6-Day Detailed Day-by-Day Loire Valley France Tour Itinerary by France Off the Beaten Path Tours
Loire Valley Itinerary Outline followed by complete day-by-day details…
DAY 1 – Tour Begins, Welcome Dinner – D
DAY 2 – Chambord Castle, Cooking Class in friend, Chef Damien’s professional kitchen, Wine & Cheese Tasting, Dinner Together – B, D
DAY 3 – Amboise Royal Castle, Amboise Village, Clos Luce, Loire River Float, Hosted Foodie Tasting & Cocktail – B & Cocktail Evening
DAY 4 – VIP Winery Tour, Tasting & Discovery at Friend’s Estate, Privately Hosted Wine Tasting Lunch, Chenonceau Castle & Gardens – B, L
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
DAY 6 – Tour Concludes – B
Meet at Amboise Rail Station at 3:00 PM. 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 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.
DINNER: Gourmet dinner together this evening prepared by one of the best loved Chefs of the region. He has been recommended by world renowned French Chef Alain Ducasse.
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.
LATE AFTERNOON & DINNER: Hands-on cooking class and demonstration with friend, Michelin-star Chef Damien G. in his professional kitchen. 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 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.
Castles & Gardens – 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.
Morning: Our day begins at 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.
Lunch: Independently in Amboise.
Late AFTERNOON: Winding our way along the Loire River, our next stop of the day is 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 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 pause along our route to enjoy an evening “aperitif dinatoire,” a foodie cocktail evening, at either the local “guingette” (riverside restaurant) or in a troglodyte (cave dwelling) before continuing our float to arrive in Amboise to a magical view from our boat of the Royal Castle of Amboise at sunset.
DINNER: If you’re still hungry after our river float, enjoy dinner independently in Amboise village. Stroll through the village and dinner at one of the many favorite places in the village.
Morning: WINERY TOUR, TASTING & PRIVATELY HOSTED LUNCH: 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 the 15th century. 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: We say goodbye to friends Fred and Louisa and head to the Castle and Gardens of CHENONCEAU. A castle shaped by women, this castle represents the greatest accomplishments of royal women during the Medieval and French Renaissance periods. Enjoy stories of Queens and their courts, royal love affairs, the first ever fireworks display in France, parties and deception, and how royal debt nearly led this castle to be confiscated by the French state.
EARLY EVENING: Return to our hotel in Amboise.
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.
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.
AFTER THE MARKET: 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 marriages and deaths.
LUNCH: Independently in Blois.
EARLY EVENING & DINNER: Fun, hands-on cooking class with our friends, Master Chef Angelique and “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (MOF) and Master Chef Christophe Q. at their family home. Tonight we cook with two of France’s highest rated Master Chefs. Christophe works alongside his friend, celebrity Chef Alain Ducasse on the development of Ducasse’s new worldwide culinary project and “Ecole de Cuisine” concept. 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!
(B) = Breakfast Included, (L) = Lunch Included, (D) = Dinner Included
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