Additional Information About our Small Group Loire Valley, France Tours
Loire Valley Tour Summary • Loire Dates & Prices • Loire Valley Itinerary • Tour Price Includes • Loire Valley Hotel
Download and print our LOIRE VALLEY TOUR DETAILED BROCHURE (Adobe pdf)
Download and print our LOIRE VALLEY TOUR -SHORT VERSION- BROCHURE (Adobe pdf)
Frequently Asked Questions about Our Loire Valley Tours
Are Off the Beaten Path, LLC tours in English?
Yes. All tours are conducted in English and designed for an English speaking clientel. The majority of OTBP Guests come from the U.S.A., Australia, Canada, New Zealand and England. Guests have also come from the Caribbean, Singapore, the Philippines, South Africa and Israel.
Where do we rendezvous on day 1 of the Loire Valley Tour?
Your OTBP Guide(s) will meet you at the St. Pierre des Corps TGV train station, Tours, France at 4:00 PM on day 1 of the tour. Specific meeting location details will be included in your complete tour information package we send you 30 days prior to the tour.
Where does the Loire Valley Tour finish?
We depart the hotel in the morning in order to arrive at 11 AM at the St. Pierre des Corps TGV train station in Tours, France.
How should I go about making my travel plans?
Off the Beaten Path is a full service tour operator and it is our pleasure to assist you with all aspects of upcoming travel plans. Whether you are looking for a suggestion for a hotel in Paris or assistance with your rail tickets, simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1.877.846.2831 for assistance.
What is the weather going to be like in the Loire Valley?
April through October, day time temperatures in the Loire Valley range from the 70's- to mid-80's Fahrenheit with evenings being slightly cooler. Typically it is sunny, but be prepared with the proper rain gear.
What is not included on my Loire Valley Tour?
Airfare to and from France, train fare to and from St. Pierre des Corps TGV station in Tours, France, lunches, gratuities(tips) to guides and driver, personal purchases.
How should I tip my Off the Beaten Path guide(s)?
While OTBP provides very competitive salaries to its guides, it is customary to tip tour guides and drivers, as a show of appreciation for their hard work and services during your tour. Gratuities (tips) to tour guides and drivers are not included in your tour price. Our guests often ask us for guidelines on tipping, so these are presented as a service so you can know what industry standards are. The following are industry recommended tipping suggestions - It is recommended that each individual guest gives the following gratuities to each guide at the conclusion of the tour : 120 euros to the lead guide, 50 euros to the assistant guide and 20 euros to the driver. Some guests tip more, some tip less. Thank you for your consideration and gesture of appreciation to our guides and drivers!
Who are the Loire Valley Tours designed for?
OTBP's Loire Valley Tours are designed for discerning active travelers of all backgrounds, from the seasoned traveler and independent traveler to the first time traveler to France. Join any one of the our tours as a solo traveler, a couple, a small group of friends or family, or bring your entire travel club, affinity group, women's organization or wine society. No culinary, history or other type of experience is necessary. Join us for the vacation of a lifetime to discover the Best of the Loire Valley, as an insider, and make new friends along the way.
Do I need to be an expert to take your Loire Valley Tour?
Not at all. The idea is to learn about French culture, traditions, wine, daily life, artisan lives and culinary practices in a fun and relaxing environment. Our tours offer great learning opportunities for everyone. Off the Beaten Path guides are very skilled at adapting their discussions to the general level of knowledge of the group, providing good introductory information for novices, and more advanced discussions for those who have more experience or a specialty interest. It's vacation and our tours are all about having fun, enjoying new experiences and being active!
Is wine included at meals? What kind of wines are included at meals?
Yes, wine is included at all scheduled meals together. We expertly match premium wines from the region we're visiting with each dish. Meals offer an excellent opportunity to try wines from appellations not available to guests at home, and to introduce guests to some select wines worth a favorable mention or that are exceptionally appreciated by the locals.
How are the Loire Valley Tours structured?
Having over 18 years experience in the tour industry, specifically with small group touring, we have found that our guests are generally more interested in active experiences, culture, people to people experiences and guided tours of museums and sites. Our guests like to visit private homes, and pursue their hobbies when they travel. Our guests enjoy being able to shop locally for items, such as, collectibles, art and local products. Our guests tend to do more homework and want a meatier trip, and also want to enjoy down time or leisure time to explore independently. All of our trips are designed based on these factors. Each trip offers organized activities and excursions daily combined with periods of leisure time each day. Our tours encourage individual approach and pursuit of your interests, as well as introducing you to new experiences and people during each trip.
Do I need to be an athlete to participate in the Loire Valley Tour?
No. However, France is a country of walkers. Our Loire Valley Tour is designed for active travelers and includes extensive leisure walking daily. Travelers need to be able to walk and stand for extended periods of time while listening to commentary/history about the castles during visits. This tour is not suitable for travelers with serious back or knee problems. It is not possible to drop-off or pick-up guests at the entry of castles before or after visits, and therefore guests must be able to walk short distances from the vans to the sites, as well as be able to also enjoy exploring historical villages, towns and corresponding markets on foot. We enjoy the "slow road" taking in the beautiful scenery of the castles and local villages daily, and our tours are focused on actively discovering this magnificent region.
How should I pack? How should I expect to dress during the tour?
Please limit your luggage to one medium-sized suitcase and one carry-on. Try not to over pack; you will not wear all your clothing! A suggested packing list will be enclosed in your tour information package. Pack comfortable light weight, casual clothing. It's vacation and we want our guests to feel and be as comfortable as possible during our daily activities and excursions. Our dinners together include a mix of Michelin star and casual bistro style restaurants. For men we suggest a business casual ensemble (no tie or jacket necessary unless it's your personal preference) and for women we recommend a casual dress for dinners.
What travel documents will I need for my Tour?
All travelers to France are required to have a valid passport. Please make 2 copies of your passport and personal identification before you depart. Keep one set of copies with you in a separate location from your travel documents, and leave the other set of copies with a contact at home before you depart. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please check with your consulate general for entry requirements.
Loire Valley Tour Guest Testimonial
"I had a wonderful week here in the Loire! Thanks for everything!" Wendy Roberts, San Francisco, CA (Loire Valley Tour)