The Loire Châteaux

There’s only one thing we love more than history here at Historical Trips and that’s a good drink... so we thought why not combine the two? The result is our brand new Loire Valley Wine & History tour - run jointly between Historical Trips and our sister company, Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours.

Medieval fortresses, royal châteaux, Renaissance residences, impressive cathedrals… these are just a few of the historical treasures awaiting you. Retrace the steps of fascinating figures, including: Queen of France, Catherine de Medici, in Chenonceau; and heroine Joan of Arc in Rouen. We stop at exceptional châteaux and wineries throughout the tour - tasting some of France’s most famous wines, including Sancerre, Muscadet and Vouvray. Aside from delicious wines, our collective palates will be treated to sumptuous dinners - including a mouth-watering Michelin-starred meal.

Arblaster & Clarke is the world’s leading wine tours operator and aims to provide wine holiday experiences that go beyond the ordinary. www.ArblasterandClarke.com

Tour Guides

This tour will be led by Dr Michael Jones (Tour Guide) and Lys Hall (Wine Guide)

Itinerary 2017

Day 1

We depart London by luxury coach via Eurotunnel enjoying a picnic lunch on-board, during an introductory wine tasting. We arrive in Tours and transfer to our hotel.

 

Day 2

We explore Tours this morning. The atmospheric city's long history includes its role as the 15th-century French capital and seat of kings. It was heavily bombed in World War II, but is now surrounded by modern towers. We continue to Marc Bredif in the Vouvray appellation. They are the largest négociant company in the area with precise and exacting standards. Following a visit to his cellars, we will taste a range of his excellent wines from the versatile Chenin Blanc grape. We stop in Chenonceau this afternoon. The elegant Château de Chenonceau was the favourite home of Catherine de Medici - and she added a series of new gardens here, during her residence.

Day 3

Our first visit is to the Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, one of the foremost examples of early French renaissance architecture. The picturesque château sits on an island in the middle of the Indre river. We stop for lunch at a Bourgeuil Winery, before continuing to tonight’s hotel - a comfortable 18th century building on the banks of the River Loire, overlooked by the Château de Saumur. We enjoy a Michelin-starred dinner in Saumur this evening.

Day 4

We visit the Château de Chinon this morning. This is the very castle where Joan of Arc appeared before Charles VII and claimed to hear heavenly voices that said the heir apparent should grant her an army to relieve the siege of Orléans. After lunch in Chinon, you have some free time to yourself in the commune. We visit and taste at Domaine Couly-Dutheil this afternoon. The well established family-owned winery has long been acclaimed by the British wine press. Mainly modern methods of vinification are used to produce excellent an interesting selection of wines from single vineyards. We end the day with dinner and a tasting at our hotel.

Day 5

Our first visit today is to Abbey of Fontevraud, the final resting place of Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Richard the Lionheart. After lunch in Saumur, you can either join us for a tour of the Château de Saumur or relax for the rest of the afternoon. We enjoy dinner at Langlois-Château tonight. This is an outstanding producer in St-Hilaire-St-Florent. The prestigious estate sits under the same umbrella as Champagne Bollinger. They make wines from its own vineyards from Muscadet to Sancerre as well as a delicious Crémant de Loire and Crément Rosé.

Day 6

Our day begins in Angers. We view the incredible Apocalypse tapestry - the large medieval set of tapestries was produced between 1377 and 1382. Following lunch in Angers, we continue to Honfleur. This charming Normandy port town was a favourite destination of many painters - notably Monet - for many years. There are many Impressionist galleries to visit in the town. This boutique hotel we stay in tonight is based in the town centre - offering enchanting views over the port and the historic town.

Day 7

This morning, our final visit is to the Benedictine Abbey of Fécamp to discover the origin of the Bénédictine spirit, and to taste the unique liquer distilled from 27 differerent herbs and spices. Finally, we begin our return journey to the UK by coach, enjoying lunch en route.

Itinerary 2018

Day 1

Introduction

Departing London, we enjoy a picnic lunch aboard our luxury coach, before alighting in Tours.

Day 2

Our Tour of Tours

We take the morning to explore the atmospheric city of Tours before continuing to Marc Bredif in the Vouvray appellation for a cellar visit and tasting. We stop in Chenonceau this afternoon.

Day 3

Islands in the Stream

Our first visit of the day is to the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, a superb example of French renaissance architecture enjoying its situation in the middle of the Indre river. We stop at a Bourgeuil winery for lunch before continuing to Saumur for this evening’s Michelin-starred dinner.

Day 4

Heavenly Voices, Heavenly Wine

This morning we visit Château de Chinon, where Joan of Arc appealed to Charles VII. After lunch, we have some free time to explore Chinon, before a visit and tasting at Domaine Couly-Dutheil. We finish with dinner and a tasting at our hotel.

Day 5

The Créme de la Crémant

Our first visit of the day is to the Abbey of Fontevraud, final resting place of Henry II, Eleanor of Aquitaine and Richard the Lionheart. Take our optional tour of Château de Saumur this afternoon, or just relax before rejoining us for dinner at Langlois-Château, producers of superb Crémant de Loire and Crémant Rosé.

Day 6

Apocalypse in Angers

Our day begins with a viewing of Angers’ incredible Apocalypse tapestry, before moving on to Honfleur, the charming Normandy port town beloved by artists.

Day 7

Conclusion

This morning, our final visit is to the Benedictine Abbey of Fécamp to discover the origin of their Bénédictine spirit. After a final lunch, we return home.

What's Included

  1. Expert Guide Lecturer - Michael is highly rated by our customers, consistently scoring 9/10 on our satisfaction surveys
  2. Meals - All meals included
  3. Travel by A/C coach - from London to Tours; Pont l’Evêque to London

Reviews

Sep 26

Michael was excellent. Not only did he give interesting talks but he made himself available to answer questions and enter into discussions. We both learned an awful lot and he has generated a curiosity in us both to explore the 100 years war further. Very many thanks!


- Guest, 'The Loire Châteaux' 2017
Sep 26

Mike made complicated and what I thought to be boring history very interesting. He also tells really interesting historical stories.


- Guest, 'The Loire Châteaux' 2017
Sep 26

We have been on tour with Lys previously ad she is incredibly knowledgeable both about wine and history. She puts across information with great ease and interest. All guides really did complement each other and the atmosphere throughout the week was very good-humoured and relaxed.


- Guest, 'The Loire Châteaux' 2017
Sep 20

Superb and expansive, authoritative knowledge put across in a very accessible way. Great sense of humour and excellent company.


- Guest, 'The Loire Châteaux' 2017
Sep 14

Excellent - a lively and enthusiastic orator who is a complete master of his field and really brought some dry subjects to life. I approached this tour looking forward to the wine aspects of the trip but left feeling enthused about history and much more informed than I was previously! Outstanding.


- Guest, 'The Loire Châteaux' 2017
Sep 12

Lys was lovely as always! Her knowledge of wine is exceptional and she conveys it in a way that is accessible and interesting. Her wine choices at meals were unfailingly interesting and matched the food well. Her introduction to the tastings also greatly enhanced the experience.


- Guest, 'The Loire Châteaux' 2017
Sep 10

I will look out for Lys' tours in the future and I have never met anyone who is so knowledgeable about wines - superb commentary throughout the tour. Even during every meal, she consistently and attentively explained each wine even when it was very late in the evening, ensuring everyone had a thorough understanding of the wines. By far the best wine guide I have ever met. Her history knowledge complemented her wine knowledge too to provide most comprehensive detail about an area.


- Guest, 'The Loire Châteaux' 2017
Sep 10

Lys is extremely knowledgeable about wine and her explanations were just right between technical and non-technical.


- Guest, 'The Loire Châteaux' 2017

Cultural rebirth on a global scale

The Renaissance stands as one of the defining periods of world history. A time when the perceptions of society, culture and politics - which we still cling onto - emerged for the first time. Could any other era ever compare with the rich Renaissance of art, architecture, literature, science, trade, and travel?

No period has been more discussed, dissected and argued over than the Renaissance - and with good reason. Join us to discover the land of La Convivencia, where followers of the world’s three main religions lived harmoniously side by side. Go back to where it all began with an introduction to Art, Love & War in the Renaissance. Get an insider’s guide to ancient Persia, as we look into the Mirrors of the Unseen. Go Beyond the Pillars of Hercules to discover the golden age of Spain. Uncover the hidden history of the Loire Châteaux, with a glass of the good stuff in hand.

Travelling alongside our expert guides you’ll be afforded unprecedented access to an unmatched world of cultural experimentation and intellectual excitement. There is still so much for us to learn from this unprecedented era…

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2018 Tour Details

£2,545
  • 7 Days
  • 2nd Sep - 8th Sep 2018
  • with Dr Michael Jones, Lys Hall
  • Code: QAL18A
  • Available
  • without flights
  • sgl supp: £300