Gardens & Chateaux of the Loire
Code: LVGDTPrint page
Explore the rich garden heritage of the beautiful Loire Valley. We’ll enjoy traditional chateaux and their gardens along with some spectacular show gardens and modern botanical collections. From the medieval to the modern, Renaissance to the fairytale, the gardens of the Loire have it all.
- Chateau Villandry, one of the best known properties in the area, where the Renaissance gardens have been carefully restored alongside the 19th century features
- Parc Botanique du Prieure d'Orchaise is an award-winning 20th century garden created by Hubert Treuille, holding 2,000+ plants from around the world
- Chaumont-sur-Loire, a fine chateau with extensive parkland which also plays host to an annual garden festival. There will be 20+ theme gardens in a variety of styles which showcase the work of notable designers and plantsmen
Great reasons to join us
- Great value: all prices include en-suite Half Board accommodation and five full day excursions, including entrance charges to gardens and chateaux
- Expert leader: all our leaders are experts in their field and will ensure that you get the most out of your holiday
- Accommodation: enjoy good quality accommodation and excellent food
- Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - explore together, eat together, relax together
Situated in the heart of beautiful medieval Chinon, the 3-star Hotel de France provides easy access to the chateau and atmospheric old town. The hotel itself is a renovated 16th century building which now provides stylish and comfortable en-suite rooms overlooking a pretty square or the chateau itself, all with their own unique character.
This family-run hotel combines comfort and warmth with tradition, all just steps away from the cobbled streets of a city with a tremendous historical and cultural heritage.
Decorated harmoniously, the 29 spacious and air-conditioned rooms at Hotel de France each have their own unique character. They are all equipped with modern en-suite facilities and fitted with lovely furniture as well as telephone, TV, hairdryer, room safe, minibar, complimentary toiletries and tea/coffee making facilities. Free WiFi internet access is also available.
There is a new attractive rooftop terrace with seating offering views to the castle above the town. Next to this is a new breakfast/dining room. The family owns the hotel restaurant where our guests dine every evening. Please note that this hotel does not have a lift.
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast is served from 7am and consists of a good selection of breads , fruit juices, cold hams and cheese, cereals and yoghurts, dried and fresh fruit, as well as jams and honey, tea, coffee and cocoa.
Dinner: The evening meal is a 3-course served to the table and ordered the evening before.
Picnic lunch: Packed lunches are available to order from the hotel but you can also walk just a few minutes to some local shops and purchase the ingredients for your lunch.
Each evening your walking leaders will tell you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have. During the evening you may like to join in an optional organised evening activity, such as a quiz, or just have a walk around the town. One evening, we have arranged for a speaker to enlighten our groups over coffee, on the rich history of this interesting region.
Saturday: Arrival day
We begin at Jardin D'Elsie, a plantsman's garden of roses, perennials and rare shrubs. We then visit the magnificent Chateau Villandry, one of the best known properties in the area. The Renaissance gardens have been carefully restored alongside the 19th century features.
Our first garden is Chateau de la Bourdaisiere, east of Tours. The house is now a hotel but we are able to view the terraced gardens, the kitchen garden, several theme gardens and the extensive parkland. Later we visit Chateau de Chenonceau. Perched over a lake the house is surrounded by mainly formal gardens including seasonal plantings.
Parc Botanique du Prieure d'Orchaise is an award-winning 20th century garden created by Hubert Treuille, holding 2,000+ plants from around the world. Chateau de Beauregard showcases the history of French garden design from the 16th century to the 20th century including a Garden of Colours.
A free day for you to explore the local area or to relax in the hotel.
Thursday: Magical Gardens
The Chateau du Rivau is a magical medieval castle, restored in the 20th century, to which 12 theme gardens have recently been added. These include a secret garden, the enchanted forest and an extensive potager. The Jardins D'Usse are formal, terraced gardens alongside the fairytale chateau, which is open to visitors.
Friday: Festival Day
We spend the final day at Chaumont-sur-Loire, a fine chateau with extensive parkland which also plays host to an annual garden festival. There will be 20+ theme gardens in a variety of styles which showcase the work of notable designers and plantsmen.
Saturday: Departure day
Every effort is made to adhere to this itinerary; however there may be circumstances beyond our control which could lead to a change in the programme.
Chinon is located on the banks of the Vienne river, in the region called the Touraine, which is known as the "garden of France". It is in the Loire Valley, registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.
It is well known for its wines as well as its castle and historic town. Chinon played an important and strategic role during the Middle Ages, having served both French and English kings.
The winding streets up to the castle are lined with small shops, inns, and cafés. The cobbles and timber houses dating back to the 15th century give you a feel of its history. Along the streets below the castle walls are Troglodyte dwellings, some occupied and many used by wine merchants.
This town is an ideal base to visit the region which includes France's finest chateaux.
There are a number of local shops within a short walking distance of the hotel where you can obtain the basic necessities, ingredients for a packed lunch and plenty of gift shopping.
We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.
‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option
Book your holiday ‘with flight’ from Gatwick to Nantes airport.
If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel.
The coach transfer takes approx 2 hours to the Hotel de France.
For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option
Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.
If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. However, below are some suggestions to help you reach your destination:
- We can book you a seat on the HF Holidays’ transfer coach from Nantes airport.
This is timed to meet the HF Holidays’ flight* (provisional flight times can be found on the dates and prices tab or you can call us on 020 8732 1220 for more information). Cost per single journey is £31.50.
- Why not let us book you a private taxi transfer? - Price on request.
- You may also find it convenient to fly into Tours and make your own way to Chinon.
Transfers must be pre-booked. Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details
* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach under any circumstance.
Jim is a professional horticulturist with more than 35 years experience, working in local authority parks departments and commercial nurseries, in Britain and abroad. For more than 15 years he was a lecturer in plant production and landscape management. He has also run his own nursery and landscape design business. Jim combines visiting gardens and plant spotting with hiking and sightseeing in various countries. Jim leads Walking, Discovery and Garden Tours in Europe, and Garden Tours in the UK.
Dates & Prices
|30 Sep 2017||
LVGDT - Gardens & Chateaux of the Loire
Flight - Outbound
Flight - Return
|30 Sep 2017||LVGDT - Gardens & Chateaux of the Loire - Without Flights||7||£1,169.00||Book Now|
Prices are per person
- Double room for sole occupancy: £22.50 per night
- Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person