Headwater - Chateaux of the Loire Self-Guided Walk

9 days
from
£1,249
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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
W08LR
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
8

Discover riverside trails, sleepy hamlets and vineyards.

On this 8-night, self-guided holiday you'll enjoy wonderfully relaxed walking amidst the sublime architecture and picturesque landscapes of the famous Loire region.

Highlights

  • Wonderful relaxed walking on flat, riverside routes and through poppy fields and parkland
  • Beautiful Loire and Cher rivers; majestic chateaux including Amboise, Chenonceau, Cheverny and Chaumont
  • Sleepy wine village of Chitenay; pretty Amboise with its boutique-lined streets
  • Hotels full of character with delicious regional cuisine and excellent wines

Key information

  • 8 nights hotel-to-hotel
  • 4 Days Walking
  • Continental breakfast and 6 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Headwater Wine Collection Service 
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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.

4

Days of Walking & Trekking
Terrain:

Mainly flat walking along riverside paths and through open fields and vineyards. Much of the route follows waymarked GRs. Good views with not too much effort!

Day by day breakdown
Day 214.0km/9.0miles
Day 417.0km/11.0miles
Day 617.0km/11.0miles
Day 821.0km/14.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Itinerary

Chaumont
to
Chaumont
  • Day 1

    Arrive at Chaumont

    Arrive at your riverside hotel in Chaumont. (Staying at Hostellerie du Chateau, Half Board)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Chaumont to Chitenay

    Today's walk takes you alongside the River Beuvron into the sleepy village of Cande-sur-Beuvron before passing the Chateau de Frileuse on your way to Les Montils, a perfect place for a lunch stop. Heading out of town through open countryside, you arrive in the pretty hamlet of Seur, before crossing the river into Chitenay. Your hotel offers superb food; relax on the terrace overlooking the gardens and swimming pool and enjoy an aperitif before dinner. (Staying at Auberge du Centre, Half Board)

    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. (Staying at Auberge du Centre, Half Board)

    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 through Chissay-en-Touraine to Chenonceaux. (Staying at Hotel La Roseraie, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • 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. (Staying at Hotel La Roseraie, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 6

    Chenonceaux to Amboise

    Take the train from Chenonceaux to Veretz-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; don't forget - we'll carry any wine purchases for you! Continue your walk alongside the Loire and you'll arrive in the bustling market town of Amboise. (Staying at Hotel Le Pavillon des Lys, Breakfast only)

    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. (Staying at Hotel Le Pavillon des Lys, Breakfast only)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Amboise to Chaumont

    Head south-east today, following the GR3 trail towards the village of Souvigny-de-Touraine, before sauntering through open fields and vineyards, perhaps stopping off for a final tasting! You'll then join the Camino de Santiago trail as you make your way back to riverside Chaumont. (Staying at Hostellerie du Chateau, Half Board)

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 9

    Leave Chaumont

    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

Continental breakfast and 6 evening meals.

Standards of cooking in the Loire are consistently high. It’s civilised and 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. These provide succulent accompaniments to the duck, venison and wild boar dishes (all hunted locally) and served in sauces using wines from the local vineyards.

Non-meat eaters have no need to feel left out though - with three wide, gently flowing rivers passing through, freshwater fish appear on most restaurant menus. Sandre (pikeperch) and brème (bream) are especially popular and are usually served in a beurre blanc sauce - the Loire fish dish, made with shallots, butter, dry white wine and vinegar.

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 Celcius. 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.

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)
Average daily distance on move on days:

Terrain: 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. We have suggested that 8yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. You are provided with route notes for each day, which begin with an overview of the walk and advice on lunch, followed by detailed instructions. The route notes contain a 24 hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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

We've hand-picked friendly, welcoming hotels for your holiday, full of character and in some of the Loire's finest locations. You can expect mouth-watering food and wine, with meals included everywhere except Amboise where there's a wonderful selection of restaurants for you to choose from.

Call for general departures:
+91 80 4213 6106
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
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.

Expert Blog Entries

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

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]

Call us on +91 80 4213 6106