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Plan your personalized
itinerary with our concierge
To give you inspiration, Relais & Châteaux presents the Routes du Bonheur: suggestions for travel itineraries that you can fully personalise according to your wishes and the experiences you would like to discover. Our consultants are available to help customise your route and assist you in making reservations at our properties. It is up to you to reserve any recommended activities on-site or nearby that might interest you.
*Total price provided for information only, based on accommodation for two people in a double room for the number of nights per property as indicated on this page, exclusive of recommended activities, properties that cannot be reserved online and restaurants.
Restaurant and hotel in town. In this Renaissance manor house in the heart of Romorantin, the capital of Sologne, the city that made Leonardo da Vinci come to France, talented Chef Didier Clément takes great delight in experimenting with natural flavours. His readings, encounters and walks in Sologne have resulted in his author’s cuisine, which highlights forgotten ingredients such as angelica, elderflower and peppery grains of paradise, and will surprise your taste buds. His white asparagus or chanterelles, seasonal game, fine desserts, accompanied by the best Loire wines, subtly awaken the senses. ... Learn moreless
This was the inspiration for the famous Marlinspike Hall in The Adventures of Tintin. The estate has belonged to the same family for over six centuries. At certain times, the Orangerie hosts charming exhibitions as well as sales of old masters.
It is in the little village of Bracieux that Max Vauché produces his delicious chocolates. I admire his ethical practices and the idea that he processes his cocoa beans himself. Next to his laboratory, he has set up a small museum dedicated to chocolate and the production process. During a tasting session, make sure to try his “Larmes du cerf” and “Malices du loup”.
Built in the 16th century, the Château de Chambord is the jewel in the Loire Valley’s crown. You must visit at least once in your life, to lose yourself in its 440 rooms (90 of which are open to visitors). I like to ride my bike along the forest paths which branch out from the château, or go jogging there in the early morning. This is the largest enclosed wooded park in France. But that is another story...
Restaurant and hotel in a park. A hunting lodge, built in 1860, on the wine trail through the castles of the Loire. This historic residence, with walls clad in pepper vine, nestles in an unspoilt setting amidst ponds teeming with birdlife and offers the ideal peaceful retreat for nature lovers. Wake up to a bright new day from the cosy comfort of one of its guestrooms. Two-stars Chef Rémy Giraud serves local Loire cuisine with a modern twist. On the menu: Loire shad, parsley mousse, Monsieur Marpault’s asparagus and “mariguette” strawberries and hibiscus. It also offers a wide selection of excellent wines, including the finest Loire, Vouvray, Montlouis and Touraine whites. ... Learn moreless
I never miss this festival, which started in 1992. I use what I see there as inspiration for my own garden. Prestigious landscapers and gardeners come from all over the world, reinterpreting the very idea of a garden and the world around us. You can take part in “conversations sous l’arbre” [“conversations under the tree”] as well as illuminated night-time tours. I sometimes leave the festival with flowers or plants, but always with plenty of ideas!
With a doctorate in the ecology of migratory fish, my friend Philippe Boisneau is one of the few remaining fishermen who use the bar-net fishing method on the Loire. Between March and May, he mainly catches shads. Once the net is stretched out, it blocks nearly three-quarters of the Loire. You can see him at work from the riverbank between Onzain and Amboise. I buy shads, zander and pike from him, as well as the small fish which we serve fried in our restaurant. If you bump into him, he is a fascinating man!
What could be nicer, in summer, than renting a small boat and drifting down the Cher under the splendid Château de Chenonceau? This might be the most pleasant way to discover this masterpiece, built on the water in 1513. You can escape from the crowds and get up close with its history.
Hotel and restaurant in a village. Delve into history at this magnificent château in the heart of the Loire Valley and the Vouvray vineyards. Its gorgeous stained glass windows, its magnificent staircase and stately gardens transport guests back in time to 1560, when Château de Noizay was the setting of an important episode in the French Wars of Religion. Here, a group of Protestant Huguenots, known as the Amboise conspirators, hatched their plot to abduct the young King Francois II. Each of the château’s rooms has its own unique décor featuring authentic period furniture. It is the perfect base from which to explore the sites and tastes of the legendary Loire Valley. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on a big river. Located on a tufa cliff overlooking the meandering Loire, recently listed by Unesco as a World Heritage site, the Hotel Les Hautes Roches, carved into the rocks, is truly unique. In this exceptional setting every room is different. The south-facing cave rooms with a view of the Loire, some carved into the rock, are all elegantly decorated with stylish fabrics in perfect harmony with the place. The classical but creative Breton-inspired cuisine perfectly marries the fresh seafood with local products. Each season brings new things to discover at this treasure on the Loire. ... Learn moreless
This is one of the oldest producers of Vouvray. Founded in 1893, the Maison Brédif possesses superb cellars, which were dug into the tuffeau stone in the 10th century. During your visit, make sure to try the excellent classic and sweet Vouvray wines. The Maison Brédif belongs to the Baron de Ladoucette.
This is the shop where I buy my spices. Located in Rochecorbon at 61 quai de la Loire, this shop is a veritable Ali Baba’s cave. I particularly like their floral infusions, salt pearls and their caramel sugar. Just three of the many reasons to visit this world of spices.
I keep coming back to this garden, which is unique in Europe. Between March and November, these gardens à la française offer an ever changing array of colours and perfumes. You can wander through these delightful gardens as you please. They contain some 40 varieties belonging to 8 botanical families. What more is there to say?
Hotel and restaurant in the country. Nestled on nine hectares of grounds, the Château de Noirieux with its tufa stones and bluish slates is an oasis of calm, elegance and privacy. The atmosphere recalls the grandeur of historical stately homes and there is a magnificent inlaid Érard piano. The Maître de Maison Christophe Guillemot take pride in ensuring that everything is perfect, right down to the slightest detail. Each room is lightly perfumed with its own special fragrance, the welcome is warm, the terrace is surrounded by beautiful nature and, in the kitchen, the chef has discovered the secret of remarkable and inspired cuisine, tailored around the freshest produce that’s in season. ... Learn moreless
It is not the Loire, but the Maine river which flows alongside the imposing medieval fortress of Angers. In the shadow of its 17 towers of shale and tuffeau you will find the largest known medieval tapestry, the Apocalypse Tapestry, with 70 scenes woven over more than 100 metres!
Visiting this modern site, the brand's one and only production site, will give you the chance to taste and discover the secrets of this famous liqueur. Pass the rows of copper stills and explore the museum which traces the history of Cointreau since it was created in 1875, enjoying a tasting at the end of your tour.
Imagine a site of 300 hectares, home to some 400 horses and dozens of professional riding masters. The Cadre Noir de Saumur is a sort of Relais & Châteaux for horse riding. This is an absolute must for horse lovers, who come from far and wide to admire the work and the shows put on by the National Riding School and the Cadre Noir.