This relaxing 5-day jaunt focuses on the Loire Valley, a fertile region south of Paris dotted with hundreds of opulent châteaux (many that are UNESCO-listed) that once belonged to kings, queens, dukes, and influential artists. Enjoy a series of full-day private tours where you'll explore the area's best estates, gardens, game reserves, vineyards, and charming towns, especially Amboise—your home base for the trip.

Highlights

  • Travel to/from Paris on a high-speed train while checking out the countryside
  • Tour an estate with more than 400 rooms and a notable spiral staircase
  • Walk in the park where Leonardo da Vinci used to host magnificent parties
  • Take an e-bike excursion through vineyards, stopping for a glass of wine
  • Get a taste of sophisticated small cities such as Tours, Blois, and Amboise

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Paris - Train to Tours - Guided Excursion Amboise
Day 2 Chambord & Chenonceau Tour - Wine Tasting Amboise
Day 3 Chaumont sur Loire, Blois & Cheverny Tour Amboise
Day 4 Amboise Tour - Electric Bike Adventure Amboise
Day 5 Train to Paris - Depart France  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Paris - Train to Tours - Guided Excursion

Chateau d'Azay le Rideau
Château d'Azay le Rideau

Welcome to France! Upon arrival in Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, you'll make your way to the TGV rail station, conveniently located below the airport, for your train journey to Tours. You'll be met here by a private guide for your first excursion in the Loire Valley, which includes two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

Your first stop is the Château Villandry, the last chateau to have been built during the Renaissance in the Loire Valley. Its understated elegance combined with the charm of its remarkable gardens is an excellent way to start the trip.

Next is the Château d'Azay le Rideau, built on an island in the Indre River under the patronage of King Francis the 1st in the 16th century, with a subtle blend of French tradition and innovative Italian decor. Its successive owners have helped to make it the most architecturally harmonious treasure in the Loire Valley. 

If there's time left in the day, your guide will also show you around Tours for some of France's best culture and cuisine. You can choose to explore on foot, by bike, taxi, Segway, or tourist train. There's even a horse-drawn carriage during holiday periods. 

At the end of the afternoon, you'll be driven to your accommodations in Amboise—a charming home base for exploring the Loire Valley with great restaurants and a weekly market (Sundays). 

Day 2: Chambord & Chenonceau Tour - Wine Tasting

Chateau de Chambord
Château de Chambord

After breakfast, you'll be picked up by a private guide for a full-day tour of two castles in the Loire Valley followed by a special wine-tasting session. Your knowledgable guide will fill you in on all the details along the way!

The excursion kicks off with a drive to Château de Chambord, boasting an estate and national game reserve as large as Paris. This chateau itself is a unique monument by its architecture and proportions, and it is said that Leonardo da Vinci likely took part in the conception of the project. With more than 400 rooms and a stunning double spiral staircase leading to the royal apartments of François I and Louis XIV, Chambord is a highlight of the Loire Valley.

Next is Château de Chenonceau, one of the most famous monuments in the Loire Valley thanks to its two-story gallery standing over the Loire River. The castle and its gardens are extremely well-preserved and provide the perfect place to learn more about France during Renaissance times.

Finish the tour with a wine tasting session in an 11th-century troglodyte cellar that formerly served as a quarry. After visiting the subterranean galleries, you will taste three different Vouvray wines, all produced from the same varietal, where you will learn about the wine-making process.

Return to your hotel in Amboise where you'll have the rest of the evening to enjoy at leisure.

Day 3: Chaumont sur Loire, Blois & Cheverny Tour

Chateau de Cheverny
Château de Cheverny

After breakfast, you'll be picked up by your guide for a full-day private tour of three more beautiful châteaux. 

Your first destination is the fortress of Chaumont sur Loire, built around the year 1000 to keep watch over the border between the counties of Blois and Anjou. In 1465, Louis XI had the château burned and razed to the ground, but it was rebuilt just a few years later in Renaissance style, with sculpted decor becoming the major feature of its outer façades. Make sure the check out the stables, considered at the end of the 19th century to be the most luxurious in Europe. Case in point: The saddle room contains harnesses made by Hermès.

Next is the great site of the Royal Château of Blois, which offers a true panoramic survey of art and history of the châteaux of the Loire Valley. As a former residence of seven kings and 10 queens of France, you'll truly get a feel for the power and daily life at court in the Renaissance, as can be seen from the royal apartments, which have been furnished and embellished with magnificent polychromatic decors. The chateau is also filled with more than 35,000 works of art so there's plenty to see.

Finally, you'll tour the Château de Cheverny, a stately structure that has been in the same family for more than six centuries. Open to the public since 1922, visitors can experience everything from the botanical park to the magnificent interiors, and even the kennels.

Following the tour, you'll return to Amboise in the late afternoon.

Day 4: Amboise Tour - Electric Bike Adventure

Chateau de Amboise
Château de Amboise

This morning, you'll have some time on your own to explore the town of Amboise and its beautiful castle, the Royal Château of Amboise. This emblematic monument is UNESCO-listed, and its landscaped gardens offer one of the most remarkable panoramas across the Loire Valley. This is an exceptional site of French history including its political and artistic importance within Europe in the Renaissance.

In the early afternoon, you'll meet a small group and guide for an E-bike adventure to Château du Clos-Lucé and the Loire Valley vineyards. This two-wheel excursion is a great way to discover the fascinating home where Leonardo da Vinci lived more than 500 years ago. During this visit, you will appreciate the amazing gifts of the Italian genius and admire all his creations and main inventions. After that, enjoy a nice walk in the picturesque green park where Leonardo da Vinci used to observe nature and organize magnificent parties for his good friend, King Francis 1st.

After this visit, your guide will lead you to the north bank of the Loire River for a nice bike ride through country roads as you observe troglodyte houses, old villages, private family chateaux, wine cellars, and vineyards. Halfway through the itinerary, you and your group will enjoy a pleasant break with a glass of local Loire Valley wine and some typical French treats.

Return to Amboise in the early evening. 

Day 5: Train to Paris - Depart France

Sunrise in the Loire Valley
Sunrise in the Loire Valley

It's time to depart the Loire Valley! At the designated time, you'll be picked up in Amboise and transferred to Tours for your TGV train journey to Paris for your departure flight or onward journey. Au revoir!

Map

Map of Loire Valley Château Tour - 5 Days
Map of Loire Valley Château Tour - 5 Days