France : The Loire

Chateaux Of The Loire Walk

Trip code: W07LO 4.4 (7 reviews)

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1
Leisurely

8.0Kg CO2e

Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • Gentle, off-the-beaten-track walking on relaxing flat routes through sunflowers fields, forest, vineyards and along the Loire and Cher rivers
  • France's finest chateaux including Blois, Chambord, Amboise and Chenonceau
  • Sleepy wine villages; regal Amboise with its boutique-lined streets and esplanades enjoying excellent views over the Loire River.

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All breakfast and 2 evening meals
  • Briefing at the start of your holiday
  • Navigation app
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Walking transfers

TRIP DESCRIPTION

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 but you're still rewarded with beautifully unspoilt landscapes and enchanting views at every turn.

You follow a linear route from Blois, passing quiet hamlets and wine villages, before continuing alongside the River Cher through Montrichard, Chenonceaux and Montlouis. Then, 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. 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 Chambord is set in a majestic nature reserve.

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 2 evening meals - given the fantastic variety of restaurants on your doorstep, we thought you'd appreciate us leaving the choice to you.

Terrain

Walks on this holiday are off-the-beaten-track, gentle and flat routes. There are no tough climbs on this route. Walk through vineyards, villages and along rivers.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1 : Arrival in Blois

Explore the cobbled streets, arcaded squares and impressive chateau of this pretty riverside town before dinner.

You stay at Hotel Le Monarque.

hotel details

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Hotel Le Monarque, Blois

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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TV
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One of our bestsellers in Blois! Located in Blois, 400 m from Blois Castle, Hôtel Restaurant LE MONARQUE boasts a restaurant, bar and free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking is available on site, subject to availability. Every room is fitted with a flat-screen TV. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom with a hairdryer. You will find room service at the property. A buffet breakfast including cold meats, eggs and hot drinks is served every morning.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 2: Blois / Chambord to Chitenay (19km/11.8mi)

Transfer to Chambord, the largest Chateau of the Loire Valley. Then walk through the estate's forest before heading across open countryside via sleepy wine villages. Transfer in the afternoon to your hotel in Chitenay. Dinner is included for the next 2 nights.

You stay at Auberge du Centre.

hotel details

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Auberge du Centre , Chitenay

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV


Tucked away in the elegant little village of Chitenay is the lovely ivy-clad Auberge du Centre, run by the charming Martinet family. Dinner is served either in the pretty dining room, or on the terrace.

The hotel has a pleasant terrace overlooking its pretty gardens and swimming pool (pool towels are provided; ask at reception), which are a real treat on a summer's day, as well as an attractive sitting area inside, complete with wooden beams and comfy chairs.

Access to the Spa area is payable locally at 15€ per person per day. Access is free to those staying in a 'Balneo' room.

Day 3: At Chitenay

The sleepy wine village of Chitenay is ideally placed to visit many of the Loire's finest chateaux. We particularly recommend picture-postcard Cheverny which has one of the region's largest art collections including a permanent 'Secrets of Moulinsart' exhibition, and also, just 3km further on, lovely little Chateau de Troussay with its rich furnishings collection, elaborately decorated ceilings and attractive landscaped gardens. Enjoy to relax by the pool at the hotel.

You stay at Auberge du Centre.

hotel details



Auberge du Centre , Chitenay

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV


Tucked away in the elegant little village of Chitenay is the lovely ivy-clad Auberge du Centre, run by the charming Martinet family. Dinner is served either in the pretty dining room, or on the terrace.

The hotel has a pleasant terrace overlooking its pretty gardens and swimming pool (pool towels are provided; ask at reception), which are a real treat on a summer's day, as well as an attractive sitting area inside, complete with wooden beams and comfy chairs.

Access to the Spa area is payable locally at 15€ per person per day. Access is free to those staying in a 'Balneo' room.

Day 4: Chitenay to Chenonceaux (16km/9.9mi)

Today a 20-minute transfer takes you to Bourre, where you'll begin your walk alongside the River Cher. You have the chance to visit the Caves des Roches - or 'mushroom caves' - on the way, a vast network of underground caves and tunnels which were formerly limestone mines. You'll also pass La Magnanerie de Bourre, the site of traditional cave dwellings and a silk-worm farm. Continue your walk alongside the River Cher to Montrichard, a traditional French town with its own riverside beach and a number of good restaurants to choose from for lunch, before heading along the GR41 to Chenonceaux.

You stay at Hotel La Roseraie.

hotel details

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Hotel La Roseraie, Chenonceaux

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon
Safe


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.

Day 5: At Chenonceaux

Today you can marvel at the impressive Chateau de Chenonceau, one of the best-known of the Loire chateaux with its iconic arches over the river. This fairytale chateau has seen some famous figures from history, notably Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de'Medici - rivals for Henry II's affections - and Mary, Queen of Scots. The university city of Tours is an easy train ride away, home to a plethora of bars, cafes and restaurants, along with popular shopping centres and quirky independent shops in the old quarter.

You stay at Hotel La Roseraie.

hotel details



Hotel La Roseraie, Chenonceaux

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon
Safe


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.

Day 6: Chenonceaux to Amboise (19km/11.8mi)

We take you from Chenonceaux along the Cher river and through quaint villages before to continue through the majestic forest of Amboise. Continue your walk until you arrive in the bustling market town of Amboise.

You stay at Hotel Le Clos d'amboise.

hotel details

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Hotel Le Clos d, Amboise

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon


Located near the pedestrian area of Amboise, the Hotel Le Clos d'Amboise was built in the 17th century and was once a doctor's mansion. Renovated over the years it has still retained a number of original features.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 7: At Amboise

Amboise has a charming mediaeval feel, with historical links to the French Royal Family and also connections to Leonardo da Vinci who spent his last few years at Clos Luce, now a museum which houses displays of some of the artist's original work. Da Vinci's tomb is housed in the majestic Chateau d'Amboise which also hosts the impressive Son et Lumiere display. Amboise offers plenty of restaurants and cafes in which to relax and sample the local wines and produce.

You stay at Hotel Le Clos d'amboise.

hotel details



Hotel Le Clos d, Amboise

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon


Located near the pedestrian area of Amboise, the Hotel Le Clos d'Amboise was built in the 17th century and was once a doctor's mansion. Renovated over the years it has still retained a number of original features.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 8 : Leave Amboise

Extending your holiday

If you'd like to extend your trip with extra hotel nights we recommend: Hotel Le Clos d, Amboise; Hotel Le Monarque, Blois.

hotel details



Hotel Le Clos d, Amboise

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
AmEx
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Aircon


Located near the pedestrian area of Amboise, the Hotel Le Clos d'Amboise was built in the 17th century and was once a doctor's mansion. Renovated over the years it has still retained a number of original features.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.



Hotel Le Monarque, Blois

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Aircon
Safe


One of our bestsellers in Blois! Located in Blois, 400 m from Blois Castle, Hôtel Restaurant LE MONARQUE boasts a restaurant, bar and free WiFi throughout the property. Private parking is available on site, subject to availability. Every room is fitted with a flat-screen TV. Each room is equipped with a private bathroom with a hairdryer. You will find room service at the property. A buffet breakfast including cold meats, eggs and hot drinks is served every morning.

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

Show prices including flights and onward rail?  

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £540.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £540.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Flights from Heathrow to Paris with British Airways, then onward rail to the region.
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Business/club/first class fares
  • Opportunities to visit local Chateaux's and wine tasting venues (payable locally)
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air-rail prices include our standard flights and onward rail
Out: British Airways Heathrow to Paris CDG, then rail Paris Montparnasse to Blois-Chambord via St Pierre des Corps and Paris Austerlitz to Blois-Chambord and taxi to hotel payable locally 5 minutes Return: Taxi to station payable locally 5 minutes then rail Blois-Chambord to Paris Montparnasse via St Pierre des Corps and Blois-Chambord to Paris Austerlitz then British Airways Paris CDG to Heathrow

Business/club/first class seats are available on request.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 4pm today) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

We love Headwater and the way it offers the chance to see a country and countryside slowly and up close by walking. The prices are reasonable, the locations we stayed were all interesting and places we likely would have never found or tried on our own, and the whole experience was satisfying.

Laura Merricks, 24 May 2024

 

The Loire Valley is an historically fascinating place. As others have said, I think a two day stay in Blois is merited. One day for a leisurely visit to Chambord and another day for exploring Blois and its very interesting chateau/ castle. The Hotel Monarche is a disappointing start to the holiday. I think alternative accommodation should be chosen.

The rest of the accommodation was good particularly the Hotel au Charme in Amboise. However, it only does breakfast and the dinner at the adjoining Hotel . Le Clos was uninspiring. We did however come across a real gem of a restaurant by the name of Les Arpents. Incredible food. Apparently, it is full almost every night of the year so it is necessary to book.



We visited six chateaux and found them all really interesting especially Le Clos de Luce in Amboise where Leonardo da Vinci spent the last three years of his life. Some of his inventions are recreated.



All in all a very good holiday accompanied by undiluted sunshine except for one morning.

Janet Hewson, 27 Sep 2023

 

This was our first "organised" holiday and so a new experience for us. The organisation was excellent, including travel bookings, taxis from hotels to start of walks, and luggage transfer. The hotels were superb, all with character and very "French" (family-owned, no chains). The walk directions were clear and accurate, as were the maps, and the availablity of GPX files was very helpful. The staff at Headwater were very helpful and efficient, and replied to emails and phone-calls very quickly. I would certainly book a walking holiday through Headwater again.

Mrs Weir, 12 Sep 2022

 

It would have been useful to review the walking notes prior to booking as our first day fell on a Sunday when places were closed, it also meant other things on consecutive days were closed on the days that we were visiting so we could have altered our day of arrival to make the most of our time in the area. Would have requested an upgrade on the first hotel had we known how basic and small the room was, would also have liked the opportunity to explore Blois and its chateau but we were shipped out at 9am the day after arrival. If we'd read the notes we could have requested an extra night in Blois. There was nothing in Chitenay other than the hotel, the days we stayed it was a fixed dinner menu so the only choice was between dessert or cheese - no option on starter or main course. We didn't enjoy the dinners here, but our taxi driver had said it had a very good restaurant - it was a shame we couldn't choose from the main menu on the days we were there. Very helpful local staff at Rando

Ms Hutchings, 3 Sep 2022

 

Great places and scenery, pleasant walks, very nice accommodation (except in Blois), delicious food and good fun altogether. Some fine tuning and adjustments in logistics would improve the overall exprience of otherwise great holiday!

Dr Kokai, 8 Aug 2022

 

The holiday worked well and the routes well planned. However the area is very flat and there was a lot of road or cycle path walking. This region is well suited for cycling but would not recommend for walking. The first walk was particularly long and we had temperatures of above 35 degrees on roads that were reflecting up the heat and little shade. At one point we did not think we would be able to complete the walk because of heat exhaustion. We had run out of water and there was nowhere to get refreshments. I knocked on a door and fortunately a very kind French lady refilled our water bottles. The second and last hotels were exceptional.

Mrs HOSKINS, 16 Jun 2022

 

Very good except for length of walks! But we managed this after first day by getting taxi to drop us into the route a few kilometres.

Mrs French, 5 May 2022

 


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1
Leisurely

8.0Kg CO2e

Navigation App

7 nights from £1649

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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