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Best Adventures in Loire Valley

by France Off the Beaten Path Tours




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Heart Warming Reviews From Loire Valley Guests!

Again asking Loire Valley tour guests to review our Loire Valley Castles & Foodie Tours…

“WOULD YOU RECOMMEND OUR LOIRE VALLEY TOUR TO A FRIEND?” It’s a question we frequently ask tour guests, read what guests say about their Loire Valley Tour experience.  We strive to exceed guest expectations every tour!

 “Yes, we have several friends that enjoy cooking, and we will definitely tell them all about our trip. Joe and I will try to talk them into taking the trip with us next time! We both LOVED seeing the chateaus and learning the history behind them. They were all connected but each had its own charm. I wish we could make the days last longer, because each activity was enjoyable. But the highlights of the trip and what we will cherish were the group dinners and cooking classes. Each Chef was so knowledgeable and willing to explain or share secrets of their craft. Please tell them how thankful and appreciative we are of their time and knowledge. Thank you Christy for everything, the tour definitely exceeded our every expectation and then some!” — Joe and Peggy Bernazani, Front Royal, VA

 “Yes, we already have! We love the small size of group, access to smaller towns and your tours offer a more granular view of an area of France, with access to restaurants and tastings that we would not know of or be able to do on our own. Guidance and help of knowledgeable guides is also a BIG plus! We really enjoyed the dinner at Christophe and Angelique’s home in the countryside, the chocolate tasting, Chenonceau, cooking lessons, hotel geographical overviews, Remi’s smiling face! I also appreciate all the accommodations you made for me with my knee problem. We’ll be back to France again, and it will be with you! Thank you Christy!! — Andy & Jane MallorIndianapolis, IN (This was Andy & Jane’s 2nd OTBP Tour – they traveled on our 2015 Provence Tour and our 2016 Loire Valley Tour)

Loire Valley tour review“Thanks for everything you did on the tour, we really enjoyed ourselves again. We feel very fortunate to have “discovered” your tours, they are definitely the best group tours we have ever been on. We had a great time, it was especially neat to spend so much time with Christophe & Angelique.” —Bill & Laurie Crimando, Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan (Have been on 3 OTBP Tours – Burgundy Tour,Bordeaux TourLoire Valley Tour)

Loire Valley Tour Review“Hi Christy and everyone. We had a fabulous time in the Loire and had so much fun with our group! We missed you all in Paris! Thanks for your wonderful “tour guidance” in France. It was quite a memorable trip.” Added message sent to us by Steve and Michelle – “We enjoyed 5 wonderful days with Christy’s tour of the Loire Valley Sept. 12 – 17, 2012. It was absolutely one of the best tours we’ve taken, and our 2nd tour with France Off the Beaten Path (first one was in Provence in 2006). Christy and her staff saw to the group’s every need, they were warm, accommodating and had every excursion well planned out. We visited remarkable Chateaux, ate at wonderful Michelin Star restaurants in the Loire and had a thrilling Hot Air Balloon ride at the end (which I think was one of the highlights for us). In addition, we were lucky to have an absolutely perfect group of fellow travellers and made many friendships we hope to foster back at home. We enjoyed very personalized and truly “off the beaten path” experiences with cooking classes/demonstrations, cheese and wine tasting and more. We hope to join another tour in the future with France Off the Beaten Path! Thank you, Christy, for a wonderful time in the Loire Valley!” –Steve Keller and Michelle Tidwell, San Francisco, California (Traveled on 3 OTBP Tours —  2012 Loire Valley Tour and 2006 Best Adventures in Provence Tour, 2018 Bordeaux Tour)

 “YES! Great venue — hotel and castles we visited. Loved the castles and Appreciated the history connected to each one. Really enjoyed and could have spent even more time at Chenonceau. Loved the specially prepared meals by local Chefs – and the behind the scenes experiences in two kitchens. That was a real treat! Great experience overall! Appreciated the positive and fun atmosphere Christy and Remi created. We will definitely be back and looking forward to your Provence Tour next trip!! Merci!” — Bob & Freddi JacobiIndianapolis, IN – they were referred to this tour by their friends, Andy & Jane Mallor


Loire Valley Tour ReviewYes, I will recommend this trip because I feel it is a wonderful opportunity to see a large part of the region and includes the best castles. The whole experience was top notch from the choice of activities and castles to the wine and cuisine! The dynamics of being in a small group touring is an overall wonderful experience. I loved that every detail was taken care of, my week was stress free, transportation was very comfortable, and I really appreciated the knowledge of the guides and their willingness to share so much information. Enjoyed the chateau lodging and owners also.  I feel this is an opportunity I will never experience again.  Thank you Christy for a fun week with lots of laughs and wonderful memories!  I can’t wait to see the photos!” —Karen Abrahams, Arlington, Virginia – Loire Valley Tour – Loire Valley Tour Guest Testimonials

Yes, I will highly recommend this trip to friends and family.  I loved the small group- it made it fun! We had EXCELLENT tour guides who encouraged a relaxed atmosphere. Loved the unique opportunities and access to chefs and restaurants.  It was a beautiful region to explore. The accommodations were comfortable and I loved staying put in one hotel. Thank you Christy for a fun week in the Loire and a truly memorable experience!” —Genera Guiterrez, Arlington, Virginia – Loire Valley Tour

 “Yes! We will come on another trip too! Liked the castle variety. Enjoyed meeting and cooking with real French Chefs, and ALL group meals were fabulous! Thank you Christy for a wonderful time in the Loire Valley. The tour was well organized, and took all guest interests into consideration. You do an excellent job!” — Tony & Chris LewandowskiLivonia, MI

Loire Valley tour review“5 out of 5 all the way!! Loved Rich’s birthday surprise, so thoughtful of you! We loved our guide’s personal touch and her knowledge of French history. She was SUPER!! The hot air ballooning was one of many memorable highlights of this trip. Loved the chateau accommodations – Christine and Bernard and staff were the best! We had a great time!! Every experience was so different and felt so authentically French.” — Rich and Nancy Strickler, Jacksonville, FL – Loire Valley Tour

 “YES! The tour has a pleasant and fascinating mix of activities and is nicely paced.I loved Christy’s knowledgeable chatty commentaries about the history, kings and queens. My highlight was to access the Chefs. The hotel was very comfortable, wonderful to stay in, and very conveniently located with easy access to everything in town. This was a very enjoyable trip!” — With appreciation, Margaret LeeMelbourne, Australia

Loire Valley Tour reviewWhere did you learn to exceed expectations? It just keeps getting better and better everyday! We have had such a fun time!! We’ve learned so much on both tours. Thanks for a FABULOUS 2 weeks in France We hope to see you again soon!” —Dennis and Dr. Patricia Gelner, St. Louis, Missouri (Traveled on 2 Tours Loire Valley Tour and Bordeaux Tour)

 “Oh YES we would recommend this tour! Well, it was the best trip ever. We loved Christy’s informal and friendly style of leading the tour. Christy kept a running commentary on the history of the area with such interesting stories about the kings and queens, their castles, mistresses, victories and achievements. The cooking classes were simply the best! It is, in our opinion, great that the numbers are small (14 guests), which allows for informality and a personal relationship to build. We’ve loved the chateaus, the gardens, the cooking classes, dinners – in fact, pretty well everything. The mix of everything works well. Our guides were very personable and took care of everyone and everything. We’ve really appreciated all of Christy’s effort she made, and surprises she delivered to keep the itinerary running smoothly.  Thank you very much for a very different, interesting, and adventurous tour the Loire Valley!” — John & Barbara de Blank, Melbourne, Australia – Loire Valley Tour Reviews

 “Yes, we would! Everything was wonderful! Loved the organization of our days and your ability Christy to restructure when necessary. Especially enjoyed the time in your friend’s home! That was so very special for them to open their home to a group of strangers. We really enjoyed ourselves. Can’t wait to come back for your Provence Tour next year!!” — Dr. Butch Guest & Carol Etheridge, New Orleans, Louisiana – 2016 Loire Valley Tour – Also returned for a 2nd tour,  July 4-9, 2017 Provence Tour!

 “Yes Christy I will. I’m gonna send you lots of travelers. Thank you for everything!” — Dr. Robert & Gretchen Ball, Corpus Christi, Texas – Loire Valley Tour

 “Yes! Great job re-organizing around the floods. You did a stellar job! Your help with the entire week was superb! Need more brass bands and beer! (referring to brass band festival in Amboise June 4) – Walking and wine are definitely a winning combination! Loved spending the evening cooking and enjoying good food and wine with your friends in their home. Thank you for a fun experience!” — Dr. Steve Oshman & Dr. Colleen Beeson, Corpus Christi, Texas – Loire Valley Tour

 “Yes, Nothing can control mother nature, and Christy did a great job finding substitute castles to visit during the floods and re-arranging the itinerary to ensure everyone continued to enjoy the trip. Christy reacted to bad weather well, and our fellow travelers were very nice. Our guides were great! The dinners and lunches were yummy, and the hotel rooms were lovely. The tours were interesting and cooking fun! Thank you for helping us also on last day with train departures.” — Jay & Pam Greer, Herndon, Virginia – Loire Valley Tour

Loire Valley Tour review “This trip was so much more than we expected, and YES we would definitely recommend it! We had a great time, and saw and experienced some amazing things. Christy and Philippe were very knowledgeable of the history, surroundings, castles, etc and were helpful and made us feel comfortable. Thank you for a wonderful trip!” ––Friends: Michelle Winter, Mary Harper,  Beth Fields and Stefanie Giffin, Kansas City, Kansas – Loire Valley Tour

“Fabulous pictures you sent on to us from the tour!!  They are wonderful!!  Just wanna say how spectacular the meals were during the Loire Valley tour. The breadth of the trip was great. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable and a true expert on French history!  We are going to absolutely recommend your trip to everyone.If one wants to experience the Loire Valley, this is the BEST way! Thank you for a fun filled week!!” —Jeff and Jane Goodell, Carrollton, Texas – Have traveled on 2 Tours: Loire Valley Tour and Provence Tour

Loire Valley tour review “You were our express ticket to an effortless tour of a beautiful area of France!! Our guide was extremely helpful and knowledgeable at all times.  We are very happy to tell our friends and family about Off the Beaten Path tours!  Walking the path of kings was most informative and thought provoking.  Our guide’s knowledge of the language, history and customs made all the difference and ensured a memorable experience!  We will be back for your Provence Tour!! Thank you!” —Jim and Linda Rybak, Fairview Park, Ohio – Have traveled on 2 Tours: Loire Valley Tour – Provence Tour

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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)