlevoy, with its excellent regional cuisine at moderate prices.
The tour of Loire Valley chateaux concludes at the end of the visit to Chenonceau with a one and three quarter hour drive back to Paris.
Cost for 1-3 persons: 900 € per group
--- for 4-6 persons: 950 € per group
Includes driver/guide, luxury vehicle, fuel and tolls.
Meals, entry fees, drinks not included.
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