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from £1149

Châteaux, Gardens & Abbeys

Walk along the splendid River Loire from Tours to Saumur

Châteaux, Gardens & Abbeys

A moderate walk from the regional capital of Tours to the fascinating riverside town of Saumur taking in some of the best loved châteaux and gardens. Visit the Royal Abbey, set in the heart of the beautiful forest of Fontevraud.

Holiday Highlights

  • Authentic French Auberges and hotels with some very good dining
  • Historical town of Tours
  • Villandry Château and spectacular gardens
  • Medieval town of Chinon
  •  The small and romantic Château d’ Azay –le-Rideau
  • Fontrevaud Abbaye Royale
  • Château and gardens of Langeais
  • Saumur town and château

What's Included

  • 6 days walking
  • 6 nights half board
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Comprehensive route notes
  • English rep

Starting Days

You can choose to begin this holiday on any day of the week.

Itinerary & Hotels

  • 1

    Arrival Toursday 1

    Summary

    Discover the historical centre of Tours and wander through the old quarter, past lively cafés to find a restaurant of your choice. Stay at the Hôtel Châteaux de la Loire.

    Hotel
    • Hotel exterior
    • Reception
    • Dining room
    • Bedroom

    Logis Hôtel des Châteaux de la Loire Tours

    Situated in the centre of the old town, and yet in a quiet street, the Hotel Château de la Loire combines both calm and comfort. Rooms are all en suite, well maintained and pleasant. There is no restaurant, but Place Jean-Jaurès, where there is a range of pleasant brasseries (we recommend the Brasserie de l'Univers), is five minutes walk away. Or maybe try out 'Le Martin Bleu' at place des Aumônes, a superb fish restaurant, very popular with the locals which looks like a fish and chip shop, but don't be put off, inside is very welcoming and surprisingly large.

    Facilities

    • En suite rooms
    • Free WiFi access
    • Continental buffet sytle breakfast

    Board

    Cuisine

    Buffet breakfast is pretty good by French standards - choice of cereals, hard-boiled eggs, cold meat (mainly ham) and cheese, fruits and fruit juices, several sorts of bread and cakes, and of course plenty of café au lait. There is no restaurant, accommodation is B&B only.

  • 2

    Tours to Villandryday 2

    Summary

    Walk along the banks of the River Cher to the Château of Villandry with its collection of Spanish paintings and 18th century furniture. Explore the lovely Renaissance gardens: the vegetable garden, the garden of fountains, the ornamental garden, the garden of medicinal plants and the labyrinth. Stay at the Auberge le Colombien.

    Hotel
    • Hotel exterior

    Logis Auberge Le Colombien Villandry

    Centrally located in the charming village of Villandry, Logis Auberge Le Colombier is just 100 metres from the famous Chateau. The traditional rooms feature old stone walls and rustic wooden beams. Modern facilities include free WiFi and a flat-screen TV. The gastronomic restaurant features long antique tables and can seat large groups. It serves regional dishes and fine local wines. There is a terrace and also a lounge area with a fireplace. The hotel is within walking distance of the beautiful Villandry gardens and the 11th century church. Tours is just a 15 minute drive away and free public parking is available.

    Facilities

    • Free parking
    • Free WiFi
    • Flat screen TV
    • Terrace

    Board

    Cuisine

    The a la carte restaurant serves regional dishes and fine local wines. You can choose to dine on the terrace in fine weather.

    15 mi
    (24km)

  • 3

    Villandry to Langeaisday 3

    Summary

    Proceed along the banks of the Cher and the Loire to Langeais. The pretty town sits beneath the vast structures of a 15th century fortress and a 10th century keep. Stay at the Maison Errard.

    Hotel
    • Hotel exterior

    Maison Errard Langeais

    Martine and Yannick Errard welcome you to the Maison Errard in Langeais, a small town between Tours and Saumur in the beautiful Loire Valley. This fashionable inn is only a few yards from the famous medieval castle of Langeais 

    Facilities

    • En suite rooms
    • Internet
    • Hairdryer
    • TV
    • Parking

    Board

    Cuisine

    The restaurant offers a wide selection of delicious dishes prepared by Yannick Errard himself. To give a personal touch to his cuisine, Yannick selects seasonal country produce and local vintages to the great delight of his guests.

    7 mi
    (11km)

  • 4

    Langeais to Azay le Rideauday 4

    Summary

    Cross the Loire and the Cher, and pass through orchards to reach the moated Azay le Rideau, the last of the great Renaissance Châteaux and undeniably one of the finest. Stay at Le Grand Monarque.

    Hotel
    • Hotel exterior

    Hôtel Le Grand Monarque Azay-le-Rideau

    This ancient post house from the 18th century has become a charming boutique hotel. Dark tones and exposed beams are set off by the whiteness of the stonework. Its courtyard, with its centennial trees, is an oasis of peace. Nested in the centre of the lovely little town of Azay-le-Rideau, and just 150m away from its famous and charming chateau, the hotel is ideally situated to visit the Loire Valley and its greatest castles.

    Facilities

    • Restaurant
    • Bar Lounge
    • En suite rooms
    • Air-conditioning
    • Free WiFi
    • Private parking

    Board

    Cuisine

    Sample Menu

    Veloute of Jerusalem artichokes, bacon espuma, Serrano ham shavings 
    or 
    Salmon and chorizo brochette, carrot cream perfumed with Madras curry

    MAINS

    Guinea fowl ballotine, foie gras sauce, mushroom risotto 
    or
    Fish of the day, cooked lentils, dilled white butter sauce, autumn vegetables 
    or
    Pork cheek crépinette, mashed potatoes perfumed with rosemary, spinach

    DESSERTS

    Assortment of cheese with salad 
    or
    Pear-chocolate crumble, pear sorbet 
    or
    Apple tiramisu, caramel ice cream

    7 mi
    (11km)

  • 5

    Azay le Rideau to Chinonday 5

    Summary

    ​After a transfer, begin the today’s walk through the vast Foret de Chinon, and into the picturesque town with it’s medieval houses and castle, once home to the kings of France and England. Stay at Hotel le Platagenêt.

    Hotel
    • Hotel exterior
    • Lounge

    Le Plantagenêt Chinon

    Nicknamed `The flower of the garden of France`, Chinon displays its medieval fortress wherever you are. Just steps from the bucolic banks of the River Vienne, this stunning 19th-century Tours-style dwelling invites you to enjoy the finer things in life. Courtyard side or garden side, small joys become great ones. Time stops. In the morning, the rising sun on the veranda opens a world of perspectives, and your appetite!  Buffet breakfast with local products and homemade jams is a great time to plan your day of escapades to wineries, the Loire châteaux... or just to take a quiet break on the shaded terrace in summer to enjoy the sounds of the garden.

    Facilities

    • Individually designed rooms
    • En suite with choice of bath or shower

    Board

    Cuisine

    Discover the gourmet cuisine of the restaurant; the chef cooks fun yet subtle fine food with seasonal specialities.

    13 mi
    (21km)

  • 6

    Chinon to Fontevraud l'Abbayeday 6

    Summary

    ​A short walk along the River Vienne and through the forests, leads to Fontevraud and its’ Abbaye Royale. The largest monastery in Western Christendom, it houses the tombs of Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Richard the Lionheart and Isabelle of Angoulême. Stay at La Croix Blanche.

    Hotel
    • Hotel exterior
    • Lounge
    • Bedroom
    • Lobby
    • Bar
    • Gourmet food
    • Terrace

    La Croix Blanche Fontevraud-l'Abbaye

    Hostellerie La Croix Blanche is a coaching inn which dates back to 1696 and is located opposite the Royal Abbey of Fontevraud. Enjoy a warm welcome in a delightful character hotel with 23 comfortable bedrooms and suites. The hotel has authentic features throughout, including slate roofs, tufa walls, decorative chimneys, beamed ceilings and a well chosen combination of modern comforts in an historic setting. Hotel guests can enjoy a relaxing afternoon around the pool.

    Facilities

    • Swimming pool
    • En suite rooms
    • Free WiFi
    • Hairdryer
    • Satellite TV

    Board

    Cuisine

    Dine at leisure in one of two restaurants; gourmet cuisine in a casual setting in restaurant Le Plantagenêt, or opt for traditional French cuisine and tapas in brasserie La Fontaine d’Evraud.

    10 mi
    (16km)

  • 7

    Fontevraud l'Abbaye to Saumurday 7

    Summary

    ​Return to the riverside and the charming village of Montsoreau with it’s mushroom caves and another great château. Head west into Saumur, one of the jewels of the Loire, with it’s magnificent château rising behind your last hotel, Anne d’Anjou.

    Hotel

    Hôtel Anne d’Anjou Saumur

    On the Loire river banks, near the historic center of Saumur, beneath the Castle which gave immortal fame to the "Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry", this private mansion house built in the 18th century still echoes with the ardours of restoration heroes and military romances. An historically graded façade which has been beautifully restored to include a magnificient staircase crowned by a trompe-l'œil celling, using the designs of Percier and Fontaine, Napoleon's architects, offers a relaxing stay.

    Facilities

    • Centrally located in the historic town of Saumur
    • Built around a quiet garden
    • Elegant individually styled bedrooms
    • Courtyard rooms give wonderful views of the chateau

    Board

    Cuisine

    You pass through a vaulted cellar, built many years ago by a wine merchant, before entering the restaurant’s two dining rooms. The main room can seat 50 guests, whilst the second, with its original beams and a more intimate atmosphere, can seat 30. The cuisine is aromatic, imaginative and refined. Pride of place is given to local produce accompanied by carefully selected wines from the Loire Valley. The menu and set menus are changed regularly so as to take full advantage of fresh seasonal produce, and the restaurant’s wine list is reputed to be one of the richest in Val de Loire wines. However, not only do you eat well, you are also well received. The surroundings, the quality of the decoration and service, and the care taken in the presentation all contribute to the pleasure of dining here; an elegant restaurant with a subtle décor.

    12 mi
    (19km)

Route & Location

Customise Your Holiday

  • EXTRA NIGHT

    Tours B&B £60 per person or HB in Saumur £145 per person

Customer Reviews

100% rating based on 2 reviews

Recent reviews

  • Service rating : Once again Lorna at Belle France put together exactly the holiday we wanted with extra days at the beginning and end. Working with Belle France is so easy and their attention to detail with travel. hotels and your personal holiday guide are just exceptional.Product : This is our second walking holiday with Belle France and the quality of all the hotels and the wonderful food you are served was again above expectation. In fact we could say that one of the hotels, Maison Errand, served food that would not be out of place on Masterchef. The route planning for your walk is perfect and the local rep Robin is just so helpful and willing to assist. We really cannot rate this company any higher than perfect and would recommend them without hesitation.

    5 out of 5

    Belle France Response: {feed:FURTHERCOMMENTSTHREAD/POST/VENDORCOMMENT}

  • Service rating : As always the staff at Belle France are very helpful. I hope that the walking details, notes etc that I provided proved helpful. A lot of time and trouble was taken ensuring that the walking details were accurate for future clients.Product : The locations were excellent, brilliant for visiting the chateaux. All the hotels except one were good. However as a walking holiday it was poor.

    2 out of 5

    Belle France Response: We are glad that you liked the hotel locations, this walk is really all about the châteaux visits and the charming towns. You did an excellent job of updating the walking notes for us and we are glad to have you on our team. They are now of course comprehensive and accurate for future clients. Thank you once again.

    Lorna

Pricing & Enquiry

Pricing

Prices vary according to travel method. Select your preferred option to get an updated price. For full pricing details, click here.

  • From £1149 per person

  • Outward Depart St Pancras International station, change stations in Paris, arrive Tours late afternoon.

    Return Transfer to Saumur station included (10 mins). Change trains at St Pierre des Corps and stations in Paris, arrive St Pancras International station late afternoon.

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For bookings made within 12 weeks of departure our prices cannot be guaranteed. In this instance please ask for a quotation.

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