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Loire VIP Tour

4 July 2023 - 9 July 2023

680 0

The Loire Valley is more than fairytale castles. The region is also known for its vibrant cities, medieval towns, and natural wonders. Spanning some 270 kilometers that follow the Loire River, this beautiful region boasts stunning landscapes of vineyards, forests, and castles.

This 6day tour will take you through some of the main sights this region has to offer, along with some incredible and exclusive VIP tours and experiences. The Loire Valley is one of the most beautiful destinations in France, a delicate blend of nature, history, and French elegant art-de-vivre. Here, you can enjoy vibrant medieval towns, fairytale castles, stunning gardens, delicious food, and some of France’s best wines.

The tour will also explore the lesser-visited Le Perche region to the north, between the Loire and Normandy. A delightful area full of surprises.

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Highlights of the Loire Tour

  • Visit the beautiful chateaux of Chambord, Cheverny, Chenonceau with private VIP tours
  • Explore the charming towns of Blois, Amboise and Tours
  • Discover the stunning gardens at Villandry
  • Experience life as a VIP guest of French aristocracy in their chateau home
  • Indulge in some wonderful dining experiences and savour superb wines
  • Visit Leonardo da Vinci’s former home at Clos Luce
  • Discover Le Perche region, famed for its antique shops and vintage markets
Route map
Price: £TBC
Starts: 4 July 2023
Duration: 5 nights
Mileage: 740 miles

What's Included?

  • Return ferry crossing with Brittany Ferries from Portsmouth to Caen, with reserved seating
  • Five nights luxury private accommodation in a private French chateau
  • Dinner included each evening, with wine (half bottle per person)
  • Three lunches
  • Tour Pack: Our comprehensive tour book, jam-packed with information, rally plate, road map,
  • Loan of a pre-programmed Garmin GPS
  • Experienced and knowledgeable tour guide, Sarah Dowding and colleague, throughout the tour

Itinerary

May be subject to change.

Day 1: 4 July 2023 124 miles

Arrive in Caen at 3pm and it’s a three-hour scenic drive to the Château, where you will be welcomed by the Count and Countess. Enjoy a welcome drink followed by a tour of the early 15th-century château with the Count.

Before dinner there will be Champagne cocktails in the prestigious Grand Drawing Room, unchanged since the wedding of the 4th Marquis in 1778.  Indulge in a Grand Siècle dinner, served by staff in livery, in the 18th-century dining room, based on a menu from 1906 and hosted in the most authentic tradition of French aristocracy, with all the family silver and crystal. The menu is accompanied by prestigious old vintages from the Count’s wine cellar.

Day 2: 5 July 2023 125 miles

After a relaxing brunch-breakfast enjoy a scenic drive around the Loire. At lunch time there is a private picnic lunch at Château de Troussay, including wines from the rare grape, Romorantin, only found in this region. Drive to the Château de Cheverny, where there is a VIP visit of this most magnificently furnished château, made famous by the cartoon Tintin as the castle of Moulinsart. Perhaps watch the feeding of the 100 large hunting hounds too. This private visit will be hosted by the owner, the Marquis de Vinraye, followed by afternoon tea reception in their private apartments.

Then continue to the majestic Château de Chambord, with 365 chimneys on the rooftop and its double spiral staircase, designed by Leonardo da Vinci. We have arranged a private after-hours VIP visit with Champagne, from 6 to 8 pm, just for this group, including the reception rooms, bedrooms, rooftops, attics, basements and rooms not open to the public.

Return to the château where there will be a late wine and cheese tasting supper in the 14th century ‘Pièce à Feu’.

Day 3: 6 July 2023 114 miles

After breakfast, head south to Amboise and see the Royal Palace from outside, with its bombastic tower built so that a horse and carriage could drive up inside it. The chapel of the Royal Palace of Amboise is also the place where Leonardo da Vinci is buried.

At 10am there will be a private tour of the Renaissance gardens of famous Château de Chenonceau, with Botanic Director Nick Tomlan, plus a private guided tour of the château.

Enjoy a three-course Renaissance lunch with cheese and wine, then a guided visit of the 14th-century priory that was Leonardo da Vinci’s home. There are over 40 replicas of his main inventions, one being a prototype automobile, a self-propelled cart.

In the afternoon visit a 10th-century vaulted rotunda cellar to taste five excellent Vouvray wines.

Enjoy a private dinner at the Renaissance Château de Poncé with its beautiful hanging gardens, just 30 minutes drive away, with the Count & Countess de Malherbe.

Day 4: 7 July 2023 107 miles

Enjoy a tour of the little-explored Le Perche region. It’s known as a destination with plenty of antique dealers and vintage markets and people come from all over Europe to find beautiful furniture and antique treasures.

Visit the excellent EcoMusee du Perche. Explore the medieval town of Belleme, renowned for its array of antique and vintage shops.  Today’s route will show you jewels of Percheron architecture, pretty villages and bucolic countryside. It’s an area of outstanding natural beauty and one of France’s best-kept secrets.

Return to the Château for a typical French Country Style BBQ or Bistrot dinner, with French Accordion songs, on the terrace (weather permitting) or by the monumental 14th-century fireplace.

Day 5: 8 July 2023 127 miles

Spend another day exploring the region with a visit to the historic city of Tours. Continue to the fabulous and expansive gardens at Chateau de Villandry before heading to the fairy-tale chateau at Azay le Rideau, one of the earliest of the Loire chateaux to be built in the French Renaissance style.

Make your way back to our chateau for a final farewell dinner.

Day 6: 9 July 2023 142 miles

Leave the chateau after breakfast and make your way north. Visit the beautiful village of La Perriere and then the charismatic town of Mortagne au Perche.

Visit the National Stud at Haras du Pin, a Royal stud farm and jewel of Normandy Heritage.

Continue through lovely Normandy, over the famed Pegasus Bridge to Caen. The return ferry departs at 16.30 and arrives in Portsmouth at 21.15. Depart for home.

Accommodation

Stay as VIPs in an elegant château, hosted by the Count & Countess, the 20th generation of the family to call this home since 1404. Experience life in a totally private Loire Valley château, surrounded by its own 100-acre parkland, floral garden and large pool.

We have exclusive use of the chateau for the duration of the tour.