French Heritage - Carcassonne

The Loire Valley (Summer 2017)

Duration: 13 days Visiting: France

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Dates & prices

Indulge your love of food and wine on this gastronomical adventure through the villages and vineyards of The Loire Valley. Discover this culinary-rich region with your 'foodie' expert Barbara Barde & your personal Sommelier Tom LeRoy.


Insight Tour Director:

Barbara is an award winning television producer with over 600 titles to her credit. She began appreciating and collecting wine almost 20 years ago and is known for her impressive cellar. She is also a “foodie”, always on the lookout for an amazing recipe, new ingredients, or a restaurant that no one has heard of. Barbara is also a passionate traveller and has spent the last several summers leading tours with Insight Vacations and other companies. She will be your Tour Director.


Wine Sommelier:

Wine Sommelier Tom Leroy is a criminal lawyer in Toronto who began collecting and appreciating wine fifteen years ago. A true aficionado of wine, he has recently obtained a wine specialist certificate from George Brown College and was also certified as a Wine Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers. Tom is also a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers.

  1. Day 1

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Paris (not included).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to Paris

    Airport transfers depart from Charles de Gaulle Airport to your hotel in the heart of Paris at 8:30am, 11:00am and 1:30pm. Relax and settle in or venture out and start exploring this great capital. This evening join your Tour Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine at a local bistro.

  3. Day 3

    Paris – Nantes

    Travel west from Paris on to the charming fishing village of Le Croisic where you will enjoy a delicious lunch of local seafood specialties accompanied by the Muscadet wines of the coastal Loire region. Continue to our hotel in Nantes.

  4. Day 4


    This morning we explore the Chateau Des Ducs de Bretagne, an incredible castle that served as the Breton residence of the kings of France. Then enjoy a walking tour through the old city of Bouffay, the ancient medieval quarter of Nantes. Stroll through the town’s character-laced lanes up to the superb Gothic Cathedral of St. Paul and St. Peter. Walk through the Isle of Feydeau and view the architectural remnants of the maritime traders’ opulent 18th century lifestyle. The day concludes with a visit to the winery Chateau La Cassemichere for an incredible tour and tasting of the region’s famed varietal, Muscadet.

  5. Day 5

    Nantes – Anger Excursion – Montbazon

    Enjoy a countryside drive through the picturesque heart of the Loire Valley. On arrival in Angers meet our local expert at the town’s imposing medieval castle Chateau d’Angers. Enjoy a tour of the incredible castle grounds and walk along the fortress walls. Later visit the Musee Cointreau for an exploration of the world renowned French aperitif before continuing to our hotel in Montbazon.

  6. Day 6

    Saumur Excursion

    Discover the secret world of mushrooms at the Musée du Champignon in the village of St. Hilaure. A fascinating tour through an underground cave exhibits the many cultivation methods of mushrooms indigenous to the Saumur region. Continue your remarkable exploration of life beneath the surface with a fantastic subterranean lunch at the Cathredrales de la Saulaie. We visit a local winery in Saumur dedicated to sustainable viticulture and taste the product of the winemaker’s devotion to beautiful grapes. The rest of the day is yours to relax in the hotel’s magnificent grounds and perhaps enjoy a game of tennis, swim or a hike in the woods.

  7. Day 7

    Chinon Excursion

    On the way to Chinon visit the family owned Frederic Mobileau Vigneron winery and learn the art of perfecting the balance of tradition and modernity in wine making. Explore the beautiful medieval commune Chinon, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with a local expert. Whilst in Chinon visit the Couly-Duthier winery, famous for their renowned vintages that are only served at the most prestigious tables in France. Return to your hotel.

  8. Day 8

    Montbazon – Tours - Cour-Cheverny

    This morning enjoy a guided walking tour through the local markets. Enjoy some free time, followed by a visit to local family-run winery in the heart of the Loire Valley. Learn all about the family’s passion for wines while you explore their traditional underground cellars within the limestone hills of Rochecorbon. On to our quaint hotel in Cour-Cheverny, home for three nights and including a delicious dinner each evening of classical dishes prepared in the traditional French style.

  9. Day 9

    Château de Chenonceau

    Today you are introduced to the splendour and luxury of French court life with a visit to Château de Chenonceau. Set on elegant arches spanning the River Cher, it is said to be one of the most beautiful buildings in existence. A local expert recounts tales of King Henri II’s mistress, Diane de Poitiers, as you tour the home she loved, but from which she was driven by the vengeful Queen, Catherine de Medici. One of the jewels of the French Renaissance, admire the rich decor, stroll beneath the trees of the boardwalk and the formal gardens where roses and clipped lavender are laid out in typical French style. Enjoy an unforgettable cruise along the calm waters of the River Cher before returning to our Hotel.

  10. Day 10

    Exploring Sancerre

    Today we visit the charming town of Sancerre to explore the cobbled alleyways lined with 17th century houses. At the nearby Chevrerie la Brissauderie we’ll be introduced to the “crottin de Chavignol” goat cheeses that, along with Sancerre wine, are the area’s most famous product. Along the town’s “route de vin” we’ll visit a renowned local winery to learn about and sample the region’s celebrated Sancerre white, made from sauvignon blanc grapes which thrive in the hot, dry climate. Our day in Sancerre ends with a visit to the Maison des Sancerre Museum of Wine for a fantastic and highly entertaining introduction to the art of winemaking. Return to the hotel.

  11. Day 11

    Return to Paris

    Return to the French capital where your local guide introduces you to all the fabulous sights! Take in the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, the vast Place de la Concorde, Champs Elysées and Napoleon’s Arc de Triomphe. Your sightseeing tour concludes with a photo stop of the Eiffel Tower. The City of Light really lives up to its name when the monuments, buildings and bridges are lit up in all their glory - for that special touch of excitement and glamour why not experience of one of the world famous cabaret shows?

  12. Day 12


    Today, stroll the streets of Paris with a local gastronomic expert and explore authentic French food culture. Visit local gourmet delicatessens, patisseries, and incredible speciality food stalls. The rest of the day is at leisure. For your final night, enjoy a Celebration Dinner of authentic seasonal dishes at a trendy Parisian restaurant with good wine and great company!

  13. Day 13

    Au revoir Paris

    Your tour concludes after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Charles de Gaulle Airport at 08:00 & 10:00




  • Nantes: Join a walking tour through the old city and on to the eighteenth century grandeur of the Ile de Feydeau.
  • Nantes: Explore the Chateau Des Ducs de Bretagne, an incredible castle that served as the Breton residence to the kings of France.
  • Nantes: Visit an exquisite winery for an incredible tour and tasting of the region’s varietal, Muscadet.
  • Angers: Visit the Chateau d’Angers, home of the largest medieval tapestry
  • Saumur: Learn about the traditional and modern cultivation of mushrooms at the Musée du Champignon.
  • Chinon: Visit the family owned Frederic Mobileau Vigneron winery and learn the art of perfecting the balance of tradition and modernity in wine making
  • Chinon: Visit the Couly-Duthier winery, famous for their renowned vintages that are only served at the most prestigious tables in France.
  • Chinon: Explore the beautiful medieval commune, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with your local guide
  • Tours: Enjoy a guided walking tour through the local markets
  • Château Chenonceau: Visit the beautiful “ladies castle”, a jewel spanning the River Cher on elegant arches. Enjoy a relaxing cruise on the River Cher
  • Sancerre: Visit a local winery to taste the wines synonymous with this region. Learn about the local goat cheeses of the region from master cheese makers.
  • Paris: See Notre Dame Cathedral, the Place de la Concorde, Champs Elysées, Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower.
  • Paris: Visit gourmet delicatessens, local patisseries, and speciality food stalls with your Local Expert on your Parisian food market tour.


  • 11 Buffet Breakfasts, Welcome Dinner, 3 delicious dinners prepared in the traditional French style at Relais de Trois Chateaux Hotel
  • Le Croisic: Savour delicious local specialities as you lunch by the sea
  • Doué-la-Fontaine: Enjoy lunch underground in a cathedral sized cave
  • Paris: Join your Tour Director for good food, company and drinks at a Farewell Celebration Dinner


  • 11 nights in First Class hotel Accommodation as indicated.
  • Your knowledgeable, experienced Insight Tour Director is a ‘travelling concierge’ who will take care of every detail to ensure that your journey is comfortable, enjoyable and memorable.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight’s luxury air-conditioned 40 seat motorcoach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It’s business class comfort.
  • Baggage handling everywhere - with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  •  Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure day.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trips. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.



Pullman Paris Centre Bercy

Paris (Central) - France

The Pullman Paris Bercy Centre is conveniently located in Bercy village in the 12th arrondissement, amongst leafy patios. It offers a vibrant atmosphere and gastronomic-bistro inspired restaurants.

Mercure Central Nantes

Nantes (Central) - France

Chateau dArtigny Hotel Montbazon

Montbazon (Scenic) - France

Relais Des Chateaux Cour Cheverny

Chinon/Loire (Central) - France

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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