10. From Tours/Amboise: Day Trip to Chambord, Blois & Cheverny
Depart Tours or Amboise to journey into the Loire Valley and discover some of its famous châteaux. Stop at the Château de Blois, notable for its unique mix of Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and Classical architecture. The former home of kings Louis XII and François I, its history is steeped in tragedy and is notable as the place where Joan of Arc went to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before departing with her army to drive the English from Orléans. Pause for a wine tasting and sample some of the organic wines of Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny. The Cheverny appellation produces elegant reds from the pinot noir and gamay grapes, as well as fruity whites from the chardonnay and sauvignon grapes. Sample a stunning organic white wine made from the romorantin grape, imported into the Loire Valley by King François I. Take a guided tour of the Château de Cheverny, owned by the same family since the days of Louis XIII. See some of the most beautiful furniture in the Loire Valley, and learn the château's rich history, such as its connection to Tintin comic books and the impressive hunts on horseback that used to take place with a pack of 100 dogs. You may even get to see the spectacular daily event of “the dogs’ soup!” Move on to the Château de Chambord, one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world for its distinctive French Renaissance architecture. Discover the vast national game reserve of the largest château in the Loire Valley, and learn the monument's fascinating history, including the unverified tale of Leonardo da Vinci's involvement in its construction. Return to your original departure town, with drop off in Tours at 18:00 or Amboise at 18:45.