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 private Paris Luxury Tour will as much show you what attracted the builders of these ChĂ˘teaux to make their homes here, as the chĂ˘teaux 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 chĂ˘teaux 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 FranĂ§ois 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 chĂ˘teaux what the Seine is to Paris. For those interested in gardens, we can include visits of the gardens at Villandry and La Source in OrlĂ©ans.
This tour will suggest lodging you in wonderfully peaceful and comfortable country inns and dining 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. If you prefer, there are superb castle hotel options available, as well.