Known for the beauty of its natural setting and its rich historical heritage, the Loire Valley has been classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for many years. The many Châteaux of the Loire Valley constitute one of the region’s best-known treasures. The Château de Chenonceau is probably the most famous and certainly the most photographed of them all. Looking like something straight out of a fairy-tale, it is actually built over a river, its arches and façade reflecting in the waters beneath and sits amongst beautiful gardens and an extensive estate parkland. An estate on the current location is mentioned as far back as the 11th century whilst the current château dates from the 1500s. It is famous for being ruled by many prominent women through the ages, most notably Catherine de Medici, who as Queen of France, spent vast sums of money on the château and on spectacular night-time parties, including the first ever fireworks display seen in France. As well as being a royal residence, a military hospital and passage to the ‘free zone’ in WW2, the château has had an colourful past.
In the afternoon, we will return to Tours. A brief orientation tour of the town will show the highlights, including the Cathedral, before allowing you free time to explore and visit the Christmas markets, again selling many different souvenirs, handicrafts, presents and local produce. For the adventurous, why not put your skates on and head to the ice rink?
Included meals: Breakfast