There are easy connections from Paris to Tours train station. Your Trip Package will be waiting for you at the hotel and our Trip Manager will call you to go over the tour and answer any questions you may have. Once settled, take some time to explore this lovely small city: During the Middle Ages, Tours consisted of two juxtaposed and competing centres: The “City” in the east, successor of the late Roman ‘castrum’, and in the west, the “New City” structured around the Abbey of Saint Martin and the economic centre of Tours. The two centres were linked during the 14th century, but you still sense the two halves today. We provide a self guided walking tour to explore the Medieval centre (Vieux Tours), with the half-timbered houses, the many parks, and Place Plumereau, a lively square with many restaurants and pubs.
We drop you in the centre of the small town of Saché this morning, just to the south of the Indre River. The pretty 12th century chateau of Saché became the refuge for the great French writer Honore de Balzac, as he fled the worries and stress of big city life, and wandered the countryside for the healthy fresh air – as you are doing today! Walk in the rich Touraine countryside, to another village with its own unique heritage: Vilaines-les-Rochers is home to the region’s basketry centre, with a community of artist’s continuing the traditional workmanship, as well as pushing it further with modern inspiration. After explorations there, and perhaps some lunch, continue on to the town of Azay le Rideau. You will want to take some time to visit the castle – not one of the largest chateaux of the Loire in size, the 16th century castle of Azay is one of the prettiest, with the delightful combination of Italian Renaissance style, and the charm of a French castle on the water, as it sits on the banks of the Indre River.
We take you right to your destination this morning, in the beautiful village of Montsoreau (officially rated as one of France’s “Prettiest Villages”). From there, you have a loop walk, starting with climb away from the banks of the Loire, heading up onto the rich forested land around Fontevraud. You’ll want to meander in town long enough for sure to visit the Royal Abbey, a spectacular site, both beautiful, and entrenched in a thousand of years of history. Take a moment as you explore this UNESCO Heritage site to feel moved by the site of the burial tombs of Eleanor of Aquitaine, and her son, Richard the Lionhearted, both at rest at the abbey with the Plantagenet King. Explore the vast gardens and the abbey buildings, and find some lunch to fortify yourself before heading back. You arrive above the confluence of the Loire and Vienne Rivers, and then descend into the village of Candes sur Loire, right next door to your home in Montsoreau, and yet another “Prettiest Village”. You are almost done the walk, so enjoy some time there exploring the tiny cobblestoned streets, the churches and panoramas over the river.
Your final day’s walk has you following the banks of the Loire all the way in to medieval Saumur. We drop you off in the pretty village of Turquant, with its Tufa stone quarries and troglodyte homes. Meander close to the river, or up in the vineyards just above all day, passing through the remains of a whole troglodyte village in Souzay-Champigny, and a fun “pommes-tapées” (literally, smashed apples) producer along the way. You’ll arrive in Saumur with a view of its impressive chateau overlooking the river and town below. We provide a self-guided walking tour to help you explore its many and varied sites: the medieval squares in the heart of town, several beautiful churches, the chateau itself, a great tank museum, and also several sites dedicated to horses, as one of France’s great cavalry schools is based in Saumur. Your final dinner tonight is included at one of our favourite restaurants.
After a final breakfast, you can get connections out of Saumur train station for your further travels – Bon Voyage!
- 4 nights’ accommodation of the comfort level of your choice * CLASSIC, CLASSIC + or DELUXE
- Hotel taxes
- All breakfasts and 2 dinners (drinks not included with the dinners)
- Orientation with our Trip Manager at the start of the trip by phone
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
- Taxi transfers to the start of the walks
- Detailed maps and step-by-step route instructions
- Uploadable GPS file of the route to use on a free APP in your smartphone **
- Regional information and advice
- Phone call support 7 days a week
* Price based on double room occupancy – please contact us for details on single room supplements
** Can be used without international internet plan (offline)