After a drive to the Loire Valley from Paris, you'll arrive in Villandry to stroll the amazing Renaissance gardens and tour the Chateau de Villandry. It was completed in 1536 as the last castle of the Renaissance period.
While the castle is unique with its elegant architecture, it's the gardens that truly steal the show at Villandry. The gardens are built on three levels and are world-famous. The horticultural skill involved in creating these gardens is quite remarkable with the use of vegetables
For lunch, you'll either be able to have your own picnic (pack a picnic and bring it with you on the tour) in the park of Langeais or the guide will suggest some local cafes.
Langeais Castle is a medieval chateau considered the second oldest castle in the Loire Valley (10th century). It was destroyed during the Hundred Years' War and Louis XI rebuilt it in the 15th century into what you'll see as an example of a medieval fortress, complete with a parapet walk and drawbridge! Today it is under the control of the Institut de France.
Your Loire Valley tour will continue to Chateau d'Azay le Rideau, beautifully situated on an island in the River Indre and considered the most elegant of the Loire Valley's 16th Century castles. Truly, it's difficult to imagine that it was once a defensive fortress and was even set on fire in the 15th century when the Capetians and Plantagenets were warring with one another each fighting for the Crown of France.
Small in size, it is big on charm and the name means "Azay-the-Curtain". With its Italianate architecture, it has an elegance suited to house its rich furniture.
The Loire Valley tour will end with a return to your Paris hotel.