Discover one of the most beautiful regions in France on your daylong trip through the fabled Loire Valley. Your guide will meet you at your Loire Valley hotel for the scenic drive through vineyards and woodlands and across an enchanting terrain of rolling hillsides where the kings of France built nearly 1,000 chateaux for their leisure pursuits.
Your first stop, the elegant Chenonceau, is one of the most photographed buildings in the world. With its graceful arches spanning the Cher River and its airy gardens, this truly is a castle right out of a fairy tale. Often called the “chateau des dames,” Chenonceau so bewitched Catherine de Medici that she forced the duchess Diane de Poitiers to deed the place to her in 1560. Catherine extended the gallery above the bridge, had stables built, along with a productive garden, and settled herself happily in residence here. Her son, Francis II, and Mary Queen of Scots were married here in 1568.
Wine Lunch Option: If interested, we can arrange a wine tasting lunch in Amboise at the Caves Duhard. Established in 1874 by the owner & wine maker Daniel Gatay, the Caves Duhard is specialized in mature Vouvray wines. You will discover a large range of vintages from 1947 to today.
In the afternoon you will head to Chambord — a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture and the largest chateau in the region. Its surrounding park and hunting preserve is almost as large in square miles as the city of Paris, and the castle itself boasts more than 400 rooms and an amazing double spiral staircase.
And if time allows, we suggest a visit to the manor Le Clos Lucé, where Leonardo da Vinci spent the last years of his life. The chateau and its park are part of the French national heritage, and are dedicated to the memory of Da Vinci’s great multidisciplinary genius of the Renaissance, including a very interesting permanent exhibit displaying some of Da Vinci’s ingenious inventions.