Fri., May 26th – Loire Chateaux
Hotel in Amboise: Novotel Amboise
- We will travel by bus to the Loire Valley, an area notable for its historic towns, architecture, and wines and dotted with elegant stone giants: the Loire castles. The landscape is dominated by their majestic silhouettes, illustrating the Renaissance ideals of design in France, concentrated over an area of less than 60 miles.
- Enjoy a guided tour of the most famous castle, the Chateau de Chenonceau, an architectural mixture of late Gothic and early Renaissance built between 1514 and 1522 and once the home of Catherine de' Medici. Additional photo stops along the way at Chambord, the banks of the Loire River, and other villages in this area known as the Garden of France.
- Lunch: Guests enjoy lunch on their own in Chenonceau.
- Dinner: We will dine at a very unique restaurant in the valley (included).
Sat., May 27th – A Day in the Loire Valley
- Spend the day in the Loire Valley. We will go to a local wine cave for a tasting, then visit the Clos Lucé, the home where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final three years as the guest of the king of France. Clos Lucé is a museum dedicated to the life and work of Leonardo da Vinci including period furniture and numerous models of his designs on display. A large landscaped garden includes further models, art, and civil engineering works inspired by Leonardo da Vinci. We will also visit the Castle of Amboise, originally constructed in the 11th century and built for the strategic view of the Loire River. The castle was also the first to have gardens laid out in the formal style that came to be known as a 'French style garden'. Then explore the village of Amboise on your own.
- Lunch: We will enjoy lunch on our own in Amboise.
- Dinner: At the Novotel Amboise (included).