Book a Loire Valley bus tour to Chenonceaux, Chambord, and Cheverny.Your Loire Valley bus tour will depart at 7:15 from Paris from the Cityrama agency at 214, rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris and is available daily from April through October.
- Loire Valley Tour days: Daily, except Friday from April through October
- Tour Code CL1
- Loire Valley Tour Duration: 7:15 AM - 7:45 PM
- Children's Rate: 4-17 years of age
- Included: guided sightseeing, Chambord, Chenonceaux, and Cheverny castle entrances
- Vehicle: Motorcoach
Your Loire Valley tour will go to Chenonceaux castle. This castle is situated along the Cher River and is often called "the ladies castle" because of its history connected with many women!
King Henri II gave Chenonceaux to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers in 1547. Diane loved the chateau and added the arched bridge which connected the castle to the other side of the Cher River. Diane de Poitiers also supervised the creation of beautiful flower and vegetable gardens along with the planting of a variety of fruit trees.
King Henry II died in 1559 and Catherine de Medici, the widow of Henry II, expelled Diane. Catherine created beautiful gardens, too. Today, it's possible to contrast and compare the gardens of these two ladies and to imagine the intrigue behind the Chenonceaux Castle.
During World War I the gallery of the arched bridge became a hospital ward. During WWII, it was used as a way to flee the occupied Nazi zone to the "free" Vichy zone on the other side of the Cher River.
Next stop in your Loire Valley day will be Cheverny castle built early in the 17th century. Cheverny has a collection of furniture, tapestries, and treasured objects. The land for the castle was originally purchased by Henri Hurault, Count de Cheverny. He was a lieutenant-general and military treasurer for Louis XI. The Marquis de Vibraye who is the present owner is actually a descendant of Henri Hurault! In 1914, the owner opened the chateau to the public and the family still operates it.
Cheverny's symmetrical style was from Louis XIII. Louis' mother was Marie de Medici and she brought with her from her native Italy a style of classicism and symmetry which were evident in France for several decades. (This style can also be seen in the Palace of Luxembourg in Paris.)
The last stop in the Loire Valley tour will be Chambord Castle, built between 1519 and 1547. This castle is a masterpiece with some four hundred rooms (it was never actually completed!). It is a combination of French medieval architecture and classical Italian structures. Chambord is situated in a park covering more than 13,000 acres, making it the largest forested park in Europe.
Originally built as a hunting lodge for King Francois I, the king wished to be near his mistress, the Comtesse de Thoury, a member of a very noble family. Coincidentally enough, her domaine was closeby Chambord. Francois I still kept his royal castles of Blois and Amboise.
After the Chambord visit, the Loire Valley bus tour will return to Paris.
Please note: On Saturdays, the Loire Valley bus tour will visit Amboise Castle instead of Chambord and in October, the tour will include Amboise, Chenonceaux, and Cheverny.