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Explore the Loire Valley estuary 8-day Small Group Tour
The estuary of the Loire begins in Nantes, with a stunning region around the tributaries, peninsulas and islands of the Atlantic. The glorious valley of the Loire is renowned for its sumptuous chateaux, luxuriant landscape and magnificent wine and food. Here you can visit chateaux from the medieval to Renaissance periods, each one unique and resplendent within their ornamental gardens.
Relax on a riverboat or if you feel energetic, enjoy an easy cycle ride along the banks of the Loire. A local crisp, fresh white wine will accompany your meal of fish, game, mushrooms and abundant fresh vegetables.
Travel is in a comfortable new vehicle - Maximum 14 guests
Slow tours offer other Small Group tours in Europe
Arrival at Nantes airport where you will be transferred to your accommodation. Time to settle in before a short drive to our Breton Creperie for a welcome dinner which is typical of this region.
Today we cross the ocean on a long bridge to discover the fortified town of Guerande, surrounded by salt pans, salt being one of the main products of this area. Guerande has a surrounding wall which ws its strength in past years, it is a rare example of a medieval city which has preserved its rampart in its entirety. It is also one of the best preserved in France. A stop at some of the small fishing villages along the way will delight your day.
We drive to the Ile de Noirmoutier, an island just off the coast of Brittany. The town has a historical centre and some great beaches where you can enjoy a relaxing swim, or explore the town. We stop at another of the local villages which is named as one of the 'most beautiful villages in France'.
Today we go into Nantes city for a tour of the 13th century chateau of the Dukes of Brittany, the last chateau on the Loire before it reaches the Atlantic ocean. You will have time to discover some of the medieval history of this important city, the remarkable Botanic Gardens, to explore the shops in Passage Pommeraye, visit Nantes Gothic cathedral or just to enjoy a coffee or lunch by the Loire river
After breakfast, we transfer to our next accommodation near Saumur with a stop along the way to see the chateau in Angers. This chateau has a magnificent tapestry known as the Apocalypse, the largest and oldest tapestry - known to date - made in Paris, a medieval French set of tapestries commissioned by Louis I, the Duke of Anjou, and produced between 1377 and 1382 .
A fun day for everyone with a day at the Puy du Fou, France's historical theme park, recently voted as the best theme park in the world. A continuous program of historical shows, music and exhibitions which you will never forget.
The chateau of Saumur and Fontevraud Abbey are on the itinerary today. If you have not heard of Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, this is your chance to find out more about this amazing woman who was the Queen of France, divorced and became the Queen of England.
Day for departure with a transfer to Saumur train station
I am eternally grateful for finding "Slow Tours" and Carol on the internet. My friend and I wanted to spend time in France, as part of a small group. Whilst we wanted to see and experience the beauty and history of The Loire Valley, we preferred to do this at a pace where we could absorb the atmosphere, and immerse ourselves in the French culture each day, and that meant no rushing or trundling onto a big coach for tour hopping. Our day would begin over a leisurely breakfast in a "parlour", with our small group of like minded and fabulous travelling companions, and Carol, in the magnificent 16th century chateau where we were staying....sigh. This was, for us one of the best weeks of our lives. We could not have anticipated how fantastic a holiday could be. Often we had to pinch ourselves just to check that we weren’t in the middle of a wonderful dream. Thank you Carol for organising such an amazing holiday experience. It won’t be our last trip with "Slow Tours". It was too good not to do again in another region of France. Jenny and Ray (Victoria) September 2011
Being the successful bidder for a charity auction, I secured a week long "Slow Tour" in France's Loire Valley not really knowing what it was all about. For a busy executive though who has done lots of travel all over the world for business, it turned out to be the right recipe for experiencing all things French. The whole concept is great and was so relaxing. Being able to visit places less seen by the big tour promoters at a pace set by our group was only one of the true benefits that Carol brings. Doing activities that let you see the true countryside, townships, culture and people was among the others. Staying in fantastic accommodation cannot be understated either. They say the little things make a big difference in customer service and when I decided at the last minute to catch an early morning train on the last day, Carol did not disappoint by getting up before dark to take me & my partner to the train station. The experiences, the knowledge and the friendliness brought a group of people from all walks of life together who now have lifetime memories of this region of France. If you don't do at least one of these Slow Tour trips, you are missing out on so much. Ian and Adele (Queensland) September 2011
This is the beautiful manor house where we stayed in the Loire valley. We had the most wonderful time and thanks to Slow Tours, went to some places we would never have known about, which made our holiday a lot of fun. Leigh (Sydney) September 2009
If you would like to drive yourself before or after your tour, ask us for a quote on any brand new Renault, Peugeot or Citroen vehicle for driving in Europe.
Pick up your vehicle from most capital cities in Europe and return it to your drop off destination. Top insurance cover. Email [email protected] for a competitive quote
Shows in English in Paris: Paris offers a wide variety of shows accessible to English-speakers. One-man shows, classic & modern theatre, musicals, cabarets and more are all performed in the city every night. You can get the full programme of shows in Paris to fit your city break dates by emailing [email protected]