FRANCE – ART & ROYALTY …A UNIQUE DELUXE EXPERIENCE!
EXPERIENCE 4 NIGHTS – 5 DAYS, MIN. 2 PERSONS SHARING DOUBLE OCCUPANCY
Welcome to France!
France is as diverse as its landscapes: from the endless beaches of Normandy to the perched villages of Provence and the green hills of Auvergne to the turquoise bays of Corsica. Explore the real France with this deluxe royal experience!
DAY 1 - ARRIVE IN PARIS
Upon arrival at Charles de Gaulle Airport or at Paris Nord Station, our VIP meet and greet service will transfer you by a chauffeur-driven luxury car to your prestigious accommodations at the Château de Valmer in Loire Valley.
Stop at Chartres where your visit to the Cathedral will be personally guided by renowned scholar Malcom Miller (if not available will be guided by another great scholar), author of numerous books on the famous stain glass windows which have been Mr. Miller’s focus of study for the past 40 years.
A brief stop and a stroll will be enjoyed in the nearby small medieval garden of Bois Richeux. Here, your private visit will be led by the owner and re-creator. Entirely recreated in accordance with the medieval plans found in the cathedral, the gardens are flush with medicinal and aromatic herbs, similar to the ones existing some nine centuries ago. Visually and intellectually fascinating, the area is well worth the visit.
Continue to the hotel where upon your arrival and check-in, you will receive a VIP Welcome Tea with the Countess of Vanssay followed by an insightful lecture into the seven centuries of history of the Chateau personally presented by The Count of Vanssay. The Count and Countess are the twentieth generation inhabitants of the chateau, where national, regional and family history are intertwined. Included are visits to the wing that was built following the wedding between Louise de Souvré, great granddaughter of the builders of Chenonceau (Bohier/Brissonnet) and Count de Vanssay’s ancestor, Marin de Vanssay, circa 1580. The visit also includes a perusal of few of the more remarkable archives, such as a letter to Marin de Vanssay from the King’s son, allowing him to fortify the chateau in 1603, as well as the original manuscript of the book written and published by a woman, rare for that period.
At the end of the day you will enjoy a memorable dining experience at the Chateau – a great evening of wine and food pairing. You can choose from the prestigious vintages of the Count’s Personal cellar.
Days 2 - RENAISSANCE AND THE ARTS IN PRIVATE CHATEAUX
At dawn this morning, glide over the bucolic countryside in a Montgolfière (hot-air balloon), taking in the picturesque valleys and manor houses of the little Loire. Following this two-hour exhilarating balloon-ride, you will return to the château for a champagne breakfast and the presentation of the official flight certificate.
At mid-morning, you will be personally escorted and guided by the Countess of Vanssay, an expert in European and regional history, to a private excursion of the magnificently restored “Plantagenêt city”. Included, you will also visit the workshop of Hervé N, “sellier”, who after 20 generations producing for Hermès, commenced to produce their own equally fine leather goods. You will also visit l’atelier of a restorer and creator of stain glass windows and porcelain.
Your very special lunch will be at 17th century château of Countess of Ogier d’Ivry in Le Mans. It will be a very elegant and totally private affair.
At 3:00 p.m. you will experience a private visit and tea at Chateau du Lude with Countess of Nicolaÿ or her representative, followed by a thrilling adventure as you drive a Porsche around the Le Mans race track (pending availability on the dates of your visit).
This evening’s special dinner is at Château de Poncé, with Count and Countess de Malherbe, followed by a visit of their onsite art gallery. Count Guy de Malherbe is an artist painter who together with his wife, Countess Marie Hélène de la Forest Divonne, also owns the famous Gallerie du Temple rue des Beaux Arts in the heart of Paris’ Left Bank.
Days 3 - FROM THE RENAISSANCE TO THE GRANS SIECLE
Following breakfast, enjoy a helicopter flight departing for château de Beauregard, for a private visit of the 17-century Gallery of Portraits, unique in Europe with more than 440 portraits of leading European rulers of the time. After the visit, lunch will be in the private apartments of the chateau with the Comte du Pavillon.
Mid-afternoon, around 3:00 p.m., a private visit of Château de Cheverny with the Marquis de Vibraye. Inhabited by the same family for over 6 centuries, the Château de Cheverny with its gardens, labyrinth and its 3-D Tintin exhibition will offer an unforgettable experience. Tea will be with the Marquise de Vibraye, in the owner’s private apartments.
Later in the evening let yourself be taken through time on a private traditional barge cruise in a “Gabarre” sipping champagne as you sail.
Tonight’s dinner will be at a 2-star Michelin Restaurant followed by a helicopter flight back to your chateau.
Days 4 - GARDENS & WINERIES, AND DEPARTURE
A morning visit of the Garden of Sasnières accompanied by the sister in law of former French President Giscard d’Estaing. Your visit also includes a special “morning tea” with your hosts.
Today’s lunch is at the château de Valmer with Count and Countess de Saint Venant. During the afternoon a quick visit of the gardens, accompanied by its creator Alix de Saint-Venant, a lead figure of the internationally recognized school of Versailles. A Vouvray wine tasting in the company of Comte Aymar de Saint Venant follows.
Your private chauffeur will transfer you from chateau de Valmer to the railway station or to your choice of departure point.
• VIP TREATMENT
• Personalized Itinerary and services as mentioned above
• Prepaid Voucher/s
• Co-ordination and Support
• All taxes
• 24 hours Assistance during your trip
Itineraries are intended to be suggestions only, completely customizable to meet the needs and tastes of the traveller in terms of type of accommodations, length of stay, additional destinations, experiences, and transfers.
Any domestic or international airfares and related taxes and fees, airport taxes, any city taxes if required to be paid locally, meals not mentioned in the itinerary, beverages, gratuities to your tour-guide and bus driver, any optional tours, items of a personal nature fees i.e., laundry, telephone calls, etc., and any other items not specifically listed as included.