Rivers and Chateaux of the Loire Walk

From $1307 per person

***** Based on 2 customer reviews
  • Gentle, off-the-beaten-track walking on relaxing flat routes beside the rivers Loire and Cher, through poppy fields and pretty parkland
  • France's finest chateaux: Amboise, Chenonceau and Chaumont-sur-Loire
  • Quality hotels offering masses of local character, great regional cuisine and outstanding wines
  • Serene Amboise with its boutique-lined streets and esplanades enjoying excellent views over the Loire River

What's included?

  • 6 nights, hotel-to-hotel
  • Departs every two days from 11 May '17 to 8 Oct '17
  • Continental breakfast and 4 evening meals
  • Managed locally by Headwater employed representative
  • Sustainability rating: 80%
  • Headwater wine service
  • Route notes and maps provided
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

Excellent for...

Rivers and Chateaux of the Loire Walk

The Loire is famous for its chateaux with over 300 in total to discover. This easy paced, gentle walking holiday balances peaceful, off-the-beaten-track discoveries, with the splendour and opulence of some of the finest Renaissance chateaux in France. There's no tough climbing; the highest point is at just 150m but you're still rewarded with beautifully unspoilt landscapes and enchanting views at every turn.

You follow a circular route from Chaumont-sur-Loire along peaceful riverside tracks, passing quiet hamlets, before continuing alongside the River Cher through Montrichard, Chenonceaux and Montlouis. On your return you'll enjoy wonderful walks through open fields and sprawling vineyards - with opportunities for wine-tasting - and on to Leonardo da Vinci's bustling town of Amboise, before returning to Chaumont-sur-Loire. Along the way you'll take in some of France's most impressive chateaux: Chenonceau mesmerises with its iconic arches over the River Cher (be sure to taste the chateau's wine and enjoy a scenic riverside walk); the majestic Chateau d'Amboise is a former royal residence and also houses the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci; while Chateau de Chaumont is set in beautifully tended gardens which host the annual Festival des Jardins.

The places you'll stay in have been hand-picked for their superb locations, atmospheric charm, excellent cuisine and warm, friendly owners. As well as chateaux, the Loire prides itself on its delicious local cuisine and wine and we've included evening meals everywhere except in Amboise - given the fantastic variety of restaurants on your doorstep, we thought you'd appreciate us leaving the choice to you.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive at Chaumont-sur-Loire

Arrive at your riverside hotel in Chaumont-sur-Loire where there's a lovely pool if you fancy a dip.

Day 2 - Chaumont-sur-Loire to Chenonceaux 15km/9.5mi/3hr

Today a 20-minute transfer takes you to Bourre, before walking alongside the River Cher. En route you have the opportunity to visit the Caves des Roches, an underground town previously sculpted in a limestone quarry, and La Magnanerie de Bourre, a troglodyte site and silk-worm farm in a lovely hillside setting. The route continues alongside the Cher to Montrichard, a bustling market town which has kept its French traditions, a perfect place to have lunch. The final section of the route takes you along the GR41 through Chissay-en-Touraine to Chenonceaux with its iconic chateau.

Day 3 - At Chenonceaux

Explore the superb Chateau de Chenonceau with its famous arches spanning across the river. It's the most romantic and beautiful of all the Renaissance chateaux and is associated with some famous names - rivals Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de'Medici (respectively mistress and widow of Henry II) and Mary, Queen of Scots who stayed here as the child bride of Francis II. After you visit you can taste the chateau's wines, hire a rowing boat (July-August), or take a pleasant riverside walk. Why not take the train to explore the lively city of Tours before coming back to relax with a swim in the hotel pool?

Day 4 - Chenonceaux to Amboise 16km/10m/3hr or 19km/12mi/4hr

You begin today with a train journey from Chenonceaux to Veretz-Montlouis. The route then takes you along the quiet back roads of the GR3, running parallel with the Loire. Leaving Montlouis you walk through the open fields and vineyards of the Loire region, with the opportunity to stop for wine tastings and perhaps take advantage of our wine-carrying service. The final stretch takes you beside the Loire River into the fascinating town of Amboise, providing you with numerous options for your rest day.

Day 5 - At Amboise

Amboise is filled with interest. It's well known for its Son et Lumiere display based at the massive chateau, which was turned by Charles VIII into a luxurious palace in the late C15. The town has bustling narrow streets, some excellent restaurants and attractive buildings. Leonardo da Vinci spent the last four years of his life at Clos Luce, now a museum with displays of models constructed from his original plans. there's a striking fountain (made in 1968 by Max Ernst) and fascinating stained glass, paintings and sculptures in the C12 church of St-Denis.

Day 6 - Amboise to Chaumont-sur-Loire 21km/13.5m/4hr

Today's walk leads you out of Amboise heading south east along the GR3 trail towards the charming village of Souvigny-de-Touraine. The paths then flow through the fields and wineries of the Loire region (your last opportunity for a tasting or to purchase a few bottles). The final stretch follows part of the Camino de Santiago trail back to Chaumont-sur-Loire beside the river, with its impressive C15 chateau.

Day 7 - Leave Chaumont-sur-Loire

For a longer tour, why not consider combining this with our Chablis Vineyards Walk

Where you stay

During your holiday you stay at the following hotels. If you'd like to extend your time at any of these or, if you'd like to enhance your stay with an upgraded room, just let us know at the time of booking. You can call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 to discuss accommodation options.

Hostellerie du Château, Chaumont-sur-Loire   (3 Star)

Hostellerie du Château, Chaumont-sur-Loire.

This hotel is situated between the Loire river and the famous château itself, the Hostellerie du Château is a lovely, quirky hotel, that just oozes charm.

The bedrooms also reflect the theme of times gone by, but they are well equipped for the demands of the 21C guest, as they all have telephone, satellite tv and hairdryer.

The dining room, with its wooden beams and grand fireplace, adds to the overall antiquated atmosphere.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Market

Hotel La Roseraie, Chenonceaux   (3 Star)

Pool at Hotel la Roseraie

Ideally situated in the centre of Chenonceaux and just a 400m from the chateau, the Hotel La Roseraie, built in the 18th Century offers comfortable rooms and a wonderful place to relax after a day walking or sightseeing with its garden and pool.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Banking / cheques cashed

Le Pavillon de Lys, Amboise   (4 Star)

Le Pavillon de Lys

The Pavillon de Lys offers 9 rooms spread out over the main building and in 2 small cottages on the hotel grounds, some of which have a view over the Chateau Royale d'Amboise and the Clos Lucé.

Located in the heart of Amboise we have left evenings free for you to choose from one of the many restaurants on offer.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Auberge du Centre , Chitenay   (3 Star)

Auberge du Centre , Chitenay

Tucked away in the elegant little village of Chitenay is the lovely ivy-clad Auberge du Centre, run by Gilles Martinet and his team - the food here is superb! Dinner is served either in the pretty dining room, or on the terrace - Gilles is a keen wine buff, and will happily advise on the best local tipples! With 27 bedrooms, Headwater guests are always accommodated in superior rooms with bath and feature satellite tv (including CNN) and telephone.

The hotel has a pleasant terrace overlooking its gardens and swimming pool, which are a real treat on a summers day, as well as an attractive sitting area inside, complete with wooden beams and comfy chairs.

There is a car park behind the hotel, or on road parking available at the front of the building. There is also a public car park opposite the hotel. All non-secure.

Access to the Spa area is payable locally at 12€ per person per day. Access is free to those staying in a 'Balneo' room.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Swimming pool
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television

Extra nights and stop over hotels

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra nights at the start or end, or if you'd like to arrange a stop off point en-route, then we recommend the following hotels.

Hotel Le Senat , Paris   (4 Star)

Hotel Le Senat , Paris

The 4* Le Senat is simply stunning! There are just 41 rooms, all stylishly furnished and a couple of suites with terraces, if you really fancy splashing out! All have satellite television, mini bar, air-conditioning, safe and hairdryer, plus Internet access.

The hotel has its own small bar - adorned with photographs of eminent artists, being in the heart of the artists' quarter - plus a reading room with complimentary internet access.

Breakfast is taken in the basement, where you'll find a copious buffet of viennoiseries, cereals, fruit salad, ham, cheese, bread, yoghurt, bacon, eggs, sausage, fruit juices, tea or coffee. If you prefer, you can have a continental breakfast served to your room at no extra charge.

Le Senat is perfectly located on a quiet side street just a stone's throw away from the Luxembourg Gardens and metro, and a 5 minute walk from the vibrant Latin quarter, where you'll find a plethora of restaurants to suit all budgets.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine
  • Mastercard accepted
  • Hairdryer
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Internet access
  • Television
  • Minibar
  • Air conditioning
  • Safe

Hotel St Louis, St Omer   (2 Star)

Hotel St Louis, St Omer

A traditional hotel in the town centre - very convenient for the channel ports and also for exploring St Omer itself - an aristocratic town that boasts the finest Cathedral in Northern France.

The hotel has two restaurants. One of these has an airy modern feel, the other is more intimate with low lighting and a brick 'cellar' feel. There is also a residents' bar: le Flo.

The rooms are furnished in a simple but appealing style and all have an en suite bathrooms.

The hotel also has private parking for its guests.

Further details on the hotel website, and independent reviews on Trip Advisor.

Local facilities:

  • Mastercard accepted
  • American Express accepted
  • Wifi hotspot
  • Television

Nearby facilities:

  • Shops
  • Market
  • Banking / cheques cashed
  • ATM / Cash machine

Travel options

Transfers included from Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 13:21 and back to Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 11:15 Mon-Fri & 10:45 Sat & Sun.

Please call our sales team on 1-800-567-6286 or email info@breakaway-adventures.com to arrange connecting flights.

Customer reviews

Everyone who goes on a Headwater holiday will be emailed a link to our post-holiday questionnaire where they can give us an honest assessment of all aspects of their holiday - everything from how quickly we answer the phone to how clean the hotels were - plus, of course, an overall rating and comments about their holiday.

Any feedback collected is posted straight to our website - totally unedited. So, for the real tales, twists and turns of our holidays, look no further than the reviews from our previous travellers.

Reviewed by Mr Lowe on 18/08/2016

The local team gave us really useful practical tips and were very friendly The holiday exceeded our expectations in terms of pure enjoyment, accuracy of walking routes and notes and we particularly appreciated the views, suggested stops for refreshments and quality of the hotels we stayed in

Reviewed by Ms Gane on 27/07/2016

Easy walking, lovely views and good food

Departure dates & prices

October 2016 departuresTour only 
Oct 2$1307
Oct 4$1307
Oct 6$1307
Oct 8$1307
May 2017 departuresTour only 
May 11$1315
May 13$1315
May 15$1315
May 17$1315
May 19$1315
May 21$1315
May 23$1315
May 25$1315
May 27$1315
May 29$1315
May 31$1315
June 2017 departuresTour only 
Jun 2$1363
Jun 4$1363
Jun 6$1363
Jun 8$1363
Jun 10$1363
Jun 12$1363
Jun 14$1406
Jun 16$1406
Jun 18$1406
Jun 20$1406
Jun 22$1406
Jun 24$1406
Jun 26$1406
Jun 28$1406
Jun 30$1406
July 2017 departuresTour only 
Jul 2$1406
Jul 4$1406
Jul 6$1406
Jul 8$1406
Jul 10$1487
Jul 12$1487
Jul 14$1487
Jul 16$1487
Jul 18$1487
Jul 20$1487
Jul 22$1487
Jul 24$1487
Jul 26$1487
Jul 28$1487
Jul 30$1487
August 2017 departuresTour only 
Aug 1$1487
Aug 3$1487
Aug 5$1487
Aug 7$1487
Aug 9$1487
Aug 11$1487
Aug 13$1487
Aug 15$1487
Aug 17$1487
Aug 19$1487
Aug 21$1487
Aug 23$1487
Aug 25$1487
Aug 27$1487
Aug 29$1487
Aug 31$1487
September 2017 departuresTour only 
Sep 2$1363
Sep 4$1363
Sep 6$1363
Sep 8$1363
Sep 10$1363
Sep 12$1315
Sep 14$1315
Sep 16$1315
Sep 18$1315
Sep 20$1315
Sep 22$1315
Sep 24$1315
Sep 26$1315
Sep 28$1315
Sep 30$1315
October 2017 departuresTour only 
Oct 2$1315
Oct 4$1315
Oct 6$1315
Oct 8$1315
Oct 10$1315

Holiday details

Holiday type

Self-guided walking, hotel-to-hotel. Managed locally by Headwater employed rep.


every two days from 11 May '17 to 8 Oct '17, for 7 days (6 nights). This holiday departs every 2 days, however non-standard arrivals and altered itineraries may be possible - please call for prices. If extra nights are required during the holiday, it is recommended to have 2 nights at a time. This will ensure Headwater's reps can transfer luggage.


Continental breakfast and 4 evening meals.

Other details

Please see our Planning your holiday and What's included in the price? pages for additional information. Please call us for single room supplements, room upgrade options and child prices.

Starting your tour

Transfers included from Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 13:21 and back to Tours St Pierre des Corps train station at 11:15 Mon-Fri & 10:45 Sat & Sun.

Enquire about this holiday

Simply complete the form below and a member of our sales team will contact you (when it's most convenient for you) to provide availability information, travel options and additional information.

We'd like to keep you informed of our latest news and special offers. Please tick here if you'd rather not receive our free e-newsletter.
We can call you when it's most convenient for you, or contact you by email if you'd prefer. Morning calls will be between 9:00-13:00, afternoon calls between 13:00-17:00, and evening calls after 17:00.
Let us know any queries you might have about departure dates, similar holidays or tailor-made options.


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  • Relaxed activity holidays since 1985

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