Summary

Have you ever wanted to time travel? If you were thinking of the 1950’s France, keep reading. Your time machine is a classic 1953 Citroën Traction Avant. Driver and guide at your service. Start with classic Loire Valley Chateau Loches and a drive through parts of the Loire Valley that many never see. Follow with an elegant lunch and a walk through the gardens before visiting Chenonceau, the “must see” chateau of the region. On your way back to Tours you’ll visit the 1000-year-old wine caves of a Vouvray winemaker for a tour and tasting. Only an hour from Paris by train, this is the perfect way to tour the rolling French countryside in classic style.

Why we love this tour

This is a customizable private day designed to your specifications. The best of France’s Loire Valley food, wine, and Chateaux with a private driver and escort.

Tour by:

Tour Start
Tours, France
Tour Finish
Tours, France
Trip Type
Private
Physical Level
light
Cultural Rating
light
Ages
Under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
Group Size
private tour of 1-2 (for up to 7 people special arrangements can be made).
Included
Transportation in a classic 1953 Citroën Traction Avant
Services of driver and escort
Collection at Tours St Pierre des Corps Station or hotel in Tours
Entry to Loches and Chenonceau Chateaux
Lunch
Visit to a winery
Not Included
International airfare to/from France
Compulsory Travel/health insurance (Browse policies at World Nomads, our recommended travel insurance provider.)
Train travel to/from Tours St Pierre des Corps

Itinerary

More Information

One Day Program

Loches and Chenonceau by Classic Car

You are met at Saint Pierre de Corps Station (Tours), just one hour from Paris, by your driver and escort and we follow the river Indré to the Royal Town of Loches. Loches is one of our favorites, with its impressively tall ruined castle and the royal apartments where Joan of Arc met the Dauphin Charles. On our walk down through the picturesque town we stop off to view some recently discovered Caravaggio paintings.

Lunch is taken at a stylish restaurant in this lovely town before departing to travel along the back roads to Chenonceau, stopping along the way to admire the views. Chenonceau is the “must see” chateau of the Loire Valley and once home to Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers. We then walk through the gardens to visit the old farm buildings and cut flower gardens. On our way back to Tours we visit the 1000-year-old wine caves of a Vouvray winemaker for a tour and tasting.

The tour typically starts at 9 am and finishes between 6 pm and 7 pm.

*Trips may be customized to your preferences. Select any two chateaux and ask a price.

Some of the Places we Visit

Chenonceau

This is the third most visited historic tourist site in France outside of Paris. Don’t be put off by the thought of crowds though – while Versaille gets about 5 million visitors a year, Chenonceau gets about 1 million. 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 Medici, and saved from the worst of the French Revolution by Madame Dupin. Chenonceau is not only remarkable for its architecture and history but also for the fine quality of its collections as can be seen from visiting the interior: Renaissance furniture, a considerable collection of XVI th and XVII th century tapestries and a great number of masterpieces.

Loches

Until recently Loches was a very important town. It has a chateau started in the 10th century and expanded until it incorporated the whole of the rocky outcrop on which it stands. It was here that Joan of Arc first approached the Dauphin of France to convince him to start the war on the English, and visitors can still stand on the actual floor where the French heroine walked. The town itself still has many of its medieval and renaissance buildings and it is the place in the Touraine Loire Valley that most looks like a quaint historical town.

Cheverny

The Chateau of Cheverny is still occupied by the family who built it in 1624. Many of the interiors date from the time it was built, and the furniture has been collected over the past almost 400 years. It is set in magnificent grounds, and the Orangerie is where the Mona Lisa was hidden during the Second World War. The family are avid hunters and keep a large pack of hounds. These are a real treat for any dog lover in the party.

Montresor

The village of Montresor is officially one of the “plus beaux villages de France”, and really lives up to its reputation. Set in a river valley it is always worth walking along the “back” of the village by the river. The chateau was originally built 1000 years ago, but it was mainly derelict until the Branicki family arrived from Poland in 1849. The chateau has the air of a place where the owner just popped out for a minute – in about 1850!

Villandry

The real attraction of Villandry are the parterre gardens. Some of these are an intricate series of renaissance influenced vegetable gardens surrounded by hedges, the other gardens are purely decorative. It is difficult to put into words the finished effect.

Candé

Although this beautifully situated small chateau is late medieval/early renaissance in origin, it is its more recent history which intrigues. Once owned by the 5th richest man in America (who was French…) it was the venue for the most notorious marriage of the 20th century. Despite this it is hardly known outside the local area and receives very few visitors.

Important Notes

Getting to the Tour

The tour begins at your accommodation in or near Tours or at the rail station if you’re making the day trip from Paris. Assuming you are making a day trip to the Touraine Loire Valley from Paris, the tour starts in the Touraine Loire Valley at either St Pierre des Corps (Tours) train station or the city of Tours (Central).

Booking Loire Valley Chateaux by Classic Car

Please book by our email form. We require a $250 US non-refundable deposit to hold your date. This is to be paid within 10 days of making the booking. The balance of the fee is due 21 days before the start of the tour. If the deposit is not paid within 10 days the date will be made available to other clients.

Your travel provider for this tour: Loire Valley Time Travel.

Originally from Australia, Susan Walter and Simon Brand toured the world before settling in France and deciding to share our love of the Loire Valley with visitors. Simon drives the classic cars, while Susan shares her wealth of knowledge about the Loire’s history, way of life and natural environment.  They are passionate about where we live; the gently rolling countryside, the history, little hamlets tucked away in hidden hollows, the wine and food, and we are proud to show these to our visitors.

*Cancellation Policy

If for any reason you cancel up to 21 days before the tour you will receive a refund of any payment made, less the non-refundable deposit. If the tour is canceled within 21 days of the tour or you fail to meet Loire Valley Time Travel at the arranged time, you will forfeit all fees paid. If you are delayed en-route Loire Valley Time Travel will do their best to re-arrange you tour, as long as you notify them as soon as possible of the delay (we will provide a mobile/cell phone number for them to text (SMS) or ring us in the event of delays on the day). We must adhere to our cancellation policy to protect our ability to run tours and to maintain our price structure.


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