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Home » France - Loire Valley
Welcome to Hooked on Walking Holidays and our walking holidays in France. This particular hiking vacation in France is a walking tour in the beautiful Loire Valley. Imagine famous Castles and Chateaux set alongside the great river the Loire. We have graded this self guided walking tour as a level 1 tour making it suitable for all walkers. The Loire Valley has seen many of France’s kings pass through its territories. Listed with UNESCO as a World Heritage site, it is one of the rare places in the world where one finds magnificent chateaux, mansions, churches and abbeys in such quantity, giving testimony to an intense and rich spiritual and cultural life, as well as an art de vivre that has continued throughout the centuries.
Your tour will begin at Amboise, one of the oldest cities of the Loire Valley. Your wanderings will bring you to Chenonceaux to discover this magnificent chateau where women have distinguished themselves throughout history. You will cross through the vineyards of Montlouis and Vouvray where lovely little dwellings lie quietly hidden. You will come to the city of Tours, a city of history and art that breathes in the walls of the buildings of the old quarter, the cathedral and the many museums. You will be thrilled by the beauty of the gardens at Villandry, impressed by the fortress of Langeais, and won over by the charm of Azay-le-Rideau.
Why not arrive early and take a stroll through the city. Amboise is one of the cities of the Val de Loire region with the most ancient history because of its particular geographic location. The large island that separates the Loire into two branches, made crossing the Loire River easier here than in other places. Another important attribute of the location is the abrupt rise of the Plateau that dominates the fork of the Loire and Amasse rivers, creating a natural protection and an ideal spot for the construction of fortifications and later the town
Today you can visit the royal chateau that sits on the banks of the Loire, the first chateau built in the renaissance style. You will see also the chateau of Clos Luce, where Leonardo de Vinci lived, and the Musee de l’Hotel de Ville (museum). We encourage you to wander through the streets of the city and investigate its rich architectural heritage.
You will leave Amboise and walk through the local forests and Vineyards. You will walk through some hamlets and peaceful villages nestled at bottom of small valleys. You will have the whole afternoon to discover the chateau of Chenonceau known as Château des Dames (castle of Ladies). Chenonceau owes a large part of its charm to women: it was built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, then made even more attractive by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, and saved from the rigours of the French Revolution by Mrs Dupin.
The lovely surroundings, the formal garden and the park surrounding it add to the impression of delicate grace emanating from the castle. Chenonceau is not only remarkable for its architecture and history but also for the fine quality of its collections as can be seen from the inside visit: Renaissance furniture, a vast ensemble of XVIth and XVIIth centuries tapestries and a great number of masterpieces.
Today after breakfast a taxi transfer to Vouvray where you can visit Vouvray, a charming little village built on the sloping hills overlooking the Loire. The village is known for its natural and sparkling white wines, which are recognized as among the best of Touraine. In this setting, there still remain a few troglodytic dwellings nestled into the hillsides. You will cross through the vineyards and pass by rich agricultural properties, as well as the chateau of Montcontour.
You will set out again through the vineyards for Rochecorbon, a small village situated at the base of the cliffs. On the cliffs sits a lookout called Lanterne. Soon you will meet again the banks of the Loire, passing in front of the ancient Marmoutier Abbey, and continue on to the city of Tours. Your hotel is located in the old quarters of the city.
A taxi will transfer you to the Priory of Saint Come in the morning. You will begin your day with a tour of the priory, once the dwelling place of Ronsard, one of the greatest French poets of the Renaissance. You will follow the Loire back into the old neighborhoods of Tours and visit the ancient streets that lie around the Place Plumereau, the cathedral and Saint Julien Church. You will see wonderful old homes and mansions, each one more beautiful than the last, some of which now hold within their walls museums that are open to the public, such as the Musee des Beaux-Arts and the Musee du Compagnonnage (museum). A full day awaits you in the city of Tours!
First a taxi transfer to the chateau of Villandry to the west of Tours. This chateau holds a collection of treasures, such as a variety of Spanish paintings, 18th century furniture, and most notably lovely Renaissance gardens. You will find five magnificent gardens that await you, the vegetable garden, the garden of fountains, the ornamental garden, the garden of medicinal plants, and the labyrinth. You will then walk to the banks of the Cher and Loire rivers and follow them to Langeais. The town sits beneath the imposing structures of a 15th century fortress and a 10th century keep, which remain from the fortified castle that once defended the Loire Valley from western invasions.
First today you will have a taxi transfer to the chateau of Sache on the banks of the Indre River. Dating to the 16th and 18th centuries and surrounded by a pleasant park, this chateau now holds a grand museum dedicated to the famous 18th century French writer Balzac. He came here often to escape his creditors and find the tranquillity necessary for writing. You will make your way towards Villaines-les-Rochers, where many artists work with wicker, and continue on to Azay-le-Rideau. Here, you will find one of the most beautiful Renaissance chateaux of the Loire valley. Built on the banks of the river Indre, the structure stands tall in grace, and the interior staircase is a masterpiece of its kind. It is home to a lovely collection of 16th century furniture and tapestries.
This tour is easy. No walk more than 17 km (10.5 miles) You will walk 4 or 5 hours at relaxed pace and spend time at places of interest along the route. Walking experience is not necessary as distances are short and the terrain is gentle. 2 persons Minimum
Selected 2 star accommodation or upgraded to 3 & 4 star accommodation only.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Walking that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.
By Plane to Tours airport and then by train to Amboise or by plane/train to Paris and scheduled trains from Paris-Austerlitz station to Amboise. Scheduled trains from Langeais to Paris with a change at Tours on return.
By car where car parking is available.
2018 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.
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