The Hotel de France is located in the Loir, a region just to the north of the Loire Valley, named after the Loir River, which runs alongside the hotel. This picturesque region consists of rolling hills, oak and chestnut forests, apple orchards and water meadows, and is full of beautiful riverside villages, historic châteaux and some of France’s most northerly vineyards.
The hotel can organise tours of the châteaux and vineyards, the ideal way to experience the history and wine the region has to offer in abundance.
Châteaux Tours – example itineraries:
Explore some of the less well known châteaux that can be found along the Loir River. After breakfast at the hotel, start your tour at the Château du Lude, a 30 minute drive to the west of the La Chatre-sur-le-Loir. Originally a 10th century stronghold, this impressive chateau was transformed into an elegant house during the Renaissance and features stunning gardens. The tour then takes you east along the Loir River to discover several beautiful villages. Couture, the natal village of Ronsard, Trôo, a troglodyte village, Montoire and Lavardin, classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France with its imposing ruined castle, which stands on a rocky promontory overlooking the village and the Loir.
Following lunch, head to the last stop of the day, the Château de Vendôme, which dominates the historic town of Vendôme. Take your time to explore the château’s gardens and the charming town below, before heading back for dinner at the hotel.
Loire Valley Tour
The Loire Valley contains some of France’s most impressive châteaux. With so many to choose from, we have selected two of the most stunning examples to visit on a tour, set in the region known as the ‘garden of France’, through which the Loire River runs. Following breakfast at the hotel, the tour will take you to the Château de Chenonceau, just over an hour’s drive to the south-east of La Chartre-sur-le-Loir. This stunning château, best known for its arched bridge that crosses the Cher River, a tributary of the Loire, also features extensive gardens and grounds, which should also be explored when you visit. Take a picnic in the grounds of the Château de Chenonceau or lunch en route to the second stop of the day, the Château Royal d’Amboise. This château was a favourite of French kings, hence its royal title. Amongst one of its most famous visitors was Leonardo da Vinci, who also lived and worked in the nearby Clos Lucé where he died in 1519. Take your time to explore the château and its gardens before returning to the hotel for dinner.
For either tour, we will provide you with an itinerary, including information on the châteaux and a route map. As part of a châteaux tour, the hotel can also provide a picnic or pre-book a restaurant for lunch along the route.
The Loir produces wines such as Jasnières, Coteaux du Loir and Coteaux du Vendômois, with other wine varieties produced in the wider Loire Valley region. The Loir has numerous vineyards and caves, offering red, white and rosé wines, made from a range of grapes, including Chenin Blanc, Pineau d’Aunis and Cabernet Franc.
The hotel can provide a tour of the vineyards with wine tasting in the caves using our air conditioned Land Rover. If you wish, we are also available to assist you with your purchases and, where possible, organise your shipments home.