8 Day Inn-to-Inn Guided Canoe Tour
This is an 7 Night, 8 Day Tour in which we canoe on the Loir, the Loire, the Creuse and the Cher in the Loire region of central France.
We will explore the valley of the Loire by canoe, see many of its famous Châteaux and experience its cuisine and wines.
The tour includes:
- canoeing on 4 different rivers
- is Fully Guided whilst on the river & trail
- all transport between hotels and rivers
- includes all accommodation in B&Bs & small Hotels
- includes all breakfasts, lunches and evening meals
- a canoe through the Château Chenonceaux
- picnics on islands and wild swims
- a visit to the Château where Leonardo Da Vinci lived
- visits to several other famous Châteaux
- and a visit to the Parc Naturel Regional la Brenne
In the evenings we will be able to spend time visiting the small riverside towns where we are staying before out evening dinner together either at the hotel or out in the town. We will also keep an eye out for local events that often occur in these towns and villages during the summer months: fetes, concerts and the like. Before our canoeing excursion each day we will perhaps visit a local market to procure our picnic lunch for the day.
Of course throughout we shall stay at remote and beautiful places and enjoy the regional cuisine and the local wines.
We will pass several Châteaux on the river as we canoe by but we will also have the opportunity to visit many of the Châteaux in person. Those of note include the Chambord, Blois, Chenonceux, Chaumont, Amboise, and Clos Lucé (where Leonardo da Vinci lived).
A 6 Day version of this Tour is available too.
Day to Day Schedule
Day 1. Arrival
You will be met at the Orléans TGV Railway station sometime around midday.
Alternative arrangements can be made for arrivals, such as at regional airports, by prior arrangement.
We will drive to Lavardin (1hr30mins) and stop here for a picnic lunch, get to know each other and go over the trip together. If it’s warm enough we will have a wild swim in the Loir or take a walk around the beautiful hilltop town.
We will then have a 55 minute drive to our accomodation in Châteaudun, where we will stay for the evening.
Day 2. A paddle on the Loir
Today we will paddle the Loir river. In the morning we will have time to wander the town first, and perhaps visit the castle, before we drive upstream to Marboué and then paddle back down to Châteaudun (6.5km). We will find a place for our picnic lunch on the island in town.
In the afternoon we will paddle from Douy to Saint-Jean Froidmentel (15km) and enjoy the scenery as we go.
After our paddle we will drive to Blois (about 45mins) to our hotel in the town. We will have time to wander around around before dinner in the evening.
Day 3. First day on the Loire.
Today we will travel up to Cavereau and paddle back to Blos (20km). We will have plenty of time to wild swim along the way as we explore the islands. Somewhere along the way we will stop for our picnic lunch.
During the paddle we will pass the château de Colliers, Church of Saint Dyé sur Loire (former port of Chambord), the village of Cour sur Loire and the Château de Menars.
After the paddle we will visit a local Chateau. The famous Chambord is close by, as are several others.
Tonight we will stay at the same hotel as last night.
Day 4. Second day on the Loire
Today we continue our paddle on the Loire and continue from Blois as we head to Chaumont (20km). Again we will be dodging islands, swimming and finding a private spot for our lunch.
We will paddle through Blois and pass by the Port de la Creusille, where you can see the traditional boats of the Loire.
Afterwards we will take the time to wander around the pretty town of Chaumont, again with its classic Chateau. We are staying in a hotel in town so we have plenty of time to explore before dinner.
Day 5. Third day on the Loire
Again we continue our adventure down the Loire as we head towards Amboise (18km).
More exploring of islands and such!
We will paddle beneath both the Château of Chaumont sur Loire and the Château Amboise.
At Amboise we will explore the Châteaux and perhaps also the Clos Luce which is the chateau where Leonardo de Vinci lived out his last years.
We then have to drive to our hotel at Le Blanc in the Parc Naturel La Brennes on the River Creuse (90mins).
Day 6. A canoe on La Creuse
In the morning we will have time to explore where we are staying before starting our day on the river.
Today we are paddling La Creuse a pretty river running through the Parc Naturel. After a short drive upstream we will put-in at Scoury, paddle past where we where staying at Le Blanc ou Le Blanc and continue onto Tournon St Martin. This is an all day paddle and we will, as usual, find a spot for our picnic lunch and very likely a place for a swim or two.
After our canoe we will relax on the riverbank for a little while enjoying the local wines before a short drive to Chenonceaux (80mins) where we will be staying for the night.
Day 7. A paddle on the Cher
After a wander to explore our surroundings we will take to the Cher for a days paddle (18km) which finishes with a spectactular paddle beneath the Château Chenonceaux.
This really is a wonderful stretch of river and we will take all day to enjoy it with a sumptious picnic half-way through the long day as well as perhaps a swim or too.
When we are finished we will go for a beer or a glass of wine or an ice-cream in a cafe which overlooks the final stretch of our days paddling. If possible we will find the time to visit the Châteaux too.
We return to the same hotel we stayed in last night in Chenonceaux where we celebrate our adventures on the rivers of the region by having our final nights dinner together.
Day 8. Departure and Farewells
When we are ready we will drive for an hour and a half to the Orléans TGV Railway station for our return to Paris and beyond.
If time allows we can arrange to visit any of the Châteaux we may have missed, or indeed anything else in the vicinity, before the train departure.