Charming Villages, Extravagant Chateaux and Glorious Gardens

You know, when we put together the 11 day Normandy, Brittany and Loire Valley tour, things just naturally fell into place. Our aim with designing any tour is to balance touring efficiency with ‘not driving past something really sensational.’ So it seemed logical to stay three nights in Normandy, just two nights in Brittany and, what the heck, lets put four nights in the Loire Valley and really do it justice. The sights seemed to leap out and bite us, sort of insisting they should be included.

Such a beautiful part of France, and Europe!

Mont-Saint-Michel , France

Recently, while chatting with a number of clients at one of our travel afternoon teas, I was intrigued by their comments that they “never knew this part of Europe could be so beautiful”. Looking into it with our clients’ eyes (something we must always do to constantly tweak every tour) I could certainly see what they mean. Not only do we focus on great historical sites such as the allied landing beaches of Normandy, pretty Bayeux, and the pirate town of St Malo, but the whole programme is littered with visits to graceful chateaux, ornate parks, manicured gardens, sweet palaces and age old cloistered abbeys. For instance within two hours of starting the tour, near Giverney, we are already off the coach and walking amongst the flowers of Monet’s Gardens, with its little bridges straddling ponds of water lilies. The next day we are relaxing in Honfleur’s delightful harbor, and soon after we are exploring the massive ‘island abbey’ of Mont-Saint-Michel. And that is all before we go to stay four nights in a stately chateau surrounded by the palaces and gardens of the Loire Valley.

Four Nights in Chateau Rochecotte – what a treat!

Exterior of Chataeu Rochecotte, France

Set in 20 acres of wooded grounds and gardens, Chateau Rochecotte makes a perfect base for us to spend four days exploring the magnificent Loire Valley. The hotel itself is delightful, and both east and west we discover numerous amazing sights. And that’s the thing about this region… there are so many incredible places to visit that UNESCO couldn’t pick one, two, or even half a dozen. Instead they made this entire section of the Valley ‘World Heritage listed’! It is that good.

But going back to the whole concept of this wonderful tour

Dinan, France

Our Normandy, Brittany & Loire Valley tour starts in Paris, and ends in Bordeaux 11 days later. While on tour you will get to stand on the Normandy landing beaches, break French bread in France, eat freshly shucked oysters in Cancale, mess with Moules-Frites in Brittany and sip Benedictine in a glorious palace right where it was invented!

We have created a tour with a much more sensible pace, and carefully balanced days. This way we ensure you not only get to see all those major, sensational sites but we also give you time to explore preserved medieval villages, vineyards and local fresh produce markets bursting with ripe cheeses, pate and crusty French baguettes. To bring to life the genuine, simple pleasures of the ‘real’ France. Let’s face it, isn’t that why you want to visit France? Ahhh…C’est la vie!

Love the idea of exploring regional France, contact us for more details.

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Euan Landsborough

Euan Landsborough is the Managing Director and Tour Designer at Albatross Tours