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Gardens of the Loire & Versailles

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(7 reviews)
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Discover the world-famous gardens of France

8 days Sold out

2020 Tour code: JLV20

About the tour

Attend the world-famous International Garden Festival, visit the garden that inspired Claude Monet, stroll through the house Leonardo da Vinci once called home, and experience the grounds of Versailles Palace on this vivid tour of the verdant Loire Valley.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - To Blois

After meeting with your Tour Manager at our dedicated Departure Office in St Pancras International, we board the Eurostar to Paris. After arrival in the French capital, we continue by rail to the city of Blois, situated on the banks of the River Loire. Here we check into the Mercure Blois for a four night stay.

Includes
  • Dinner
Blois
Day 2 - International Garden Festival

Today we enjoy an excursion to the International Garden Festival in Château de Chaumont. The festival has been one of the world's leading events in terms of spotting new trends and landscape designs since its inaugural year in 1992, and boasts over 30 themed gardens. You have the luxury of a Domaine ticket, which grants you entry to not only the day festival but the entire of Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire. After a guided tour that also includes entrance to Château de Chaumont itself, we return to Blois.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Chateau De Chaumont
Days 3-4 - Château de Chenonceau

Today begins with an excursion to Château de Chenonceau, arguably the most iconic of its kind in the Loire Valley. The Château elegantly spans the River Cher and is a fine example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. After exploring the Château and its picturesque fountain gardens, we travel by coach to the town of Amboise, former home of Leonardo da Vinci, who died here in 1519. We visit his former manor house, Clos Lucé, which still contains a number of his inventions.

Day 4 is at leisure, you could further explore Blois at your own pace, or why not make a visit to nearby Château de Villandry? Celebrated for its rich Renaissance style gardens that include a variety of water gardens, ornamental flower beds and vegetable patches, all set within a puzzle pattern of low-box hedges.

Includes
  • Day 3 - Breakfast
  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
Chateau De Chenonceau
Days 5-6 - Rambouillet and the Gardens of Claude Monet

Today we are driven by coach north to Rambouillet, stopping en-route at Chartres. On arrival we check into the Mercure Rambouillet for three nights. On Day 6 we travel by coach to nearby Giverny to visit the former home and gardens of Impressionist founder and painter, Claude Monet, and experience the environment that so inspired his work.

Includes
  • Day 5 - Breakfast
  • Day 6 - Breakfast
Giverny
Day 7 - Versailles Palace & Park

Today we visit the grand Versailles Palace, the opulent former seat of the Royal family until the French Revolution. The Palace gardens are equally as impressive. The grounds are some of the most recognisable in the world and feature a web of manicured lawns, extravagant fountains and dramatic sculptures. Much of the garden landscape is built around a series of lakes and canal waterways that feed the mesmerizing fountains in the center of the park grounds.

We also enjoy the awe-inspiring interior of this wonderful building, rich in color and jewels on a guided tour You can also see the historically important Hall of Mirrors, the former seat of the French government and famously the site of the Treaty of Versailles signing, which brought an official end to the conflict of World War One. The spectacular grandeur of the palace is matched only by its rich history and importance throughout the ever-changing political climate of historic France. On our return to the hotel tonight, we enjoy a final, farewell dinner together.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Versailles Palace
Day 8 - The journey home

This morning we board a coach in Rambouillet and make the short trip to Paris. Here, we continue by Eurostar service to London St Pancras International where our tour concludes.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Homeward Bound

Additional information

Recommended airports

For this tour, we recommend arriving to, and departing from, London Gatwick or London Heathrow airport (LGW or LHR). London Gatwick is approximately 30 miles from your start and end point, and London Heathrow is approximately 19 miles from your start and end point.

Airport waiting room
Visa Requirements

It is your responsibility to check and fulfil the passport, visa, health and immigration requirements applicable to your itinerary. We do not accept any responsibility if you cannot travel, or incur any other loss because you have not complied with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities. You agree to reimburse us in relation to any fines or other losses which we incur as a result of your failure to comply with any passport, visa, immigration requirements or health formalities.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Hotels

Hotel Mercure Blois Center, Blois

Hotel Mercure Blois Center, Blois

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Mercure Rambouillet

Hotel Mecure, Rambouillet

View hotel

Train

Eurostar

Reviews

100% of travelers would recommend this tour

Based on 7 verified reviews

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Anonymous

Submitted Jul 07, 2018

Good selection of castles and gardens, all a bit different. Hotels were very acceptable

Mr C Ings

Submitted Jul 03, 2018

very good trip but could have done with a free day to relax

Anonymous

Submitted Jun 27, 2018

The weather didn't help, but even GRJ can't organize that ;-) Great destinations, although the international garden festival was a big disappointment, the gardens were noncence and the guide was poor. However,these were minor problems, every where else did not disappoint, The garden of Plessis was a gem and having the owner guide us round was a real bonus. Our tour manager, Adrian was excellent and he managed well with the few problems that arose.

Mrs P Gilbert

Submitted Jun 27, 2018

The vacation was brilliant but felt that the group was too big especially when we had a guided tour at a garden/chateau. It worked much better at Monet's garden when we were split into 2 groups. Also there was no leisure time to view the 2 towns we stayed in. We actually opted out of the visit Versailles(we had been to the palace before) just to have some time to ourselves.

Miss M Krisko

Submitted Jun 27, 2018

Excellent tour would do it again.

Anonymous

Submitted Jul 31, 2017

Good variety of activities each day during the entire vacation. Travel arrangements and hotel accommodation excellent.