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Days: 5 - 7
June 16th - 18th
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Mostly Sunny with a few clouds
High: 72°-75°
Lo: 49°-56°
High: 74°
Lo: 54°
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our visit:
€1.00 = $1.13225

This morning we drive south to the Loire Valley to the charming town of Amboise, where we visited the home of Leonardo da Vinci and grabbed some lunch.

In the afternoon we visited the Château de Chenonceau, with time to roam its interior and gardens.

We finished the day in Chinon where we had dinner together.

On our second day in Chinon we started with a visiting to the Château de Villandry, famous for its remarkable themed gardens. Afterward, we returned to Chinon for a free afternoon and dinner with our traveling partners.

June 16th - Tour Day 3

June 17th - Tour Day 4
Daily Itineraries

From the ChinonFrance.com website:

Chinon is a town rich in both culture and history. The old town la vielle ville is nestled in between the Château on top of the hill and the river Vienne. For many generations, it was the home of kings and the seat of the government.

Interestingly, it was the home of the Plantegenet Kings (yes, of England). Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine lived here and kept the Royal Treasury in Chinon. Richard the Lionhearted was also born here. The remains of the Plantaganet castle, with its imposing ramparts and belltower, have recently been restored and are well-worth visiting.
A little background on Chinon
Luzern Engelberg Lugano Murren Lausanne Bern
•  A little background on Chinon

•  Chateau Chenonceau
•  Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau
•  Chateau du Clos Luce
•  Chateau of Villandry
•  Signs, Signs, Signs...

•  A la Pause Rabelaisienne
•  Au Chapeau Rouge

•  Hotel Diderot


The Château de Chenonceau is a French château spanning the River Cher, near the small village of Chenonceaux in the Indre et Loire department of the Loire Valley in France. It is one of the most well-known châteaux of the Loire valley.

It must be noted that the River Cher was the dividing line during WWII between Nazi occupied France and Vichy France...although not as great a distinction as some would want you to believe!

We visited a number of ​châteaus on our trip and this one ranked at the top of the list. The furnishings are realistic and very well maintained. You can see that in the pictures below.

There are a bunch more pictures so be sure to click on the More Pictures button below.

Chateau Chenonceau
37150 Chenonceaux
Tel: +33 820 20 90 90

Another beautiful chateau... The impression we came away from this one with is that it wasn't nearly as nicely appointed as others we had seen. As you can see from the pictures (be sure to click on the More Pictures button below), most of the rooms barely had any furniture. Interesting.
Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau
19, rue Balzac
37190 Azay-le-Rideau
Tel: 33 / (0) 2 47 45 42 04
FAX: 33 / (0) 2 47 45 26 61

Yup...another chateau. This one is magnificent. The decorations are spectacular and the grounds (gardens, etc) are second to none. As noted before be sure to click on the More Pictures button below. There are 50 pictures just of this chateau. A must see!
Chateau of Villandry
3 rue Principale
37510 Villandry
Tel: + 33(0)2 47 50 02 09

We noticed that there were a number of signs advertising a variety of businesses. Here are some of those signs.

Just a little fun.
Signs, Signs, Signs...

On our way to Chinon we stopped in the Loire Valley at Amboise to visit the home of Leonardo da Vinci. The town is beautifully positioned along the Loire River and the prefect back drop for da Vinci. Before lunch we walked up from the main street to the Chateau de Clos Luce (da Vinci`s home).
From the website of the Chateau:
It was in 1516 that Francis I, advised by his sister Marguerite de Navarre, issued an invitation to Leonardo da Vinci. Here you will be free to dream, to think and to work. This was how the King of France welcomed the Italian genius, who crossed the Alps on a mule, bringing with him three of his most important works: The Mona Lisa, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and the Saint John the Baptist, that he finished here, at the Château du Clos Lucé.
Leonardo da Vinci received a pension of 1000 gold crowns per year, and was named The King's First Painter, Engineer and Architect. Until his death, he was the object of real affection on the part of Francis I who called he `my Father`, his sister Marguerite and the whole Court.

Be sure to click on More Picture (below) for the rest of the Chateau pictures.
Chateau du Clos Luce
2 Rue de Clos Luce
37400 Amboise, France
Tel: +33 2 47 57 00 73
FAX: +33 (0)2 47 57 62 88

A nice little restaurant with a great surprise (at least for us). Our waitress spoke VERY good English. We found out that she had spent some time with her sister in the states...in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. That's just 50 miles north of where we live. What a small world.

We sat outdoors in the common seating area across from the restaurant. The food was good. Frankly there aren't a lot of choices so it was good enough (with GREAT service).
A la Pause Rabelaisienne
28, place du General de Gaulle
37500 Chinon
Tel: +33 2 47 93 35 25

Au Chapeau Rouge
49 Place du General de Gaulle
37500 Chinon
Tel: 02 47 98 08 08

This is a nice hotel. Since the town is fairly small, it's location is good (10 minute stroll to the center of town). We stayed in the annex (a building next store).

There are two pictures of our group at a wine tasting provided by the owners. The people of Chinon are PROUD of their wines. Our hosts gave us a great explanation of the wines produced in the area (only a few varieties in each area) as well as providing several to sample. Good stuff!

The hotel is owned by a couple who are American (she) and French (he). They haven't owned it long but have made a bunch of enhancements (with more planned) making it a great place to stay.

Hotel Diderot
7 rue Diderot - F
37500 Chinon
Tel: +33 (0)2 47 93 18 87
FAX: +33 (0)2 47 93 37 10