This morning your private guide will meet you at your hotel in Paris – please note we recommend an early departure for this tour (7:30/8am).
You will depart for one of the most beautiful regions in France on your daylong trip through the fabled Loire Valley. Enjoy 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.
You will start the day with the elegant Chateau de Chenonceau, 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.
After lunch we will drive to Chambord — a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture and the largest chateau in the region with its 446 rooms, amazing double spiral staircase and extravagant roof nicknamed ‘the village’. It’s surrounding park and hunting preserve is almost as large in square miles as the city of Paris. Chambord, built to be a hunting lodge and used exclusively for that, was ordered by King François Premier to Leonard de Vinci and his architects.
Back to Paris at the end of the day.