This easy-paced, gentle walking holiday balances peaceful, out-of-the-way discoveries with the splendour and opulence of some of the finest Renaissance châteaux in France. There’s no tough climbing – the highest point is at just 150m – but you are still rewarded with beautifully unspoilt landscapes and enchanting views at every turn.
Following a triangular route, you’ll first head north crossing the majestic Loire river and on through the Royal forest of Blois. It’s then down through vineyards and poppy fields to the elegant village of Chitenay and back via the peaceful hamlets of Seur and Les Montils. Highlights en route include some of the Loire’s most famous châteaux: Blois, formerly known as “Versailles of the Renaissance” , has developed around its massive château, which has enjoyed a long connection with royalty and nobility. The fairytale château of Chambord, set in the heart of the huge Forêt de Boulogne, reflects the lavish and ostentatious tastes of its original owner, King François I. And the white stone façade of Cheverny, one of the most perfect examples of French architecture, houses one of the largest art collections in the region.
The places you’ll stay in have been hand-picked for their superb locations, atmospheric charm, excellent cuisine and warm, friendly owners. We’ve included evening meals everywhere except in Blois - with so many restaurants on your doorstep, we thought you’d appreciate having a choice.
|Meals||Continental breakfast and 3 evening meals.|
|Tour Starts||Blois train station at 17:17 pick up (transfer to hotel, 20 mins, provided).|
|Tour Ends||Return to Blois train station at 10:44.|
|Rail Options||Rail: Paris Austerlitz to Blois (via Orleans) 15:27/17:18. Return Rail: Blois to Paris Austerlitz (via Orleans) 10:44/12:37.|
|Rail Supplement||Second Class French Rail: $65 per person, round trip. First Class French Rail:$93 per person, round trip. Add $35 per address for shipment of paper tickets.|
|Singles||Add $51 per night.|
|Other details||Extra nights: We recommend Chaumont or Paris. Prices from $154 per person B&B, $141 per person half board, based on 2 sharing.|
|Hotels||*** (2 nights) ** (2 nights)|