The Active Gourmet Travel

The Essential Loire - Daily Schedule

On application.

NZ$4995 twin share


Day 1

Travel by fast train from Paris to Saumur. Explore some of the highlights of this town, also known as the 'city of the horse' before a traditional dinner in one of the city’s best restaurants. Accommodation in a restored 16th Century hotel in the heart of the old town.

Day 2

Explore the forest and riverside paths south of the town. Picnic. Mushroom farm visit. Dinner own choice.

Day 3

Enjoy the large and colourful market through Saumur. Riverside picnic. Tutored wine tasting. Transfer to Souzay-Champigny. Accommodation in a converted staging post and limestone kiln set in the forest above an amphitheatre of grapes. Dinner at accommodation.

Day 4

Ride through vineyards and past troglodyte villages to the Montsoreau market. Oyster tasting. Picnic at Candes St Martin, regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in France. Visit to Fontevraud l’Abbaye, resting place of the Plantagenet monarchs. Dinner local.

Day 5

Visit to a farm which used to host pilgrims en route to Compostella, now the centre of an artisan soap-making venture. Tasting at a Saumur-Champigny appellation vineyard. Dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 6

A ride along the Vienne river to Chinon. A chance to visit the recently restored Chateau de Chinon before a circuit ride in the Chinon Forest and a winery visit.

Day 7

To Azay-le-Rideau (market day) and circuit ride along the Indre River. Cooking lesson at the accommodation.

Day 8

Transfer up river to the Vouvray area, passing the Chateau of Usse and visiting the famed medieval garden at Villandry. Transport café lunch. Accommodation in large manor house with troglodyte features. Dinner French-style BBQ with tasting of local wines.

Day 9

A choice between exploring the gardens and wine valleys of Vouvray, or a ride to Amboise, followed by a visit to Chenonceau. Au revoir feast in the evening.

Day 10

Either enjoy the morning shopping, visiting the market and galleries in Tours and take the afternoon train to CDG airport for Sunday early morning check in – accommodation near airport can be arranged. Alternatively, the morning TGV links to midday flights ex-CDG.

Tour Dates & Cost

On application.

NZ$4995 twin share (single supplement $550)  


Included in each 10-day tour: 

  • Daily support vehicle (no panniers or backpacks needed!).
  • Luggage and any purchases you make in the markets and antique shops can easily be transferred.
  • An experienced facilitator with knowledge of the attractions, the people, and the history of the area.
  • Quality accommodation in properties of character, for the most part with private facilities. We stay two to three nights on average in each place, using the base to explore the environs.
  • Seven gourmet dinners featuring the best of regional specialties – including the special au revoir feast on our final night, four lunches including spectacular picnics. Several times you’ll get the chance to ‘follow-your-own-nose’ for midday and evening meals.
  • All breakfasts, including exquisite homemade preserves.
  • Our active gourmet tours offer a range of routes from undemanding to taxing, through the very heart of stunning countryside. High fitness levels aren’t essential though reasonable fitness is preferable.
  • Pre-trip guidance (and cycle instruction is available if required).
  • Tutored wine tasting and special events.
  • Rest days and independent exploration possible (we supply very detailed maps which allow a choice of routes).
  • Literature, including a detailed itinerary, clothing guide, use of large-scale maps of the area, and general advice on travelling in Europe.
  • Daily briefing and guidance.
  • Hire of quality mountain bike.
  • Water bottle and hat.
  • Luggage transfer between localities.
  • A sense of adventure compulsory!


  • Travel Insurance (mandatory).
  • Transfers.
  • Chateau and museum entry fees (you choose!).
  • Gratuities and drinks.
  • Golf club hire and green fees, kayak hire where applicable.
  • Fishing tackle hire and lessons where applicable.
  • Visas and passports (as necessary).
  • Personal items, eg, laundry, telephone, faxes etc.
  • Optional extras.
Footnote: The organiser reserves the right to change any details in this outline, should this prove necessary. 

See our FAQ page for more information.

Email Gail


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