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The Loire is famous for its chateaux with over 300 in total to discover. This easy paced, gentle walking holiday balances peaceful, off the beaten track discoveries, with the splendour and opulence of some of the finest Renaissance chateaux in France.
a Destinations d > France > Chateaux of the Loire Walk
Six nights accommodations, breakfast daily and 4 dinners, use of bikes, luggage transfers between hotels and route notes and maps.
Departs Every two days from 11 May - 8 Oct '18
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 include some of the Loire's most famous chateaux: Blois, formerly known as 'Versailles of the Renaissance', set in the heart of the huge Foret de Boulogne, and the white stone facade of Cheverny, one of the most perfect examples of French architecture which houses one of the largest art collections in the region.
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The charming royal town of Blois in the heart of the Loire Valley is packed with animated streets, paved squares, restaurants and taverns.
The white stone façade of Cheverny, which houses one of the largest art collections in the region.
Stay in hand-picked hotels in superb locations, atmospheric charm offering masses of local character, great regional cuisine and outstanding wines.
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On arrival at Blois station transfer to Chaumont where (approx 20 mins) the lovely riverside Hostellerie du Chateau oozes real mediaeval charm - beamed dining room, minstral gallery and grand fireplace.
This morning you cross the Loire and head north following the course of the Cisse to the pretty C13 Abbaye de la Guiche. Lunch in Coulanges where the C12 church is worth a detour. From here it's on through the Royal Forest of Blois until you reach your hotel, just a few steps from the famous chateau.
The town of Blois sits on a small hill overlooking the Loire, and is very easy to explore on foot: C16 chateau, Museum of Fine Arts, C17 St Vincent de Paul Church and Maison de la Magie (House of Magic) are all worthy of a visit. Have lunch on the lovely square below the chateau, or you can take a river trip on an original flat-bottomed toue sailing boat and view the town from the water. If you want to explore further afield, local buses run from Blois to the chateaux of Chambord and Cheverny, or you can take the train (20 mins) into Amboise.
You leave Blois via the shady banks of the river Cosson and enter the Forest of Russy, look out for nut hatches, woodpeckers and tree creepers. Lunch in the village of Celettes, home to the stunning C15 Chateau de Beauregard; set in impressive parkland, this gem is an absolute must visit! Of particular note are its rare C16 kitchen, portrait gallery and recently restored Gallerie des Illustres featuring 327 portraits of different kings, queens and politicians. Your final stretch takes you on through acres of well-tended vineyards, lots of places to pop in for a spot of tasting and poppy fields to the elegant village of Chitenay. Our ivy-clad hotel here has a pleasant garden terrace, an ideal setting for pre-dinner aperitifs!
The sleepy wine village of Chitenay is ideally placed to visit many of the Loire chateaux. We particularly recommend picture-postcard Cheverny, it has one of the largest art collections including a permanent 'Secrets of Moulinsart' exhibition and, just 3kms further on, lovely little Chateau de Troussay with its elaborately decorated ceilings and rich furnishings collection.
You'll follow the peaceful river Beauvron past the C14 Chateau Fay and on through the pretty hamlets of Seur, Les Montils and sleepy Cande-sur-Beauvron. There's a pretty riverside park if you fancy a picnic lunch before continuing along the shady banks of the Loire into Chaumont. The impressive C15 chateau, once owned by Catherine de Medici, hosts the International Garden Festival each year and, on selected summer dates, stays open until midnight - as your hotel is just a few metres away, getting home isn't a problem.
Your journey ends this morning.
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