Loire Valley Road Trip

Earlier this summer, D and I embarked on a road trip from London to Toulouse, via the Loire Valley. We had tickets to two Euro 2016 football matches so we took the week before off work and decided to visit some chateaux (as you do).

It was June, so we complacently thought the weather would be unwaveringly glorious but, alas, it hardly stopped raining for the entire week – arguably an accurate foretelling of England’s dire performance in the Euros.

Nonetheless, the castles were breathtaking and the wine was delicious, so let me share with you some retrospective snaps of our trip.

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Our first stop on the other side of the channel was Chartres, famous for its stunning cathedral which you can spot from miles away due to the flat land surrounding the city.

Chartres cathedralIMG_0586

We had our first steak frites (of many) of the trip, in a cafe on the cathedral square called Café Bleu (website here) which is highly recommended. I’m sure it’s even more charming when the sun is shining, and the poor waitresses don’t have to dash through the rain to bring food to the stoic English couple hell bent on sitting outside.

The wind hurried us back to our car where we set off for our hotel just south of Tours, which would be our base for four nights. To our delight it turned out to be a mini-chateau of its own with grounds rolling away for miles. Domaine de la Tortinière was a magical retreat and I’d return in a flash.

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We settled in, unpacked and went over our itinerary:

Day 1 – London -> Chartres -> Tours (Veigné)

Day 2 – Azay-le-Rideau -> Villandry

Day 3 – Chinon -> Fontevraud l’Abbaye

Day 4 – Loches -> Montrésor -> Chenoncheau -> Amboise

Day 5 – Tours -> Wine tasting -> Chambord -> Uzerche

Day 6 – Toulouse

We certainly packed it in! Come pack soon for more posts. As I publish them, I’ll also link to them above so hover over the town/chateau on the itinerary and there should be an option to click through for more. Happy reading!

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