Start with a couple of nights in indescribable Paris, `the city of Lights`, on your last day, pick up your rent a car and proceed to your chateau or inn of choice in the Loire Valley.
THE CASTLES OF THE LOIRE
In the very heart of France, the Loire Valley marvelously combines fantastic architecture and natural heritage. The region is unspoiled and exceptional with its rich historic past. Formerly very popular with the French Royalty, Val de Loire is renowned for sumptuous castles and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Loire Castles, all compete with each other for their beauty and their elegance. Magnificent parks and gardens, and also unspoiled nature, offering a series of rivers, forests and lakes makes this region de Garden of France.
Heading from east to west, the most popular and visited chateaux in the region include:
There are also several classified `Most Beautiful villages of France'`dotted around the Loire countryside to discover and explore.
These include Lavardin; Candes-Saint-Martin (6 miles SE of Saumur); Apremont-sur-Allier (9 miles SW of Nevers); Montresor (12 miles E of Loches); St-Benoit-du-Sault (12 miles SW of Argenton-sur-Creuse); Gargilesse-Dampierre (6 miles SE of Argenton-sur-Creuse) and Crissay-sur-Manse (18 miles SW of Tours)
After your stay in the Loire Valley, continue to the Burgundy Region of France and a stay at another one-of-a-kind chateau or inn.
BURGUNDY AND CHABLIS ? WINE ROUTE
Burgundy, `Land of fine art and living` is one of the most fascinating regions of France, Surrounded by hedge-rowed countryside, fabled vineyards, and magnificent Romanesque abbeys, all the sights - from the medieval sanctuary of Cluny to the charming wine village of Beaune - invite the traveler to partake of their mellow splendor.
The Burgundy wine of Chablis and Beaune, Nuits-St-Georges and Mâcon is world famous and the vineyards are confined to relatively small areas, so it is easy to tour the region by car.
The Gastronomy of the Region: cheese, Charolais beef, mustard sauces, blackcurrants and escargots. Visit the markets and fine shops, go wine tasting, and try out the local recipes such as Boeuf Bourguignon and Gougères. Burgundy is a gastronomic delight!
The small villages - dressed for visitors, and brimming with geraniums in summer, ideal for a leisurely wander followed by lunch. Among them, Avallon, Sens, Joigny, Tonnerre, Auxerre, Montreal and Noyers-sur-Serein. The historical center of Chalon-sur-Saone and the attractive village at Brancion.
Beaune - famous for its wine caves and its medieval hospital complex and Dijon, one of France?s prettiest cities and famous for its mustard.
There are chateaux to visit, with both `traditional` castles such as those at Ancy-le-Franc and Tanlay Chateaux, as well as the Chateau de Sully,
The Romanesque architecture of the abbeys and churches of Burgundy is regarded as some of the finest in the world: Fontenay Abbey, one of France's finest abbeys and architectural treasures. In Yonne, Vezelay Abbey and Pontigny Abbey. The well-known abbey at Cluny. The Paray-le-Monial basilica and the church at Anzy-le-Duc are other important religious monuments.
Stepping further back in time, see the Roman ruins at Autun. The attractive village of Semur-en-Brionnais and the towns of Tournus and Macon are also highlights of a visit to this southern part of Burgundy.
And finally, and your vacation with a couple of days in Nice and the French Riviera.
Loire Valley - Burgundy and Nice
Start with a stay in Paris, pick up your rent a car, and continue for an enchanting visit to the Loire Valley, staying at a charming chateau or inn, from there proceed to the Burgundy wine region for another stay at a chateau or inn and end with a stay in Nice.
Paris and the Castles of the Loire Valley; Paris - Loire - Burgundy - Champagne; Bordeaux - Cognac - Loire - Paris; more >>
France (281) Nice (62) Paris (254)
Recomended for 8 to 12+ nights.
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