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Loire Valley Itinerary: Castles and Foodie Tour



2 Fun Cooking Classes, Gourmet Meals, French Wines and Discovering BEST Castles of the Loire Valley!
Loire Valley Tour Length: 6 days/5 nights  

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LOIRE VALLEY ITINERARY – DAY-BY-DAY – BY OFF THE BEATEN PATH       •       TOUR SUMMARY»


* Click on the numbered day tabs below to view itinerary details for each day! *

LOIRE VALLEY ITINERARY — DAY 1:

Group Meets, Hotel Check-in,chatpraygroupdinner
Welcome Dinner Together (FIRST CHEF) – D

“Meet and greet” by your tour guide at at St. Pierre des Corps (Tours) TGV Rail Station. Group pick-up time is at 4:00 PM. Check-in at the hotel.

DINNER: Gourmet dinner together this evening prepared by one of the newest up and coming Chefs of the region who has been rated and recommended by world renowned 3-star Michelin, French Chef Alain Ducasse, as well as our local Michelin-star Chefs.  Your tour guides will go over the details of your Loire Valley Tour itinerary and the activities planned for the week.

(B) = Breakfast Included, (L) = Lunch Included, (D) = Dinner Included

 

LOIRE VALLEY ITINERARY – DAY 2:

Shopping at the Blois Market & Exploring the Historic Town, Tour of Blois Castle, SECOND CHEF: Fun Cooking Class and Demonstration Accompanied by Wine & Cheese Tasting with Friend and Michelin Star Chef Damien G. – B, D

Loire Valley TourBUFFET BREAKFAST. Morning: Prior to our visit of the historic town of Blois and its royal castle, we introduce you to the French tradition of shopping at the weekly open market. From local artisan products to French linens, paintings, clothes, food, wines, artwork and locally made jewelry, the market brings an unparalleled livelihood to villages and towns of the region. Guided visit of the market followed by time to explore and shop independently. Afterwards, guided tour of Blois Castle followed by time to explore the castle and historic town at leisure. We’ll share stories about some of the most note worthy events of French history: a Queen’s death, two marriages that would forever change the future of France, important accomplishments by the French monarchy, an assassination, details of the rigors of daily life during the Renaissance and quirky facts about royal marriages and deaths.

LUNCH independently in Blois.

Loire Valley TourEARLY EVENING & DINNER: Hands-on cooking class and demonstration with friend, Michelin-star Chef Damien G. Damien is a Michelin star chef with experience that has taken him on culinary adventures around the world. After having traveled extensively to places such as Cyprus and Moscow, he has returned to his native Loire Valley to share his culinary experience and knowledge at his family restaurant; adding a new and tasteful twist to regional recipes using local, seasonal ingredients. Cooking class is both hands-on and a demonstration of recipes.

Loire Valley TourThe focus is on discovering favorite recipes of this beautiful region and indulging in the French wine and cheese tasting and learning more about French cheeses with our Chef. This activity is designed for all interest levels from the beginner to the more experienced. Following class, we toast the evening with a cocktail followed by a gourmet dinner together of recipes prepared and demonstrated in class.

 

(B) = Breakfast Included, (L) = Lunch Included, (D) = Dinner Included

LOIRE VALLEY ITINERARY – DAY 3:

Exploring the Amboise Market & Historic Village, Tour of the Royal Amboise Castle, Afternoon Tour of Chenonceau Castle & Gardens, THIRD CHEF -A husband and wife team: Evening Culinary Class with celebrity Chefs, Friends Christophe and Angelique Q. at Their Home – B, D

amboisegroup14cBUFFET BREAKFAST. Morning: Prior to our visit at the royal castle of Amboise, there will be time to explore Amboise’s weekly open market. Again, from local artisan products to French linens, fresh cut flowers, paintings, clothes, food, artwork and locally made jewelry, the market brings an unparalleled livelihood to Amboise, and offers a wonderful opportunity to experience local culture at its busiest time of the week. Time to explore and shop independently at the market. Afterwards: a guided visit of the Chateau of Amboise followed by time to explore at leisure. Today’s castle visit includes stories of royal accidents, more stories of some of France’s most important historical events, an attempted kidnapping, as well as royal love affairs and the death of royal guest, Leonardo da Vinci.

LUNCH independently in Amboise village.

IMG_6380Afternoon: Tour of the Castle and Gardens of Chenonceau (photo above), a castle shaped by women, this castle represents the greatest accomplishments of royal women during the Middle Ages and French Renaissance. Enjoy stories of Queens and their courts, royal love affairs, the first ever fire works display in France, parties and deception and how royal debt nearly led this castle to be confiscated by the French state.

 

IMG_8389EARLY EVENING & DINNER: Fun, hands-on cooking class with our friends, Master Chefs Angelique and Christophe Q. at their home in the countryside near Chaumont-sur-Loire. Tonight we cook with two of France’s highest rated Master Chefs. Christophe is Director of the Val de Loire Culinary Arts school and Angelique is a Professeur de Cuisine in the Val de Loire region. Both are passionate about the culinary arts, and have received top awards from and along with Paul Bocuse, Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon. Christophe is currently featured on gourmet television in France, as one of the Loire Valley’s most highly recognized and talented Chefs. He has also recently begun working on a new worldwide culinary project with Alain Ducasse.

IMG_6023We will prepare a three course dinner of local recipes together. The cooking class is designed to appeal to all interest levels from the beginner to the more experienced. Following cooking class, we toast to a wonderful evening with our Chefs followed by dinner together of the recipes prepared during cooking class.

(B) = Breakfast Included, (L) = Lunch Included, (D) = Dinner Included

 

LOIRE VALLEY ITINERARY – DAY 4:

Tour of Villandry Castle and Gardens and Azay-le-Rideau Castle in the southern Touraine, FOURTH CHEF: Traditional, French Gourmet Brasserie Dinner Together – B, D

IMG_6217BUFFET BREAKFAST. Morning: Winding our way along the Vienne & Loire Rivers, our first stop of the day is at Villandry Castle and its Renaissance Gardens. Learn about the numerous owners of the castle and how after the castle’s gardens were left in ruin for centuries, one man discovered a very important document in order to re-create the original Francis I Renaissance gardens. The unique Renaissance gardens of Villandry are among the most fascinating gardens of France.

AZAYGroupOur day continues following lunch at the fairy tale, moated castle of Azay-le-Rideau Castle, a spectacular masterpiece built during the early years of Francis I’s reign. The castle reflects all of the refinements of Renaissance architecture and epitomises the qualities of a traditional French chateau with its high roofs, tall watch-turrets, long rows of windows and dormer-windows and majestic Italian structure.

LUNCH independently in Azay-le-Rideau.

DINNER: Together at our friend and Michelin-star Chef’s gourmet brasserie in historic Blois. Enjoy traditional French cooking at its finest accompanied by a selection of our Chef’s personally chosen wines.

(B) = Breakfast Included, (L) = Lunch Included, (D) = Dinner Included

LOIRE VALLEY ITINERARY – DAY 5:

Morning: At Leisure, Afternoon: Tour of Chambord Castle, FIFTH CHEF: Special Cocktail Hour and Celebration Dinner Together with Friend, Michelin-star Chef Christophe C. at His Restaurant – B, D

Chambord CastleBUFFET BREAKFAST. Morning: At leisure. Enjoy a walk into the local village or borrow a bike to peruse and explore the local countryside.

AFTERNOON: Tour Chambord Castle. An architectural masterpiece, thought to have been the masterpiece of Leonardo da Vinci, yet never proven, we share stories about two of France’s most influential Kings, Francis I and Louis XIV, their royal lifestyles and personal guests at the castle, as well as stories of Louis XIII’s brother, Gaston d’Orleans.

LUNCH independently at Chambord.

ccosmegroup14COCKTAIL HOUR & DINNER: With our 5th Chef: Our friend and Michelin Star, Master Chef, Christophe C. has had the great pleasure of working with the late Bernard Loiseau and ever talented Christian Willer before venturing out into the culinary world on his own, and opening his gem of a restaurant in the late 1990’s. What a fabulous way to end our week in the Loire Valley.

 

(B) = Breakfast Included, (L) = Lunch Included, (D) = Dinner Included

Loire Valley TourLOIRE VALLEY ITINERARY – DAY 6:

Loire Valley Tour Conclusion – B

BUFFET BREAKFAST. Your Loire Valley Tour concludes today with a 10 AM arrival to St. Pierre des Corps TGV Rail Station. Earlier and later departures can be organized. Please contact us for details.

 

(B) = Breakfast Included, (L) = Lunch Included, (D) = Dinner Included

 

mapsandstampmontage2“… Just returned from the Loire Valley trip, this was one of our favorite trips. Our sons loved it too!!! The combination of gorgeous chateaus with excellent and knowledgeable guides, and the cooking classes and meals with top Michilin chefs was fabulous!!!  The hotel was confortable, perfectly locateded and we had the best rooms in the Chateau. Our two guides stayed in the hotel with us… Sometimes the best trips aren’t necesarily the most well known. This company deserves to be! It’s wonderful!!! …  After about 15 worldwide trips including most continents, my sons ranked this one up near the top. This took the cake!! Would return in a flash!!” –Connie and Ken Yonan, Chicago, IL