Paris & Châteaux of the Loire

A History and Culture itinerary

6-day itinerary suggestion

History and Culture

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A 6-day History and Culture trip in Paris & to the Châteaux of the Loire​

Day 1

Arrival in Paris

Day 2

History in the making

Day 3

Modern times
& monuments

Day 4

& Sully-sur-Loire

Day 5

Chambord & Blois

Day 6

Amboise & Chenonceau

Day 1: Arrival in Paris

• Meet & greet at the airport or location of your choice around Paris

• Transfer to your boutique hotel in the center of Paris (such as the Hôtel Keppler or the Hôtel de l’Abbaye

Day 2: History in the making

Morning: Paris Walking Tour

Our tour begins in Paris, or Lutèce as it was known at the founding of the city in the 3rd century AD. With your guide, choose a walking tour that best suits your interests. Along the way, meet local Parisians passionate about their work and their city (artisans, designers, bakers, cheesemakers – subject to availability). 

• Stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets of this iconic Parisian district and admire the architecture and medieval feel of some of Paris’s most impressive landmarks : the Sorbonne, the Pantheon, the expansive Jardin des Plantes, Paris’s famous market street rue Mouffetard

• Visit the ruins of the Gallo-Roman amphitheater Arènes de Lutèce (yes, right in the middle of Paris!) where gladiator battles and theatrical shows were held in the 2nd century AD.   

• Meet local Parisians passionate about their work and their city (artisans, designers, bakers, cheesemakers – subject to availability).

• One of the only Parisian districts that escaped massive rebuilding by Baron Haussmann, the historic Le Marais district is both quaint and trendy. Once the preferred place for promenade by the nobility, and then central to the Jewish population in Paris, Le Marais offers a unique view into Parisian life and history. 

• Admire the architecture of several private 17th and 18th-century mansions and then relax in the oldest square in Paris – the Place des Vosges, a masterpiece of elegance and harmony.

• Set apart on the highest point in Paris, Montmartre (the “Mount of Martyrs”) is like its own little village within the city limits. Enjoy some of the best views of Paris from above and meander through the beautiful winding (and hilly!) streets as you discover the history of this emblematic quartier with your local guide. 

• We will take time to visit the impressive byzantine-style Sacré Coeur Basilica which sits atop the hill of Montmartre. Finished just before WWI, the Basilica houses one of the largest mosaics in the world and is a pilgrimage site for the faithful.

• A quartier known for its artists, our next stop in Montmartre is the Place du Tertre where we will have the chance to meet local painters and see their work.

Afternoon : Wine-making class under the Louvre

• Discover the secrets of one of France’s most famous products and cultural icons – wine! Create your own personal bottle of wine in an 18th century wine cellar, right under the Louvre Museum…and learn the history of wine along the way.

• An expert winemaker will take you through the process of creating your special blend of wine. You will start by sampling different varietals, choosing what will make your wine unique, and finally learning to compose your blend. 

• You will even have the opportunity to design the label for your wine (and of course bring your creation home with you). 

• Night in an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of Paris.

Day 3: Modern times and monuments

Morning & Lunch : The Eiffel Tower / Champ de Mars

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognized and visited landmarks in the world – and initially was only intended to last for 20 years! Built in two years for the World’s Fair in 1889, it was an object of great discord at the time. What “saved” the Eiffel Tower from deconstruction?  Scientific experiments that Gustave Eiffel encouraged such as radio transmissions and telecommunications! 

• Your private, local guide will regale you with the history of the Tower’s construction, its unique architecture, as well as numerous anecdotes about Gustave Eiffel – an entrepreneur specializing in metal structures (who even had his office installed at the very top of the Tower!).

• Our tickets will allow us to jump the line and will give us elevator access to the summit of the Eiffel Tower*. 

• Weather permitting, we will enjoy an elegant and relaxing picnic on the expansive Champs de Mars in front of the Eiffel Tower.

*subject to meteorological conditions

Afternoon: Paris by Seine

• Enjoy visiting the heart of historic Paris with your local guide – from the vantage point of the Seine River, either in a private boat or with others on board the popular Bateaux Mouches. Pass under centuries-old bridges, admire famous monuments like Notre de Paris, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, Ile St-Louis, and…the Statue of Liberty!

• Afterwards, stroll along the pedestrian quais as you enjoy “insider stories” about Paris from your guide.

• Final night in an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of Paris

Day 4: Chamerolles & Sully-sur-Loire

Morning: Château de Chamerolles

• Discover the Château de Chamerolles, a true 16th century jewel that was the property of the heirs of Sir Lancelot. King Francis I was also a visitor.

• Amble through the stunning Promenade des Parfums, a sensory experience within the chateau. Admire the ornate interiors complete with 16th-18th century furniture that demonstrate how the perfume industry forged and changed French society.

Afternoon: Castle in Sully-sur-Loire

Visit Sully-sur-Loire’s fortified medieval castle. The donjon and moat (still filled with running water!) were the property of King Philippe Auguste in the 13th century.

• Historically, and still today, agriculture is a major part of French culture and industry. We will take the time to go behind the scenes and learn the role it has played in past centuries – and meet an organic livestock breeder. We will visit his family farm in the Loiret region and learn how he cares for his egg-laying chickens, cows, and sheep in ways inspired by a deep respect for nature and the well-being of the animals. 

Day 5: Chambord and Blois

Morning: Château de Chambord

The fairy-tale Château de Chambord is the largest of all the Loire Valley châteaux and is housed deep in the largest closed, forested park in Europe. Commissioned by King Francis I, Chambord is the culmination of Renaissance architecture and ingenuity. We will pay special attention to the innovative design – from Leonardo da Vinci’s double-helix staircase at the heart of the château, to the blueprint of the château in the form of a cross, to the royal rooms and incredible gardens.  We will take the time to discover the secrets of this revolutionary château.    

• Following our visit to the château, we will sample local specialties, including pastries and cookies.

Afternoon: Château de Blois

• Visit the Royal Château of Blois, a favorite residence of the Kings of France during the Renaissance, and whose edifice features architecture from four different centuries (13th – 17th). Stroll through the magnificent “gardens of the King” that circle the château’s grounds. 

• Meet Michel and his family at their vineyard near the château. Winemakers for generations, their high-quality wines rely on biodynamics to attain perfection. A private tasting is included.

Day 6: Amboise and Chenonceau

Morning: Château d’Amboise, Clos Lucé

• Dive into 800 years of French history as we visit the château of Amboise overlooking the Loire river, or that of Clos Lucé – the last residence of Leonardo da Vinci.

• Enjoy a hands-on cooking session of a traditional French meal with a local Chef using the fresh, in-season produce sourced at the outdoor market in Amboise. We will then lunch with the Chef in the French tradition – several courses, wine pairings, a relaxed cadence, and good conversation. 

Afternoon: Château de Chenonceau

Visit the iconic Château de Chenonceau with your guide, one of the most stunning examples of Loire Valley architecture, with its immense gallery that spans the width of the Cher river, giving it the nickname of the Ponte Vecchio of France. Nicknamed the Château des Dames – the Ladies’ Château – it was successively owned by many women of power and influence including Diane de Poitiers and Caterina de’ Medici.

• Inside the château we will discover the incredible collection of masterpieces (Reubens, Van Dyck, Corregio…), the royal bedrooms, salons for King François I and King Louis XIV, the chapel, and of course the gallery designed by Caterina de’Medici.

• Return to Paris and night in an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of Paris.

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