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Chateaux Of The Loire Walk - Short Break Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Short Breaks, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
France
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W04LO
Activity Level: Leisurely
Leisurely

You are healthy, enjoy the outdoors and want a relaxing trip. No experience is required.

5 Days Flight Inclusive
5 Days Land only
Ages: 12+

Trip Overview

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.

At a Glance

  • 4 nights hotel-to-hotel accommodation in a mix of 3 and 4 star hotels
  • Breakfasts daily and 1 evening meal
  • Management by your local Headwater-appointed agent
  • Route directions and maps 

Trip 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.

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.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be 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.

Adult min age:
12

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Blois
End City:
Amboise

Land Only Itinerary

  • 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 on this night.
    You stay at Auberge du Centre

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 22 km / 13 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4.5
  • Day 3

    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.

    Then, 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.
    You stay at Hotel de la Roseraie

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 15 km / 9.5 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3
  • Day 4

    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.

    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
    Distance covered: 18 km / 11 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 5

    Leave Amboise

    Depart Amboise after breakfast

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

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.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £224.00

Food & Transport

Eating & 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.

Transportation

Your luggage will be transported between hotels so you only need to carry your daily essentials. Your bags will be waiting at your next hotel when you arrive.
Car transfers ar used to take you to the beginning of your walk on 3 of the days.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

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 Charts

Weather chart Loire

Joining Instructions

Flight inclusive prices include our standard flights, onward rail.

British Airways Heathrow to Paris CDG 07:20/09:35 then rail Paris Montparnasse to Blois-Chambord via St Pierre des Corps 12:29/15:15 (Mon-Fri), Paris Austerlitz to Blois-Chambord 12:37/14:06 (Sat) & Paris Austerlitz-Blois-Chambord via Orleans 13:22/15:20 (Sun) and taxi to hotel payable locally 5 mins.
Return: Taxi to station payable locally 5 mins then rail Blois-Chambord to Paris Montparnasse via St Pierre des Corps 11:30/13:33 (Mon-Fri) & Blois-Chambord to Paris Austerlitz 12:03/13:39 (Sat & Sun) then British Airways Paris CDG to Heathrow 17:40/17:55 (Tues), 18:05/18:20 Sun, Mon & Weds) & 18:50/19:05 (Fri, Sat & Thurs).

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Blois
Location end:
Amboise

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Walking boots

Water bottle

Daypack

Sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses

Warm jumper

Waterproofs

Optional Equipment

Walking poles

amboise_chateau

Practical Information

Passport

France

Most nationalities, including British, require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information below is primarily for UK passport holders, and other nationalities should check with their travel agent or the relevant embassies. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

France

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

France

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

France's Timezone:
Europe/Paris CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

France's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins. 230 Volts AC.

Money

France's Currency

The national currency of France is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication (October 2017) of approximately 1.1 to the GBP,  0.84 to the USD, 0.67 to the CAD, 0.66 to the AUD and 0.59 to the NZD.

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip. 

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need money for lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks as well as any sites you wish to visit. Lunches can be inexpensive if you buy produce from local markets or shops and make up a picnic. However, if you stop at a café you can easily spend €15. We would recommend budgeting for €5-15 for lunches and allow an additional €10 a day for any extras. Dinners can cost between €15-40 depending on the type of restaurant you visit and would not include drinks.

vineyards-chinon

Responsible Tourism

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

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.