We have designed a number of tours for clients that cover the highlights of the area. Typically we include two chateau visits, lunch at a well regarded restaurant and a visit to a winery. In addition we almost always make time for short stops at often quite unknown, but fascinating sites along the way.
The tour prices below are all based on the assumption that there are two people, starting and finishing in Tours. For tours starting elsewhere in the area (eg Amboise) or for a different number of people, please email us for a price.
All our tours are taken in classic Citroen Traction Avant cars. Normally we meet you at 9am and drop you back at the station or your accommodation around 6.30pm.
Loches & Chenonceau: medieval kings and renaissance queens €940
We travel down from Tours to Loches via the lovely valley formed by the Indre River. Loches itself is a well preserved medieval town with a royal citadel perched above the old town. The late medieval French kings and their queens and mistresses spent a good deal of time here, as did the English Plantagenets in earlier times. This is where Joan of Arc finally convinced Charles VII to act, and you can stand in the room where their meeting took place. We will also 'meet' two other important medieval women here, and some very nasty knights while walking through the old town and visiting the Logis Royal, church of St Ours and the Donjon. If you take this tour on a Wednesday we include a visit to the market.
After lunch in a charming old restaurant serving beautifully presented traditional local food we will head for the renaissance chateau of Chenonceau. With its beautiful setting and richly presented interior, this iconic chateau will delight you. Once again the historical focus is on the powerful women of the time.
At the end of the day we visit a Vouvray winery where you will be taken to see the underground wine making facility and be treated to a private tasting session of their still and sparkling white wines.
Chenonceau & Montpoupon €910
Our first stop is the iconic renaissance château of Chenonceau, home to a series of powerful women and centre of a court full of intrigue. Lunch will be leisurely and taken at a traditional relais style restaurant in a nearby town. It will be full of local workmen and the food is generous and 'homecooked'.
Then we are off to the smaller, family owned chateau of Montpoupon, beautifully nestled in its wooded valley, and focused on 19th century rural and sporting life. We also find time to stop along the way for photos and visit a nearby winery. This tour is available every day except weekends.
Azay le Rideau.
Azay le Rideau & Villandry: the garden of France €890
The writer Balzac loved this area and made it the setting for several of his novels. He spent a lot of time not far from our first stop, the fairytale château of Azay le Rideau, set on an island in the Indre river. The whole village of Azay le Rideau is just a delight, and we will enjoy a relaxed lunch in a stylish restaurant run by a warm and welcoming husband and wife team right at the gates of the chateau.
The afternoon is spent marvelling at the world famous gardens of Villandry, with its intricate patterns of box hedging and creative use of vegetables -- the benchmark for all French potager gardens. We normally manage to fit in one or two surprising but lesser known sites as well, and the day finishes at a wine cave in Vouvray, an appellation famous for its sparkling and still white wines.