8 Days Loire Tour
This is an 7 Night, 8 Day tour in which we canoe on the Loir, the Loire, the Creuse and the Cher in the Loire region of central France.
We will explore the valley of the Loire by canoe, see many of its famous Chateaux.
The rivers of the Loire valleys are flowing west towards the Atlantic Ocean at Nantes. The Loire itself is one of Frances longest at about 1000km, and is reputed to have 1000 Chateaux along its length. The Loir is a picturesque tributary of the Sarthe river which flows into the Loire. It generally flows parallel to the Loire and slightly north. The Cher is a tributary of the Loire that runs just south of it and joins it near Tours. The Creuse river is south of the Loire and runs through the Parc Naturel La Brenne.
The rivers are calm, if a little quick in places, with easy paddling through beautiful scenery. We can expect little more than riffles and no rapids. During the day we will find an island to take our picnic lunch on and if the weather is hot enough enjoy a wild swim or two. We will have plenty of fun weaving between the islands and should have plenty of opportunity for wildlife watching.
In the evenings we will be able to spend time visiting the small riverside towns where we are staying before our evening dinner together either at the hotel or out in the town. We will also keep an eye out for local events that often occur in these towns and villages during the summer months: fetes, concerts and the like. Before our canoeing excursion each day we will perhaps visit a local market to get our picnic lunch for the day.
Of course throughout we shall stay at remote and beautiful places and enjoy the regional cuisine and the local wines.
We will pass several Châteaux on the river as we canoe by but we will also have the opportunity to visit many of the Châteaux in person. Those of note include the Chambord, Blois, Chenonceux, Chaumont, Amboise, and Clos Lucé (where Leonardo da Vinci lived).
- Fully guided whilst on the river & trail
- Full minibus support throughout
- Includes all accommodations
- Includes breakfasts, lunches and evening meals
- Canoe on 4 different rivers
- Canoe through the Chateau Chenonceaux
- Picnic on islands and enjoy a wild swim
- Visit the Chateau where Leonardo Da Vinci lived
- Visit the Parc Naturel Regional la Brenne
Day 1. Arrival and first meeting
You will be met at the Orléans TGV Railway station sometime around midday.
Alternative arrangements can be made for arrivals, such as at regional airports, by prior arrangement.
We will drive to Lavardin (1hr30mins) and stop here for a picnic lunch, get to know each other and go over the trip together. If it's warm enough we will have a wild swim in the Loir or take a walk around the beautiful hilltop town.
We will then have a 55 minute drive to our accomodation near Chateaudun, where we will stay for the evening.
Day 2. A paddle on the Loir
Today we will paddle the Loir river. In the morning we will have time to wander the town first, and perhaps visit the castle, before we drive upstream to Saint-Christope. We'll probably stop at Marboué for a picnic lunch and then paddle back down to Châteaudun (16.5km) taking our time to explore some islands, perhaps take a detour upriver on a sidestream or cool off with a wild swim.
After our paddle we will drive to Blois (about 45mins) to our hotel in the town. We will have time to wander the narrow streets around town before dinner in the evening.
Day 3. First day on the Loire
Today we will travel up to Cavereau and paddle back to Blos (20km). We will have plenty of time to wild swim along the way as we explore the islands. We will stop for our picnic lunch on an island somewhere.
During the paddle we will pass the Château de Colliers, Church of Saint Dyé sur Loire (former port of Chambord), the village of Cour sur Loire and the Château de Menars.
After the paddle we will visit a local Château. The famous Chambord is close by, as are several others.
Tonight we will stay at the same hotel as last night.
Day 4. Second day on the Loire
Today we continue our paddle on the Loire and start from Blois as we head to Chaumont (20km). Again we will be dodging islands, swimming and finding a private spot for our lunch.
We will paddle through Blois and pass by the Port de la Creusille, where you can see the traditional boats of the Loire.
Afterwards we will take the time to wander around the pretty town of Chaumont, again with its classic Château We are staying in a hotel in town so we have plenty of time to explore before dinner.
Day 5. Third day on the Loire
Again we continue our adventure down the Loire as we head towards Amboise (18km). More exploring of islands and such!
We will paddle beneath both the Châteaux of Chaumont sur Loire and the Châteaux Amboise.
At Amboise we will explore the Château and perhaps also the Clos Lucé which is the Château where Leonardo de Vinci lived out his last years.
We then have to drive to our hotel at Le Blanc in the Parc Naturel La Brennes on the River Creuse (90mins).
Day 6. A canoe on La Creuse
In the morning we will have time to explore where we are staying before starting our day on the river.
Today we are paddling La Creuse a pretty river running through the Parc Naturel. After a short drive upstream we will put-in at Scoury, paddle back to Le Blanc. This is an all day paddle and we will, as usual, find a spot for our picnic lunch and very likely a place for a swim or two.
After our canoe we will relax on the riverbank for a little while enjoying the local wines before a short drive to Chenonceaux (80mins) where we will be staying for the night.
Day 7. A paddle on the Cher
After a wander to explore our surroundings we will take to the Cher for a days paddle (18km) which finishes with a spectacular paddle beneath the Château Chenonceaux.
This really is a wonderful stretch of river and we will take all day to enjoy it with a sumptuous picnic half-way through the long day as well as perhaps a swim or too.
When we are finished we will go for a beer or a glass of wine or an ice-cream in a cafe which overlooks the final stretch of our days paddling. If possible we will find the time to visit the Château too.
We return to the same hotel we stayed in last night in Chenonceaux where we celebrate our adventures on the rivers of the region by having our final nights dinner together.
Day 8. Departure and Farewells
When we are ready we will drive for an hour and a half to the Orléans TGV Railway station for our return to Paris and beyond.
If time allows we can arrange to visit any of the Château we may have missed, or indeed anything else in the vicinity, before the train departure.
We stay here on our first night.
The Moulin de Segland is 4km south of Chateaudun and on the banks of the river.
- The Chambre D'Hote is a former water-mill on the Loir river
- It's a 10 minute drive to the small town of Chateaudun
- Can walk down to the river for a wild swim
- Peaceful and relaxing atmosphere
- Riverside walks
We stay here on our 2nd and 3rd nights.
The Hotel le Côté Loire is nestled back from the road that follows the bank of Loire, on the Place de la Grève (just a 2 minutes walk to the castle of Blois). It was built during the XVIth century.
- Beautiful historic town to wander around in
- Charming hotel overlooking the Loire river
- Great choice of restaurants and cafes
- A 5 minute walk from the canoe take-out
We stay here on our 4th night.
L’Hostellerie du Chateau is situated in the charming village of Chaumont sur Loire, between Blois and Amboise in the centre of the Grands Châteaux circuit of Chambord, Blois, Amboise, Chenonceaux. The hotel is on the banks of the Loire, at the foot of the feudal Chaumont castle which dominates the valley
- A fanstatic building a short walk from the river
- Beautiful town to wander around
- A swimming-pool for our use
- Lovely restaurant, but many other choices in the town
- Beautiful location with fabulous views across the river
We stay here on our 5th night.
Built between the 17 and 19 century, the manor of Presle is located in a peaceful area surrounded by a 5-hectare park. Along the river Creuse at the end of the property you can access the shops and discover the beautiful city of Blanc with its historical and cultural heritage.
- A fabulously evocative castle hotel
- With gardens that stretch to the Creuse river
- 10 minute walk into town with restaurants and cafes
- Riverside walks
- Fabulously stylish rooms
We stay here on our 6th and 7th nights.
This small, romantic, 18th-century-built hotel, sits in a very convenient location in the village centre, a mere 400m walking distance from the Château de Chenonceau.
- 5 minutes walk from the famous chateau
- Lovely restaurant but also others in the village
- Close to gardens and riverside walks
- Beautifully decorated rooms