The Top 3 Loire Valley Day Tours – Chateaux & Wines

Famous for beautiful castles, the Loire Valley is close enough to Paris to spend a full day exploring and be back to the city for a late dinner. A day in the valley will have you visiting the sumptuous and historic castles with names like Chateau de Chambord and Chateau de Chenonceau. Everything is included on these full-day trips — transportation from your hotel, a leisurely lunch, wine tasting, and entrance fees.

1. Loire Valley Castles & Wine-Tasting Day Trip

Loire Valley Chateaux & Wine-Tasting Day Trip

This is our readers' favorite Loire Valley day trip from Paris — and for good reason. Not only do you discover the beautiful Renaissance valley and its famous chateaux, you also get the chance to taste the world-renowned wines produced in the Loire. (We like that you also have the option to choose pick-up and return to your Paris hotel.) On the way to the chateaux you view some of the most beautiful countryside in France.

The first stop is Château de Chambord, the largest castle in the Loire Valley. (Pictured above.) You benefit from priority access as your guide takes you through the castle's rooms and to the celebrated double helix staircase. Afterwards, you are led to the tasting room at the chateaux where a wine expert leads you through a tasting of the best wines of the region.

Wine tasting in the Loire

In the afternoon explore Château de Chenonceau (pictured below), considered by many to be the loveliest of the Loire châteaux — and certainly the most dramatic. It stretches across the River Cher and is surrounded by formal gardens and wooded grounds. The building is a classic Renaissance castle, transformed over the centuries from a modest manor into a hall of decadence. The full-day Loire Valley Wine & Chateaux Tour includes transportation from Paris, wine tasting, and all entrance fees.

2. A Day Visiting the Loire Valley Castles

Clos Lucé, Chenonceau & Chambord

Clos Luce, Chenonceau & Chambord

We love this small-group, Renaissance-focused day trip that gets you to three of the most magnificent castles in the Loire Valley. You are met by your driver at your Paris address (and returned at the end of the day). A gourmet lunch is included and the group size in limited to about ten to ensure personal attention. (And, as you know by now, we love personal attention.)

Your first stop is Chateau Amboise, where you also find Clos Lucé — the house Leonardo da Vinci lived in during the last years of his life. The chateaux was a royal residence during the reigns of Charles VIII and Francis I and is still filled with Gothic and Renaissance furniture. You visit the royal chambers as well as the chapel that contains the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci.

Next, your driver/guide takes you to the amazing Château Chenonceau, stretching across the River Cher. After a break for lunch (included), the last stop of the day is the huge and magnificent Château Chambord.

Chenonceau was built in 1519 by François I, who used it mainly as his hunting lodge. After the original castle was destroyed, it took 1,800 men and two master masons to rebuild it. You will marvel at the architecture, luxurious furnishing, ornamental touches, and the grand exterior spiral staircases.

The small-group tour includes pick-up from your hotel, transportation, lunch, and all entrance fees.

3. Two-Day Guided Visit to the Loire Valley Chateaux

Two-Day Guided Trip to the Loire Valley Castles

To go deeper into the glorious valley, we recommend this 2-day tour that provides in-depth visits to five of the finest chateaux — Chenonceau, Chambord, Cheverny, Clos-Lucé, and Amboise. You also have the opportunity to explore the amazing gardens at Chateau de Villandry.

On the first day of the tour you visit Clos-Lucé (pictured) and Chateau Amboise. (Remember what we said about Leonardo?) Afterwards, you are driven to Chateau de Villandry. There, your guide leads you on a discovery tour through the rows of linden trees and the multi-tiered gardens. There's still time at the end of the day for a tour of the nearby city of Tours.

Day two finds you at the chateaux of Chenonceau, Cheverny, and Chambord, marvelling at their architecture and gardens, with a break for a 2-course lunch at restaurant Saint-Hubert. The tour includes transportation, all entrances, tour guides, dinner, breakfast, and lunch. Departs Mondays and Saturdays.

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