Top Experiences in Loire Valley

Unique things to do, curated by kimkim specialists
Chenonceau castle and grounds
Visit two of the Loire Valley's most popular chateaus, starting with Chambord, whose French-Renaissance construction dates back to the early 16th century. Thanks to its stately facade and sprawling grounds, this extravagant chateau is one of France's most famous and recognizable.  Take the grand double spiral staircase to the second floor to see the royal apartments of François I and Louis XIV. During its heyday, residents used the chateau and nearby forests for royal hunts and other pleasure activities. Continue up to the terraces, where views of the surrounding landscape offer a glimpse into the charmed lives of the castle's royals. From here, you can also get a good look at the roofing and chimneys of the chateau, rising above the wide moat.    Stop for lunch, then continue to Château de Chenonceau, built over the centuries by several women. The first chateau was built in the 12th and 13th centuries, although it burned down in the 14th century. Only the medieval dungeon—Tour des Marque—remains from this construction. Thomas Bohier and his wife Catherine Briçonnet, who oversaw and directed most of the construction, built the chateau in its current form between 1513 and 1517. Since then, a long and dramatic line of women has owned, loved, repaired, expanded, and restored the chateau. It's so well-loved that it's the second-most visited chateau in France, after Versaille. Discover more unique experiences in the Loire Valley.
Toast with chicken rillettes
A local wine specialist will pick you up at your hotel this morning for a day among the grapevines. Together, you'll drive to Bourgueil, a region renowned for its high-quality red wines. Here you'll learn about the region's appellation vineyards and organic horticultural techniques. Make the most of the idyllic scenery with a picnic in the vineyards. Or, you can enjoy lunch in a farm-to-table restaurant, where you'll enjoy the best of local produce and a smattering of specialties. Some favorites among locals include rillettes (slow-cooked meat similar to pate) and regionally produced smoked fish and goat cheeses, all complemented with the area's signature wines.After lunch, it's time for another round of wine tasting, this time underground! You'll discover the area's unique troglodyte cellars carved into the rocks along the Loire River; the stone setting is perfect for sampling the area's light and fruity red varietals.Discover more interesting experiences in the Loire Valley.
Vouvray Vineyards
4 hours
Small group
Explore the Loire Valley wine route and its famed vineyards, full of tradition and passion! Visit two superb estates of the Vouvray Appellation, admire the wonderful vineyard landscapes, and learn how to taste these elegant wines produced from one of the most well-known soils of the Val de Loire area.You'll focus on Vouvray, a beautiful wine area full of passion-driven winegrowers. There, you'll meet a genuine French winemaker in his charming family-run estate. Start with a visit to the traditional vat room with hundreds of barrels.While touring the winery, improve your knowledge regarding winemaking and, of course, wine tasting! The soil of this wine area and its main grape variety of Chenin Blanc allow elegant white wines, either dry, sweet, or sparkling. Then, head to a grand wine house situated just along the Loire River. Stroll inside its impressive troglodyte cellars dug into the hills, an important part of Loire Valley's historical heritage. Discover all the secrets of the wines from this ancient historical house, still using the méthode traditionnelle (traditional methods). All in all, enjoy this educational and delicious afternoon in the scenic Loire Valley, where your palate will delight in intense color, fruity aromas, and minerals. You'll learn how to train your nose to identify different wine aromas, tasting wine like a pro! Before saying goodbye, share an aperitif with a stunning view. Enjoy tasty local products like cheese, rillettes (slow-cooked meat...
Sunrise in the Loire Valley
9 hours
Small group
Discover the scenic Loire Valley, stopping in a few of the area's most picturesque towns. Your first stop is Azay le Rideau, where you'll visit the town's iconic castle, built on an island on the Indre River. The patronage of King François I, who loved to spend time in the Loire Valley, built the castle in the 16th century. Tour the inside of the castle, the gardens, and the famous water mirror. Next, enjoy a memorable wine tasting. The vast majority of the Bourgueil or Chinon wines are red, with only a small percentage used to produce rosé and white wines. As a result, Chinon wines (made from Cabernet Franc grapes) are usually dominated by a red berry smell, pairing nicely with red meat, cheese (particularly goat's cheese from the Touraine region), poultry, and game meat, which you'll enjoy for lunch. After lunch, make your way to Villandry, where a small country castle built during the Renaissance and modified during the 18th century dominates the scenery. However, the most interesting thing in Villandry is certainly the castle's gardens. In the early 20th century, the new owner of the castle, Joachim Carvallo, recreated the Renaissance garden to return Villandry to its grandeur. Enjoy strolling along the flowerbeds and around the lake. Finally, your Loire Valley tour ends with a stop in Langeais. An imposing medieval fortress of the 15th century, which boasts towers, ramparts, and a drawbridge, the Château de Langeais possesses a beautiful Renaissance facade....
Hot air balloons over Chenonceau
Private group
Spend the day gliding through the countryside, starting with a guided bike tour on the Loire à Velo paths in the beautiful country. You'll continue riding along the Loire River, then explore the area around Chenonceau Castle, built on a bridge over the Cher River.Also known as the "Ladies Castle," several women built Château de Chenonceau over the centuries. The first chateau was built in the 12th and 13th centuries, although it was burned down in the 14th century. Only the medieval dungeon—Tour des Marque—remains from this construction. The chateau in its current form was built between 1513 and 1517 by Thomas Bohier and his wife Catherine Briçonnet, who oversaw and directed most of the construction. Since then, there's been a long and dramatic line of women who have owned, loved, repaired, expanded, and restored the chateau. It's so well-loved that it's the second-most visited chateau in France, after Versailles. Travel back in time to the Renaissance as you navigate the castle's corridors and furnished rooms, then stroll the grounds of the gardens (keep your eyes peeled for the resident donkeys and wild geese). In the late afternoon, it's time to see the Loire Valley from a different perspective: aboard a hot air balloon! You'll take to the skies on a once-in-a-lifetime flight, with sunset views of the region's castles, vineyards, and enchanting landscapes.
Stunning ornamental garden of Villandry castle
4.5 hours
Private group
Enjoy exploring the chateaus of the Loire Valley with visits to the Villandry castle and gardens and a charming, family-owned palace for lunch. The excursion starts at Chateau de Villandry, a Renaissance jewel ranking high in French heritage. During a tour of the castle, you'll experience what life in France was like back in the 18th century. Your guide will lead you through all the rooms of the chateau, with plenty of thrilling anecdotes to share. One of the highlights will be the exploration of Villandry's gorgeous formal gardens, a beautiful and delicately manicured landscape. A local expert will share all their knowledge of this garden à la Française and reveal hidden corners from where you'll enjoy the best views of the grounds. The ornamental kitchen garden, the Maze, the classical water garden—you'll surely enjoy it all! After a short drive, you'll reach the Chateau de L'Islette, a private chateau still inhabited by the French family who inherited this historic property. Be prepared for a very unusual visit, as your guide will take you to all the house rooms, including the most intimate ones like the master bedroom, the kids' corner, the family kitchen, and even the bathrooms. If you're lucky, you may even meet your French hosts and chat about their daily life in this 21st-century castle!  After the visit, enjoy a lovely lunch near the bank of the river, in the chateau's park. Sip Loire Valley wine, perfectly matching a selection of tasty local products.Discover...

Experiences in Loire Valley, France

Claude Monet's Gardens
Top Cultural Experiences in France

Many travelers choose France specifically for its unique and diverse culture. Explore Paris for its food, literature, and cabaret, visit Normandy for its art (including Claude Monet's gardens), and escape to the Loire Valley for chateaus, palaces, castles, and more. When ready, head to the south and peruse the unique cuisine and culture of the French Riviera and Provence, plus romantic hilltop villages and medieval riverside hamlets.

The beauty of the Loire Valley
Best Things to Do in the Loire Valley

Known for its wine and imposing chateaus, France's Loire Valley gives you those quintessential French vibes and experiences, with rolling hills dotted with fairytale-like castles and endless vineyards stretching across the region. Visit Leonardo da Vinci's mansion, sip on organic wine, cycle between chateaus, take a hot air balloon ride above the landscape, and discover humble villages, all within one compact area.

Learn more about Loire Valley : Best of the Loire Valley
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