from £1233 per person
Châteaux, Gardens & Abbeys Loire
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.
- 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
You can choose to begin this holiday on any day of the week.
Itinerary & Hotels
Arrival Tours day 1
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.
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 minute's 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.
- En suite rooms
- Free WiFi access
- Continental buffet style breakfast
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.
Tours to Villandry day 2
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.
Logis Auberge Le ColombienVillandry
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.
- Free parking
- Free WiFi
- Flat screen TV
The a la carte restaurant serves regional dishes and fine local wines. You can choose to dine on the terrace in fine weather.
Villandry to Langeais day 3
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.
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
- En suite rooms
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.
Langeais to Azay le Rideau day 4
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.
Hôtel Le Grand MonarqueAzay-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.
- Bar Lounge
- En suite rooms
- Free WiFi
- Private parking
Veloute of Jerusalem artichokes, bacon espuma, Serrano ham shavings
Salmon and chorizo brochette, carrot cream perfumed with Madras curry
Guinea fowl ballotine, foie gras sauce, mushroom risotto
Fish of the day, cooked lentils, dilled white butter sauce, autumn vegetables
Pork cheek crépinette, mashed potatoes perfumed with rosemary, spinach
Assortment of cheese with salad
Pear-chocolate crumble, pear sorbet
Apple tiramisu, caramel ice cream
Azay le Rideau to Chinon day 5
After a transfer, begin today’s walk through the vast Foret de Chinon, and into the picturesque town with its medieval houses and castle, once home to the kings of France and England. Stay at Hotel le Plantagenêt.
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.
- Individually designed rooms
- En suite with choice of bath or shower
Discover the gourmet cuisine of the restaurant; the chef cooks fun yet subtle fine food with seasonal specialities.
Chinon to Fontevraud l'Abbaye day 6
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.
La Croix BlancheFontevraud-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.
- Swimming pool
- En suite rooms
- Free WiFi
- Satellite TV
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.
Fontevraud l'Abbaye to Saumur day 7
Return to the riverside and the charming village of Montsoreau with its mushroom caves and another great château. Head west into Saumur, one of the jewels of the Loire, with its magnificent château rising behind your last hotel, Anne d’Anjou.
Hôtel Anne d’AnjouSaumur
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.
- 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
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.
Route & Location
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Add a night in Tours B&B or half board in Saumur. Please call for details.
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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.
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