Brittany and Loire Valley Castles Private Tour – 6 Days

Saint Malo The Pink Granit Coast Carnac Vannes Loire Valley Castles Private Tour (6 Days)

Day 1

St-Malo, named the Corsair City, the base and hometown of the most famous ship owners and “legal pirates” is an amazing fortified city on the emerald coast in the northern part of Brittany. You will take a walk on the city walls to understand that it is a former island. Your private guide will take you through the maze of the narrow streets that have their own funny stories such as the “Dancing Cat Street”, “Pelicot Street” one of the tiniest where some houses date from the 16th century and by a miracle were not destroyed during World War 2, and many more. You will also appreciate the conception of the“belt” of the fort islands such as la Conchée, le Fort National, Harbour, le Grand Bé, le Petit Bé… that were mainly designed by the engineer Garengeau disciple of one of the greatest french engineers Marshall Vauban who especially designed la Conchée Fort, At low tide you can walk to some of these islands.

St Malo inhabitants have always been sea oriented, like most of the people in Brittany, because its wealth until nowadays depended on that connection with the ocean. Saint Malo was named after Maclow, a monk from Wales who reached this coast in the 6th century.

Your private guide will take you to the original settlement of the monk : Alet area, a beautiful spot with an impressive 180° overview. A very strategic location too where you will see some of the latest constructions such as the 18th century military fort ordered by the king Louis the 15th and a heavy German battery artillery that was part of the Atlantic Wall during World War 2.

Then you will head west towards the fascinating Pink Granit Coast to visit the Beauport Abbey.
It is a quiet and spiritual shelter between land and sea overlooking Paimpol bay. You are now in Beauport Abbey founded in 1202. Commissioned by the Count Alain de Goëlo who wanted to ensure his parents to be hosted in heaven and to provide a religious structure to the locals the whole site spreads out up to 300 acres and shelters now an effervescent wildlife.

Before being, on purpose, this evocative ruin, it’s been turned into residential accommodations, stables, city hall, school and a cider press since the 18th century. Cider is still being produced nowadays thanks the orchard in the site.

To end such beautiful day you will settle for the night in the amazingly charming town of Perros Guirec.

Day 2

To start you will have an in-depth private visit of the beautiful Pink Granit Coast, a unique place where the pink stones carved a ragged coast. Although it is 15 minutes by boat from the continent you will discover a whole planet, known as the flowers island, it is the nature’s finest in Brittany : Bréhat island.

During this private tour you will visit a worldwide famous glass blower whose workshop is located in a former 1800’s military fort. In this workshop young craftpeople make unique creations to provide top notch and top rated hotels all over the world.

Then, your private guide will take you inland to discover one of the best examples of the medieval architecture in Brittany : the Château de la Roche Jagu built between 1405 and 1418.

This castle is a great key to understand these times in France called feudal society.

Overnight in Perros Guirec

Day 3

Today you will head to Quimper, the capital city of Cornwall.

On the way you will stop by one of the parish enclosures specific to Brittany and in to Locronan, one of the most charming villages in Cornwall, labelled “Most beautiful villages of France”. A walking tour and one of the museums in Quimper will help to learn more about Brittany through archelogical treasures, ceramics, furnitures, clothing….

Then you will head to Carnac, the French Stonehenge, to stay overnight.

Day 4

One of the three largest concentration of standing stones in the world is in Brittany. These sites go back to the megalith civilization (giant stones civilization) during the Neolithic era approximately 6000 years ago.

You will understand the difference between Dolmen, Cairn, Tumulus, Menhir…Carnac is the most famous megalith site in Brittany however, the variety and amount of other sites such as Locmariaquer, is of great interest .

Morbihan which means in Breton language “Little sea” is the “Caribbean” of Brittany and Vannes was once the capital city of Brittany.

It was the land of the Vénètes, the most ferocious warriors in Gaule according to Julius Cesar who conquered the Armorique, former name of Brittany, in the 1st century BC.

This very pleasant city is a perfect place for a lunchbreak.

You will also have a last stop in Rochefort en Terre, another labelled “Most Beautiful Villages of France”. The stone presence is so impressive that the whole place seems to be carved.

Night in Carnac.

Day 5

This morning you will head to the Loire Valley to enjoy its beautiful castles. Although your first stop isn’t at a castle, it is a must see site known as Fontevraud abbey, beautiful and quiet.

It’s been the royal mausoleum of Eleonore of Aquitaine and one of the rare female religious order that ruled over men since the 12th century.

Then, your next stop will be at the beautiful castle of Azay Le Rideau.

Then you will be dropped off in Tours or Amboise for the night.

Day 6

You will start your day with a private visit of CHENONCEAU.

Probably the finest castle in the Loire valley, not only thanks to its incredible location over the Cher river, tributary to the Loire river, or the furnitures or the paintings (Primaticcio, Van Loo…) or the sculptures (Jean Goujon) or the wealthy and elegant grounds but it is also thanks to several unforgettable ladies.

It is named the Ladies Castle because the Queen Catherine Di Medici, Diane of Poitiers, Louise Dupin, representative of the age of Enlightenement, were, among others, the soul and the guardian angels of this beautiful place. It is one of the jewel of the Loire valley your private guide will take you to.

Your private guide will lead you in this unique construction through the King’s appartments, The Queen’s appartments, the Parade Appartments, the 18th century Appartments…But in this royal castle whose construction lasted over than 20 years and where the king himself spent 2 months in two decades the real beating heart and place to be is the Roof Terrace. That will be the highlight and the key of your private guided visit.

Then if time and if you are up to it you will enjoy a private visit of AMBOISE Castle.

Last castle of the Middle Ages and first of the Renaissance it is a perfect example of how a strategic location of a medieval fortress was turned into a pleasant spot with a royal castle and an amazing view.
The two wings left, one gothic and one Renaissance, are an interesting example of the evolution of the architecture that was more refined from the very early 16th century due to especially the influence of all the italian artists that left Italy to follow the french kings to France during what was called the military campaigns in Italy. The most famous among these artists, who was buried in the castle, is of course Leonardo Da Vinci.

Your private tour can end in Amboise or your private guide can drop you off where it suits you.

(Entrance fee included)