An amazing walk among the great architectural treasures of the Loire Valley.
Loire Valley (Vallee de La Loire in French) was added to the unique UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2000 due to its exceptional cultural landscape, of great beauty, comprised of historic cities and villages, great architectural monuments – the Chateaux – and lands that have been cultivated and shaped by centuries of interaction between local populations and their physical environment, in particular the Loire itself. With cities such as Orleans, Blois, Tours or Nantes, the Loire Valley offers an incredible quality of architectural heritage. Also known as the Gardens of France, Loire Valley is a great place to enjoy biological diversity, endless well kept forests (such as Forest of Amboise) and last but not least, its world class wines.
We have graded this walk as “easy” as the average walking time is 4 hours, without any major ascent or descent.
The Loire Valley is noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage,in its world-famous castles, such as the Château of Amboise,Château of Chambord or Château of Chenonceaux (“Château des Dames”), three of the most exceptional castles in France with Versailles but there are also lots of small castles you will see during these walking holidays like Leonardo da Vinci's last home (Château du Clos Lucé).
The quoted price (to the right) is from price! Minor price adjusting can occur due to meals plan and/or accommodation.
Day 1: Blois
Arrival to Blois and accommodation at the hotel. Situated on the banks of the lower river Loire between Orléans and Tours, Blois is the capital of Loir-et-Cher department in central France. In 1986, Blois was given the "Ville d'art et d'histoire" label, a description awarded by the Ministry of Culture to cities that enhance and protect their heritage.
Day 2: Blois - Chambord
During this stage you have to follow the itinerary “Loire à vélo” (Loire by bike). The itinerary begins in the centre of Blois near the railway station: "Place de la gare" (Station square). First day, two castles (Blois and Chambord) can be visited! There is no question - you are in the heart of Loire Valley, the land of castles.
Walking: 17.5 km, 4,5 hours
Day 3: Chambord - Bracieux
Chambord is a small town best known as the location of the Château de Chambord, the largest in the Loire Valley and one of the most recognisable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture. The Chambord castle appears suddenly at the edge of a path, and the sight of its white massive structure that widens and takes shape little by little, produces a dramatic impression, which is even more striking at sunset. After visiting the castle (even if you did it yesterday), you have to take the way to Bracieux. You will cross at this stage the unspoilt nature of Loire Valley and its famous vineyards.
Walking: 15.5 km, 4 hours
Day 4: Bracieux - Cheverny
You have reached now a pleasant hamlet called Bracieux. In the heart of vineyards, you can feel harmony and peace of mind. After reaching “Les Ogonières”, walk along and cross a small lake called “Le Grand Cotlereau”. Now, the way to go to Cheverny is “Le chemin aux boeufs” (The cattle road), a very old way, which was used to transfer bullock herd from Limousin to Paris. After crossing Cheverny forest you enter the town (to go to the castle you have to take the way on your left before to enter in Cheverny).
Walking: 18.5 km, 4 h 45 min
Day 5: Cheverny - Fougères
Famous mainly for its castle, Cheverny lies in the Loire Valley, about 10 km southeast of Blois. The present Château de Cheverny is an original jewel among the famous monuments that stretch along the Loire Valley. The Belgian comic book creator Hergé used Cheverny as a model for his fictional "Château de Moulinsart" (Marlinspike Hall) in The Adventures of Tintin books. From the church in the centre of Cheverny, follow the road toward Contres. Cheverny castle, Troussay castle, Clos du Sentier, Clos du Poira. History and wine take place along this stage to reach the next town, Fougères.
Walking: 16 km, 4 h 45 min
Day 6: Fougères - Thésée
Often called just Fougères, the town is more correctly called Fougères-sur-Bièvre. You can visit in the town: the Middle Ages castle, the church and the wash-house. At the crossroad in the centre of Fougères turn left, go along the castle to arrive at the church and then follow the direction to Choussy. Before you reach this one take the time to see “Abbaye de Cornilly”, an old and authentic abbey built in the XI century. Don’t take the road to Choussy, go along a mill, cross a forest and go along another castle (Gué-Pan castle) and enter in Thésée.
Walking: 19.5 km, 5 hours
Day 7:Thésée - Montrichard
It is in the small town of Thésée you can see the Gallo-Roman vestiges “Bâtiments des Maselles”. Just after you leave the town in the direction of Tours, you can admire these 2nd century buildings. Take the way to Monthou to leave the town, then head for Bourré. If you have time, it will be interesting to visit the “Champignonnière des Roches” (Mushroom Rocks). Just before you arrive to Montrichard you will pass by Vallagon castle, a lovely old castle.
Walking: 15.5 km, 4,5 hours
Day 8: Montrichard - departure
Price includes: ► 7 nights in standart hotels ► 7 breakfasts ►Luggage transfers (1 piece per person, max 15 kg) ► Road book in English ►24-hour telephone service
Price does not include: ►flight tickets ►transport from/to airport ►drinks ►meals, not mentioned in the program ►personal insurance ► personal expenses ► entrance fees
Price of extra services: ►extra nights can be arranged in each town at additional cost ► private transfer from Paris (any airport) or Tours airport to Blois: on request ►Please, note that on some holidays (Easter, Christmas, new Year etc.) certain hotels may require a surcharge in the price.
How to get there: The nearest airport is at Tours, from there you can take train to Blois (about 30 min). You can also fly to Paris. From Paris you can take a train to Blois with 1 change at Tours (Saint-Pierre des Corps) - about 2, 20 h. Timetable of the trains you can check on www.sncf.co.uk
From Montrichard you can take train to Tours (about 30 min) and then again train to Paris.
Recommended travel period of the year: spring - autumn