Bordeaux & Loire Valley Wine Tour

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Total Trip:

8 Days
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Countries Visited:

France
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Places Visited:

Loire Valley, Paris, Amboise, Chinon, Bordeaux, Médoc
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The châteaux are legendary, the landscape is spectacular, and the wine is beyond comparison. In the Loire Valley and Bordeaux region of France, you will delight in exquisite landscapes while sampling some of the world’s finest wines. You’ll visit the Loire’s fairy-tale castles of Chambord and Chenonceau, the historic cities of Amboise and Chinon, and the prestigious wineries of Chinon and Vouvray appellations. Then you’ll tour the elegant city of Bordeaux, the UNESCO village of Saint-Émilion and

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Customizable Itinerary

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Day 1

Arrive in Paris and Transfer to the Loire Valley

Upon your arrival in Paris, your English-speaking guide will pick you up at the airport and drive you to the Loire Valley. Enjoy a relaxing ride through the scenic countryside in your comfortable air-conditioned transfer. You’ll arrive in the village of Chambord and have lunch at your leisure. Your guide will take you to one of the charming restaurants in the village. Sample the local cuisine such as Salmon in Beurre Blanc Sauce paired with a refreshing glass of Anjou wine (a local appellation) and Chicken Fricassee with Mushrooms accompanied by Vouvray, another one of the Loire Valley’s fine wines.

After lunch, you’ll visit the Château de Chambord. This glorious castle was built in the early 1500s for King François I to impress his distinguished visitors, including royal heads of state and foreign ambassadors. The château is surrounded by expansive woodlands that are comparable in size to the entire city of Paris! Your private tour takes you inside this magnificent Renaissance château with over four hundred rooms. Soak up the grandeur of the immense interior, as the spiraling staircase alone is a breathtaking architectural statement. After your tour of the château, you’ll be treated to a wine tasting at the Domaine de la Grange, an artisan winery that produces exceptional white, red and sparkling wines.

The proprietor will welcome you to the domaine and educate you about the property’s Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny appellations. The highly regarded Cour-Cheverny wines were originally made for King François I. Returning from a trip to Italy, King François I made a detour in Burgundy where he sampled their famous wines. The King then took back native (Romorantin) grape vines from Burgundy to his château in the Loire Valley. Today you will not find any other wine made with Romorantin grapes except for the Cour-Cheverny appellation. You’ll have a chance to sample this unique wine during your visit. Following the wine-tasting tour, you’ll be provided a transfer to your luxurious hotel. For dinner, choose one of the traditional restaurants within walking distance of your hotel. Consider learning more about your France travel agents who strive to produce a highly personalized and memorable trip of a lifetime, tailored to your particular interests and desires.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

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Day 2

Guided Tour of Amboise and Loire River Boating Excursion

After a French continental breakfast at your hotel, your guide will pick you up for a scenic drive to Amboise. The highlight of Amboise is the magnificent Royal Château perched at the highest point of the city. Your guide will take you on a tour through the castle, showing you the most important rooms while sharing the fascinating history. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Royal Château sits on the location of an ancient castle. In the 1500s, the castle was refurbished in the Italian style for King François I and later renovated for King Henry II.

After taking in the history of this beautiful castle, you’ll visit a winery in Vouvray, one of the largest appellations of white wine in the Anjou-Saumur-Touraine region of the Loire Valley. Enjoy a guided tour of the wine cellar along with a gourmet lunch and wine tasting. The winery produces a large range of the finest quality vintage Vouvray wines. After the winery tour, your guide will take you to Chaumont sur Loire for a boating excursion on the Loire River. Hop on board a “gabare,” a replica of the traditional French boats from the 18th and 19th centuries. Your captain will lead the way through this rugged river surrounded by lush flora and fauna. This beautiful river is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Nature Site. After an invigorating cruise down the river, your guide will drive you back to your hotel. Tonight, enjoy a leisurely dinner in the village or at your hotel.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Wine Tasting in Chinon and Tour of Chenonceau Castle

Your guide will pick you up at your hotel after breakfast for today’s excursion. Enjoy a scenic drive through the vineyards of the Loire Valley on your way to the historic city of Chinon. Your guide will share the city’s fascinating history as you follow in the ancient footsteps of Joan of Arc. With its narrow cobblestone streets and impressive medieval buildings, Chinon takes the visitor on a journey back in time. You will see a typical quarter of the medieval town with exceptional views of the impressive Royal Fortress of Chinon in the distance. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the restaurants in Chinon’s historic center. You might try “Les Annees” on rue Voltaire for exquisite traditional French cuisine in a charming atmosphere.

This afternoon, enjoy a visit to the Domaine Pierre Sourdais winery located beside the peaceful Vienne River. The winery is located in Cravant les Coteaux, a hillside village that is renowned for Chinon wines. Domaine Pierre Sourdais produces exceptional Chinon appellation wines made from Cabernet Franc grapes. Your tasting includes a wide selection of Chinon wines. You’ll have a chance to sample vintage bottles that have been aged for up to 30 years. The tour shows you the winery’s state-of-the-art equipment and traditional cellars while educating you about the region’s winemaking techniques.

After your winery visit, your guide will drive you to the breathtaking Château de Chenonceau. This exceptional Renaissance château has one of the most unusual architectural designs—it was built on a bridge over the river. Known as the Château des Dames (“Castle of Ladies”), this monumental château was built and designed for famous women including Diane de Poitiers (mistress of King Henry II) and Catherine de Medici. With its exceptional paintings and rare 16th-century tapestries, the château has an elegant, feminine style. Every room of the castle features a bouquet of flowers and most have beautiful views of the river. After your guided tour, you’ll return to your hotel for a sumptuous dinner.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 4

Travel to Bordeaux with a Stop at a Cognac Winery

After breakfast, you’ll begin the journey towards Bordeaux in Southwest France. On your way to Bordeaux, you’ll make a stop in the famous wine-growing region of Cognac. You’ll visit a domaine that produces exceptional Cognac wine in the traditional style. The proprietors will tell you about their passion for creating fine wine and their love of the terroir. Then you’ll continue driving towards Bordeaux. Upon arrival, check into your luxurious accommodation in the city center. After some time to freshen up, you can begin exploring the beautiful city of Bordeaux. Because of its historical and cultural importance, UNESCO declared the city of Bordeaux a World Heritage Site. The city has over 300 buildings designated as historical monuments. The wealth of Bordeaux comes from its heritage of renowned wines produced from the vineyards surrounding the city. Perfectly situated on a bend of the Garonne River, Bordeaux has been exporting wine to England for centuries. Tonight you’ll savor a leisurely gourmet dinner and then stroll through the city’s elegant streets, admiring the ornate buildings that are illuminated at night.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Sightseeing Tour of Bordeaux and Visit the UNESCO Village of Saint-Emilion

This morning, you’ll embark on a guided tour of Bordeaux to see the city’s most exceptional highlights. Begin in the historic center with the Cathédrale Saint-André, once an important stop on the medieval “Route to Saint James” pilgrimage. Dating back to the 12th century, the cathedral is precious enough to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage monument. You admire architectural masterpieces from the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th century. The elegant Place de la Bourse that stands beside the Garonne River and Le Grand Théâtre is an inspiring neoclassical building where opera and ballet performances are held. Along the way, you’ll also discover the city’s culinary wonders. You can stop into a boulangerie (French bakery) to sample a croissant or a local specialty called “cannelé” (caramelized custard pastry). You’ll also see the small markets where locals shop for fresh ingredients.

For lunch, you may choose from one of the restaurants near your hotel. Enjoy a leisurely meal before setting off for the village of Saint-Émilion. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this historic city dates back to the 11th century and is steeped in the tradition of winemaking. Like many medieval French towns, Saint-Émilion is perched high on a hilltop above the rolling hills. You’ll wander the ancient streets lined with old stone buildings and relax in the charming public squares. Look out for spectacular vistas of the surrounding vineyards. After visiting Saint-Émilion, you’ll travel to a nearby wine château for a guided tour and wine tasting. This prestigious château produces renowned Saint-Émilion Premier Cru wines that are coveted at the finest restaurants all over the world. Tonight you’ll have free time for an evening stroll and gourmet dinner in Bordeaux.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Visit Pristine Beaches and Quaint Villages of Bassin d’Arcachon

Today you’ll enjoy a rejuvenating beachside relaxation, inspiring nature walks, and leisurely sightseeing at the Bassin d’Arcachon. A stunning site along the Atlantic Ocean, the Bassin d’Arcachon is lined by lush forests of refreshing pine trees. This unspoiled coastline is dotted with picturesque ancient villages. Take in the scenery as you relax to the ebb and flow of the ocean waves. On your guided tour, you’ll have a chance to see “la Dune du Pilat,” an impressive sand dune. Spend some time sunbathing on the beach and walking along the trails. The tour concludes at Cap Ferret, a coveted vacation destination surrounded by pristine nature. You’ll stop in Le Canon village, a traditional oyster-harvesting village, where you can sample this local specialty accompanied by a glass of fine wine. The tour also includes a tasting of local sturgeon and Gironde River caviar. Later this afternoon and evening, you’ll have free time for sightseeing in Bordeaux and dinner at the restaurant of your choice.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Wine Tour Including Visits to Prestigious Chateaux in the Medoc

Today you’ll make an excursion to one of the most renowned wine-growing areas of France, the Médoc. On your scenic tour through the beautiful vineyards, you’ll see elegant wine châteaux and quaint villages associated with famous wine appellations. This tour allows you to discover and taste the wines of three wine châteaux that produce the esteemed Grand Cru (Great Growth) wines. You’ll visit the prestigious Château Margaux winery as well as two other wineries. Each winery offers its distinctive variety of Bordeaux wine. Your guide will educate you about how to appreciate each wine and distinguish the differences in character. After the tour, you’ll be an expert in Bordeaux wines. You will certainly be ready to pair your evening meal with the appropriate glass of Médoc wine. Enjoy a relaxed and refined meal to celebrate the conclusion of your fabulous vacation.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Departure from Bordeaux

The tour concludes today after breakfast at your hotel. You’ll be provided a private transfer to the Bordeaux airport in time for your return flight home.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

expand/close
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Trip Highlights

  • See the elegant Loire Valley castles of Chambord and Chenonceau
  • Guided tour of the historic city of Amboise and the Château d'Amboise
  • Sample the finest Vouvray white wines at a prestigious wine château
  • Visit a winery in Chinon for a tasting of this famous wine appellation
  • Private visits to renowned wineries in Cognac, Médoc and Saint-Émilion
  • Relax in the pristine nature site of Arcachon Basin on the Atlantic Coast
  • Private tour of the Château Margaux winery 
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Detailed Description

From the elegant châteaux to the perfectly manicured vineyards, the Loire Valley and Bordeaux region are especially appealing to wine connoisseurs. These two areas epitomize the beauty and culture that draws visitors to France. Both regions have beautiful historical monuments and an impressive winemaking heritage. Embark on the finest luxury France tours, where you’ll see the charming villages and lovely vineyards of the Loire Valley and the Médoc, and enjoy stops at famous wine appellations: Chinon, Vouvray, Saint-Émilion and Margaux. The Bordeaux and Loire Valley wine tour even includes a winery visit in Cognac to sample this fine liqueur.

This customizable vacation takes you on private tours of prestigious wineries, many of which are not normally open to the public. You’ll have a chance to taste exceptional quality wines from several different regions while your guide educates you about the winemaking process, each appellation’s characteristics and the best recent vintages. In the Loire Valley wine regions of Chinon and Vouvray, you’ll sample crisp and refreshing white wines made from Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. In the Bordeaux regions of Margaux and Saint-Émilion, you’ll discover the legendary red wine blends made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc grapes. These full-bodied, aromatic wines are crafted to age for decades and will make a wonderful addition to your wine collection.

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Starting Price

$2195 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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