walking the Loire valley

the discerning traveller's club

Good Taste Tours for Discerning Travellers
Walking tours in France

france self-guided walking tour
from amboise to azay-le -rideau

Self-guided walking tour along Loire river to discover
beautiful castles, gardens, abbeys and churches.

Your tour will begin at Amboise, one of the oldest cities of the Loire Valley. The walk will take you to Chenonceaux. In this magnificent chateau women have distinguished themselves throughout history. You will walk through the vineyards of Montlouis and Vouvray where lovely little dwellings are hidden. You will arrive to Tours, a city of history and art with its old quarter, the cathedral and many museums. You will be thrilled by the beauty of the gardens at Villandry, impressed by the fortress of Langeais, and won over by the charm of Azay-le-Rideau.

Independent walking holidays.

DATES: April to October.
DEPARTURE: any day of the week.
DIFFICULTY: Grade 1 – This tour is easy. No walk more than 17 km (10.5 miles) You will walk 4 or 5 hours at relaxed pace and spend time at places of interest along the route. Walking experience is not necessary as distances are short and the terrain is gentle. Everybody can walk this tour

itinerary loire castles from Amboise to Azay-le-Rideau

Day 1 - Arrival at AMBOISE for a stroll through the city

Amboise is one of the oldest cities along the Loire because of its specific geographic location. The large island which splits the Loire into two parts, made the crossing of the Loire River easier there than in any other places. The abrupt rise of the Plateau which dominates the junction of the Loire and the Amasse river is another feature which encourage the construction of fortifications there and later the town.
Lodging and breakfast in a 2-star hotel or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)

Day 2 – Visit of AMBOISE

You will visit the royal chateau that sits on the banks of the Loire, the first chateau built in the renaissance style. You will discover also the chateau of Clos Luce, where Leonardo de Vinci lived, and the Musee de l’Hotel de Ville (museum). You will go to the edge of the forest to tour the Louis XVI-styled pagoda, the only remains of the sumptuous home of the Duke of Choiseul. You will back-track to your hotel near the Loire, following the streets of Amboise. We invite you to wander through the streets of the city and investigate its rich architectural heritage.
Lodging and breakfast in the same 2-star hotel or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)


A taxi will drop you in the forest of Amboise for a walk to Chenonceaux through forest and vineyards. You will cross some hamlets and peaceful villages nestled at bottom of small valleys. You will have the whole afternoon to discover the chateau of Chenonceau known as Château des Dames (castle of Ladies). Chenonceau owes a large part of its charm to women: it was built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, then made even more attractive by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, and saved from the rigours of the French Revolution by Mrs Dupin. The lovely surroundings, the formal garden and the park add to the grace of the castle. Chenonceau is not only remarkable for its architecture and history but also for the fine quality of its collections: Renaissance furniture, XVI th and XVII th century tapestries and a great number of masterpieces.
Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 3-star hotel or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)

Day 4 - VOUVRAY – TOURS (12 km)

Transfer by taxi to Vouvray. You will visit Vouvray, a charming little village built on the sloping hills overlooking the Loire. The village is known for its natural and sparkling white wines, which are recognized among the best of Touraine. A few troglodytic dwellings nestled into the hillsides still can be seen. You will walk through vineyards, pass rich agricultural properties, as well as the chateau of Montcontour. Passing through more vineyards, you will reach Rochecorbon, a small village situated at the base of the cliffs. On the top of the cliffs, there is a lookout called Lanterne. Returning along the banks of the Loire, you wil pass in front of the ancient Marmoutier Abbey, and continue on to Tours. Your hotel is located in the old quarters of the city.
Lodging and breakfast in a 2-star hotel in old Tours or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)

Day 5 - Visit of TOURS

A taxi will take you to the Priory of Saint Come in the morning. You will begin your day with a tour of the priory, once the dwelling place of Ronsard, one of the greatest French poets of the Renaissance. You will follow the Loire back into the old city and visit the ancient streets around the Place Plumereau, the cathedral and Saint Julien Church. You will admire wonderful old homes and mansions, some converted into museum and open to public: Musee des Beaux-Arts and the Musee du Compagnonnage.
Lodging and breakfast in the same 2-star hotel or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)

Day 6 - VILLANDRY – LANGEAIS (14 km)

Transfer by taxi to the chateau of Villandry. This chateau hide treasures: Spanish paintings, 18th century furniture, and stunning Renaissance gardens. You will count five magnificent : the vegetable garden, the garden of fountains, the ornamental garden, the garden of medicinal plants, and the maze. After this visit, you will walk to the banks of the Cher and Loire rivers to reach Langeais. The town sits beneath the imposing structures of a 15th century fortress and parts of the 10th century fortified castle that once defended the Loire Valley from western invasions.
Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 2-star hotel or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)

Day 7 - SACHE – AZAY LE RIDEAU (15 km)

Transfer by taxi to the chateau of Sache on the banks of the Indre River. Surrounded by a pleasant park, this 15th /18th century chateau is hosting a museum dedicated to the famous 18th century French writer Balzac. He came there often to escape his creditors and find the necessary peace to write. You will make your way to Villaines-les-Rochers and continue to Azay-le-Rideau. The castle of Azay-le-Rideau is one of the most beautiful Renaissance chateaux of the Loire valley. Built on the banks of the river Indre, the architecture is very graceful and the interior staircase is a masterpiece. It hosts a lovely collection of 16th century furniture and tapestries.
Dinner, lodging and breakfast in a 2-star hotel or in a 2-star hotel (budget traveller)

Tour ends after breakfast.

  • 2020 walking tour
    Loire castles from Amboise to Azay-le-Rideau

    price per person / twin-share

    single supplement

    solo traveller

  • walks for
    discerning travellers

    1540 Euros / person

    385 Euros

    2041 Euros

  • walks for
    budget travellers

    940 Euros / person

    260 Euros

    1386 Euros

Price includes:

7 nights accommodation in selected 2 & 3-star hotels
7 breakfasts - 3 gourmet dinners
Taxi transfers : Amboise- Chenonceaux forest, Chenonceaux-Vouvray, Tours- St Cosme Priory, Tours-Villandry, Langeais- Saché,

These rates do not include:

Lunches, drinks, and sundries , Insurance for cancellation

To avoid currency exchange fees,
• Australians can pay in Australian dollars by direct deposit or credit card.
• New Zealanders can pay in New Zealand dollars by direct deposit or credit card.
• US citizens will be charged in US dollars using credit card.

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