18 days
Duration
Europe
Destination
Level 3 - Moderate to Challenging
Activity

 Loire Valley Walking Tours

Loire Valley walking tours France small group escorted seniors history tour is for eighteen-days. This  small group walking tour from Odyssey Traveller Australia has been specially designed for the active senior.

The Loire Valley is the largest site ever registered in France as World Heritage site by UNESCO. The site crosses a multitude of historic towns and villages, rich with architectural heritage and ancient history. Many of these places are explored on this walking tour. This Loire Valley walking tours France reveals religious buildings and castles, cultivated land and wild landscapes. The landscape that we explore on foot has witnessed thousands of years of interactions between man and nature. It is a cultural landscape of exception. The Loire River is central to this walk. of this landscape. The Loire is largest river in France, it is nicknamed "the Royal River." The Loire Valley was chosen as a royal residence in the 15th and 16th century. On this walk we take several days in several locations  explore the cultural heritage of these landscapes. Your walk in the Loire Valley will be unforgettable.

Those walkers with an interest in walking in France on some of the most spectacular paths in the Loire Valley. Not only do you walk through an amazing landscapes, but you also spend time visiting some of the country’s most famous chateaux. The tour is designed so that participants can do all of the proposed walks or opt out on days when they’d rather simply explore the more immediate environs of their accommodation.

The Loire Valley walking tours France 

The Loire Valley is one of France’s most popular tourist destinations.  However, on this tour, you’ll have the chance to see rather more than the average tourist. The Loire is the longest river in France. On this tour  we concentrating on a relatively small part this river path to the sea. The river has long been an important trading route. As a result of this trade the valley is dotted with major settlements including Orleans, Blois, Tours and Angers. These historic towns are nestled in to a landscape of rolling vineyards, forests and hunting lodges.

The Journey

On the Loire Valley walking tours France, you’ll have the chance to explore the countryside. As a small group you visit some of the more interesting chateaux. Some of the places visited include Chenonceau, and Chinon. There will also be time to wander through Medieval towns, such as Loches. Enjoy a wine tasting at the Chateau de la Viliane. The stretch of the valley that this tour follows  between Sully-Sur-Loire and Angers has been designated as a World Heritage Site because of its ‘outstanding cultural landscape”. On this tour of the Loire valley, there is something for everyone.

Our Loire Valley walking tours France small group escorted seniors history tour in Orleans, just north of the river. The group  then travel west along the valley towards Angers and Saint-Florent le Vieil. Along the way we’ll pass through Blois, Amboise, Tours and Saumur. There will also be time for a few interesting side trips to towns such as Loches and Chrissay-sur-Manse.

Typically each day this small group covers between 8 to 15 kilometres a day of walking. The duration of each days walking is influenced  by the weather, to hot or just to wet! Walking distances are also determined by the level of group fitness and the structured activities organised. For Odyssey Travellers Walking in France is about a journey that walks through time. This walk through the Loire Valley  provides the platform for history and culture to be explored in amazing landscape setting.

Some useful articles

In preparing for this Loire Valley walking tours France with up to 12 like minded people you may find these articles useful, such as this piece titled Walking tips for seniors or Mature Travellers Footwear and clothing tips 

If you're interested in travelling alone, check out Odyssey's guide to solo travelling!

You can view Odyssey Traveler New Zealand's collection of walking tours here 

 


PDF of Tour PDF of Reading List

1
Visit the fabulous Chateaux de Chenonceau
2
Explore pretty Azay le Rideau
3
Walk the trail of the Candes Wine estate.
4
Enjoy panoramic views of the Loire and Vienne rivers.
5
Take a 15-kilometre hike along the Corniche Angevine to Rochefort sur Loire.

Overview: Make your own way to your hotel in Orleans and meet with your Odyssey Program leader in the afternoon. (There is an airport in Orleans or you might like to take the train from Paris.) This evening we’ll walk to a local restaurant for dinner.

Accommodation: Overnight Ibis Orleans Centre Gare or similar.

Overview: After breakfast, there will be a half day city tour with a local guide to take in the main sights. Orleans is, of course, famous as the city most associated with Joan d ’Arc so a view of her statue and a visit to the Maison Jeanne d ‘Arc will be included. There will also be time this morning to visit the Saint Croix Cathedral. In the afternoon, our touring coach will transfer us to Amboise where we will spend the night. On the way to Amboise we will have time to enjoy a guided visit to Chambord castle. Dinner tonight will be in our hotel.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel Bellevue or similar.

Overview: After breakfast this morning, our coach will transfer us to the town of Blois where we’ll have some free time to explore. From Blois, we’ll drive to Suevres to walk the 12k water mills of Suevres trail with a local specialist guide before returning to Amboise. Tonight, you’ll have the chance to explore Amboise and eat out in a restaurant of your own choice.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel Bellevue or similar.

Overview: After breakfast, we’ll take the coach to Saint Ouen les Vignes where we’ll meet with our specialist guide for the 8k circular trail. Lunch will be included at a local restaurant. After lunch, we drive to Chenonceau for a guided visit to the chateau and then return to Amboise for the night. Dinner is not included tonight. Overnight Hotel Bellevue or similar.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel Bellevue or similar.

Overview: After our continental style breakfast, this morning we say goodbye to Amboise and head towards Tours. Our first stop will be at Azay Sur Cher where we will take the 10kms circular Cher Valley trail, stopping along the way to eat our packed lunch. In the afternoon, we will drive to Rochecorbon and visit the Chateau Gaudrelle winery for a tour and tasting. Dinner tonight will be in  Tours.

Accommodation: Overnight Ibis Styles Tours or similar.

Overview: After breakfast this morning, we take a drive to Esvres-sur-Indre, where we walk the 10kms trail with our specialist guide. En-route we’ll stop to eat our packed lunch. In the afternoon, we’ll drive to Loches with time to explore the pretty town of Loches dating back to the Medieval and Renaissance periods. From Loches we’ll return to our hotel in Tours. Dinner tonight will be at your own expense and a chance to explore the local restaurants.

Accommodation: Overnight Ibis Styles Tours or similar.

Overview: This morning, there will be a guided city tour including a visit to Tours cathedral. The rest of the day will be free for you to explore the city. Our included dinner tonight will be in a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Overnight Ibis Styles Tours or similar.

Overview: This morning our touring coach takes us to Brehemont where we meet up with our specialist guide for the 12kms circular trail between the Indre and Loire rivers. This will include a scenic walk along the rivers and a stop for lunch at own expense. The remainder of the day will be free. No dinner included tonight.

Accommodation: Overnight Ibis Styles Tours or similar.

Overview: This morning after breakfast we drive to the pretty town of Azay-le-Rideau where we’ll have time to explore before setting out on our 13kms walk to the Chateau D’Usse. Entrance to the castle is included. After our visit to the castle we will return to Tours. Dinner tonight is not included. Overnight Ibis Styles Tours or similar.

Accommodation: Overnight Ibis Styles Tours or similar.

Overview: This morning we say goodbye to Tours and head towards Saumur where we will spend the next four nights. Our first stop this morning will be in Monts where we will visit the Candes Estate for a 5kms guided walk through the vineyard and along the Saint Laurent Valley. From here we drive to Chinon and walk the preserved area of Les Pays du Chinonais. Lunch today will be included at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we drive to our accommodation in Saumur. Dinner tonight will be provided in our hotel.

Accommodation: Overnight Qualys Hotel Le Londres or similar.

Overview: After breakfast, this morning we drive to Panzoult for our 10kms guided walk through woods and vineyards. We can admire the view over the valley of the Manse river and walk to the Cave des Vignerons. In the afternoon, we return to Saumur where we have entrance to the Ecole Nationale de Equitation. Dinner tonight is not included.

Accommodation: Overnight Qualys Hotel Le Londres or similar.

Overview: This morning we drive to Avon Les Roches for a 10kms walking tour in the area including views of the ruins of the collegiate church of Roches Tranchelion. From here we take the short drive to Crissay sur Manse where we will have time for lunch and the chance to explore the town. Dinner is not included tonight.

Accommodation: Overnight Qualys Hotel Le Londres or similar.

Overview: This morning our coach takes us Champigny sur Veude for our 11kms guided walk along the Veude river. Entrance to the Chapelle Saint Louis will be included on this walk. In the afternoon, we return to Saumur where we visit Le Musee du Champignon. Overnight Qualys Hotel Le Londres or similar.

Accommodation: Overnight Qualys Hotel Le Londres or similar.

Overview: Today we have two shorter walks on our way to the city of Angers. After breakfast, we drive to Candes St Martin for our 4kms walk around the area with panoramic views of the Loire and Vienne rivers. From here we drive to Gizeux for another 4kms walk around the area to view the main sights. In the afternoon, we continue to Angers where we stay for the final four nights of our tour. Group dinner this evening.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel de Champagne or similar.

Overview: This morning we have a specialist guide for our local historical tour. The tour includes entrance to Angers Castle with a view of the famous Apocalypse tapestry. The afternoon is yours to explore the city at leisure.  In the late afternoon  we visit the Cointreau Le Carre Distillery.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel de Champagne or similar.

Overview: This morning we drive to Chalonnes sur Loire where we set out on out 15kms walk to Rochefort with our specialist guide. We walk along the Corniche Angevine ridge of hills and stop along the way to eat our packed lunch. In the afternoon, we return to Angers.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel de Champagne or similar.

Overview: This morning we drive to St Florent le Vieil to walk the circular 15kms path. We will start our walk at the St Florent le Vieil abbey church and then take the riverside path. We stop to eat our packed lunch along the way and continue on past Notre Dame du Marillais and the village of le Seil. In the afternoon, we return to Angers. Our farewell dinner tonight will be in a local restaurant. Overnight Hotel de Champagne or similar.

Accommodation: Overnight Hotel de Champagne or similar.

Overview: Tour concludes after Breakfast

What’s included in our Tour

  • 17 nights of accommodation.
  • 17 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 6 packed lunches and 6 dinners.
  • Services of a Tour Leader for the duration of tour.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Gratuities and necessary tips.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • International flights and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
  • Items of a personal nature such as telephone calls and laundry.
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