Thanks to its emblematic and romantic castles, renowned wine-tasting route, cultural riches and natural wonders, the Loire Valley is one of the most popular– and luxury-drenched– destinations in France. That’s why our bespoke Loire Valley tours are designed to help you encounter the region in ways that are both entirely personal and extraordinary.
Endowed with ancient villages and fairytale châteaux long envied by the Gauls, Romans, Visigoths and even Attila le Hun, the Loire Valley has had a magical air about it for many centuries. Before its Renaissance-era châteaux appeared, the Valley was known for its medieval dungeons and fortresses, regarded by enemies as being impenetrable.
Strong architectural development in the region was encouraged by its mild climate, fertile lands and the presence of rivers perfect for irrigation and agriculture. The Loire River also served to facilitate communication and trade with the Mediterranean, Burgundy, Lyon and more distant provinces To discover all the secrets of the river, including its spectacular wildlife, you should consider embarking on a luxurious and nature-filled river tour of the Loire.
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Often referred to as the Garden of France for its lush character, the Valley is an enchanted land populated with vineyards, floral gardens and rolling green hills, on which loom more than a thousand magnificent Châteaux. For centuries it has been a coveted place for poets and writers, who composed some of France’s treasured works of literature there.
If you are looking for a French getaway filled with luxury, serenity and nature, the Loire is an ideal destination. Read on to find out why– and how we can help you experience the region in an extraordinary way.
The Valley is recognised and cherished around the world for its iconic Châteaux. Lanterns, turrets, gables, dormer windows and elaborate spiral staircases: these distinctive features prompted UNESCO to name all the chateaux of the Valley as World Heritage sites. Our private Loire Valley tours will take you back in time, allowing you to explore the heritage of these remarkable chateaux in ways that are both opulent and authentic. The list of beautiful sites to visit seems endless– from Chenonceau and Chambord to Villandry and Amboise. Pick two or three to concentrate on during your next visit: this will ensure you take in all their historical riches and beauty.
The Loire river is an extraordinary observatory for birdwatching. It will regale nature lovers with endless opportunities for observing wild fowl. You can climb aboard a traditional flat-bottomed wooden Loire river cruise boat, fitted for total comfort and luxury. Floating gently along the Loire river, you will discover its fascinating flora and fauna. On a summer day, and especially around dusk, get ready for an amazing natural concert composed of birdcalls, and admire their flight formations against the backdrop of a breathtaking sunset.
Going behind the scenes, you will discover the magnificent architecture, the beautifully kept gardens and the hidden treasures of these exceptional man-made landscapes.
French or English, geometric or wild, always beautifully blooming, with vegetables or fragrant rose bushes: the gardens and parks of the Loire Valley are truly amazing. Exploring them is a brilliant way of discovering of the art of outdoor living as it was during the Renaissance. The famous, enchanting garden of Villandry, is renowned for its symmetry, precision and the harmony of the floral arrangements. A symbol of perfect beauty. In Chateau Clos Lucé, you can walk in the Garden of Leonardo Da Vinci, a bucolic English park reflecting the influence of nature on his work. Other treasures can be found notably at Chateau de Chaumont-sur-Loire, its gardens looking like something straight out of a fairytale; Château de Chambord, Château de Rivau… It is endless!
Loire valley wines tend to be light and fruity, but still have plenty of distinctive qualities. It is in this region that you can embark on the longest wine route in France, encountering a remarkable diversity of altitudes and microclimates. As a result, the wines on offer are incredibly diverse, each with their own character. Whites and sparkling whites that rival those of Champagne are among the treasures to discover. Below many of the vineyards that grace the Loire, troglodytic cellars store not only maturing wines, but also harbour edible mushrooms.
Loire Valley is not only wines but also a lot of specialities: goat cheese from Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine, rillons and rillettes from Touraine, pear tapée from Rivarennes, géline saffron from Touraine or even truffles are as many new flavors that you will have the privilege to appreciate during your visit in this beautiful region.
For centuries the Loire river has inspired many, the region has been a coveted place for poets and writers, who composed some of France’s treasured works of literature there.
Artists from Chateaubriand to Balzac favoured the area, inhabiting its castles and composing inspiring works here. What’s more, the area’s architecture and garden landscaping techniques draw from numerous influences– Italian, Flemish, and French, notably– that reflect in a rich artistic and architectural heritage. No wonder the area is often referred to as “The Garden of France”!
In 2000, UNESCO declared the Loire River, the longest river in France, as a World Heritage Site; making it the first river in the world to be recognized as a heritage site. For those interested in heritage and the arts, our private Loire Valley culture tours will be a major draw card.
Exploring the great outdoors is an immense joy in the Loire. In the air, on the water, by bike or even in a horse drawn carriage, the sky’s the limit for a holiday that’s at once luxurious and adventurous. Why not take a long bike ride along the Loire, Europe’s only remaining wild river? It, too, is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site….
Bikes are an ideal form of transport for exploring the Loire Valley, in perfect harmony with its varied landscapes, châteaux and vineyards, thanks to the numerous cycling routes criss-crossing the region. The most well-known of them, La Loire à Vélo (the Loire by Bike), runs along the river over 900 km and is one of the most beautiful, interesting and diverse cycle routes in France. The region also has over 250km hiking trails, another enjoyable way to discover the peaceful, inspiring surroundings.
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