LOIRE VALLEY

UNESCO CASTLES TO CASTLES! – SELF-GUIDED

Trip Style

Rolling hills

Availability

March to October

Highlight

Historic villages, Gardens of France, World-class wines and gastronomy

Price from

625 EUR

 

Grade

Loire Valley (Vallee de La Loire in French) was added to the unique UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2000. When delivering its decision, the committee said that the area was an exceptional cultural landscape, of great beauty, comprised of historic cities and villages, great architectural monuments – the Chateaux – and lands that have been cultivated and shaped by centuries of interaction between local populations and their physical environment, in particular, the Loire itself.

 

With cities such as Orleans, Blois, Tours or Nantes, the Loire Valley offers an incredible quality of architectural heritage. Also known as the Gardens of France, Loire Valley is a great place to enjoy biological diversity, endless well kept forests (such as Forest of Amboise) and last but not least, its world-class wines.

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We have graded this walk as “moderate” as the average walking time is 4 hours, without any major ascent or descent.

 

The Loire Valley is noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage,in its world-famous castles, such as the Château of Amboise, Château of Chambord or Château of Chenonceaux (“Château des Dames”), three of the most exceptional castles in France with Versailles but there are also lots of small castles you will see during these walking holidays like Leonardo da Vinci’s last home (Château du Clos Lucé).

 

The romantic representation of the Valley in the 19th century by writers and painters led to the Loire becoming a magnet for tourists, first from France, then Europe, and then in the 20th century the rest of the world. This interest in the scenic qualities of the Valley and its monuments encouraged efforts to preserve the heritage of the landscape, in the form of its monuments, its towns,  its rural structure, it nature and gastronomy.

Day 1: Blois
Day 2: Blois to Chambord 17,5km/4h30
Day 3: Chambord to Bracieux 15.5km/4h00
Day 4: Bracieux to Cheverny 18.5km/4h45
Day 5: Cheverny to Fougères 16km/4h45
Day 6: Fougères to Thésée 19.5km/4h55
Day 7: Thésée to Montrichard 15.5km/4h25
Day 8: Montrichard to Chenonceaux 19.5km/5h00
Day 9: Chenonceaux to Amboise 15km/3h45
Day 10: Amboise to Chaumont 24km/6h00
Day 11: Chaumont to Blois 24km/6h00
Day 12: Blois

Day 1: Blois
Day 2: Blois to Chambord 17.5km/4h30
Day 3: Chambord to Bracieux 15.5km/4h00
Day 4: Bracieux to Cheverny 18.5km/4h45
Day 5: Cheverny to Fougères 16km/4h45
Day 6: Fougères to Thésée 19.5km/4h55
Day 7: Thésée to Montrichard 15.5km/4h25
Day 8: Montrichard

Day 1: Blois
Day 2: Taxi to Chambord + Chambord to Bracieux 15.5km/4h00
Day 3: Bracieux to Cheverny 18.5km 4h45
Day 4: Taxi to Montrichard + Montrichard to Chenonceaux 19.5km/5h00
Day 5: Chenonceaux to Amboise 15km/3h45
Day 6: Taxi to Chaumont + Chaumont to Blois 24km/6h00
Day 7: Blois

Day 1: Montrichard
Day 2: Montrichard to Chenonceaux 19.5km/5h00
Day 3: Chenonceaux to Amboise 15km/3h45
Day 4: Amboise to Chaumont 24km/6h00
Day 5: Chaumont to Blois 24km/6h00
Day 6: Blois

PACKAGE DETAILS

Day 1: Blois


Situated on the banks of the lower river Loire between Orléans and Tours, Blois is the capital of Loir-et-Cher department in central France. In 1986, Blois was given the “Ville d’art et d’histoire” label, a description awarded by the Ministry of Culture to cities that undertake to enhance and protect their heritage.

Day 2: Blois to Chambord 17,5km/4h30


7 days itinerary taxi: Blois-Chambord – 17,5km/22min, then follow itinerary from Chambord to Bracieux and Bracieux to Cheverny. During this stage, you have to follow the itinerary “Loire à vélo”. The itinerary begins in the centre of Blois near the railway station: ‘Place de la gare’. On the first day, you will see two castles (Blois and Cahmbord)! There is no question, you are in the heart of Loire Valley, the land of castles.

Day 3: Chambord to Bracieux 15.5km/4h00


This small town is best known as the location of the Château de Chambord, the largest in the Loire Valley and one of the most recognisable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture.
The Chambord castle appears suddenly at the edge of a path, and the sight of its white massive structure that widens and takes shape, little by little, produces a dramatic impression, which is even more striking at sunset.
After visiting the castle (even if you did it yesterday), you have to take the way to Bracieux. In this stage, you will cross the unspoilt nature of Loire Valley and its famous vineyards.

Day 4: Bracieux to Cheverny 18.5km/4h45


You have now reached a pleasant hamlet called Bracieux. In the heart of vineyards, you feel in harmony and peace-minded.
After reaching “Les Ogonières”, walk along and cross a small lake called “Le Grand Cotlereau”. Now, the way to go to Cheverny is “Le chemin aux boeufs”, an ancient way, which was used to transfer bullock herd from Limousin to Paris. After crossing Cheverny forest you enter in the town (to go to the castle you have to take the way on your left before to enter in Cheverny).

Day 5: Cheverny to Fougères 16km/4h45


Almost only famous thanks to the castle, Cheverny lies in the Loire Valley, about 10 km southeast of Blois. The present Château de Cheverny is an original jewel among the more famous monuments that stretch along the Loire Valley. The Belgian comic book creator Hergé used Cheverny as a model for his fictional “Château de Moulinsart” (Marlinspike Hall) in The Adventures of Tintin books.

7 days itinerary taxi: Cheverny-Montrichard – 29,3km/35min, then follow itinerary from Montrichard to Chenonceaux and Chenonceaux to Amboise. From the church in the centre of Cheverny, follow the road toward Contres. Cheverny castle, Troussay castle, Clos du Sentier, Clos du Poira,… History and wine take place along this stage to reach the next town, Fougères.

Day 6: Fougères to Thésée 19.5km/4h55


Often called just Fougères, the town is more correctly called Fougères-sur-Bièvre. You can visit in the town: the Middle-Ages castle, the church and the wash-house.
At the crossroads in the centre of Fougères turn left, go along the castle to arrive at the church and then follow the direction to Choussy. Before you reach this one take the time to see “Abbaye de Cornilly”, an old and authentic abbey built in the XI century. Don’t take the road to Choussy, go along a mill, cross a forest and go along another castle (Gué-Pan castle) and enter in Thésée.

Day 7: Thésée to Montrichard 15.5km/4h25


It is in the small town of Thésée you can see the Gallo-Roman vestiges “Bâtiments des Maselles”. Just after you leave the town in the direction of Tours, you can admire these 2nd-century buildings.
Take the way to Monthou to leave the town and after Bourré. If you have time, it will be interesting to visit the “Champignonière des Roches”. Just before you arrive in Montrichard go along Vallagon castle, a lovely old castle.

Day 8: Montrichard to Chenonceaux 19.5km/5h00


Dominated by its medieval dungeon, Montrichard, bordering departments of Loir-et-Cher and Indre-et-Loire is today a highly active lifestyle. The castle was constructed by Foulques Nerra, Count of Anjou, and rebuilt in the 12th century.

Note: Here it is the beginning of the 6 days itinerary.

To leave the town you have to go along Cher River and after follow the way to Chissay, Saint-Georges, Franceuil and Chenonceaux, places which combine history with culture and heritage. The entrance of Chenonceaux castle is 1km before you cross Cher River and enter the town.

Day 9: Chenonceaux to Amboise 15km/3h45


About 26 km east of Tours, Chenonceaux is situated on the right bank of the Cher River. The hamlet is famous thanks to Chateau of Chenonceau, which was built on the site of an old mill on the River Cher. There is a difference in spelling between the Château’s name (Chenonceau) and the village (Chenonceaux).
After visiting Chenonceaux castle, go to Civray-de-Touraine and follow the way to Amboise through the big forest of Amboise, it’s small lakes and idyllic spots at every turn of the way.

Day 10: Amboise to Chaumont 24km/6h00


Amboise is famous for the Clos Lucé manor house where Leonardo da Vinci lived at the invitation of King Francis I of France, whose Château d’Amboise, which dominates the town, is located just 500 metres away.

7 days itinerary taxi: Amboise-Chaumont – 19,9km/20min, then follow itinerary from Chaumont to Blois.

The stage begins in Tourists office on the “Quai du Général de Gaulle”.  Pass in front of Amboise castle in your left and few meters after Clos Lucé and continue through unspoilt landscapes of vineyards and forest to reach Sauvigny-de-Touraine first and Rilly-sur-Loire then on the border of Loire River, authentic and typical town of Loire Valley. When you enter Chaumont, you can admire the splendour of Chaumont castle.

Day 11: Chaumont to Blois 24km/6h00


Chaumont-sur-Loire is a charming village on the banks of the Loire, UNESCO has classified it as a World Heritage Site. Chaumont-sur-Loire is also known for its feudal castle which dominates the valley and the village.
You begin the stage to go along the Loire River, a peaceful and pleasant way for your last stage. After crossing Candé-sur-Beuvron, Chailles and pass through vineyards you can admire magical landscapes at the sunset before you enter in Blois.

Day 12: Blois


We can arrange extra nights anywhere on the itinerary after your last walking day. We can also arrange a station/airport transfer. Please get in touch:info@onefootabroad.com for more info.

INCLUDED AND NOT

  • 11 nights in 2*
  • 11 Breakfast
  • Roadbook (Guidebook)
  • Luggage Transfer
  • 24/7 Customer Care
  • Flights/trains
  • Insurance
  • Drinks
  • Transfer from/to airport
  • Extra night stays
  • Upgrade Hotels: 3* or 4*

Access

Way in: To Blois


Best airport is Tours. Other possible airports: Paris Orly and Paris Charles De Gaulle orNantes.
Check train transfers below to choose the most convenient airport

Tours Airport, 65 km west of Blois’ downtown.
Daily direct flights:
Tours – London Stanted (1.20 hrs) – Ryanair
Tours – Dublin (1.30 hrs) – Ryanair
Nantes – Dublin (1.30 hrs) – Ryanair/Air France/KLM  Daily TGV from/to:
Tours (Saint-Pierre des Corps) – Blois (30 min)
Paris – Blois (2.20 hrs) – 1 connection in Saint-Pierre des Corps (Tours)
Nantes – Blois (2.15 hrs) – 1 connection in Angers or Saint-Pierre des Corps (Tours)

Details on prices and time on the sncf website.

Motorway:
 Tours/Blois: 65 km (A10)
Paris/Blois: 185 km (A10)
Nantes/Blois: 280 km (A11, then A85 after Angers and A10 in Tours)

Way back: From Montrichard


Montrichard – Saint-Pierre des Corps (Tours) (30 min)
Details on prices and time on the sncf website.

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