A visit to the Loire Valley is like stepping into a fairy-tale where castles and forests, beautiful rivers and picturesque local villages create the charming backdrop. Some of France's most spectacular chateaux, Amboise, Chenonceau, Chambord, Blois and Azay-le-Rideau, are masterful examples Renaissance architecture surrounded by gardens of elegant proportions. Recognized as the garden basket of France, the local markets sell some of of the freshest produce and artisanal food specialties of charcuterie, cheeses, pates and terrines. The majestic cathedrals in the cities of Bourges and Chartres are both UNESCO World Heritage sites. See the panorama of the countryside from the vantage point of a hot air balloon which can be taken from either Amboise or Tours in the summer months.
Because of our nearly four decades of personal and professional partnerships with French providers, we are able to not only offer our clients premium value for these indelible Loire Valley experiences but also the opportunity to savor them in a highly personalized luxury manner. Whether you are a budget minded traveler or one with Platinum travel tastes, let Endless Beginnings create a luxury custom journey to fulfill your dreams.
France’s garden, the Loire valley, is rich with abundance of fresh vegetables, white asparagus and green endive are the most delicate in the world; greengage plums, raspberries, strawberries and peaches crown the table with cheese or dessert courses.
Fresh water fish from the Loire river, pink salmon, pike, shad and eel, usually poached or served with a beurre blanc sauce or a red wine matelote sauce, and wild game sourced from its abundant forests, prepared with a rich sauce accompaniment typically consisting of another gift from the forest floor, fresh mushrooms, and wine from local vineyards.
Good chevres, Crottin de Chavignol, Sainte Madre de Touraine, ash covered Selles sur Cher, from happy goats and charcuterie, chicken liver pate, andouillette sausages, reign supreme whether rillons from Vouvray or rillettes of Anjou, that succulent pork spread, served on a slice of rustic bread which can make a memorable lunch on its own or accompanied by creamy white beans.
The bounty in game, particularly in the fall months, can find dining tables laden with duck, quail, pheasant and pigeon, venison and wild boar. Tender fleshed guinea fowl and flavorful rabbits are often still prepared as they were during the days of François I in the chateau of Chambord when the art of combining sweet and salty flavors were highly prized. Classic examples of this combination are noisette of pork with prunes or rabbit haunch with honey.
Almost every type and style of wine possible is produced in the Loire, often in very different areas. It’s a region whose mellow charm pervades all aspects of life here forming one of France’s most luxuriant destinations, a land of refined good living, relaxation and the pleasure of the best things in life. From the pretty pink rosès of Anjou, forceful distinguished dry whites such as Savennieres, Pouilly Blanc Fume and Sancerre to the rich reds from Chinon and Bourgueil. Effervescent sparkling wine from Saumur and the seductive dessert wines such as Vouvray, Montlouis and Bonnezeaux round out the variety. The wine travellers in this region have opportunities to follow various wine routes according to their pleasure ~ a route du Muscadet from Nantes, a route des Vins d’Anjou from Angers, a route du Vouvray in the Touraine combining the great chateaux and vineyards or the wine roads of the Upper Loire encompassing Sancerre and Pouilly-sur-Loire before veering off to Burgundy. Throughout the region stops can be made at the caves touristiques, roadside stands who sells direct and from the Maisons des Vins run by various professional organizations to promote their regions wines.
The Cadre noir of Saumur
Loire Fish Dinner
Wine Cave in Loire Valley town of Monplaisir
Chateau du Moulin Katia Riolet
Muscadet Sur Lie
Ballooning over Chenonceau Castle
Chateau de Chenonceau
Chateau d Usse
Chateau de Villandry
Chaumont sur Loire Chateau
Loire Valley Fish Dinner
A gentle cruise on a hotel barge is the perfect way to discover the very soul of Europe, exploring its idyllic pastoral countryside and historical treasures, discovering unknown France experienced only from the intimate access a barge can offer. Far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, hotel barge voyages allow you to travel in luxury without the strains of packing and unpacking all the while enjoying a blend of daily excursions, fascinating cruising, exceptional Cuisine and phenomenal wine.
Imagine a romantic hot air balloon flight in France. Floating majestically and effortlessly over the prettiest regions including Paris, Loire Valley, Provence, Burgundy, Auvergne. Hot air balloon flights can be enjoyed by everyone as there are no particular age or physical requirements. Take flight in the early hours just after dawn or later in the day just before sunset when the air is still and the light is perfect for drifting gently, gazing down at the countryside carpet below, including châteaux, medieval villages, and vineyards. Finishing up with the traditional Champagne "toast aux Aéronautes" at the landing.