Take a fabulous tour of Bordeaux and the Loire Valley and discover the wine chateaux and Renaissance castles of these outstandingly beautiful regions.
Wine chateaux and Renaissance castles
Delight in exquisite landscapes while sampling some of the world’s finest wines. Visit legendary châteaux and the elegant city of Bordeaux, the surrounding Médoc vineyards, the village of Saint-Émilion and make stops at world-famous wineries. Discover the Loire’s fairy-tale castles Chambord and Chenonceau. Explore the historic cities of Amboise and Chinon. And sip the finest nectar at the small wineries of Chinon, Saumur Champigny and Vouvray appellations.
Medoc wine tour
Based in Bordeaux, the Pearl of Aquitaine, take in the “Route des Chateaux” for Margaux, Cos d’Estournel, Talbot, Latour, Laffite-Rothschild, Palmer, Gruaud-Larose, Rauzan-Segla, Beychevelle and more. Stop off at famous wine chateaux of the area such as Chateau Margaux or Chateau Mouton-Rothschild (Pauillac) or one of the five “Premier Cru” of Medoc where a tour and tasting can be enjoyed.
Saint Emilion and Sauternes-Barsac
Don’t miss a relaxing lunch in the village and time to wander the streets of the charming village of Saint Emilion. Take a guided visit of the monolithic church (via the tourist office) which dates back to the 8th century. It’s carved into rock and here you’ll also find a 7th-century cave, refuge of the monk who founded the city. Organise a wine tasting via the tourist office or at one of the many boutiques in the village.
Highly recommended is a tasting at the Chateau d’Yquem or Suduiraut both “1st cru classe” in Sauternes for the most splendid natural sweet wine of the world.
Loire Valley chateaux
Head to the Loire Valley for a complete change of scenery but yet more fabulous wine. Don’t miss the castle of Azay-le-Rideau, the most romantic and harmonious in the region. And the Chateau d’Usse, lived in by the same family since the 15th century. This is the castle that inspired Perrault to write “Sleeping Beauty”.
More must sees include the Chateau de Chenonceau, lunch in the beautiful park at the Chateau de Chaumont and a visit to the city of Amboise, last home of Leonardo da Vinci. The chateau of Chervery and Chambord, the most majestic castle of the Loire are also unmissable.
Visit a market and the castle in Saumur. Enjoy a glass of bubbly and some of the regional red wines before visiting the 11th century Abbey de Fontevraud for the memories of Henry II Platagenet, Richard Lion Heart and Alienor d’Aquitaine.