Cuisines, Wines & Châteaux of Loire Valley

9 Days Paris to Paris

Highlights Include: Paris, Loire Valley, Fine Wine Tasting, Larcay, Chaumont and Amboise Châteaux

Often called the “Cradle of the French Language,” the Loire Valley certainly inspires such phrases as c’est magnifique and c’est merveilleux. You’ll be saying That’s splendid! or It’s wonderful! countless times during this Slow Food experience, as you plunge into the history of kings and nobility, winemaking and war, cave dwelling and garden tending. Here in the Loire Valley, all these topics are dialed up a notch: The kings are the likes of Henry II and Louis XI, who made homes of exquisite estates that are today the famed châteaux of the Loire. See several enchanting castles and discover other attractions of the region—the wines, gardens, foods, villages, caves (of Medieval cave dwellers and of mushrooms—yes, mushrooms), plus the scenic river that connects them all. See why the central Loire Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and why it is considered not only the incubator of the French language, but also the “Valley of Kings” and the “Garden of France.”

Cuisine, Wines & Châteaux of Loire Valley

DAY 1 ARRIVE IN PARIS, FRANCE: Bonjour! Welcome to Paris! After taking the private transfer from the airport to your hotel, settle in or start exploring. Later enjoy your welcome dinner. You’ll get a taste of what’s to come with an introduction to the Slow Food philosophy and overview of your upcoming vacation, featuring the delights – both visual and gastronomical – of the Loire Valley.
Hotel Name: Pullman Hotel Paris Rive Gauche. (D)

DAY 2 PARIS: A morning tour of Paris acquaints you with the architectural gems, historical monuments and the tree-lined avenues of this magical city. The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, the River Seine (you have to say it that way – “River” first – or it’s just not the same) are the sights most likely to be highlighted. Late this afternoon, head to Tours and enjoy free time at your hotel, once an 18th-century castle.
Hotel Name: Clarion Chateau Belmont. (B)

 Follow the River Loire to the town of Montluis-sur-Loire, for a memorable winery experience at the Domaine Les Loges de la Folie vineyard. Winemaker Valerye Mordelet will tell you about the stages of crafting fine wine, from vineyard to cellar, grape to glass. Next, visit Château de Chenonceau, perhaps one of the most romantically beautiful of all of France’s châteaux. Dating to 1513, the manor is built on the site of an old mill, with characteristic turrets and towers and elegant formal gardens. Making the chateau unique is its place on – actually on, not beside – the River Cher. A grand, arched bridge-come-hall spans the river’s waters, making it a photographer’s dream. Continue to Bourré to visit La Cave des Roches, or The Cave of Rocks. More accurately, it is the cave of mushrooms, as you will discover when you descend 164 feet underground to explore the world’s only example of mushrooms being cultivated in a subterranean labyrinth. Explore some of the nearly 75 miles of galleries on seven levels, spaces that are dank and somewhat chilly for humans at 53°F, but ideal for growing tasty fungi. Tonight spend time in Tours’ medieval district (Old City) with its half-timbered buildings and open-air restaurants and pubs.
Hotel Name: Clarion Chateau Belmont. (B)

DAY 4 EXPLORE SEPMES VILLAGE & LARCAY VILLAGE: Today will prove a delight for the palate, as you depart for the village of Sepmes to visit Cabri au Lait, aptly named for its production of cheeses from the milk of cabri, or young goats. Taste luscious samples of excellent cheeses and other products before taking a short walk along the river to nearby Larcay. Here, a delightful and insightful cooking experience awaits, hosted at a village restaurant. Then savor dinner of traditional dishes. 
Hotel Name: Clarion Chateau Belmont. (B/D)

DAY 5 DISCOVERING CHAUMONT-SU-LOIRE, AMBOISE & VALAIS: Deux – two – wondrous chateaux are on the itinerary for today: Chaumont and Amboise. Both stand above the River Loire; both have been protected monuments historique since 1840; both are associated with names such as Catherine de Medici and Henry II. Each is a classic French manor in character and design, boasting towers, spires, and steeply pitched roofs. Surely, your heart will go aflutter when you encounter these architectural masterpieces. The town of Amboise is home to not only its namesake chateau, but also an ancient oil mill, which you will visit. Valais is your spot for lunch; Tours is the continuing locale for your overnight stays. Take advantage of your hotel’s amenities such as the pool, spa and free WiFi.
Hotel Name: Clarion Chateau Belmont. (B/L)

DAY 6 LOIRE RIVER CRUISE & CANDES-SAINT MARTIN: Venture to Candes-Saint Martin to board a traditional Loire riverboat for a serene cruise, giving you an opportunity to relax and take in the beauty and history of the Loire Valley. Lunch will be served on board. Afterward, learn about the famed red wines of the region with a discovery guided by Nicolas Reau, winemaker of Clos de Treille.
Hotel Name: Clarion Chateau Belmont. (B/L)

DAY 7 CHANCAY, CHATEAU DE VALMER & GOUPILLIERES: You may have noticed that the grounds of a chateau are often as impressive as the chateau itself. Such is the case at Chateau de Valmer, home to the Saint Venant family, including a countess who is a renowned landscape designer and botanist. The chateau is surrounded by a 17th-century park and glorious Renaissance gardens. Italian-style terraces offer fabulous views over Touraine, while a troglodytic chapel, a hornbeam labyrinth, moats, fountains and statues add to the landscape’s fanciful allure. If the chateau’s expansive gardens are the height of opulence, the maisons troglodytes des Goupillieres, or “homes of the cave dwellers of the town of Goupillieres,” are agreeably basic. Located in Azay-le-Rideau, these cave dwellings reveal both an appealing utilitarianism and a storybook quality. Peek into the lives of the peasants of the Middle Ages who made their homes in this complex of houses hewn from rock, then return to your nicely appointed home-away-from-home in Tours.
Hotel Name: Clarion Chateau Belmont. (B)

DAY 8 PARIS: Travel back to Paris, check into your hotel and enjoy time on your own to experience the City of Light. Later, gather for your farewell dinner in a typical Parisian restaurant.
Hotel Name: Pullman Hotel Paris Rive Gauche. (B/D)

DAY 9 DEPART PARIS: Time to say au revoir! After breakfast, check out of your hotel and take the private transfer to the airport where your journey concludes. (B)

Customize to Suit

The above suggested itinerary can be customized to suit; more or less meals, different cities and/or sightseeing based on your clients’ interests.  You name it, our expert group specialist professionals will put it together for you. Please call 1-855-220-6450, or simply complete the group request form, and we’ll get back to you with your proposal.


  • Private airport transfers in Paris on Days 1 and 9
  • Twin-bedded rooms in hotels listed or similar; hotel taxes, service charges and baggage handling
  • 8 breakfasts; 2 lunches; 3 dinners
  • Services of an English-speaking local travel and culinary expert
  • Travel by private, luxury, air-conditioned mini-coach
  • 3 Guided tastings
  • 1 Cooking lesson
  • Sightseeing, special features and scenic highlights as indicated in the itinerary, including admission charges
  • Portfolio of travel documents
  • 24-hour emergency customer service while in France

Private Departures

Please Call 1-855-220-6450 for Group Rates on this Custom Group Journey

This suggested itinerary can be customized to suit; more or less meals, different cities and/or sightseeing based on your clients’ interests.  You name it, our expert group specialist professionals will put it together for you. Please call 1-855-220-6450, or simply complete the group request form, and we’ll get back to you with your proposal.

Group Discounts

On custom journeys, discounts vary depending on group requirements. Typically, travel with a group of 20 and the 21st traveler receives a 100% discount* off the land portion of the vacation price. A second traveler receives a 100% discount* off the land on a group of 40 paying passengers.

*Per person prices are land only and based on two people sharing a room. Above dates represent “land start” date. Air: Please note that airfares are not included in the prices above. Journeys Connect can quote you the lowest possible GROUP airfare available on the day that you book. Minimum of 10 seats from same gateway. Less than 10 air seats will require full payment at time of booking. Single Room Supplement: On Request. Triple Room Reduction: On Request. Group discounts cannot be combined with our Triple Room discounts. Not valid on Specialty, Customized Vacations or River Cruises, optional extensions, extra nights, airfares, taxes and fees, flight supplements, or airport transfers. Other restrictions may apply. All passengers’ names must be advised before the discount is applied. *Group discount is on a twin-share basis only.

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Journeys Connect group and specialty services are available exclusively on a Business-to-Business basis, to travel industry professionals. If you are an individual interested in a Group Journey for 8 or more passengers, please do browse our collection and then contact your preferred Travel Agent and ask them to book through Journeys Connect.

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