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Monet's Garden & Chateaux of the Loire by Rail

France Intro

Tours by Rail

7 Days from £629

Was from £679

Apr 2017 - Sep 2017 Departures

Join us on the Monet trail through Loire’s stunning chateau country, exploring grand castles, magical palaces and beautiful Renaissance gardens. Visit Monet’s home and step into the water garden to see the water lilies the artist loved to paint.


What's included

  • Standard-class return rail travel by Eurostar from St Pancras International or Ebbsfleet International
  • Overseas transfers and other transportation
  • 6 nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • All excursions included
  • The services of a Travelsphere Tour Manager
  • Hotel porterage

Included holiday highlights

 View the famous gardens at Versailles
  • Explore Claude Monet’s famous house and gardens in Giverny
  • Visit the beautiful Chateau de Chantilly, located close to Paris
  • Chateau of Villandry and medieval Chinon
  • Discover Chateau Chenonceau and visit Amboise
  • Enjoy a game of boules accompanied by a glass of wine or beer


Your journey to France couldn’t be easier as you step aboard the Eurostar in London St Pancras International or Ebbsfleet (Ebbsfleet may not be available on all dates). In little more than two hours, you’ll be in the French capital and heading to your hotel north of the city, your base for three nights. During your stay your Tour Manager will arrange a game of Boules in the grounds of the hotel with a glass of beer or wine.
Join your Tour Manager today for an included three-quarter day excursion to the magnificent formal gardens of Versailles.
When artist Claude Monet moved to the pretty village of Giverny in 1883, he could not have predicted quite the impact his gardens would have on the art world. You’ll enjoy an included full-day excursion to Giverny, which gives you plenty of time to explore both his house, where Monet lived until his death in 1926, and the gardens. Perhaps the most famous alteration Monet made to the property was the addition of the Japanese-style water garden. Take a wander over the pretty green footbridge as you admire the water lilies floating in the still pond below you – you can almost imagine yourself in one of Monet’s paintings, as the bridge and the water lilies are arguably two of his most famous subjects.
Today you’ll journey southwards through the French countryside to Blois, calling in at the magnificent Chateau de Chantilly on the way. In the very heart of the Loire Valley, the town of Blois is packed with animated streets, paved squares, restaurants and taverns - it’s also your base for the next three nights.
Join your Tour Manager on our included full-day excursion through the stunning Loire Valley to the Chateau of Villandry. From the highly manicured ornamental gardens, to the astoundingly well-stocked kitchen garden, the Chateau’s surroundings are simply incredible. The Renaissance splendour of the gardens has been restored to its original beauty, and you’ll have plenty of time to explore the grounds independently, perhaps hunting out the odd private corner, or just taking in the natural beauty all around. Return to Blois via medieval Chinon, with its winding streets that are calling out to be explored. Discover the pointed roofs that top half-timbered houses sat in the shadow of the castle.
The Loire Valley is rightly famed for its impressive Chateaux, and today you will visit what many would claim is the most majestic and stately of all – Chateau Chenonceau. Built across the River Cher, which surrounds the Chateau like a mirror, Chenonceau has a regal past that’s fascinating to uncover. The formal gardens are elevated, which gives you an excellent view of the Chateau and the surrounding area.

If Chateau Chenonceau is the Loire’s quintessential castle, then Amboise is the must-see town. Nestled on the banks of the Loire River, Amboise was once home to artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci, and his house in the town is a must-see sight.
It’s time to leave the beautiful Loire Valley behind today as you journey by coach back to Paris, where you’ll board the Eurostar back to London St Pancras or Ebbsfleet.

Please note: We want you to get the most from your holiday with us so please be advised that this tour is not suitable for anyone with limited mobility.

Optional Excursions

Experience even more of your destination by adding one or more optional excursions to your holiday before you set off. Right now is the perfect opportunity to do that – with everything booked and paid for you’ll have even more to get excited about and all you’ll need to think about while you’re away is having a great time.

By the way - look out for ‘Optional Excursion Packages’. For some holidays we’ve grouped a selection of excursions into a package which means you can make a saving when you book in advance.

Prices shown may vary according to departure date and are subject to change.  The full range of excursions will be detailed in your holiday information pack, sent approximately 15 weeks prior to departure.


You will stay at the 4-star Novotel Chateau de Maffliers, located in a beautiful rural setting just 15 miles north of Paris. Hotel facilities include restaurant, bar, sun terrace, indoor swimming pool and lift. Bedrooms have private facilities, TV and tea/coffee making facilities.

Our team are busy putting together a description of this hotel for you.

Please come back soon for information about some of the facilities available at this hotel.

Chateau de Maffliers Novotel

Travelsphere have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the hotel images provided on this website and images of room types displayed may vary to those offered on your tour.  Therefore due to the possibility of inadvertent errors we do not guarantee their accuracy. Hotels are subject to change and will be confirmed in your final documents.


Departing from

Departure date






St Pancras International

Friday 21 April 2017

7 Days




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St Pancras International

Friday 19 May 2017

7 Days



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St Pancras International

Friday 16 June 2017

7 Days




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St Pancras International

Friday 18 August 2017

7 Days



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St Pancras International

Friday 01 September 2017

7 Days




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With sleek lines, designer interiors and a whole host of eco-friendly upgrades, Eurostar’s shiny new trains are now rolling into service on the London to Paris route.

Eurostar has perfected every last detail, from clever seat cushions to smart technological touches. And with free wi-fi and entertainment coming soon, you’ll be able to stay online and in the loop, all the way.

From fresh Lavazza coffee and flaky morning pastries, to warming meals, drinks and nibbles, there’s something for everyone in the new look bar buffet. So, if you get peckish en route, drop by to order a drink or a bite to eat.

Please note: New train type cannot be guaranteed for all journeys

Tour Blog by Elaine

Travelsphere Holiday Coordinator, Elaine, recently went on an educational trip to France to experience our Monet's Garden & Chateaux of the Loire by Rail tour first hand. Read Elaine's blog below to find out about her experience of the tour...

Click here to view Elaine's Monet's Garden & the Chateaux of the Loire by Rail tour photos

France is a destination that many of us have visited, maybe to see the Eiffel Tower or to walk along The Avenue des Champs-Élysées, but this tour is the total opposite. I joined this tour because it combines gardens with chateaux, giving you a different angle on what France has to offer as a holiday destination.

We arrived into France’s famous capital city Paris before travelling through beautiful countryside on the Monet Trail and finally through the stunning region of the Loire Valley. Wandering around these stunning gardens that are just simply out of this world and walking through the magnificent chateaux really transports you back in history.


My journey began as I sat back in my seat aboard the Eurostar. There is buffet cart on board Eurostar which serves hot and cold food, soft and alcoholic drinks. Should you choose to upgrade to Standard Premier, a light meal will be included. The journey time to Paris was approximately two and a half hours.

Gardens of Versailles

We left this morning for the magnificent Palace of Versailles to admire the spectacular gardens. The Palace of Versailles and its gardens form one of the most famous World Heritage monuments and stand out as the finest and most complete achievement of French art in the 17th century. The gardens consist of maze walkways and fountains. There is also the mirror fountain - musical water displays are presented by Crystal Group to the sound of Rameau and Lully.


What a great way to bring the group together over a game of French boules outside and a glass of beer, wine or a soft drink. This is such a fun activity and really bought the competitive side out of us all.

Monet’s Garden

Be prepared to be dazzled and blown away when you walk through the gate leading to Monet’s garden.

The sun was shining and the flowers and colours here were like nothing I’d ever seen before. It was simply magnificent - a true gardeners paradise. The simplest flowers are mixed in with the rarest variety of flowers.

There are two parts to Monets garden: a flower garden called Clos Normand in front of the house and a Japanese inspired water garden on the other side of the road. The two parts of Monets garden contrast and complement one another. In the water garden you will find the famous Japanese bridge covered with wisterias, other smaller bridges, weeping willows, a bamboo wood and above all, the famous nympheas which bloom all summer long.

After visiting both the water garden and wandering up and down the alleys I went into Monet’s House. Inside there is a vast amount of Japanese art and photos.

Chateau Chantilly

Chantilly is famous for lace, porcelain, horses and of course, Chantilly cream. The visit starts inside the chateau where you can visit the Gallery of Paintings, the Chateau apartments and the Library. I decided to take advantage of the visit and had a walk through the gardens. In the grounds there is a Hamlet which is a little restaurant which serves some lovely homemade pie with a huge serving of Chantilly cream. Of course it would have been rude of me not to have indulged in tasting this homemade pie and Chantilly cream! It was absolutely delicious.

Chateau de Villandry & Chinon

The journey to the Chateau de Villandry took us through the Loire Valley where we passed some beautiful scenery. The Chateau de Villandry is one of the last large castles to be built along the Loire and there are various different gardens to visit: the Ornamental Garden (which also consists of the Love Gardens - Tender Love, Passionate Love, Flighty Love & Tragic Love), the Woods, the Water Garden, the Sun Garden, the Maze, the Herb Garden and the Vegetable Garden.

After our visit to the chateau, we drove to the town of Chinon - a city of art and history. Our time here was free for us to do as we wished. There is a Carrefour here, plus plenty of places where you can get a coffee or you can visit Chinon's churches.

Chateau de Chenonceau & Amboise

The Chateau de Chenonceau is built across the River Cher and the river surrounds the chateau. It is a very impressive sight. There are plenty of rooms to visit in the chateau - the Chapel, the Green Study, the Gallery, the Library, the Kitchens (these are fascinating) and various bedrooms just to name a few. The flower arrangements throughout the chateau are the most amazing displays I have ever seen. There are various different gardens to see plus the 16th century farm which is a group of 16th century buildings including the stables and the floral workshop where the amazing arrangements are put together. They have two florists who work year round and each room in the chateau have fresh flower arrangements.

Following on from this visit we travelled to Amboise, a quaint little town where we had some free time. Again there were shops and some nice cafes and restaurants - at least one of which served delicious cakes! Should you wish you could take the opportunity to visit the Château du Clos Lucé at your own expense, a small château in Amboise famous for being the official residence of Leonardo da Vinci between 1516 and 1519.

Return to the UK

The end of our tour and time to return home. This tour really impressed me with the contrasting gardens and chateaux. For those true gardeners amongst us, inspiration awaits you on this tour - it put my garden to shame! For those who just generally love flowers, gardens, chateaux and history this tour is also for you. With our excellent Tour Managers you will surely have a fantastic time.

Please note: the holiday images shown below are courtesy of a Travelsphere Holiday Coordinator and are representative of this tour but we cannot guarantee that all destinations or activities shown will feature on a particular departure. Eurostar images are courtesy of Eurostar.