Loire Valley & Bordeaux

Itinerary

Day 1Depart the USA

Day 2Arrive Paris / Travel to Montsoreau / Loire Valley
Bienvenue vers la France! Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport, make your way to the airport rail station to board your train to the Loire Valley. You will have 1st Class seating from Paris to Saumur via a connection in St. Pierre des Corps. Upon arrival in Saumur, you will take a taxi to your charming 3-Star hotel in Montsoreau on the banks of the Loire River.

After you check in, try one of the local restaurants for dinner

Montsoreau is a small village on the borders of the Loire River and is recognized as one of the prettiest villages in France, and is surrounded by the vineyards of Saumur Champigny, Touraine, Chinon, Saumur, Bourgueil and Saint Nicolas de Bourgueil.

Day 3Cycling Loire Valley / Chinon
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning and then prepare for your first day of cycling in the Loire Valley. Each day your bicycles and equipment will be provided to you at the hotel along with maps and suggested sites to visit.

Today’s ride is approximately 48km and you will pass the Manoir de la Devniere and surrounding vineyards on your way to the charming medieval town of Chinon on the banks of the Vienne River. Local wineries will be pointed out on your map so you can stop at your leisure for a taste of delicious Chinon red wine.
Explore Chinon and its beautiful scenery before returning to Montsoreau for the evening.

Day 4Cycling Loire Valley / Candes Saint Martin / Saumur
Your cycling adventure continues as you ride through the countryside to the village of Candes Saint Martin where you can visit the magnificent 12th and 13th century collegiate church.

Candes Saint Martin sits on the banks of the Vienne River, at the confluence with the Loire River, on a small hill with beautiful views across the surrounding countryside.
The highlight of Candes-Saint-Martin is the chapel Saint Martin which is especially known for the many statues that decorate its facade, and for the stained glass windows tracing the story of the relics of Saint Martin.

Before you begin your return journey, don’t miss the walk along the Chemin du Panorama to the viewpoint above the village. This gives you a great view of what is a particularly beautiful stretch of the River Loire.

Day 5Cycling Loire Valley / Breze / Montreuil-Bellay
Your final day of cycling will take you along small rustic roads and through vineyards by the castle of Breze, where you can stop and view this magnificent ancient monument, it’s underground passages and chambers and even taste wine. Continue from the castle to the village of Montreuil-Bellay

Nowadays, Château de Montreuil-Bellay is also the name of a wine made on the property.

Once you arrive back at your hotel in Montsoreau, freshen-up and relax before enjoying your final evening in the Loire Valley by dining at your hotel.

Day 6Travel to Bordeaux
This morning you will take a taxi to the rail station for your transfer to Bordeaux. You will have 1st Class seating and will be met at the Bordeaux rail station by an English-speaking driver you will escort you to your beautiful 5-Star hotel.

Bordeaux is truly a wine lover's Mecca, boasting over fifty appellations and nearly 10,000 chateaux. Discover first-hand the sophistication and exquisite appeal of the world's finest wines.

Located just opposite the Grand Théâtre, home of the Opéra National de Bordeaux, your luxurious 5-star Bordeaux hotel has undergone a comprehensive and faithful restoration that respects and maintains its colorful history while offering a level of luxury and elegance not previously experienced, reclaiming its place as the most majestic luxury hotel in the city.

Day 7Tour of Médoc Wine Region
You will meet your private driver/guide in the lobby of the hotel to begin an unforgettable day of touring and tasting in the Médoc Wine Region.

The Médoc peninsula stretches from the Atlantic coastline to the Gironde estuary north of Bordeaux. Despite being extensive, the grape-growing area here occupies only 20% of the land, a narrow strip along the estuary, with the rest being made up of forests. Winemakers of the Médoc have succeeded in creating a subtle balance between the density of vine stocks and the somewhat poor quality of the soil found here, to produce mature wines in oak barrels taking on the finest varietal characteristics found anywhere in the world.

You will taste wines from the amazing villages of Moulis, Listrac, Margaux, and Pauillac. While you are visiting the famous Châteaux of Saint Julien, a scrumptious winery lunch set among the winery’s beautiful vineyards is made available to you.

The highlight of the day is a visit to Château Mouton Rothschild. Originally excluded from First Growth status, this was referred to as "the monstrous injustice." It is widely believed that the exception was made because the vineyard had recently been purchased by an Englishman and was no longer in French ownership. In 1973, Mouton was elevated to First Growth status after decades of intense lobbying by its powerful and influential owner.

Day 8Tour of Graves and Sauternes
After breakfast this morning, meet your private guide and driver in the lobby of your hotel for departure towards the Graves and Sauternes vineyard regions.

Your day’s tasting will begin in Bordeaux with a tour and tasting of the First Growth, Château Haut Brion. The Château is the First Growth located closest to Bordeaux only 5km to the southwest, almost within the confines of the city. The wine of Château Haut Brion has always maintained its high reputation on account of its excellence and fineness. Its supple, medium-bodied, slightly herbaceous wines are drinkable at a relatively early age despite their high percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon. They have the characteristic nose of coffee, tobacco, occasionally grilled herbs, and black and red currants.

Continue your day into the oldest of the Bordeaux wine-producing areas, Graves. Located on the left bank of the River Garonne and forming a belt of vines through the Landes, the Graves vines grow on slopes along the valley of the Garonne producing their outstandingly bold character and taste profile.

You will enjoy a tour and tasting of some of the most famous châteaux of the region. Lunch may be enjoyed at a local restaurant overlooking the Sauternes vineyards. Upon completion of your tour, you will be returned to Bordeaux to prepare for your evening dinner plans.

Day 9Tour of Saint Émilion
Meet your private guide and driver in the lobby of your hotel for departure to Saint Émilion.

Saint Émilion has an exceptional landscape entirely given over to grape production and whose towns and villages are home to outstanding historic monuments.

Your tour includes three tastings today at prestigious Saint Emilion wineries. Saint Émilion has all of the charm of a medieval town with narrow cobbled streets and is built in the form of a veritable amphitheatre open to a sea of vineyards; you will find an exceptional locale to enjoy lunch, a leisurely stroll or make a few purchases before setting off to Bordeaux on your return.

Day 10Depart for United States
After checking out of your hotel, meet your driver in the lobby for departure to the Bordeaux rail station. You will have 1st Class seating for your travel from Bordeaux to the Paris station at Charles de Gaulle airport, where you will make your connection to fly home.

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