Drive only an hour and a half south of Paris and you reach the Loire valley, a land of blue skies, mild climate, peaceful country-sides, and a uniquely gentle pace of life. These qualities persuaded generations of French kings and queens to make this, the garden of France, their capital, eschewing Paris. This Paris Luxury Tour will as much show you what attracted the builders of these Chateaux to make their homes here, as the chateaux themselves. In the company of your personal bilingual driver/guide, who knows both the region and its history intimately, the cuisine, culture, wines, and history of the Loire will also be revealed to you, from Sologne, through the Indre Valley, into Touraine and Anjou. This is an area literally truffled with remarkable castles ranging in feudal, fortified, renaissance and classical chateaux styles.
In the interest of maintaining a comfortable and enjoyable pace, we limit our visits to eight of the most remarkable castles: the Chambord of François I, renaissance Blois, classical Cheverny, the Chenonceau of Henri II, Marie de Medici and Diane de Poitiers, renaissance Azay le Rideau and Villandry, classical Serrant and feudal Angers, in that order, visiting between two and three per day.
In between, we will visit some of the most remarkable towns of the Loire, such as medieval Loches, Leonardo da Vinci's Amboise and the Chinon of Richard the Lion-Hearted and Rabelais, as well as the rivers Loire, Cher and Indre, which are to these chateaux what the Seine is to Paris.
This tour will lodge you in wonderfully peaceful and comfortable country inns and you will dine in sometimes starred/sometimes simple restaurants which are always renowned for their mastery of regional cuisine---all of which we will choose in consultation with you in advance.
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