Travel out of Paris to the picturesque Loire Valley by deluxe car or minivan on this private day trip. You'll visit three of the major castles in this UNESCO World Heritage–listed region: Château de Chambord, Château de Chenonceau, and Château de Cheverny (or Château d'Amboise or Château de Blois if you choose, instead of Cheverny). Tour the inside of the three castles with a private guide, who shares insight about the architecture and history. Hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
Your day trip starts with hotel pickup by private vehicle for the 2-hour drive from Paris to the Loire Valley, known for its castles and wine. Start with a visit to Château de Chambord, the largest in the Loire Valley, allegedly built using a design created by Leonardo da Vinci. This extravagant structure with 360 chimneys once housed members of the French court, who would welcome the king of France when he returned from hunting. Of all the architectural wonders of Chambord, the most famous is the double-spiral staircase, the core of the building.
Next, discover Château d'Amboise, a royal castle and gardens overlooking the Loire River and the blue-slate roofs of the town of the same name. The St. Hubert chapel is home to the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci, who died while a guest of the king. If you wish, you might want to enjoy a tasting of Touraine wines, from the appellation of Amboise or Montlouis (own expense). Then continue to Château de Chenonceau, known for its construction over the Cher River, where the beauty of its architecture is reflected in the water. Nicknamed the 'Château of the Ladies,' Chenonceau was a favorite among women of the French nobility. Your private day trip then ends with return to your Paris hotel.Note: On the day of your tour, it may be possible to visit a different castle instead of Amboise, to be discussed with your guide, such as Château de Cheverny, an early 17th-century private castle, richly furnished, with a beautiful park and a hundred hound dogs in their kennels. Or visit Château de Blois, a royal castle that illustrates different periods in architecture with its combination of Gothic, Renaissance, and Classical styles.