Loire Valley Castles - The Renaissance jewels

LOIRE VALLEY CASTLES - THE RENAISSANCE JEWELS


Departure from Paris


Self-drive motorcycle tour

See guided motorcycle tour


Length: 6 days


Day 1: PARIS / BEAUGENCY / CHAMBORD / BLOIS: (240 km)

Meeting at our office in Paris and motorcycle rental formalities to fill then, departure for Beaugency and Meung.

Stop and visit of Meung S/Loire Castle.

The castle of Meung is one of the vastest and older castles of the Val de Loire.

Road in the afternoon and stop for a visit of CHAMBORD Castle

The Chateau de Chambord is the most exciting of the Loire chateaux in plan and structure. The original wooden model was by an Italian, Domenico da Cortona, but was much altered in execution. Leonardo da Vinci, who designed a palace for François at Romorantin, may have been involved. At first sight mediaeval in plan, with a four-towered square 'donjon' inside a rectangular four-towered enceinte, Chambord has a Renaissance vigour of design.

Short trip to reach Blois


Day 2: BLOIS / CHAUMONT / AMBOISE (36 km)

Departure for visiting the Blois Castle

Favourite residence of the Kings of France. A residence for the Counts of Blois, the Dukes  of Orleans, the Kings and Queens of France, and several princes in exile, the Royal Château  of Blois is haunted by the memory of all the illustrious hosts lived here.

Then, short distance for visiting CHAUMONT Castle.

Through its position and imposing bulk, softened here and there with elegant decorative motifs, the Château de Chaumont conveys its original function as citadel watching over the Blois area and its ultimate use as pleasurable Renaissance country house in this royal valley.

Short trip towards Amboise.

Beginning with François 1er’s reign, while the court generally stayed at Fontainebleau and the Louvre, the sovereign still appreciated Amboise, up to Henri II. The monarch’s stays were rarer from Henri III’s reign. The court left the Touraine region definitively for Ile-de-France under Henri IV.
Just 500 meters away the Clos Lucé Castle will be your next visited. It was Francis I who brought Leonardo da Vinci to the Château de Cloux in 1516 and installed him there, on the advice of his sister, Marguerite de Navarre. Leonardo da Vinci travelled across the Alps, carrying with him on mule back three of his most remarkable paintings, the Mona Lisa, St. Anne, and St. John the Baptist, which he completed at Le Clos Luce.


DAY 3: AMBOISE / VILLANDRY / BOURGUEUIL / SAUMUR (105 km)

Departure toward Tours - stop for visiting the Villandry Castle

Villandry was completed toward 1536 and was the last of the large castles built in the Loire Valley during the Renaissance. Villandry was built by Jean le Breton, one of François I’s Finance Ministers, whose coat of arms can be seen on the gable of the left-hand dormer window.

Proceed to Langeais and Castle visit then proceed to Bourgueil

Bourgueil is mainly well-known for its wines with two appelations: Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil.

We strongly suggest a stop in a winery for a sympathic wine tasting.

Departure for Saumur in order to visit « Le Cadre Noir"»

A unique school in the world ... The "Cadre Noir" Saumur presents its traditional occasions, intended to raise awareness of equestrian art.
The tour lets you discover the world of horses in this prestigious site (rides, careers, upholstery).

Later, possible visit of the Saumur Castle


DAY 4: SAUMUR / ANGERS: (85 km)

Departure for visiting Breze

If the castle of Brézé is single in more than one way, it is to its owner, the count de Colbert, that it must! This true Loire château is actually a castle under a castle. Indeed, under the castle of surface, built between XIe and XIXe centuries, is hiding place an incredible underground fortress and up to that point closed with the public. Surrounded by a team of specialists in museography and inheritance, Mr. De Colbert with decided to open its castle of the roofs until deepest of the undergrounds.

Then you could discover “a troglodyte village”.

Rochemenier is a troglodyte (cave dwelling) village situated on a plain. You can visit (since 1967): Two ancient farms with dwellings and "out-buildings" cut into the rock, containing several hundred agricultural implements and pieces of furniture.  A farm yard with animals.  An underground chapel. A modernised troglodyte house showing how it is still possible, today, to use this kind of dwelling.

It will be possible then to have wine tasting in the famous Saumur area, known for its sparkling wine and for the appellation Saumur Champigny.

Proceed to Angers through the magnificent Loire river right bank.

End of the afternoon on your own to stroll downtown in this lovely town.


DAY 5: ANGERS / CHINON / AZAY LE RIDEAU (105 km)

We suggest to visit the Angers Castle

Discover one of the best-preserved mediaeval fortresses in France. The castle's architecture enables us to trace the morphological evolution of the site right back to the first traces of human occupation about 4000 years BC, including the construction of the fortress and its 17 towers by the young St Louis and that of the royal apartments, the chapel and the "châtelet" or little castle by the dukes of Anjou. Come and admire this superb 13th-century fortress, with its sumptuous gardens and its famous tapestries, including the remarkable Apocalypse Tapestry.

Departure towards Chinon Castle.

After lunch, proceed to Chinon and you could visit its castle or have a wine tasting,


DAY 6: AZAY LE RIDEAU / CHENONCEAU / CHEVERNY / PARIS (300 km)

Departure for visiting Chenonceau Castle

Built on the river Cher, where the unique beauty of its architecture reflects in the water, the Château de Chenonceau is the Val de Loire’s finial.
“Château des Dames” as recorded in the French history books, Chenonceau owes a large part of its charm to women: it was built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, then made even more attractive by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, and saved from the rigours of the French Revolution by Mrs Dupin. The lovely surroundings, the formal garden and the park surrounding it add to the impression of delicate grace emanating from the castle.

Proceed to Cheverny and visit of its Castle

The present Chateau de Cheverny is an original jewel among the more famous monuments that stretch along the Loire Valley. In fact, Renaissance style did not find its place in Cheverny, which is built in the purest Louis XIII classical style, distinguished by an extraordinarily symmetrical architecture. Cheverny, which was built in the first part of the 17th Century, is a prime example of this style.
The Château de Cheverny is perfectly preserved as it was built all at once. Nothing has been changed. Thanks to this, Cheverny has maintained the same exterior for the last 350 years, without gaining the smallest wrinkle!

It’s now time to come back to Paris by the highways.

Arrival in late afternoon and motorbikes drop off .


Starting from: 1.395 € p/p (2 persons, 1 motorbike & 1 double room)

For detailed itinerary, contact us.

Bikes available for this tour:
HARLEY-DAVIDSON:
Electra Glide, Road Glide, Street Glide, Road King, Softail.

BMW: R1200 GS Adventure, K1600 GTL, R1200 RT, R1200 GS.

 

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