Lauthentic France

Loire Valley Castles

VIP Tours will give you full satisfaction taking you on this unforgettable journey of 3 days in Loire Valley that will introduce you to the splendid castles of Loire Valley that are very important in the French history: Chambord, Blois, Amboise, Clos Luce, Chenonceau, Cheverny and Villandry. You will admire the medieval city of Tours and the Fontevraud Abbey to finish by the marvelous Cathedral of Chartres. Your personal, licensed driver-guide who is a specialist of the history of Loire Valley Castles will pick you up at your hotel in a luxurious Mercedes minivan or car and will tailor your tour to your specific wishes and needs
Day 1
During the VIP Loire Valley Castles tour, on the way to the first visit (2 hours of driving), your personal driver-guide will give you first an introduction to the history of the Loire Valley Castles. Arriving in the Loire Valley, you will begin by a private guided visit of the Chambord Castle, the immense and unique palace of Francois I, built at the turn of the Renaissance period. You will take the double-turn spiral staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci, where 2 people can go up and down without ever meeting, head to the Royal Apartments of François I and Louis XIV, immerse on the floor above in the world of royal hunts and continue to the Terraces where you will find yourself surrounded by roofing and chimneys forming a fairytale village, as suspended in the sky, that offers a magnificent panorama over the huge estate.
Chambord is so much more than a castle: it is an architectural gem, a technical feat, a stone colossus, the dream of a young king. Then, your personal driver-guide will take you to the Blois Castle located in the center of the city. Built from the 13th to the 17th century (different styles and influences) around the main courtyard, the castle was the residence of several French Kings over different centuries. It was also the place where the Archbishop of Reims blessed Joan of Arc before departing with her army to deliver Orleans from the English. There, we will book lunch for you in a very nice, typical French restaurant or brasserie (not included in the price) in the old town.
After this culinary break, your personnal driver-guide will lead you to Amboise a fascinating medieval town with its timbered 500 year old houses where you will enjoy a stroll, admiring the Royal Castle, built on a promontory overlooking the Loire, that became the favorite residence of the French Kings in the 16th century. During the discovery of the old town, you will make a break in a French “patisserie” enjoying one of their delicious pastries. You will finish your day with the private guided visit of the Clos Lucé Castle, the mansion where genius Leonardo da Vinci lived and worked the three last years of his life.
You will visit his bedroom, his kitchen, his study, the Renaissance halls, the chapel, 40 of his lasts inventions. You will finish by the guided visit of the fantastic Park. You will spend the night in Amboise (hotel not included in the price) where, if you need, we could book your dinner in a restaurant or brasserie
Day 2
On the second day, your personal driver-guide will drive you to Tours, the largest city in the Loire valley, located between the 2 Rivers, Loire and Cher. You will stroll in the old, medieval town, admire the Gothic St Catherine’s cathedral built between 1170 and 1527 and the ancient cobble stone streets with its half -timbered buildings, stop at the beautiful place Plumereau and have a closer look at the gardens of the former Archbishop’s Palace with the huge cedar tree planted by Napoleon. Then, you will go to the Villandry Castle, the last of the great Renaissance castles to be built on the banks of the Loire. It owes incontestably its fame to its exceptional gardens laid out on 3 levels in a happy marriage of beauty, diversity and harmony.
The decorative kitchen gardens house a profusion of colorful flowers and vegetable plants in a chequerboard plan, the effect of the seasonal variation is an ever-changing 3 dimensional picture. The ornamental garden in box hedges, form musical symbols, but pride of place is going to hearts, scrolls, butterflies, allegories of love: tender, passionate, fickle and tragic. The water -garden, very tranquil and peaceful, ideal for relaxing and dreaming. The site is completed by an herb garden with medicinal and culinary plants and a maze called ” the Innocent’s Garden”. After this nice visit, we will book lunch for you in a very nice, typical French restaurant or brasserie (not included in the price).
After this culinary break, you personal driver-guide will take you to the Fontevraud Abbey, built between 1110 and 1190. The abbey was a double monastery (both nuns and monks lived at the same site) that became famous and prosperous. The founder Robert of Arbrissel declared that the head of the order should always be a woman. This position attracted many rich and noble women that became abbesses of Fontevraud such as Isabella of Anjou and Eleonor of Aquitaine the queen of England that retired there as a nun after her husband’s death.
There, you will enjoy a private guided visit of the chapter house, the cloister galleries, the 3 monastery buildings and the abbey church where you will see the graves of King Henry II of England, his wife Eleonor of Aquitaine, their son Richard Ist (Lionheart) and their daughter Joan. You will spend the night in or around Fontevraud (hotel not included in the price) where, if you need, we could book your dinner in a restaurant or brasserie.
Day 3
On the third day, you personal driver-guide will take you to the Chenonceau Castle, an outstanding site due to its original design, the richness of its collections (Poussin, Il Correggio, Rubens…), its furniture, its splendid decorations and the French gardens. The Chenonceau Castle was loved, administrated and protected by extraordinary women who have marked history (Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de Medicis…).This emblematic Castle of the Loire Valley has combined the elegance, the beauty and the imagination of the French artists.
The Room of the 5 Queens, the living room of Louis XIV, the Grand Gallery overlooking the Cher River, the Green Cabinet of Catherine de Medici, the Royal chapel takes you back in time to share the dreams of Chenonceau and reveal its secrets. After this unforgettable private visit, you will continue the tour to Cheverny where we will book lunch for you in a very nice, typical French restaurant or brasserie (not included in the price). After this culinary break, you will enjoy a private guided visit of the Cheverny Castle built between 1624 and 1630 and that recalls features of the Palais du Luxembourg in Paris.
It is renowned for its magnificent interior and its marvelous collection of furniture, tapestries and art. The marquis De Vibraye, the direct descendant of Henri Hurault, the military treasurer of King Louis XI that built it, owned the castle. Then, you will finish the tour by a private visit of the Cathedral of Chartres built in 1193 and that is according to many, the supreme monument of High Gothic Art and Architecture. The 176 stain glass windows that make its worldwide reputation are filled with equally dense stain glass creating with their unearthly radiance, particularly the glow of the “Chartres blue” an atmosphere of awe and holiness that impresses even the most non-religious of visitors.
Chartres houses also since 876 the “Santa Camisa”, the tunic worn by the Virgin Mary on the birthday of Jesus. After this private visit, your guide will drive you back to your hotel in Paris. This tour due to the VIP treatment that we provide will leave you without doubt outstanding memories of these 3 days in Loire Valley.

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