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Explore palaces, castles and châteaux in Paris and the Loire Valley

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What's Included

  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Private transfers
  • Privately guided city and chateau tours
  • Hot air balloon flight
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

This luxurious French trip will introduce you to the historical beauty of Paris and the opulent chateaux that dot the picturesque Loire Valley.

You will begin in Paris, with a tour of the exquisite Palace of Versailles, where you will get to admire the classical French architecture and manicured gardens and enjoy the rare collection of objects d’art and the Hall of Mirrors. You will also spend some time in one of the most visited museums in the world, The Louvre, where you will discover some of the key works in the collection. Paris itself holds many architectural gems and marvels. Go exploring and you’ll find yourself wandering through glass-roofed arcades which were mostly built in the 19th century and now house boutiques, cafés and restaurants. You will visit several of the most popular arcades, the oldest dating back to 1799.

From Paris you will board a high-speed train to the beautiful Loire Valley, where a variety of breathtaking chateaux and gardens await you. You’ll begin with a tour of the Chambord estate which boasts grounds as large as Paris and more than 400 rooms. Then get a unique view of the valley with a hot air balloon flight and spot some of the sprawling houses from the air. Back on solid ground, you’ll visit the popular Château de Chenonceau, with its arches over the river that male it one of the most photographed castles in the world.

Spend some time exploring the quaint Italian-like village of Amboise, popping in at small boutiques and visiting the historic castle. This is where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last years and you’ll visit sites dedicated to his memory and see some of his inventions. Wine-lovers will be delighted by a visit to Les Caves Duhard, a cellar cave established in 1874, where you will get to taste Vouray wines. Next up is a tour of the medieval town of Chinon. This outdoor museum boasts Renaissance houses and a historic fortress. The last two chateaux you will visit on this trip are Château de Rivau with its carefully tended gardens featuring contemporary sculptures, and Château de Cheverny which led to the creation of Moulinsart in Tintin.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-4

Paris

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Paris

Accommodation in Paris

Three nights in Paris Three nights in Paris

A city trapped in the 19th century, dazzling visitors to this day with its charming cityscape. Paris is seductive, stunning whatever the weather, but above all, timeless. There is plenty to do and see in Paris, but it is a city that captivates its guests with the little things; strolling the cobbled avenues, people-watching in the finest French cafés, savouring fresh-baked pastries from your local boulangerie. Paris oozes chic, with trendy boutiques and haute-couture labels dotted all over every arrondissement. Paris is also home to the most visited art museum in the world, The Louvre, and boasts many other fascinating museums, with dynamic and developing exhibitions.

Palace of Versailles tour with access to the private apartments Palace of Versailles tour with access to the private apartments

The Palace of Versailles dates back to 1038, and was the official residence of the Kings of France from 1682 until 1790. Used by Louis XIV initially as a hunting lodge, he had the property expanded to become the magnificent site of French classical architecture complete with extensive manicured gardens that it is today. The interior showcases magnificent examples of baroque furnishings, a rare collection of objects d'art and the famous and the grand Hall of Mirrors.

From the central window of the Hall of Mirrors, you look down on the grand perspective that leads the gaze from the Water Parterre to the horizon. This vast perspective stretches from the façade of the Château de Versailles to the railings of the park. In 1661, Louis XIV commissioned André Le Nôtre with the design and laying out of the gardens of Versailles which, in his view, were just as important as the Château. The works were undertaken at the same time as those for the palace and took 40 years to complete. Enjoy a short walk around the gardens before visiting the Marie Antoinette Estate.

The creation of the Marie-Antoinette’s Estate is part of a project that aims to show Versailles’ contrasts: classical and Baroque, destitution and extravagance, male inspiration from Louis XIV and female inspiration from Marie-Antoinette to Madame de Pompadour.

You will also visit the private apartments that are closed to the public. Enjoy privileged access to the intimate life of the royal family in Louis XV and Louis XVI’s private apartments. You will also see the Royal Chapel.

The Louvre The Louvre

The Louvre is one of the most important and most visited museums in the world and extending over 210,000 square metres, it is the largest in Paris. You'll discover the Louvre's three great ladies - Venus de Milo, Victory of Samothrace, and Mona Lisa, as well as other key works.

Paris' covered arcades Paris' covered arcades

Built for the most part in the 19th century, these arcades with glass roofs were created by piercing through already existing buildings and are a typically Parisian architectural feature. There are approximately 20 passages in Paris in the vicinity of the Grand Boulevard, the majority of them now house shops, tearooms and restaurants. The oldest, Passage des Panoramas, dates back to 1799 and is home to the Théâtre des Variétés that still provides entertainment. The Passage Brady houses numerous Indian, Mauritian and Reunion boutiques, and Galerie Vivienne, located just next to the Palais Royal, is the most iconic passage with a Jean Paul Gaultier ready-to-wear shop. Passage du Grand Cerf is one of the most spectacular with its 12m high structure made of metal and wrought iron.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Paris Montparnasse station

Transfer

High-speed train from Paris to the Loire Valley

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in the Loire Valley

Days 4-8

Loire Valley

Accommodation in Loire Valley

saumur-loire-france
Four nights in The Loire Valley Four nights in The Loire Valley

Sitting pretty on the banks of the central stretches of the lengthy Loire River, Loire is considered to be the 'Garden of France' thanks to its fertile farmlands whose produce fill the larders and cellars of the very best restaurants across the country. Chateaux, rolling green fields, river reflections and bountiful vineyards - it is hard not to be seduced by the beauty of the Loire Valley.

Château de Chambord Château de Chambord

The estate of Chambord is a national game reserve as large as the town of Paris. The chateau itself, ordered in 1519 by King Francois I to Leonardo Da Vinci and his architects, is a very unique monument thanks to its architecture and proportions. With more than 400 rooms and its double spiral staircase, you will be enchanted by this exceptional monument.

Hot-air-balloon-loire-valley
Hot air balloon flight over the Loire Valley Hot air balloon flight over the Loire Valley

Start the day with an early morning hot air balloon flight. It's an unforgettable way to experience the Loire Valley and its chateaux. You will take part in the assembling and the blowing up of the balloon before boarding the vessel for your extraordinary flight.

Château de Chenonceau Château de Chenonceau

Château de Chenonceau is one of the most photographed buildings in the world. With its graceful arches spanning the Cher River and its beautiful gardens, the castle seems to have come right out of a fairy tale. Often called the ‘Château des Dames’, Catherine de Medici fell in love with Chenonceau and forced the duchess Diane de Poitiers to deed the place to her in 1560. Catherine’s son, Francis II and Mary Queen of Scots were married there in 1568.

Amboise Amboise

Amboise a charming town with an Italian feel. Explore the streets lined with small boutiques as well as the explanades along the Loire River banks. Stop to discover the spectacular royal Amboise castle full of history. You will also discover the Clos Lucé Manor where Leonardo da Vinci spent the last years of his life. The Chateau and its park are part of the French national heritage and are dedicated to the memory of Da Vinci’s great multidisciplinary genius of the Renaissance including a very interesting exhibit displaying some of his inventions.

Les Caves Duhard Les Caves Duhard

You will be welcomed in this cellar-cave established in 1874 and enjoy a tasting of Vouvray wines including some old vintages. Its owner and wine maker, Daniel, specialises in mature Vouvray wines and you will discover a large range of vintages from 1947 to nowadays. Made of Chenin Blanc, the Vouvray is a mineral wine with a high acidity level which gives the wine a great aging capacity.

Chinon Chinon

With its medieval streets, Chinon has remained an outdoor museum of architecture and history. Discover the half-timbered houses and the Renaissance townhouses built for the King’s financiers or ministers. With its fortress built by Henry II Plantagenet and Richard the Lions Heart, Chinon is the town where Joan of Arc met King Charles VII in 1429.

Château de Rivau Château de Rivau

Visit Château de Rivau where you will be welcomed by the owners of the castle. You will discover not only a genuine medieval, fairy tale castle, but you will also have time to explore the gardens which are dotted with contemporary art sculptures. The owners will share stories of the property and tell you all about local ‘château’ life.

Château de Cheverny Château de Cheverny

The Château de Cheverny has been owned by the same family since the XIII century. The chateau, which led to the creation of Moulinsart in the famous comic book Tintin, is also famous for the tradition of the horse-back hunt and its impressive pack of 100 dogs. You may have a chance to witness the spectacular daily event of 'the dogs’ soup'.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Charles de Gaulle airport

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