|Region:||The Loire Valley|
|Type of Tour:||Self Drive|
|Guide Price:||From £1937 to £2537 per person|
|Number of Meals:||7 breakfasts + 3 lunches|
|Number of Winery Visits:||12 wineries|
|Number of Wines Tasted:||Approximately 40|
|Tour Transport:||4 Private full day guided and transported tours|
|Dates / Availability:||Available mid-week and weekends throughout the year|
France Driving Holiday to the Loire Valley
In response to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on tourism, we have introduced a flexible range of self-drive breaks, with our clients’ maximum comfort and safety in mind.
On day one of your France driving holiday, drive from the UK to the Loire Valley, taking the Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais. You have the complete freedom to choose your preferred crossing time, and drive from Calais to Sancerre at your leisure. If you would prefer to spend a night en route to break up the five hour drive, we would be pleased to arrange this for you.
After checking into your Vineyard View room at Hotel Panoramic on the first day, and enjoying a welcome bottle of Sancerre in your room, the remainder of the afternoon and evening will be free to settle in and enjoy your pleasant surroundings.
After breakfast on day two, you will be met at the hotel by an English-speaking specialist driver/guide, who will accompany you throughout the day on a private basis. You will be transported in a spacious Mercedes Viano-style vehicle and your guide will follow the necessary safety procedures.
During the course of the day, you will visit various vineyards, where your guide will explain in detail the specifics of the unique terroir which allows the appellation to produce its world-famous Sauvignon Blanc, and the work which takes place throughout the year. In the morning, you will visit a highly-regarded producer of Sancerre wines for a private tour of the wine-making process from press to bottle and tastings of five wines. You will also taste the local Crottin de Chavignol goat’s cheese with a reputed cheese affineur. There will be free time for lunch and your guide will be more than happy to suggest a suitable restaurant depending on how hungry you are feeling on the day. Before being taken back to the hotel at the end of the afternoon, you will be taken to visit a winery across the river in Pouilly-Fumé for a private tour and tastings of five wines in a different style to those tasted earlier in the day.
After a leisurely breakfast and check out on day three, drive to the Touraine region. The driving time will be just over two hours and en route, stop at the breath-taking Château de Chenonceau, one of the finest examples of the Loire Valley’s majestic historic Châteaux. Here, you will have plenty of time to explore with an audio-guided tour. You may wish to have lunch at the Château itself or alternatively, the pretty riverside town of Amboise is just a short drive away.
You will then continue your journey to the magnificent 4* Domaine de la Tortinière, a family-owned Château located in a 15-hectare wooded park with views across the Indre Valley. After checking in, the remainder of the day will be yours to relax and truly luxuriate in your picture-perfect surroundings. We would be very pleased to reserve you a table for dinner in the bistro-style or gastronomic restaurant this evening.
After breakfast on day four, you will be met by another English-speaking specialist driver/guide who will accompany you throughout the day on a private basis. The morning will be spent sampling the best wines from Vouvray appellation. You will be taken on a private tour of the estate and cellars of a highly-regarded producer, and your visit will conclude with tastings of a selection of the estate’s wines alongside local delicacies such as cheese and rillettes. Your journey of discovery will continue and take you to a 15th Century wine-making Château in the Chinon appellation, where you will be welcomed by the Count and Countess of the estate. Following a private visit to the Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc vineyards and a tour of the cellars, a tasting session will take place in the Château’s historic tasting room. A picnic lunch with a bottle of wine will then be served in the stunning grounds of the Château. Your day will conclude with a private tour at a second winery in the Chinon appellation.
After breakfast and check out on day five, drive an hour to the town of Saumur, and check into the charming 18th Century Hotel Anne d’Anjou, a hotel rich in history, including the façade which is a listed historic monument. After settling in, take a short walk into the town and visit a local winery. This family run winery is the last of the great independent Saumur family houses and boast cellars carved out of tuffeau stone. Here you will enjoy a private tour and tastings of the region’s famous Crémants. In the evening we will reserve you a table for dinner at a nearby restaurant. You will be able to order à la carte and make payment locally on the evening.
On day six, check out of the hotel and drive an hour to the beautiful Château de Noirieux, located in a rural setting close to the city of Angers. After checking in, you will be met you will be met by another English-speaking specialist driver/guide who will accompany you throughout the day on a private basis. Today, you will learn all about Muscadet wines and during the course of the day, you will be taken to three local estates. A delicious lunch will be served in a local restaurant.
On the penultimate day of your trip, your guide will return and accompany you on another day of tours, this time to discover the Anjou and Savennières vineyards. You will be taken to three different wineries where you will have the opportunity to tour the estates as well as the wine-making facilities. Each private visit will be followed by a tasting session of the estate’s wines. Your guide will take you to a traditional restaurant for lunch and you will be able to taste authentic French cuisine. You will be taken back to Château de Noirieux at the end of the day
On your final morning check out and make your way back to Calais for your return Eurotunnel crossing. The driving time will be approximately five hours and we would be very pleased to arrange an overnight stay en route if you would like to break up the journey.
France Driving Holiday to the Loire Valley
(ii) The outline itinerary is indicative and is subject to minor changes depending on supplier availability. Availability cannot be guaranteed until we have received a confirmed booking, together with the deposit payment (or payment in full where the dates of travel are in less than 60 days). If the named accommodation / visits are not available, we will endeavour to find suitable alternatives of a similar grade; this may be subject to a supplement or a rebate depending on the price available.
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Bring friends and spend less!
A £600 per person discount applies for four or more people travelling together (and sharing a vehicle on the Eurotunnel).
If you would like to make your Grape Escapes holiday even more special, there are a number of additional activities that we can arrange for you. To complement the experience, these could be arranged to fit in/around your current itinerary or we can arrange additional nights and room upgrades at your hotel, as well as your travel arrangements, a stop-over en route and even a visit to another part of the country! See below for some of the most popular upgrades.
The price of this package includes Folkestone to Calais Eurotunnel crossings. Please see our travel page for other travel options and further information about travelling to our self-drive holidays in France.
For more information on our Self-Drive breaks please see our Self-Drive page.
To secure your booking, a deposit of £100 per person is required (or 20% if the price of your trip exceeds £500 per person). Your remaining balance will then be due 60 days before travel. Please call us on +44 (0) 1920 46 86 66 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a booking form.
"Perfect in every sense - from booking, through to the itinerary arranged for us, the comfort of the hotels, and to the places we visited and the people we met. Couldn't fault any aspect of it."
Nick- Devon, UK