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La charmante ville de Blois au coeur de la région des châteaux de la Loire


Weekend in the Châteaux of the Loire Valley

In the garden of France

The Loire Valley castles are known far and wide and have left their mark on history: Blois, where Joan of Arc received her holy blessing before embarking on the siege of Orléans; Chambord and its domain designed by Leonardo da Vinci; Chaumont-sur-Loire, home to the renowned International Garden Festival. Each castle bears witness to a bygone era of grandeur and intrigue. For travelers, the challenge lies in selecting which castle to explore, amidst the overwhelming wealth of heritage in Centre France.  

With over 3000 castles scattered throughout the region, many of which have been transformed into hotels, visitors are offered the enchanting opportunity for a "night at the château" experience, immersing themselves in the timeless allure of these historic landmarks. 

Between Tours and Blois, the charming villages are perfect for a leisurely weekend escape, each showcasing delightful French architecture. Don’t miss out on Candes-Saint-Martin, Crissay-sur-Manse, Saint-Dyé-sur-Loire, and Montrésor - each a gem in its own right. 


Speaking of the Loire, it is one of the last wild rivers in Europe. Hop aboard a "gabare" - a typical Loire flat-bottomed riverboat – to discover the lush nature of the region in these royal waters, with Renaissance castles peeking out of the trees.  

This is a region where every grove hides a castle, every town boasts a cathedral, and every village features adorable half-timbered "dollhouses". The Loire Valley is indeed a land of endless treasures. 

Here, the culinary scene is deeply rooted in nature. The omnipresent river provides catfish, pike, and zander. Silty valleys yield tomatoes, marrows and asparagus in the snap of a finger. Vinegar and mustard from Orléans add the perfect seasoning. Lush pastures ensure a bounty of charcuterie and goat cheese, the star of every meal. The Loire Valley truly lives up to its nickname, "the garden of France." 

A two-night stay at Château des Grotteaux for a truly royal weekend with Hiddenist
In the Loire Valley, Blois Castle, where 17 kings and queens have resided

Wine and French cuisine take on all their terroir substance in this land blessed by kings. Vineyards stretch as far as the eye can see, nourished by sandy, limestone, tufa, and clay soils, graced with an exceptionally temperate climate. The result is an exquisite array of fresh, still wines. Think Chinon, Gamay, Cheverny, Bourgueil, Vouvray, and Montlouis - the roster of vineyards is nothing short of dizzying. These wines are cultivated with fervor by a new generation of winemakers who have earned the full confidence of Chef Christophe Hay. Gone are the days when the Loire Valley was known for banal and immature wines!

Welcome to the "Garden of France," where every corner is ripe for a grand weekend escape or even an extended stay. Here, culture, history, literature, and gastronomy converge seamlessly. Indulge in world-class vineyards, explore incredible troglodyte villages, and immerse yourself in the gentle art of living that has inspired French literary giants such as Rabelais and Balzac. 

"The Loire is always close to me. I watch her in the Winter when she trembles in the mist; I paddle in it at dawn when Summer comes; I can feel her emotions, her tiredness; I breathe her, I stare at her, I speak with her: I love her." - Jean-Marie Laclavetine. 

Maison à colombages au coeur de Blois, la ville royale du Val de Loire
Hiddenist itinerary map in the Loire Valley castle region

Along the Loire Valley with Christophe Hay

The two Michelin-starred chef invites you to discover "his" Loire Valley. Born into a family of five generations of farmers, near Vendôme, Christophe Hay spent his childhood immersed in the splendor of châteaux and the art of fine dining, as Rabelais once depicted. Out of love for his region and because he knows every village, vineyard and local producer, he shares his insider secrets exclusively with Hiddenist. These hidden gems inspire his culinary artistry, which delicately interweaves the flavors of the Loire terroir with masterful technique. 

Les oeuvres d'art du château de Chaumont-sur-Loire, un voyage Hiddenist
Une nature royale au château de Chambord dans la vallée de la Loire

DAY 1 - Châteaux of the Loire Valley 

. Near Tours, visit a tufa stone quarry turned into a mushroom farm in the 19th century. Rare mushroom varieties inhabit the peculiar underground city 

. Discover Chaumont-sur-Loire, castle of Diane de Poitiers, famous for this illustrious figure but above all, its gardens. Since 1992, the International Garden Festival is a meeting place for creative landscapers, decorating the gardens with their green fantasies 

. Meet with Hiddenist’s ambassador at the Chaumont-sur-Loire port and embark in a riverboat for a private picnic dinner along the Loire, with vintage wine tasting and local specialties 

. Settle in your hotel room, for a stay of 2 nights in a lovely private château 


DAY 2 - Châteaux of the Loire Valley   

. Meet up at Fleur de Loire, for a morning with Michelin star chef Christophe Hay. Take a stroll in the Chef’s vegetable garden where you will pick the ingredients for your cooking class, and enjoy a lunch 

. In the afternoon, discover a vineyard halfway between the Loire and the Cher River. After your tour of the domain and wine cellar, have a private wine tasting of Gamay and Sauvignon wines 

. Stop at one the Chef’s suppliers on your way back, a farm that produces delicious goat cheese you can find at his restaurant 


DAY 3 - Châteaux of the Loire Valley 

. Visit at leisure of Château de Chambord, one of the most beautiful in France, built by Francois I, with its iconic double-spiral staircase invented by Leonardo da Vinci. A 4x4 drive through the estate with a nature expert is possible (with extra charge).  

. Meet the talented ceramist who created the dinnerware of Restaurant Christophe Hay 

. Continue to the Sologne region for a private tasting of "made in France" caviar 

. Gastronomic 9-course dinner at Restaurant Christophe Hay, with a beautiful view of the river (drinks to be paid on site)  

. If you want to, it’s possible to attend the sound & light show at Blois Castle after your dinner at Fleur de Loire 


DAY 4 - Châteaux of the Loire Valley 

. Visit of Blois Castle, the favorite residence of 17 kings and queens of France, with architecture blending medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and classical styles.  


Please drink responsibly 

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