Chateau de Chambord

Chateaux Of The Loire Walk

8 days
from
£1,479
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Walking & Trekking
Activity level:
Leisurely
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
W07LO
Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Private Group Adventures
Activity:
Self-Guided Walking
Ages:
12+

This easy paced walking holiday combines pleasant walking along the peaceful Cher and Loire rivers while taking in some of France's most impressive chateaux.

The Loire is famous for its chateaux with over 300 in total to discover. This easy paced, gentle walking holiday balances peaceful, off-the-beaten-track discoveries, with the splendour and opulence of some of the finest Renaissance chateaux in France. There's no tough climbing but you're still rewarded with beautifully unspoilt landscapes and enchanting views at every turn.

You follow a linear route from Blois, passing quiet hamlets and wine villages, before continuing alongside the River Cher through Montrichard, Chenonceaux and Montlouis. Then, you'll enjoy wonderful walks through open fields and sprawling vineyards - with opportunities for wine-tasting - and on to Leonardo da Vinci's bustling town of Amboise. Along the way you'll take in some of France's most impressive chateaux: Chenonceau mesmerises with its iconic arches over the River Cher (be sure to taste the chateau's wine and enjoy a scenic riverside walk); the majestic Chateau d'Amboise is a former royal residence and also houses the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci; while Chateau de Chambord is set in a majestic nature reserve.

The places you'll stay in have been hand-picked for their superb locations, atmospheric charm, excellent cuisine and warm, friendly owners. As well as chateaux, the Loire prides itself on its delicious local cuisine and wine and we've included 2 evening meals - given the fantastic variety of restaurants on your doorstep, we thought you'd appreciate us leaving the choice to you.

Highlights

  • Gentle, off-the-beaten-track walking on relaxing flat routes through sunflowers fields, forest, vineyards and along the Loire and Cher rivers
  • France's finest chateaux including Blois, Chambord, Amboise and Chenonceau
  • Sleepy wine villages; regal Amboise with its boutique-lined streets and esplanades enjoying excellent views over the Loire River.

Key information

  • 7 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of 3 and 4 star hotels
  • Breakfasts daily and 2 evening meals
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Countries visited: France

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 2 eveing meals
  • All accommodation
  • Route directions and maps
  • Transfers for Flight inclusive 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 
  • Walking transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas and vaccinations 
  • Single accommodation (available on request, compulsory supplement)
  • Solo traveller supplement (where only one person is travelling on a departure date)

  • Transfers for Land only (available on request at additional cost)
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

3

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

Walks on this holiday are off-the-beaten-track, gentle and flat routes. There are no tough climbs on this route.

Day by day breakdown
Day 222.0km/13.0miles
Day 415.0km/9.5miles
Day 618.0km/11.0miles

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Itinerary

Expand all
Blois
to
Amboise
  • Day 1

    Arrival in Blois

    Explore the cobbled streets, arcaded squares and impressive chateau of this pretty riverside town before dinner.
    You stay at Hotel Le Monarque

  • Day 2

    Blois / Chambord to Chitenay

    Transfer to Chambord, the largest Chateau of the Loire Valley. Then walk through the estate’s forest before heading across open countryside via sleepy wine villages to Chitenay. Dinner is included for the next 2 nights.
    You stay at Auberge du Centre

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    At Chitenay

    The sleepy wine village of Chitenay is ideally placed to visit many of the Loire's finest chateaux. We particularly recommend picture-postcard Cheverny which has one of the region's largest art collections including a permanent 'Secrets of Moulinsart' exhibition, and also, just 3km further on, lovely little Chateau de Troussay with its rich furnishings collection, elaborately decorated ceilings and attractive landscaped gardens. Enjoy to relax by the pool at the hotel.
    You stay at Auberge du Centre

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 4

    Chitenay to Chenonceaux

    Today a 20-minute transfer takes you to Bourre, where you'll begin your walk alongside the River Cher. You have the chance to visit the Caves des Roches - or 'mushroom caves' - on the way, a vast network of underground caves and tunnels which were formerly limestone mines. You'll also pass La Magnanerie de Bourre, the site of traditional cave dwellings and a silk-worm farm. Continue your walk alongside the River Cher to Montrichard, a traditional French town with its own riverside beach and a number of good restaurants to choose from for lunch, before heading along the GR41 to Chenonceaux.
    You stay at Hotel de la Roseraie

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    At Chenonceaux

    Today you can marvel at the impressive Chateau de Chenonceau, one of the best-known of the Loire chateaux with its iconic arches over the river. This fairytale chateau has seen some famous figures from history, notably Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de'Medici - rivals for Henry II's affections - and Mary, Queen of Scots. The university city of Tours is an easy train ride away, home to a plethora of bars, cafes and restaurants, along with popular shopping centres and quirky independent shops in the old quarter.
    You stat Hotel de la Roseraie

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Chenonceaux to Amboise

    We take you from Chenonceaux to Montlouis and from there follow the back roads of the GR3 which run parallel to the River Loire. From Montlouis you'll walk through the Loire's sprawling vineyards, with the chance to stop and taste delicious wines on the way. Continue your walk alongside the Loire and you'll arrive in the bustling market town of Amboise.
    You stay at Hotel Clos d'Amboise

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    At Amboise

    Amboise has a charming mediaeval feel, with historical links to the French Royal Family and also connections to Leonardo da Vinci who spent his last few years at Clos Luce, now a museum which houses displays of some of the artist's original work. Da Vinci's tomb is housed in the majestic Chateau d'Amboise which also hosts the impressive Son et Lumiere display. Amboise offers plenty of restaurants and cafes in which to relax and sample the local wines and produce.
    You stay at Hotel Clos d'Amboise

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Leave Amboise

    Depart Amboise after breakfast

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

France

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 2 evening meals are included

The Loire prides itself on it's cuisine. It is refined country cooking, not heavy but rich in flavours and textures, drawing on the great garden of the Loire valley. Fruit and vegetables abound. Asparagus, artichokes, button mushrooms, cherries and strawberries from the Loire are transported to kitchens throughout France, which demonstrates the quality of the produce. These all provide delicious accompaniments to the duck, venison and wild boar dishes (all hunted locally) and served in sauces using wines from the local vineyards. Fish also features in abundance. With three wide, gently flowing rivers passing through the region, freshwater fish appear on most menus. 'Sandre' (pikeperch) and breme (bream) are especially popular and are usually served in a beurre blanc sauce - made with shallots, butter, dry white wine and vinegar. The majority of the cheese found in the region is goat's cheese. We suggest trying Selles-sur-Cher from the neighbouring Blesois region. Desserts are often based on the fruit from the local orchards. They include 'tarte tatin', a yummy caramelised upside-down apple pie - the invention of two absent-minded sisters in their attempt to salvage a dessert they had dropped on the floor.

The Loire is undoubtedly one of Europe's finest wine producing regions with many of the separate wine areas producing red, white, rose and sparkling wines. Distinctive whites include Sancerre, Pouilly-Fume, Vouvray and Muscadet; for reds, try Chinin, Bourgueil and Saumur. Anjou is by far the most popular rose.

Weather

The Loire valley is blessed with fantastic weather for walking. The spring and autumn seasons experience mild climates with temperatures averaging 16-20 degrees Celsius. The summers are generally warmer with temperatures reaching the high 20s. There is always the chance of rain so it is best to be prepared for this with a waterproof layer, it is also good to have a warmer layer for the early mornings and evenings.

Weather chart Loire

Is this trip for you?

Walking Conditions
Classification: Self-Guided
Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average daily distance: 18km
No. of days walking: 3
Terrain and route: Walks on this holiday are off-the-beaten-track, gentle and flat routes. There are no tough climbs on this route.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation, provide you with route directions so that you can walk at your own pace, while your bags are transported from one hotel to the next.

It is important that you are happy following route directions, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There maybe others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The routes directions contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local agent is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

HOTEL LE MONARQUE, BLOIS
One of our bestsellers in Blois! Located in Blois, 400 m from Blois Castle, Hôtel Restaurant LE MONARQUE boasts a restaurant, bar and free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking is available on site, subject to availability. Every room is fitted with a flat-screen TV. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom with a hairdryer. You will find room service at the property. A buffet breakfast including cold meats, eggs and hot drinks is served every morning.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

AUBERGE DU CENTRE, CHITENAY
Tucked away in the elegant little village of Chitenay is the lovely ivy-clad Auberge du Centre, run by the charming Martinet family. Dinner is served either in the pretty dining room, or on the terrace.
The hotel has a pleasant terrace overlooking its pretty gardens and swimming pool (pool towels are provided; ask at reception), which are a real treat on a summer's day, as well as an attractive sitting area inside, complete with wooden beams and comfy chairs.
Access to the Spa area is payable locally at 15€ per person per day. Access is free to those staying in a 'Balneo' room.

HOTEL LA ROSERAIE, CHENONCEAUX
Ideally situated in the centre of Chenonceaux and just a 400m from the chateau, the Hotel La Roseraie, built in the 18th century offers comfortable rooms and a wonderful place to relax after a day walking or sightseeing with its garden and pool.

HOTEL LE CLOS D, AMBOISE
Located near the pedestrian area of Amboise, the Hotel Le Clos d'Amboise was built in the 17th century and was once a doctor's mansion. Renovated over the years it has still retained a number of original features.
Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for private group trips:
020 8772 3936
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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Dates & Prices

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

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Please call one of our experts to discuss your private group requirements on 0203 993 4668, or fill out the form below and we will give you a call back.

Please provide as much information as possible below so we can best help with your holiday requirements.

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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