France’s Loire Valley & Bordeaux

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  • Group Tour
  • Starting Price: $8,960
  • Length: 8 days
  • Operator: Travcoa
  • 866-591-0260
    Destinations: Europe, France
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Tour Description

Revel in the history and beauty that surrounds you as you travel through the captivating and colorful French countryside that was once the favorite playground of French royalty. The Loire Valley, with its glorious châteaux, historic villages and rambling vineyards, presents a display of magnificent architecture in an exceptional cultural landscape of great beauty. Get lost in another century as you enjoy private visits to the fairy-tale castles - and feel like nobility when you stay in one of the best of the historic chateaux. Feel the excitement of the Renaissance come alive as you explore the Bordeaux region from the valley to the sea. Let yourself be smitten by the charm of France’s joie de vivre, and indulge in tasty dishes and fine wine as you explore two of the most venerable wine regions in the world.

  • Experience Paris - full of romantic architecture, art and history
  • The historic chateaux in the Loire Valley
  • Exploring the models of Leonardo da Vinci’s inventions at the Manoir du Clos Luce
  • Tasting the unique Vouvray wines at Domaine Marc Bredif
  • Touring the medieval wooden facades of Tour’s Old Town
  • Wine tasting in Renaissance Chateaux throughout Bordeaux
  • Viewing the sand dunes at Arcachon Bay on the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Visit a local oyster village for a meal of fresh oysters and wine

Itinerary

DAY 1

Arrive Paris, France

Bienvenue to France. Upon your morning arrival in Paris, you are met by your resident driver-guide, and taken to your luxury hotel. This afternoon, enjoy a panoramic orientation tour of Paris, reputed to be the most beautiful city in the world. Explore the Ile Saint Louis, and the Ile de la Cité, home to Notre-Dame and Ste Chapelle, and the Luxembourg Gardens, popularized in “Les Miserables.” Drive along the banks of the Seine, then see the Assemblée Nationale, the Hotel des Invalides that houses Napoleon’s Tomb, and the iconic Eiffel Tower. Travel down the Champs-Elysées to the Arch of Triumph and the Place de la Concorde, then to the Louvre. This evening is at leisure to explore this “City of Light” and romance.

Hotel Fouquet’s Barrière, Paris

DAY 2

Paris to the Loire Valley Montbazon

This morning, depart Paris for the Loire Valley, with its numerous châteaux, historic cities and villages; it displays magnificent architecture in an exceptional cultural landscape of great beauty. Stop in Orleans, capital of the Loire Valley, and birthplace of Joan of Arc. Explore this small and photogenic city by the Loire River. This afternoon continue your drive to the Chateau de Chambord, the largest and most dramatic chateau of the Loire Valley, recognizable because of its distinctive French Renaissance architecture. Enjoy a tour of this elaborate home; take the twin, intertwining spiraling staircases up, and mysteriously while you are ascending you will not encounter those descending. Next, it is a short drive to Montbazon, arriving by late afternoon. Spend the next two nights in one of the most desirable châteaux in France.(B)

Hotel Château D’Artigny, Montbazon

DAY 3

The Loire Valley Wineries

Today, take a morning drive to the village of Amboise to visit the Manoir du Clos Lucé, where Leonard Da Vinci spent the last three years of his life. Now a museum, it reflects the prestigious history of the region and includes forty models of the various machines designed by da Vinci. Visit the Leonardo da Vinci apartments and see the exceptional collection of Gothic and Renaissance furniture, plus the imposing horsemen’s tower. Stoll in the magnificent panoramic gardens overlooking the Loire River. Continue your drive in the mid-afternoon, and discover the most beautiful 10th century wine cellars at the Domaine Marc Brédif. Explore the passages containing more than one millions bottles of Vouvray; learn the history of this famous cellar and taste a range of its famous wines. Return to your chateau hotel by late afternoon.(B)

Hotel Château D’Artigny, Montbazon

DAY 4

Loire Valley Sightseeing - Tours Chenonceau

This morning, drive to the city of Tours for a guided tour through the Old City, what was the ancient village of Chateauneuf. Stroll along the picturesque narrow medieval streets, with their numerous 15th and 16th century timber-framed façade houses, and discover a wealth of arts and crafts. Admire the architecture of the Place Plumereau, Saint-Pierre-le-Puellier Garden, the 15th century Pierre Dupuy Mansion and the of stair towers in the rue de la Rôtisserie. Your tour ends with a visit of the beautiful 19th century Saint-Martin Basilica, which contains Saint Martin’s tomb. This afternoon, your driver-guide takes you to Chenonceau, to tour the Château de Chenonceau, the masterpiece of the Val de Loire. Built on the banks of the Cher River, the opulence of its Renaissance architecture is reflected beautifully in the water. Explore the lovely gardens, arched river bridge, collections of Renaissance furniture, exquisite tapestries and masterpieces - accumulated by Catherine de Medici and Dianne de Poitiers, and other Renaissance women of note. Return to your historic chateau by later afternoon.(B)

Hotel Château D’Artigny, Montbazon

DAY 5

Loire to Bordeaux Valley

This morning depart for a scenic day’s drive to Bordeaux. Stop in Cognac, where you will learn all about cognac and the techniques of this special wine-making (available only from April to October). Continue on to the city of Bordeaux, a metropolitan port city, on the Garonne River, and one of the world’s major wine industry centers. Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bordeaux abounds with art and history, and prides itself on the preservation of its cultural heritage, as well as it numerous 17th and 18th century private mansions. Enjoy a tour through Old Bordeaux, and discover the main landmarks, including the Church St Michel, the four city gates, the elegant Place des Quinconces and the Grand Théâtre, the city’s cultural symbol. Completed in 1780, it is one of the last grand 18th century theaters remaining in the world. Stay the next three nights at an elegant hotel reminiscent of a private mansion. (B)

Hotel Regent Grand, Bordeaux

DAY 6

Bordeaux Sightseeing - Chateaux Wineries

This morning you are at leisure in Bordeaux; your hotel is adjacent to the colorful historic center of the city making independent exploration easy. This afternoon, travel out to the Medoc region, visiting a variety of memorable wine-centric chateaux. Stop at the Chateau Beychevelle, whose elegant classical architecture makes it a jewel in the crown of the Medoc. This is a prestigious Cru Classé chateau, whose character was forged by three centuries of history. Next, delight in a special wine experience at Chateau Lynch-Bages, a 15th century Grand Cru Classé of the Medoc Region. The Lynch-Bages estate is located just outside the city of Pauillac, on one of the most beautiful outcrops in the appellation.(B)

Hotel Regent Grand, Bordeaux

DAY 7

Arcachon excursion

Today, drive 35 miles south to explore Arcachon on the Atlantic coast. This city is famous for the Arcachon villa, or “Arcachonnaises”, its unique take on the Victorian architectural style. At its south, Atlantic Ocean side, is Arcachon Bay, crowned by Europe’s largest sand dune, the Dune de Pyla (Dune du Pilat) - nearly 2 miles long, over a mile wide, and 350 feet high. See scenic Le Cap-Ferret, with only sand dunes and pine trees, it is a favorite stop for the Arcachon Bay fishermen. Visit the local oyster village, with its typical narrow streets, and taste oysters presented around a glass of white wine. Return to Bordeaux in the afternoon to enjoy your last night in France.(B)

Hotel Regent Grand, Bordeaux

DAY 8

Depart Bordeaux

Today you are taken to the airport for your departing flight home or on to your next destination.(B)

Departures

Pricing Information

December 31, 2011

From $8,960.00 per person double occupancy.

From $1,807.00 single room supplement.

Journey Includes

  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • All transfers and fully guided daily sightseeing provided by private deluxe A/C vehicles
  • Local English speaking guide for sightseeing in each city
  • Entrance fees per final scheduled itinerary
  • Airport porterage, where available (2 bags per person)
  • Local taxes
  • TravcoAssist (Medical Travel Assistance Plan)

All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.

Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.

Options and Extras

Tour Notes