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Tour code: LV
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If you are looking to visit one of the most beautiful regions of France, then our tour of the Loire Valley is ideal - indeed the very name conjures up wonderful images in the mind. The chÃ¢teaux, the translation of 'castles' does not do them justice, are magnificent, and you have the opportunity to sample the best of them: Chenonceau, Villandry, Chinon and Amboise. The scenery is stunning too; in fact the valley is also known as The Garden of France and you can see why. Furthermore the harvest here is very rich: plums, apples and grapes - the area is renowned of course for its fine wines, namely Muscadet, Rose d'Anjou, Sauvignon, Vouvray and many more; and the gentle landscapes are warmed by the rich golden colours of the ripening fruit. You can sample the local produce at the Ackerman Wine Cellars, during a tasting of some of their award-winning Saumur wines.History abounds here. Every time you turn a corner you see a reminder of Richard the Lionheart, the Hundred Years' War or Joan of Arc. Visiting the Loire Valley is like stepping back in time; the sleepy towns are a delight to explore and the local people seem to have time on their hands, stopping to chat to each other or drinking endless coffees in the nearby bars and cafes.You visit the ChÃ¢teau of Fontainebleau, set in a vast forest just outside Paris, and famous as the place where Napoleon commenced his journey into exile and Fontevraud Abbey, the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, arguably the greatest monastic establishment left standing in France. You also visit the house, and most importantly the garden of one of France's most famous sons - Impressionist artist Claude Monet. All this, but there is much, much more so for a unique combination of culture, wine, superb and interesting monuments, chÃ¢teaux, beautiful scenery and French provincial life at its best, come with us and see.
Travel by Eurostar from London St Pancras International (exact time of travel will be indicated on travel documents, arriving at Paris Gard du Nord approximately 2hrs 15 mins later). A coach will take you to Vernon near Claude Monet’s house and garden, to the three-star Hotel Normandy, where we dine this evening.
Today you visit Monet’s house and garden. You have all seen Monet’s paintings reproduced in calendars and birthday cards, but to be here, in this spectacular display of colour, is simply an unforgettable experience. In the Japanese inspired water garden, shaded by a great willow tree and surrounded by bamboo trees, rhododendrons and azaleas, is the lily pond, where the famous Les Nymphéas or Water Lilies were painted. Inside the house is also outstanding.Your journey continues to Chartres, where the cathedral is arguably the most magnificent in France with perhaps the most intricate 13th-century stained glass in Europe eventually arriving in the picturesque city of Tours, where you will be staying for four nights’ bed and breakfast at either the three-star superior Kyriad hotel, four-star Novotel Tours Centre Gare or four-star Mercure Tours Hotel, all centrally located on the edge of the Old Town.
After breakfast we enjoy a guided tour of the wonderfully preserved historic centre of Tours. The city’s rich and varied history stretches back as far as the Gallo-Roman period, later becoming the medieval capital of France and seat of the French monarchy. This afternoon we visit Chenonceau, home of Mary Queen of Scots and probably the most stately of the Loire châteaux, majestically hovering on the waters of the River Cher. Later we return to the hotel.
This morning we visit the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, Fontevraud Abbey, for a guided tour. Arguably the greatest monastic establishment left standing in France, the Abbey was once one of the richest and most powerful royal retreats in the world. Next we head to Saumur, described as the ‘pearl of Anjou’, the town is a delightful spot to stop for lunch and wander amongst its magnificent architectural heritage. No visit here would be complete without sampling some of this famous produce, so this afternoon we visit the Ackerman wine cellars for a tasting of some of their award-winning Saumur wines.Later we return to Tours and dine in a traditional restaurant.
This morning we visit the charming town of Chinon, medieval in character dominated by the imposing castle where Joan of Arc first met the Dauphin. You have time to explore this lovely town. In the afternoon, we make our way down the beautiful Loire Valley to the Château Villandry, famous for its unique gardens, consisting largely of colourful vegetables.
This morning we visit Amboise, a delightful little town nestling on the banks of the River Loire. where a royal château sits. Nearby is the Château of Clos Lucé, famous as the final abode of Leonardo da Vinci. Today it houses the Leonardo da Vinci museum, dedicated to his work and the region’s prestigious history. On display are models of his various innovations as well as a copy of the Mona Lisa.Afterwards we continue to our final hotel, where we stay at either the four-star Hotel Mercure Orléans Portes de Sologne, where we also dine.
This morning we visit the beautiful Château of Fontainebleau, just south of Paris, where Napoleon departed to his exile on the island of Elba. It is decorated in fantastic style, with intricate frescoes and parquet floors inlaid with exotic woods. Most impressive is the vast display of exquisite furniture and the formally designed, extensive grounds. Fontainebleau encompasses everything you imagine about a French château: style, opulence, grandeur – even outrageousness.Later you transfer to Paris to take the Eurostar service (exact time will be indicated on travel documents) to London St Pancras International.
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Covid Cancellation protection included as standard
Visit impressionist artist Claude Monet’s home and garden – see the ‘Water Lily’ pond and ‘Japanese Bridge’
Explore the finest of France’s stunning châteaux
Visit the most beautiful valley in France
Chinon, Chenonceau, Villandry and Fontainebleau
Visit medieval Tours, royal Amboise and Leonardo da Vinci’s house
Visit Chartres and its stunning gothic cathedral displaying Europe’s finest stained glass
Visit to Saumur and the Ackerman
Guided tour of Fontevraud Abbey, a stunning UNESCO World Heritage site
The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms are;subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The holiday includes:;
Return standard class;on Eurostar
All coach transfers and transport;
Daily breakfast and two dinners at hotels as mentioned
One dinner at a carefully selected traditional restaurant
All local accommodation taxes
The services of a Riviera Travel tour manager
Included excursions are;entrance to Monet’s Garden, Chenonceau, Villandry and Leonardo da Vinci’s House; guided tour of;Fontevraud Abbey; visit to Ackerman wine cellars
Not Included:;Entrance to Chinon €8.50, approximate costs, payable locally.
Six nights in three-star and four-star accommodation, inclusive of all local taxes, plus breakfast and three dinners including one at a traditional, local restaurant
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Multiple room types available. Choose your preferred room type when you book.
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