For many today is the highlight of the week. We normally call in to the private landing stage of Domaine de Fontenay for a tasting of their Touraine wines – a perfect aperitif pre-lunch. This afternoon we cruise right under the five-arched gallery at the Château de Chenonceau, moor at Chisseaux and board our minibus to visit the Château itself. This evening we treat you to dinner at one of our favourite local restaurants specialising in regional cooking.
The white tuffeau rock cliffs along the side of this ancient valley were heavily quarried for stone used to build the various Châteaux. They also made for some remarkable underground dwellings, as seen at Bourré, where we disembark for a short walk to La Magnaneraie where the owner’s family have lived a somewhat ‘troglodyte lifestyle’ for many years in what have variously been a quarry, a wine cellar and, most recently, a silkworm nursery After lunch we move on to Valençay to visit one of the most splendid Loire Châteaux, and the home of Napoleon’s foreign minister, Talleyrand. Back on board we cruise one more lock, down to Montrichard where we moor for dinner.
It’s a prompt start as Montrichard holds one of the best and busiest street markets in Touraine and we wouldn’t want you to miss that. Whilst here we wander around the 12th century Château of Foulques Nerra with its dungeon overlooking the medieval town square. If we make good time we can visit our friends the Meriau family to taste their regional Touraine vintages. After lunch we turn downstream, pass once again under the walls of Chenonceau, and arrive at Nitray in time to visit the Château and ‘English Rose Garden. Farewell dinner this evening.
After breakfast we say our ‘au revoirs’ to Nymphea, and transfer you back to St. Pierre des Corps High Speed Railway Station for 9.30.