What would a trip to France be without escaping Paris for a day trip in the countryside? Take a break from the city bustle, and discover the magnificent castles of the Loire Valley. On this full-day tour from Paris, your guide will lead you through some of the region’s most stunning châteaux (French for “castles”). Marvel over the complexity of Loire Valley wines in a prestigious local vineyard and soak up the tranquility over a gourmet lunch served among the vines. Numbers are limited to a maximum of 25 people when exploring the castles, ensuring you'll receive personalized attention from your knowledgeable guide. This tour also includes access to skip the long entry lines at Château de Chenonceau.
After leaving Paris in a comfortable air-conditioned coach, your day trip of the wine and castles of the Loire Valley starts at Château de Chambord. This beautiful château was built in 1519 by King Francis I, who used it as a hunting lodge. Admire its French Renaissance architecture, luxurious furniture, ornamental ceiling vaults and astounding staircases, and keep an eye out for frolicking deer and wild boar as you stroll along the castle’s lush grounds.Next, you’ll stop to enjoy a delicious lunch at the Nitray Vineyards at Château de Nitray. This is not your average box lunch -- you'll enjoy a home-cooked lunch of fresh, local French ingredients and sample some of the region’s best wines, including a crisp Sauvignon Blanc and a full-bodied Cabernet Franc. Your guide will take you through the wine-tasting, pointing out the different flavors. You will end your visit with a tour of the vineyard.Your final stop is Château de Chenonceau, an elegant 16th-century castle that is sure to steal your heart at first sight with its smooth white stone and intricately painted wooden door. Entry lines can be quite long here, especially in the peak summer season, but don’t worry! This tour includes skip-the-line access, so you don’t have to wait in the long queue. The interior of the castle is well-maintained with original stone carvings, immense tapestries and an intimate chapel. Almost equal in beauty are the castle grounds and many gardens, planted by the famous ladies who owned the Ladies’ Château and gave it its name.