Loire Castles Escape Ride

Loire France: (IT-LOESC)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/france_loire_escape.aspx

Loire France
An exploration of the famous Châteaux of the Loire Valley. Visit Chambord, Chenonceau, Saumur and Chinon!

The ride is designed for travelers looking for a relaxed and cultured getaway. Take memorable photographs and be spoiled by the mouth watering French cuisine! Overnights are at exquisite castle and manor houses, each with its own charm and history. The riding tour leads you to and inside some of the most famous Loire castles without the tourist crowds. Guided by locals with good knowledge and warm smiles, you will enjoy the pleasures of riding in all the beautiful landscapes of the Loire Valley. Each stop is promised to be unique; sometimes it will be a guided tour, other times a garden festival, a horse show, a wine tasting or self guided exploration on your own. Here you will truly taste and experience the French "art de vivre"! Each of the 6 evenings will be in private castles, where you will have an intimate dinner with the owners, taste the heralded gastronomy from the "Heart of France" in excellent  quality gourmet restaurants, quaint picnics on the trail with foie gras, and discover several entertaining shows in the castles at night. This is a luxury program that is designed for those who wish to have personalized care and therefore is limited to eight riders per departure. There are two week long itineraries available:

Saumur to Villandry (iti. 6) - 5 riding days

Starting at Saumur we ride through beautiful vineyards, by troglodytes caves and to the famous castles... We follow the great history of Plantagenets, Alienor of Aquitaine, Valois, Jane of Arc... French aristocrats welcome us at their private châteaux and we continue our ride across wonderful landscapes, along orchards, through immense forests and along the rivers Loire, Vienne, and Indre. Finally we finish at the wonderful Chateau de Villandry and its famous gardens.

Beauregard to Amboise (iti. 3) - 4 riding days
In the steps of french aristocracy and around the most famous castles of the Loire - Chambord, Beauregard, Cheverny, Blois, Chenonceau, Amboise.. These wonderful Renaissance castles bring us
into the heart of French history. We start this ride in the favorite hunting forests of the renaissance Fench kings, then along the wonderful banks of River Cher and then finish with the chestnut
trees of Amboise forest.

There are also shorter 3 night getaways available: Renaissance Castles Getaway


Saumur to Villandry (iti. 6): This is a progressive ride, so nights are spent in different locations. You will be staying in 5 different locations total.
Beauregard to Amboise (iti. 3): This is a progressive ride, so nights are spent in different locations. You will be staying in 4 different locations total. Description

Accommodations are always located close to the castles we visit and combine the charm with comfort. You will be staying mainly in 4-star chateaux and some charming 3-star hotels. You will enjoy the magic of old-stoned dwellings, of hundred-year-old trees, and sometimes the Lords' authentic and cordial welcome. Comfortable and refined twins rooms with private bathroom are waiting for you. Many of the accommodations offers a heated swimming pool. WIFI is available at all locations. Laundry is not available.

Saumur to Villandry (iti. 6) Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1 & 2: Château de Beaulieu
Night 3: Domaine de Mestré of the Abbaye
Night 4: Chateau de Ternay
Night 5: Hotel Gargantua of Chinon
Night 6: Chateau de Gizeux

Château de Beaulieu
This castle was originally built in 1727 and is now a recognized as a Historic Monument. The castle and its bedrooms are beautifully decorated in charming French style. Each of the ensuite bedroom features free Wi-Fi access and a unique décor. Guests are welcome to roam through the garden, go for a swim in the outdoor pool or enjoy a good pool table game.

Domaine de Mestré of the Abbaye
This beautiful building used to be the main farm of the Abbey of Fontevrault. The renovated farmhouse now features charming bedroom accommodations with all creatures comfort (free Wi-Fi and private bathroom). Each room has unique characters with traditional French inspiration. This property also has a garden with a seating area.

Chateau de Ternay
This beautiful castle has been owned by the same family since 1606. It offers 5 guest rooms, each decorated with historic furniture and with modern facilities such as heating and private bathroom with hairdryer. Free Wi-Fi is available in common areas and guests can enjoy all of the castles amenities including a beautiful park, a badminton court and an outdoor swimming pool.

Hotel Gargantua of Chinon
 The Hostellerie Gargantua is a character hotel steeped in history located right in the center of the medieval town of Chinon. A total of 7 comfortable rooms are located within the 15th century Palais du Bailliage. All of the rooms offer an LCD satellite television and a telephone.

Chateau de Gizeux
This castle is surrounded by a beautiful forest and offers delicately decorated rooms with period furnishing and views of the garden. The rooms all have their own fireplace and private bathroom. Free Wi-Fi access is available in public areas.


Chambord to Amboise (iti. 3) Accommodation Itinerary - subject to changes based on availability
Night 1 & 2: Relais de Chambord
Night 3: Coté Loire in Blois
Night 4 & 5: Chateau de l'Isle near Chenonceau 
Night 6: Chateau de Pray

Relais de Chambord
This recently renovated Relais is located just a few hundred meters away from the beautiful Chambord Castle. It benefits from a quiet location, by the river and is surrounded by a lovely garden. Every room is unique and all include modern facilities such as satellite TV, private bathroom and Wi-Fi access. Other amenities include a tennis court and a wellness area (open from 9am to 8pm) with a hammam, sauna and an outdoor Jacuzzi.

Coté Loire in Blois
This charming Auberge dates back to the 16th century and offers cozy rooms in the heart of Blois. The 8 bedrooms (1 single and 7 doubles) all come equipped with a TV, free Wi-Fi access and a private bathroom with hairdryer. The rooms are tastefully decorated with original furniture that each carries its own history.

Chateau de l'Isle near Chenonceau 
Tonight’s accommodation is an 18th century mansion that sits in a beautiful park. There are 12 comfortable bedrooms, which feature a simple décor and are equipped with a phone, a TV, free Wi-Fi and a private bathroom.

Chateau de Pray
This gorgeous historical castle dating back to the 13th century now welcomes tourist in finely decorated bedrooms. Each of the 19 rooms include free Wi-Fi, a TV and a private bathroom. The property also has a beautiful garden and a swimming pool, where guests can relax.

Room Occupancy
Single supplement is mandatory if we are unable to find another rider to share.


All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 7.

We offer you a taste of genuine gastronomy from Heart of France : picnics with foie gras, traditional food of the region, possibility of dining in a Michelin star restaurant, and gourmet dinners in private chateaux.

You will taste and experience the French art de vivre. All gourmet meals with 2 glass of wine included.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to dietary restrictions given prior notice.

This trip includes some wine with dinner and can accommodate special dietary requests.


The choice of our horses has been motivated above all, by the strong desire to make you enjoy your trip in total safety. Our horses are quiet and generous. They are mixed breed horses trained for the trail riding. Your trek companion is chosen for you according your level, height and weight.

Itinerary #3 
Pace: moderate - 4 riding days from 3h to 4h per day in the saddle.
For riders who want to combine horse riding with visits of the most famous chateaux of the Loire.

Itinerary #6
Pace: fast - 5 riding days from 4h to 6h per day in the saddle.
This is a trip best suited for experienced riders that ride on a regular basis and are comfortable and in control of their horse at long and fast canters.


Sample Itinerary: Saumur to Villandry (iti. 6) -
subject to changes

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Arrival and transfer (not included) from Saumur train station to Château de Beaulieu in Saumur. Check-in after 4:00pm. Dinner and briefing at the Chateau de Beaulieu at 7:00pm.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Chateau de Beaulieu

Day 2 (Monday): Ride to Chateau de Montsoreau 
This morning we set off riding from our chateau passing local vineyards and magnificent views of the Saumaur château until we reach the Champigny troglodyte (cave) cellar where we partake in an unforgettable wine tasting (according to the season). Represented are some of the most illustrious labels from this great wine producing region. Following the wine tasting we gather for a gourmet lunch in a nearby restaurant.
In the afternoon we ride another two hours along the Champigny vineyards and along the forest to chateau de Montsoreau, which inspired well known French writer Alexandre Dumas for his book "la dame de Montsoreau".
Riding approx. 4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Chateau de Beaulieu

Day 3 (Tuesday): Chateau de Beaulieu to Abbaye de Fontevraud
We will ride through the vineyards and the countryside to the Chateau de Brézé, where we will stop for lunch in the old stables.
After the visit, we ride again through the vineyards, the gorgeous countryside and forests until we reach the Abbaye de Fontevraud. We enjoy a magical entrance on horseback to the abbey which was once, before the French Revolution, the richest and most important monastery in France. During the 12th century this abbey gained great prestige and was supported by the Plantagenet family, Counts of Anjou and Kings of England. The church here is as majestic as a cathedral and was edified at the start of the 12 century. Its Roman façade was renewed in 1504 in a more flamboyant style but converted back to its original state in 1901 under the guise of architect Lucien Magne. Dinner and overnight at Domaine de Mestre, which is the old farm of the abbey.
Riding approx. 4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Domaine de Mestre

Day 4 (Wednesday): Abbaye de Fontevraud to Chateau de Ternay
This morning we ride in the traditional French countryside to the Chateau de la Roche Martel, a private and historical chateau where we are welcomed by the owners for a picnic and visit. This chateau has undergone a lot of construction throughout the years, but the main buildings of the 15th century remain: an entrance through fortified walls and a wooden gallery, inscribed to the Registrar of Historic Buildings.
In the afternoon, ride in the countryside and woods to private Chateau de Ternay. We receive a cordial welcome by the Count and Countess of Ternay. This castles was built in 1439 but became property of the Ternay family in the early 19th century. Important restoration work was completed from 1861 - 1884 and a renowned feature is the Gothic vault, known for its exceptional decorative carvings.
Riding approx. 4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Chateau de Ternay

Day 5 (Thursday): Chinon to Azay le Rideau
Through the forest of Chinon, we ride on soft trails to the Chateau d'Ussé - the sleeping beauty castle, called so for its majestic towers. First fortified in the eleventh century, this castle was once the stronghold at the edge of the Chinon forest. It is a gem of Flamboyant Gothic style mixed with Renaissance motifs, with its completion taking over two hundred years and spanning the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Affects from all eras are evidenced in its completed state. It is in this greatly historical setting that we enjoy lunch.
In the afternoon, unforgettable long canters along the Indre River. Traveling through the cool forest trails and orchards we reach Azay le Rideau. Transfer and visit of Chinon.
Riding approx. 4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Medieval Hotel in Chinon

Day 6 (Friday): Azay le Rideau to Villandry
In the morning we ride to the Chateau de Villandry, known for the most infamous gardens of the Loire, where we will have an exquisite lunch. Completed in 1536, Chateau Villandry was the last of the large chateaus built in the Loire Valley during the Renaissance, so it is only fitting we spend our last day here.
We spend the afternoon visiting the wonderful garden and Chateau de Villandry before a transfer to the imposing but impressively private Chateau de Gizeux. where three generations of the Laffon family live. We are warmly welcomed while we explore this new castle before settling in for dinner an our overnight.
Riding approx. 2.5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Medieval Hotel in Chinon

Day 7 (Saturday): Breakfast and departure
Transfer (not included) to TGV Tours Saint Pierre des Corps station.
Meals included: Breakfast

Please note this itinerary is only suitable for riders able to do long canters and may be changed in small amounts due to weather and seasonal conditions.

Sample Itinerary: Chambord to Amboise (iti. 3) - subject to changes

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival
Arrival to Relais de Chambord. Check-in after 4:00pm. Dinner and briefing at 7:00pm.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Relais de Chambord

Day 2 (Monday): Ride around Chambord
Beginning of the ride from Chambord  along the "grand Canal" with spectacular views on the Château de Chambord. We then continue through the large alleys of Boulogne forest around Chambord, then back to Château de Chambord on horseback: Royal! Lunch in Chambord.
In the afternoon, visit Chateau de Chambord (horse show in Chambord not included). Gourmet dinner.
Riding approx. 3 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Relais de Chambord

Day 3 (Tuesday): Ride to Beauregard & Cheverny
Beginning of the ride from Chambord to Chateau de Beauregard by the Boulogne forest. We have the privilege to enter by the front path of the chateau: an unforgettable experience! Visit of Chateau de Beauregard, and discovering of his famous "gallerie des illustres", intact since XVII century. Picnic with foie gras in chateau de Beauregard.
In the afternoon, we leave to Chateau of Cheverny on horseback by the countryside and Cheverny vinyards. Visit of Château de Cheverny and transfer to Blois. Gourmet diner in Blois, and night in a charming guest house in front of Loire river in Blois.  Night light show of Chateau de Blois in season.
Riding approx. 4-5 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Coté Loire in Loire

Day 4 (Wednesday): Free day (no riding)
Transfer to charming Chateau de l'isle near Chenonceau. 
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Chateau de l'isle near Chenonceau

Day 5 (Thursday): Chenonceau to Nitray
Beginning of the ride to Chenonceau from chateau de l'isle by the banks of the beautiful Cher river. Visit of chateau de Chenonceau, and gardens of Catherine de Medicis and Diane de Poitiers. Lunch in chateau of Chenonceau.
After lunch, we have a wonderful ride along the Cher river to chateau de Nitray. We discover Chateau de Nitray from our horses, and have then a visit of the outsides of the chateau, caves and have a wine testing. Gourmet dinner.
Riding approx. 4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Coté Loire in Loire

Day 6 (Friday): Ride to Pagode de Chanteloup & Amboise
Beginning of the ride from chateau de l'isle to Pagode de Chanteloup by the countryside, vineyards and the Amboise forest. We discover Pagode de Chanteloup on horseback and have our picnic with foie gras in front of the Pagode. Visit Pagode de Chanteloup and his little museum.
In the afternoon, we ride to chateau d'Amboise by the old town of Amboise. It feels very special arriving to Chateau d'Amboise on horseback by "la porte des Lions", the medieval king's door! We have then a private guided visit of the very historical Château d'Amboise where Leonardo da Vinci is buried. Dinner and night at chateau de Pray, a famous gastronomic restaurant of Amboise.
Riding approx. 3-4 hours
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at chateau de Pray

Day 7 (Saturday): Departure
Breakfast at chateau de Pray - Departure
Meals included: Breakfast

For Info on Shorter Trip Options - See Renaissance Castles Getaway (IT-LOESC-2)

Rates and Dates for Loire Castles Escape Ride

Rates include:

Accommodations, All meals with 2 glasses of wine for dinner, 4 or 5 riding days depending on program, All entrance fees and evening shows.

Packages and Options

  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    20207 day trip, AP- Saumur to Villandry (iti. 6)€2590$2930
    • Single supplement€630$715
      Non-rider, dbl, pp(€350)($390)
      Single supplement€505$575
  • B
    20207 day trip, AP- Chambord to Amboise (iti. 3)€2690$3040
    • Single supplement€855$970
      Non-rider, dbl, pp(€310)($350)
      Single supplement€685$775
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.13

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:

2020 Meet at the Château on Day 1 0 $0
2020 Small group supplement (4 riders), pp 150 $170
2020 Small group supplement (3 riders), pp 300 $340
2020 Small group supplement (2 riders), pp 700 $795

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
B 2020 08/02 - 08/08 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP- Chambord to ... 5 /10 Expired
B 2020 08/30 - 09/05 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP- Chambord to ... 5 /10 Expired
A 2020 09/14 - 09/20 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP- Saumur to Vi... 5 /10 Expired
B 2020 10/11 - 10/17 7d / 6n 7 day trip, AP- Chambord to ... 5 /10 Reserve

Dates Note:

Rates do not include:

Horse Show in Chambord (for Chambord to Ambois package), Transfers & Gratuities


Due to COVID-19 Corona virus pandemic and certain travel restrictions we are applying some temporary policy changes to some of our tours.

For Loire Castles Escape Ride (IT-LOESC):
Masks are requested in certains visits of chateaux, please bring your own mask.

For more information please visit our COVID-19 Updates page at https://www.hiddentrails.com/article/covid19update.aspx

Other Info
Meeting: # 6: Saumur
# 3: Blois
Airport: Paris
Transfer: Take a taxi from Blois or Samur train stations (depending on your itinerary #).

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Source: NOAA

The Loire region benefits from a mild climate created by mild breezes blowing in from the Atlantic. The Loire is often the line of demarcation in France's weather, between the Northern climate and the Southern.

You can expect frequent showers in the spring months, whereas the summer brings humid heat. The balmy autumn season produces brilliant red and gold foliage, and lively festivals take place in many towns and villages to celebrate the grape harvest. A damp chill settles over The Loire Valley in winter, and many of the chateaux close for the season.

What To Bring:
The general atmosphere is relaxed during your ride. Please bring some smart casual clothes for dinner.

This list is only a guideline for you


Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Visa (check with your consulate)


Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)
Riding boots (short) + Minichaps
Riding helmet  (recommended for all trips)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strip) for sun protection
Lightweight Rain coat


Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Underwear and socks
Bag for dirty clothes
Trekking boots/ comfortable shoes
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and enough extra film and batteries
Belt pack
Address book and pen (for pictures postcards!)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm