Friday 8 to Sunday 10 July
Loire Valley, France
4* luxury coach, reclining seats
4* hotel in Blois
UPDATE 20 JUNE 2021
The below trip is based on the canceled 2021 program. We cannot give you all information for the 2022 program yet, but it is likely to be the same.
The Loire Valley is located two hours South from Paris. Often it is called the Cradle of the French or the Garden of France due to its many orchards and vineyards. Nowadays it is primarily known for the incredibly high number of castles, most of which are just exquisite. During this trip we will see five exceptional ones up close: Blois, Cheverny, Chenonceau (top destination), Amboise (final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci, and Chambord (majestic). A regional expert guide will stay with us for 3 days to tell us all about 1000 years of history and to show us these castles. This way you will learn everything about the history of the region, the outside and inside of the castles and all the fun anecdotes.
What is the trip fee?
THIS TRIP IS NOT YET OPEN FOR RESERVATIONS
The participation fee for this trip is €549 per person, with an early-bird fee of €499 if booked by a certain date. The single room surcharge is €110. Solo travelers can also opt for our room-sharing service (male rooms at request). More information follows in the fall of 2021.
What is included?
- Transportation by 4* luxury coach with reclining comfort seats
- 2 nights in the 4* hotel in Blois Centre (refurbished)
- 2 times breakfast buffet
- Entrance fees castles: Blois, Cheverny, Chenonceau, Amboise & Chambord
- Sound & Light show Blois Castle on Friday evening
- 3 hours professionally guided tour Blois & Château de Blois on Friday
- Full day guided tour on Saturday with Châteaux Cheverny, Chenonceau & Amboise
- 2 hours guided tour Château de Chambord on Sunday
- A great group of international people
- A lifetime memory
- Single room (surcharge €110)
Coach pick-up points
- Place Schuman (bus stop next to KBC bank on roundabout)
- La Chasse (bus stop on Chaussée d’Auderghem, right before intersection)
- Metro Delta (bus stop on Avenue Beaulieu next to Metro exit)
- Metro Hermann-Debroux (long bus stop “under elevated highway” next to Loxam)
Who can join us?
Expat Club is open to welcome everyone who feels like joining an open-minded international group of expats and Belgians. In particular we welcome solo travellers, for whom we can offer single rooms or shared rooms.
- Members & non-members
- Expats & (international) Belgians
- All ages, including children
- Singles / couples / retirees / friends / colleagues / families
Families are more than welcome on this trip to the Loire. Please contact us before by email or phone to ensure the discounts will be applied and you will get the right room ( 0495-345144 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Children up to 18 years will get a discount:
– up to 3 years > free of charge (book minimum 4 weeks in advance)
– 4 to 10 years > €200 discount
– 13 to 17 years > €150 discounts
The program for this Loire Castles trip, like any other Expat Club trip, is carefully designed. We value realistic departure, travel and arrival times, and put a lot of effort into allocating enough time to visit each destination. The below times are tentative and may change due to unforeseen circumstances (e.g. unusual traffic)
Friday 8 July
07h00 – Departure Place Schuman (+ La Chasse, Delta, Hermann-Debroux)
09h00 – First highway stop – coffee
12h15 – Second highway stop – lunch
14h45 – Estimated arrival time
15h00 – Start Blois program: guided tour & Château Royal de Blois
19h00 – Free time / dinner
22h30 – Sound & Light Show Château Royal de Blois
23h15 – End program
Saturday 9 July
08h45 – Departure
09h30 – Arrival Château de Cheverny
11h00 – Feeding of the hounds (hunting dogs)
12h00 – Departure to Château de Chenonceau
13h00 – Lunch at Château de Chenonceau
14h00 – Guided tour Chenonceau
15h45 – Departure to Amboise
16h15 – Guided tour at Château Royal Amboise
18h00 – Free time / alternative visit to Da Vinci’s home
20h00 – Closing of Da Vinci’s home
21h00 – Return to Blois
21h45 – Arrival Blois
Sunday 10 July
08h45 – Departure to Château Royal de Chambord
09h15 – Start guided tour
11h15 – End guided tour & free time
14h00 – Departure to Brussels
22h00 – Arrival Brussels
The Châteaux of the Loire Valley are part of the architectural heritage of the historic towns of Amboise, Angers,Blois, Chinon, Montsoreau, Nantes, Orléans, Saumur, and Tours along the Loire River. They illustrate renaissance ideals of design in France. The châteaux, numbering more than three hundred, are the achievement of a nation of builders, starting with practical fortified castles in the 10th century to splendid residences built half a millennium later. When the French kings began constructing their huge châteaux in the Loire Valley, the nobility, drawn to the seat of power, followed suit, attracting the finest architects and landscape designers. The châteaux and their surrounding gardens are cultural monuments which stunningly embody the ideals of the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Many of the châteaux were built on hilltops, such as the Château d’Amboise, while the only one built in the riverbed is the Château de Montsoreau. Many had exquisite churches on the grounds or within the château. (source: Wikipedia).
We will be traveling with a super-de-luxe 5* luxury bus with reclining leather comfort seats, foot rests, air-conditioning, an on-board toilet, and a DVD-system with at least three flat screens. THIS IS POSSIBLY THE NICEST BUS IN BELGIUM, BUT DEFINITELY OUR FAVORITE!!! A professional driver will stay with us for the entire trip.
Update 20 June 2021: This bus is not yet confirmed.
We are staying in Blois, in the heart of the Loire region and the perfect location to visit the most beautiful castles. Our hotel is the 4* Novotel, located at just 5 minutes by foot from the city center. We stayed here before in 2016 and already received very positive reviews. However, the hotel changed ownership recently (it was Holiday Inn before) and is now part of the Accor group that changed it into a nice 4* Novotel. As part of this transition the hotel was fully refurbished inside. So we are happy to go back there again and enjoy this accommodation. In this hotel you can choose the following room types:
- single room (1 large bed, for a surcharge)
- double room (1 large bed for couples)
- twin room (2 single beds for 2 friends sharing or 2 single travellers who would like to share a room to avoid the single surcharge)
- triple room (1 double bed + 1 single bed, upon request only)
UPDATE 20 June 2021: This hotel is not confirmed for 2021. We may stay in another hotel.
Many people come on their own to our trips. You can of course opt for a single room to have maximum privacy. But at Expat Club we also offer you the possibility to share a room with another lady or gentleman to avoid the single-surcharge. We only offer female shared rooms (male shared rooms are at request). Just indicated on this page what room you would like to have. We will then introduce you to other participants in the same situation during the outbound trip. This way you won’t have to worry about finding one or paying the single surcharge. All our participants are adults and decent people between the age of 30 and 70.
- Traveling to/from France is possible as of 10 June with a negative PCR test, vaccination or proof of recovery. For more information, please click here.
- Before and during our trip several measures will be in place, including masks in the bus, social distancing and extra cleaning.
- The individual castles have of course also taken various measures, but we are allowed to visit them.
If travel becomes impossible between now and our departure, you will receive an immediate 100% refund. If you require a PCR test and you receive a positive results, you will receive also a refund (proof must be shown).