Loire Valley Castles Tour from Paris

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Description

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Description

Loire Valley Castles Tour 

 

Highlights


You won't find a better price in Paris, so don't wait! Secure your booking today to avoid sell-outs. All prices include taxes, tips, and services, there are no hidden costs!

  • Duration: around 13 hours departing at 7:15 AM from central Paris location near Louvre
  • Available year-round, see days of operation highlighted in calendar above
  • Languages: English, Español, Portuguese, Chinese
  • Including castles admission fees
  • 2 Options available: Guided tour of the Castles or Audioguided
  • Ticket delivery: Vouchers to be printed issued online (no tickets needed)
  • Free unlimited access to our Language Lesson Center to learn some French.

Details


While in France, treat yourself to a remarkable day long excursion from Paris into the illustrious Loire Valley. One of our expert tour guides will usher you into Renaissance Age as you explore three of the world’s most renowned châteaux; the Château de Chambord, the Château de Chenonceau, and the Château de Cheverny. While touring the Loire Valley, you will have a perfect opportunity to glimpse the life of the Kings of France and the members of their courts.

Your enchanting day begins at departure point, central Paris at 7:15 a.m. (all details will be listed on your voucher), when you board the deluxe air-conditioned coach and set off on a two- hour drive through the exquisite French countryside. Your relaxing drive takes you to the resplendent Château de Chambord around 9:30 a.m.

Tucked away in the midst of a vast hunting ground, Château de Chambord is one of the largest châteaux in the Loire Valley. King Francis I of France commissioned the chateau in 1519 as a hunting lodge, during its 28-year construction; Leonardo da Vinci assisted in its oversight. Be sure to see one of the Château de Chambord’s most notable features, the stunning double helix staircase. The double helix represented the Tree of Life during this time. The Château de Chambord gained notoriety for housing priceless collections from the Louvre during World War II.

Chateau de Chambord


Picture © Patrick Rebai


The royal Chateau de Chambord is one of the most recognizable chateaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture that blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Italian structures and is also the largest castle in the Loire valley with 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 13 great staircases. It was constructed by King François I in part to be near to his mistress the Comtesse de Thoury, a member of a very important family of France, whose domaine the chateau de Muides was adjacent. One of the architectural highlights is the spectacular double-helix open staircase that is the centerpiece of the castle designed by...Leonardo Da Vinci.


Your next stop on the tour is the grand and glorious Château de Chenonceau, which arose from the ashes of a chateau built on the site in the 11th century. The current structure resembles a visage from a fairytale, rising exquisitely over the River Cher. An architectural blend of late Gothic and early Renaissance, the Château de Chenonceau and its gardens were works in progress from 1515 to 1521. Chenonceau, often called The Ladies’ Castle, has been home to several renowned aristocratic French ladies. However, mistress of Henry II, Diane de Poitiers, is responsible for much of the chateau’s grandeur as well as the intricate gardens and the bridge that spans the River Cher. The magical architecture and lavish décor transport you back in time to a refined and characteristically French style of living. The Château de Chenonceau is so regal and remarkable that aside from the Royal Palace of Versailles, it is the most toured château in France.

Chateau de Chenonceau


Picture © Marc - www.chenonceau.com


By building chateau Chenonceau on the Cher river in the 1513, Thomas Bohier razed the castle-keep and the FORTIFIED MILL of the Marques family only keeping the dungeon. It is sad that he never managed to see the finished castle and was completed by his wife and son. Later, it became crown property. Henri II offered this castle to his favourite, Diane de Poitiers. She then decided to have a bridge built, linking the castle to the right bank of the river. This was done by Philibert de l'Orne, the resident architect. Following the death of Henri II, Catherine de Medicis took over the ruling and forced Diane de Poitiers to return the chateau Chenonceau to crown. During her reign and as the Queen mother, Catherine commissioned a great gallery to be built on the bridge.



Your final tour of the day is the Château de Cheverny or Amboise (see details below). This majestic home is the youngest of the chateaux you will see on your tour; its construction began in 1624. Richly appointed with furnishings dating from the 17th century, the chateau features remarkably well-preserved interiors as well as a pack of seventy plus hunting hounds which live in kennels on the grounds.


Chateau de Cheverny

Cheverny CastlePicture © Chateau Cheverny


Chateau d'Amboise

(In replacement of Cheverny on Saturdays during high season starting April 1st, ending October 31st.)
Picture © L. de Serres


One of the first truly "royal" residences of its kind, chateau Amboise was built during the 15th and the 16th centuries on the orders of Charles VIII, Louis XII and François 1. Following in the footsteps of the great kings of France, you will discover a magnificent example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Today, the Chateau still houses an exceptional collection of furniture which has been admirably preserved.


Important note


  • On Saturdays in Summer (April 1 to October 31): You will visit the Château d'Amboise instead of Cheverny
  • In Summer (April 1 to October 31) lunch is not included. Places for lunch will be offered by your guide.
  • In winter (November 1 to March 31), lunch is included at the St Hubert Hotel Restaurant in Cour-Cheverny (five minutes from Cheverny). On the menu is homemade salmon terrine with lemon sauce, eggs with mixed vegetables; roast turkey with green beans, provençal tomatoes and sautéed potatoes; and warm apple tart (1/4 Bottle of wine, water, coffee or tea).
  • At each stop on the tour, your guide will lead you through each chateau for approximately 45 minutes to one hour. Free time to wander the chateau and revisit places of interest follows the guided portion of the tour at each chateau. At the end of the day, return to Paris at around 8 p.m. You do not want to miss this enchanting day of history, romance, and discovery in the Loire Valley.

What's included


  • Entrance tickets to the 3 castles
  • Services of our guide OR Audioguide equipment depending on option booked
  • Air-conditionned coach round-trip transport from Paris
  • Lunch with drinks (in Winter only, from November 1 to March 31)


What's not included


  • In Summer: lunch (from April 1 to October 31)
  • Transfers from/to your hotel or apartment.

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