Loire Valley Tour Itinerary : 6 Day Tour
Best Adventures in Loire Valley
Detailed Day-by-Day Loire Valley Tour Itinerary
RATED EXCELLENT WITH 500+ REVIEWS
2019 WINNER!! 3RD CONSECUTIVE YEAR!
RECOMMENDED BY FROMMER’S FRANCE!
Loire Valley Tour Itinerary 6-DAY Outline followed by complete day-by-day details…
DAY 1 – Tour Begins, 5 Nights Accommodations at friends Guillaume & Julia’s Hotel, Welcome cocktail as we float down the Loire River on a Traditional “Tout” with friend Aurelien, Privately hosted gourmet picnic dinner – D
DAY 2 – Chenonceau Castle, Cooking Class in friend, Chef Damien’s professional kitchen, “Tour de France” Wine & Cheese Tasting, Dinner Together – B, D
DAY 3 – Chambord Castle, Late afternoon in Amboise Village, Clos Luce & Da Vinci, Dinner together – B, D
DAY 4 – VIP Winery Tour, Tasting & Discovery at Friends Louisa and Fred’s Winery & Home, Privately Hosted Lunch at Home, Royal Amboise Castle & Gardens – B, L
DAY 5 – Royal Blois Castle & Town, Cooking at Home Culinary Class with Family Friends, Meilleur Ouvrier de France Chef Christophe & Angelique, Farewell Dinner at Our Chefs’ Family Home – B, D
DAY 6 – Tour Concludes – B
Day 1 – LOIRE VALLEY TOUR ITINERARY BEGINS – D
- Loire Valley Tour begins – Meet & Greet at St. Pierre des Corps TGV rail station, Tours, France at 2 pm.
- Transfer to Hotel for Check-in
- Evening Loire Valley River Float with Friend, Aurelien
- Welcome Cocktail & Orientation as we float down the river.
- Privately hosted gourmet picnic dinner
- Dinner is Included Today
TOUR BEGINS: In 2024, group transfer at 2 pm from St. Pierre des Corps TGV rail station, Tours, France to the hotel in Amboise.
Check-in at our 4-star Hotel – Le Pavillon des Lys in historic Amboise for the 6 day/5 night – Loire Valley France Tour Itinerary – (NO HOTEL HOPPING – We Stay in 1 Boutique Hotel Owned by Local Friends, Guillaume and Julia, for the Entire Tour). Travelers take a TGV (high speed) train from either Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport or Gare de Montparnasse in downtown Paris to reach the Amboise rail station.
LATE AFTERNOON: Winding our way along the Loire River, our next stop of the day is the port of Chaumont-sur-Loire where we’ll meet up with local friend Aurelien along the banks of the Loire River. Aurelien welcomes us aboard his traditional wooden, flat bottom boat, called a “tout,” for a float down the Loire River taking in the beautiful landscapes, wildlife and unparalleled views of the castles sprinkled along the river banks. We’ll float peacefully along our route enjoying a welcome “aperitif” and orientation to the week’s activities before arriving in Amboise to a magical view from our boat of the Royal Castle of Amboise at sunset.
DINNER: Privately hosted and catered gourmet picnic dinner together this evening prepared by two of the best loved Chefs of the region who I’m happy to call life long friends. Christophe has been recommended by his world renowned friend, French Chef Alain Ducasse, and is a Meilleur Ouvrier de France title holder, and current V.P. of the competition.
Day 2 – Chenonceau Castle & Gardens, Cooking Class with Friend Damien, Wine & Cheese Tasting, Gourmet Dinner Together – B, D
- Morning: Tour of Chenonceau Castle & Gardens
- Afternoon: Cooking Class with Friend Michelin-star Chef Damien
- Evening: “Tour de France” Wine & Cheese Tasting
- Gourmet Cooking Class Dinner
- Breakfast & Dinner are Included Today
MORNING: We depart to the Castle and Gardens of CHENONCEAU. A castle shaped by women, this castle represents the greatest accomplishments of royal women during the French Renaissance. Enjoy untold stories of the most powerful and influential women at the French court, Queens and their love affairs, royal seduction, secret world of favorites and mistresses, the first ever fireworks display in France, extravagant parties and deception, and how royal debt led to the negotiation of a marriage to save the castle from being confiscated by the French state.
LUNCH: Independently in Amboise.
LATE AFTERNOON & DINNER: Hands-on cooking class and demonstration with friend, Michelin-star Chef Damien G. in his professional kitchen. Damien’s experience has taken him on culinary adventures around the world. After having traveled extensively to places such as Cyprus and Moscow, he returned to his native Loire Valley to share his culinary experience and knowledge. Cooking class is both hands-on and a demonstration of recipes. No Experience Necessary!
CULTURAL EXPERIENCE – A “Tour de France” French wine and cheese tasting wraps up our cooking class experience. Learn details about the history and production of cheese in France. We’ll taste a variety of cheeses accompanied by regional wines.
DINNER: Following class, we toast the evening with a cocktail followed by a gourmet dinner together of recipes prepared in class.
Day 3 – Chambord Castle & Gardens, Amboise Village, Clos Luce, Hosted Foodie Tasting & Cocktail – B, D
- MORNING: Chambord Castle
- LATE AFTERNOON: Enjoy Time back in Amboise to Visit Clos Luce, Former Home of Leonardo da Vinci
- Dinner together at friends’ gourmet brasserie
- Breakfast and Dinner Included Today
MORNING: We depart to Chambord Castle. There will be an introduction to the history of Chambord Castle and the region as it existed during the reign and presence in the Loire of the House of Valois and early Bourbon kings. 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 steamy stories of what went on in the personal lives of the kings, queens, and their courts.
LUNCH: Independently at Chambord Castle.
Afternoon: FREE TIME on return to Amboise to explore and shop independently at the artisan boutiques and/or visit Le Clos Luce, final home to Leonardo da Vinci.
DINNER: Dinner together at friends’ gourmet brasserie
Day 4 –Vip Winery Tour, Tasting & Discovery at Friends Fred & Louisa’s Winery, Privately Hosted Wine Tasting Lunch at Home, Royal Castle of Amboise – B, L
- MORNING: VIP Winery Tour & Tasting at Home with Fred & Louisa
- Privately Hosted Lunch at our Family Friend’s Historical Wine Estate
- AFTERNOON: Tour of Royal Amboise Castle
- Breakfast and Lunch Are Included Today
MORNING: WINERY TOUR, TASTING & PRIVATELY – An exclusive invitation to tour our friends Fred and Louisa’s winery where we’ll go behind the scenes to learn about Touraine wines and the labor of love this couple has poured into their passion for wine-making. Enjoy tasting their world-renowned wines in addition to some new to market wines they’ve begun producing.
LUNCH: To top off this exclusive experience, we partake of a traditional French aperitif (cocktail) in the sitting room of their family home, an 18th-century chateau, followed by a privately hosted lunch in the family dining room. Fred’s family has been in the wine-making business since 1508. Having spent his childhood learning the wine trade, from growing to vineyard management to production and delivery to market, local wine producer, friend Fred and his wife Louisa welcome us to their family winery and home as personal friends for this exclusive behind the scenes experience.
AFTERNOON: CASTLES & GARDENS – Our day concludes with a guided tour of the fairy tale, Royal Castle of Amboise, a spectacular masterpiece where you’ll hear tales of love, heartbreak, vengeance, gore, and power struggles. The castle reflects all of the refinements of Gothic and Renaissance architecture and embodies the qualities of a traditional French royal chateau. Following our visit, make the most of your time by taking a short stroll through Amboise to visit the famous Clos Luce, former home of Leonardo da Vinci who lived the last years of his life here as guest of French King Francis I.
Amboise played a strategic role during the reign of the Valois Kings and their occupation in the Loire Valley during the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Nothing is more spectacular than to both journey through history accompanied by sketchy stories of the private lives of the French Kings, Queens and their courts during our visit, and to discover that there was so much more to royal life than military campaigns and political allegiances.
DINNER: Independently in Amboise village. Stroll through the village, enjoy cocktails at sunset overlooking the Loire River and dinner at one of the many favorite places in the village.
Read my blog post about Anne de France: More than a Royal Daughter, A Legacy of France’s Most Powerful Woman Despite Never Being Queen (opens in a new window)
Day 5 – Royal Blois Castle & Town, Cooking at Home Culinary Class with Family Friends Christophe & Angelique, Farewell Dinner at Our Chefs’ Family Home – B, D
- Discover the Historic Town Blois on Market Day
- Tour Blois Royal Castle
- Early Evening: Culinary Class with Celebrity Chefs, Friends, a husband and wife team, Christophe and Angelique at their Family Home
- Breakfast & Dinner are Included Today
MORNING: Guided visit of the weekly market in Blois. 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.
FREE TIME: Explore and shop independently at the morning market or at the town shops.
LUNCH: Independently in Blois.
AFTER THE MARKET & LUNCH: 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, royal deaths, 2 sisters, details of the rigors of daily life during the Renaissance, and quirky facts about royal marriage and death.
EARLY EVENING & DINNER: Fun, hands-on cooking class with our friends, Master Chef Angelique and “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (MOF) and Master Chef Christophe at their family home. Tonight we cook with two of France’s highest rated Chefs. Christophe worked alongside his friend, celebrity Chef Alain Ducasse on the development of Ducasse’s new worldwide culinary project and “Ecole de Cuisine” concept, and is also Vice President of the Meilleur Over de France competition. Christophe’s wife, 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 Chefs.
COOKING CLASS: We will prepare a gourmet aperitif and dinner of local Loire Valley recipes together. Our Loire Valley Tour guests will have the great pleasure of partaking in an “aperitif dinatoire”, as we call it in French, of the recipes prepared together. Guests will also learn how to prepare the award winning, regional “Tarte Tatin” dessert with Christophe. No Experience Necessary! The cooking class is designed to appeal to all interest levels from the beginner to the more experienced.
DINNER: Following cooking class, we toast to a wonderful evening with our Chefs with cocktails on their garden terrace followed by a gourmet dinner together of the recipes prepared during cooking class.
Cooking class, drinks and dinner at Christophe and Angelique’s family home is a fabulous way to celebrate a fun week together in the Loire Valley!
Read my blog post about The Enigmatic King Henri III: A Tale of Love, Obsession, and the Court of Mignons (opens in a new window)
Day 6 – CONCLUSION OF OUR LOIRE VALLEY TOUR ITINERARY – B
- Your Loire Valley Tour concludes today after breakfast with a 10 AM group transfer to St. Pierre des Corps TGV Rail Station, Tours, France.
- Earlier and later departures can be organized – Please contact us for details at email@example.com.
- Have a group your own group of friends or family, and want to make this tour a private departure? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
- Download and print our LOIRE VALLEY TOUR DETAILED BROCHURE (Adobe pdf)
Download and print our LOIRE VALLEY TOUR -SHORT VERSION- BROCHURE (Adobe pdf)
- (B) = Breakfast Included, (L) = Lunch Included, (D) = Dinner Included
- Dietary Requests & Food Allergies — We accommodate ALL dietary requests (including vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, etc) and ALL food allergies (gluten, shellfish, etc) while ensuring an amazing foodie experience for all tour guests with restrictions and/or allergies.
- HOT AIR BALLOONING is NOT part of our Loire Valley tour itinerary. Hot Air Ballooning is available as an optional excursion on one of your free evenings, and we can book it on your behalf. There is an additional fee for the ballooning excursion. We work with a local friend who is a professional, licensed ballooning pilot, and owns his own ballooning excursion company. We’ve been working with him for 15 years, and he’s the best in the region!
- WALKING RATING – ALL TOUR GUESTS – There is extensive leisure walking daily on this tour. Guests need to be able to walk from our drop off points to castles, through castles during visits, as well as manage standing for short periods of time during story telling at the castles. Guests need to also be able to manage steps and uneven sidewalk terrain throughout the tour at castles and in villages. There are no elevators or escalators available to our groups at the chateaux (castles). This tour is not suitable for anyone with mobility issues.
RATED 5 STARS BY HUNDREDS OF HAPPY TOUR GUESTS
OVER 500 VERIFIED FIVE-STAR REVIEWS ON TRUSTPILOT
RATED 5 STARS BY HUNDREDS OF HAPPY TOUR GUESTS
OVER 500 VERIFIED FIVE-STAR REVIEWS ON TRUSTPILOT
A WORD FROM Our Guests:
Exceeded Our Expectations!
“This trip to the Loire Valley exceeded our expectations! Christy planned unique and interesting excursions and activities that highlighted the beauty of the area and provided in-depth background knowledge about the various chateaux we visited. The cooking classes with renowned chefs, held in their restaurants and homes, were never-to-be forgotten experiences, and the visit to the winery was a highlight. The hotel was delightful and charming, and staying in one location for the entire time was a treat. Every meal or cocktail hour was planned to highlight the delicious specialties of the region. Christy is extremely knowledgeable about the various places we visited and imparted that knowledge in an interesting and entertaining manner. She and Remi took great care to ensure that we were always comfortable and well-looked after. We could not have asked for a better trip!” — Ron Rose & Sharon Matsumoto (Have done Provence tour and Loire Valley tour)
This was my third trip in the same number of years
“This was my third trip in the same number of years with Christy and Off the Beaten Path. While on her trips you can tell how much effort there is on the off season to make every single week perfect. From the pick up at the train station to the teary goodbye at the airport, everything is perfectly planned and executed. The hotel in St. Remy is magical, and the tour guides Philippe and David are exceptional. If you are considering a trip with OTBP, go for it and come home with new friends, a love of Provence and a longing to return as soon as you can!” — Beth Bower (Has done Provence tour twice and Loire Valley tour)
The Best Tour Company!
“I have done two tours – Provence and Loire Valley – and I am already looking forward to booking another. The tours are all perfectly curated and Christy is a wealth of knowledge. She is so kind and takes all of your needs and wants into consideration. I cannot recommend Off the Beaten Path enough!” — Madison Carl (Has done Provence and Loire Valley tours)
“We did the Provence tour. 8/2019. I had taken the tour 2017 & this time my husband came with me. It was just as fabulous this time as it was in 2017. Restaurants, picnic, sights, wine, all of it just delightful, but the frosting on the cake is a the knowledge, insight, humor, & attention to detail from David & Philippe. To us, they make a great trip soooo much fun. (also, 3 of our neighbors joined us this tour). Don’t hesitate, take this tour & enjoy!!!!!” — Jim & Carol Dean (Carol has done Provence tour twice)
Returning to Provence with France Off the Beaten Path
“I wanted to return to Provence as soon as it was open. I had toured with Christy in Loire Valley in 2019 and knew I wanted to travel with her again. For the second time, everything was well organized, personal and definitely off the beaten path. Christy and Phillippe have a wealth of knowledge and are eager to share. The hotel was perfectly located in St Remy, the tours to the lavender and sunflower fields are my favorite memory. The lunches and dinners were like visiting friends. The boat tour in Cassis was another highlight. Even though I had visited Provence, this trip with France Off the Beaten Path brought a new appreciation for the area.” — Susan Gage (Has done Loire Valley tour, Provence tour, Champagne tour)
“We had an excellent tour with Christie and her crew in the Loire valley. We did things that only a true insider would have access to-dinner at a Michelin chefs house, helping/learning to cook at a highly rated restaurant in their kitchen. This was in addition to seeing the sights and touring the castles. A truly unique experience that is off the beaten path. We will use her again when going back to France.” — Karen Berner (Has done Loire Valley tour)