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France
  • 7 days/6 nights
  • Next Departure: Jun 21, 2015
  • From $3,398 / person
  • ($780 single supplement) Children: $2,718 to $3,058

Loire Valley Tours

Quintessential France is at your family’s beckoning on our Loire Valley Family tour. Bike leisurely with your family along the Loire Valley, through small, French towns on your way to renowned châteaux. See Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions, walk in the footsteps of John of Arc, get lost in expertly manicured gardens, and see which family member can guess which castle was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty.

  • Family Vacations
  • Biking
  • Cultural
  • Wine / Gourmet

Activity Level: Easy

About
This Tour

From castles to kings to vintage cars, this weeklong Loire Valley adventure is a recipe for family fun.

  • Pedal at a leisurely pace crisscrossing vast forests, lush vineyards, fields of sunflowers, and quiet villages
  • Bike to King François I’s Château de Chambord and count the staircases in the grandiose 440-room estate
  • Marvel at the lifelike King Charles VII and Anne of Brittany wax figures at the Château de Langeais
  • Ride to Le Clos Lucé in Amboise, the last residence of Leonardo da Vinci, to check out his countless inventions
  • Explore Château de Chenonceau, perched gracefully over the Cher River
  • Opt for a gentle kayak along the Vienne River and ooh and ahhh over the vintage car collection at Musée Dufresne
  • Dine like royalty over an exquisite meal of beef tournedos and handmade cream puffs at the Château de Pray
Biking in Loire
Photo: Biking in Loire

I just loved the guides, and how organized everything was. All of the details were taken care of.

Melissa Ottenjan Bonita Springs, FL

Itinerary
& Map

Tour Itinerary

7 days/6 nights

Paris, France (CDG or ORY)

Day 1: Blois
Blois
Meals Included:  L, D
Overnight: Hotel Mercure

On Day 1, we meet in Paris in the morning.

After a transfer to the half-timbered town of Blois, mount your bicycle and head to the Château de Chambord, the "Versailles of the Loire."

See its magnificent skyline as you approach, then tour the château for an up-close look.

Tonight, join your guides and fellow travelers for a wonderful welcome dinner.

About Hotel Mercure
Located in the center of Blois facing the Loire River, Hotel Mercure is a three-star hotel just a five-minute walk away from the old part of Blois and 10 minutes from the chateau and the Maison de la Magie house of magic.

With modern architecture, the hotel features the Quai St Jean restaurant, as well as a bar, swimming pool, sauna, Jacuzzi and steam bath.

Day 2: Amboise
Amboise
Meals Included:  B, D
Overnight: Chateau de Pray

Enjoy a relaxing day criss-crossing the Loire, bicycling amid forests and vineyards, and taking time for a wine tasting or a tour.

  • Visit the grand Château du Chaumont, a turreted castle with a colorful past
  • Soak up the lively atmosphere of Amboise and its luminous Royal Castle, where your hotel overlooks the Loire

About Chateau de Pray
Resembling a tower-flanked castle on the Rhine, Chateau de Pray lies in the heart of the prestigious Loire Chateaux Region. This 16th century Renaissance château houses antlers, hunting trophies, and a paneled drawing room with a fireplace and collection of antique oils.

The hotel’s restaurant, elected "Table de qualité" by Alain Ducasse, offers Loire cuisine and menus of excellent quality. (On the occasion the restaurant is closed, we shall be dining at the equally superb Restaurant Le 36).

Day 3: Loches
Loches
Meals Included:  B
Overnight: Hotel Luccotel

Today's route leads to Château de Chenonceau, with its refined, graceful architecture.

  • After touring the grounds, pass fields of sunflowers and medieval wine caves en route to Loches
  • Visit the château once captured by Richard the Lionheart, or the royal apartments where Joan of Arc changed the course of history
  • These historical sites bring the past to life!

Discover everything that Loches has to offer as you spend tonight on your own.

About Hotel Luccotel
Overlooking the medieval town of Loches, this hotel provides a heated indoor pool, sauna, 2-hectare park, tennis courts, volleyball and bowls, web space, playroom for children, and game room.

Its restaurant Les Terrasses invites you to discover fresh and inventive cooking, using local products. Wine lovers will be delighted with the selection of wines from Touraine.

Day 4: Azay-le-Rideau
Azay-le-Rideau
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: Hotel le Grand Monarque

Start your day with a trip to Loches’ wonderful market.

Later, fields of asparagus and mushrooms line our route as placid river views reflect the dreamlike beauty of the countryside. Soak up the breathtaking views as the group picnics in Cormery.

Today's highlight is the Château Azay-le-Rideau. Picture perfect, its graceful silhouette is mirrored in the languid waters that surround it.

You'll stay in this scenic town for 2 nights. After resting and freshening up, gather with the group for yet another delectable meal.

About Hotel le Grand Monarque
In the heart of La Vallee des Rois, a registered UNESCO world heritage site, sits Hotel le Grand Monarque.

This hotel-restaurant offers you a charming stay and relaxation. During your stay, you will discover its enchantment, great comfort, an art of living, and genuine French cuisine.

Day 5: Azay-le-Rideau
Azay-le-Rideau
Meals Included:  B, L
Overnight: Hotel le Grand Monarque

Today's ride leads to Chinon.

From the site of France's first parliament to Ussé's Castle, the inspiration for "Sleeping Beauty," today there is something for everyone.

Bike in the densely wooded forest and walk in the steps of Joan of Arc. In the afternoon, opt for a canoe trip or cycle back to Azay-le-Rideau.

Eat dinner at a restaurant of your choosing before being wowed by a nighttime sound and light show (latter in July and August only).

Day 6: Tours
Tours
Meals Included:  B, D
Overnight: Chateau de Beaulieu

Following the Loire north, you’re greeted by more magnificent white châteaux perched amid fertile landscapes and quiet villages.

Visit the elegant Château de Villandry and its famous gardens, before following newly laid-out bike trails to the city of Tours.

End your fantastic day with a grand farewell dinner at your lovely château.

About Chateau de Beaulieu
Recognized for the beauty and charm of its 18th-century architecture, Château de Beaulieu is an oasis of tranquility, hidden away in the countryside, and has welcomed guests for rest and relaxation since 1976.

The château and its bedrooms are beautifully decorated in charming French style. You’ll be close to the lovely old town of Tours. You’ll also be able to enjoy the surrounding park and terrace as well as the Magnolia Spa.

Day 7: Paris
Paris
Meals Included:  B

After breakfast, you will be transferred to Paris for your departure home.

Before heading for Paris or elsewhere in France, you can also opt to spend some time in the bustling center of Tours.

** Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures.

Dates, Rates
& Details

Start planning your next adventure now. See the information below for the rates and selection of available dates. For additional information on dates and availability, please contact our travel specialists.

  • 7 days/6 nights
  • Next Departure: Jun 21, 2015
  • From $3,398 / person
  • ($780 single supplement) Children: $2,718 to $3,058

Departure Dates

  • Jun 21, 2015
  • Jul 19, 2015
  • Aug 16, 2015

Additional Trip Information

Departure
  • Prior to the trip, arrive at your own convenience in Paris.
  • On Day 1, we will meet you in the lobby of Grand Hotel Bedford (8th arrondissement) in Paris at 8:30 a.m.
  • After a transfer to Blois, the cycling begins.
  • After breakfast on Day 7, we take you to the airport, train station, or the hotel of your choice in Paris (three hour transfer).
Activities

Cycling:

  • Day 1 bicycle mileage options: 27 / 41
  • Day 2 bicycle mileage options: 31 / 38 / 43
  • Day 3 bicycle mileage options: 29 / 50
  • Day 4 bicycle mileage options: 29 / 38
  • Day 5 bicycle mileage options: 23 / 41 / 46
  • Day 6 bicycle mileage options: 27 / 37
Meals

The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. All meals: breakfasts, lunches, snacks, dinners, refreshments and receptions are included as indicated by itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.

Included in Trip Price
  • Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
  • All breakfasts. Lunches and dinners as listed by day. Snacks along the route.
  • Fully trained, first-aid certified professional guides and knowledgeable local partners.
  • Bikes, helmets and other necessary equipment – all safe and well maintained.
  • Vehicle support and land transportation during the trip.
  • Austin Adventures T-shirt, water bottle, luggage tags and luggage service.
  • Pre-departure and packing information.
  • Incidental expenses such as taxes, dining and housekeeping gratuities, local guide and expert gratuities.
Not Included in Trip Price
  • Gratuities to Austin Adventures guides.
  • Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities.
  • Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
  • Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
  • All types of personal insurance.
  • Personal expenses.
Photos

A few more reasons why you've gotta go…

  • 1. The cars: Musee Automobile de la Sarthe (auto museum), is the result of over 100 years of car collecting and features some of the rarest and most beautiful automobiles in the world.
  • 2. The gardens: The well-maintained and manicured outdoor spaces include lush medicinal, aromatic, herbal and vegetable gardens as well as parterres, orchards of trained fruit, labyrinths, cloisters, rose gardens, canals and lakes.
  • 3. The Mini Castle Park: After you’ve seen your share of castles, villas and châteaux, see them again in miniature. This park in Amboise contains over 40 miniature models of the country's most famous châteaux.
  • 4. The Loire River Bridge: An impressive masonry bridge designed and built by Jacques Gabriel in 1717, who was the royal architect.
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