Chenonceau Castle

Skip the Lines: Loire Valley Castles & Wine Tasting

Product ID: 13987

From US$179.77 per person

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Key Details
12.5 hours
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What You'll Do
  • Tour the magnificent Loire Valley, home to kings and fine wines for centuries
  • Visit Chanbord and Chenonceau, the two most popular castles, without having to wait in entrance lines
  • Enjoy a gourmet lunch with great wine at Chateaux Nitray
Long lines of tourists are the only things that mar the beauty of the stunning Loire Valley, with more than 300 castles, magnificent gardens and rich wines. Your guide will take you there, take you past the lines and show you the idylls of the kings.
What to Expect
The beautiful Loire Valley was home to France's first families for hundreds of years. Of more than 300 castles, you will be taken to the two most amazing and popular, skipping the lines of waiting tourists.

A short journey from Paris in the comfortable air-conditioned coach brings you to Chateau Chambord. What began in 1519 as a hunting lodge for King Francis I ended up as the biggest castle in the valley, with 440 rooms and 85 staircases. It has been speculated that the fascinating double-helix staircase that allowed the king to go up or down without encountering servants was designed by Leonardo da Vinci, who spent his last years as the king's guest in Amboise.

It will be close to lunchtime when you finish touring the castle and its grounds, which include a huge walled game park. So it’s back to the bus and on to the Nitray Vineyards. Here you will enjoy a great home-cooked lunch and sample some of the region’s best wines, including a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and a full-bodied Cabernet Rouge. Your guide will lead you through the tasting flight.

Your last stop is a tour of Chateau de Chenonceau, the Ladies’ Chateau, an elegant 16th century castle that is sure to steal your heart at first sight with its smooth, white stone and intricately painted wooden door. Inside, the original stone carvings, immense tapestries and intimate chapel are well maintained.

Almost equal in beauty are the castle grounds and many gardens, planted by the women to whom the castle's nickname refers. The first was Diane de Poitiers, King Henry II's mistress. The second was Henry's wife, Catherin de Medici, who expelled her rival when the king died.
What's Included
  • Entrance to Chateau Chambord
  • Entrance and guided tour of Chateau Chenonceau
  • Home-cooked lunch and guided wine tasting at Chateaux Nitray
  • Wines chosen from a Brut "Méthode traditionnelle," Sauvignon Blanc sec, "Les Meuriers" Rosé and Cabernet Rouge, Le Côt, Chenin Blanc (Moelleux 2009)
What's Not Included
  • Hotel pick-up/drop-off
Cancellation Policy
Cancel up to 1 day in advance for a full refund
Meeting Point

Meet your guide at the entrance to the Catacombes de Paris. (Open in Google Maps)

Know Before You Go
• The maximum size for tour groups is 25
• Lunch is made with local products and typically comprises fresh salad, chicken prepared Loire Valley style or vegetarian option, baked tomatoes with onions and oven roasted potatoes, assortment of local cheeses, dessert, espresso and local wines
• Comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
• Gratuities for guides providing excellent service are appreciated but never obligatory.
• The tour is unable to accommodate guests with wheelchairs or any impairments requiring special assistance. Strollers or baby carriages cannot be taken on the tour.

From US$179.77 per person

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Product ID: 13987