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Questions?

We hope our web site provides all the details you need to book and enjoy your trip to the Loire Valley. Here are some answers to questions often asked by clients.

Payments and pricing

Bookings are accepted on a first come, first served basis; once its gone, its gone. To reserve a tour you just need to request an invoice - by email or using the Contact Us form. Once you have paid a 50% deposit the date is reserved for you. To make it quick, simple and secure we use the PayPal system which enables you to use your credit card.
We use the secure Paypal system which allows most clients to pay their deposit in Euros by converting the amount from your own currency. A fee may be charged by Paypal for this service. You do not need to have a Paypal account to use this service. Our deposit invoice can be paid using most popular credit cards, or your Paypal account if you have one, but cash is the prefered option for the final payment. If you need to pay the tour balance by credit card we make a 5% surcharge for this.
We use the Paypal system. PayPal is a reputable company with security (and consumer protection) built-in to keep you safe online. Using PayPal is safer than giving your credit card number (or bank account information) directly to the website you’re buying from.
By booking directly through our web site we can offer you the best price. When our trips are offered through travel sites you will generally pay a premium to cover commission demanded by the site or travel agent. Because of the nature of our tours, children and adults pay the same price.

Suggestions and tips

Come as you are - dress to be comfortable. Most tours involve some walking, to visit a chateau, for instance, so comfortable footware is a must. We also visit wine cellars which will normally be a cool 12°C (54°F) so even in summer it is best to have warm clothing to hand. We have a page dedicated to the weather in the Loire Valley for further information Loire weather
Generally no. We can pick you up and drop you off at your hotel or the railway station. If your hotel is a long way from us and we cannot fetch you, we can arrange to meet somewhere which is mutually convenient.
No. Your guide is a native English speaker with a good level of spoken French so if you need translations he is available thoughout the day.
The Loire Valley is known for its gentle climate: rarely too cold in winter or too hot in summer. It can rain, even in summer, buts it's unusual not to see a little sunshine even on the worst of days. We have a page dedicated to the weather in the Loire Valley for further information Loire weather

Travel recommendations

We welcome many guests for day trips from Paris. The easiest and quickest way to reach the Loire Valley is by using the fast and comfortable TGV train - Paris to Tours in just 1 hour. Driving is a different matter; it's a two or three hour journey each way on a good day: we do not recommend it and do not offer it ourselves, but there are a number of companies in Paris providing a chauffeuring service.
For most of our tours St. Pierre des Corps - the TGV station outside Tours - is ideal. Clients on a Central Loire or Sancerre tour might be better served by Vierzon or Romorantin stations.
Come down from Paris on the TGV train arriving St. Pierre des Corps at 9:45 and we would be happy to pick you up at the start of your tour. We can drop you off at a local hotel at the end of the day. If you prefer to be met at your hotel and dropped off at the station (17:30 from St. Pierre des Corps) we can do that too.
No problem. You just need to drive, take a taxi or come by other means to an agreed pickup point. This could be a car park or a chateau, for instance. Alternatively we may be able to collect you for an additional fee, depending on the distances involved.

Terms and conditions

When we accept a booking we close that date and turn down further enquiries. Having made that committment we assume you will be coming unless you tell is otherwise. Refunds are made according to the amount of notice you give us. Please see our Terms and Conditions for details. Terms and condition
Your driver left home at about the same time as you did, so he is waiting at the station for you at the agreed time. If you are able to contact us (by telephone) we will wait for the next train to arrive. After this, we will assume you are not coming.

Booking

Bookings are accepted on a first come, first served basis; once its gone, its gone, and at busy times of the year some dates are reserved by clients months in advance. At other times it may be possible to confirm a booking just a day or two in advance. Please check our Availability page or drop us an email. To reserve a tour you just need to request an invoice - by email or using the Contact Us form. Once you have paid a 50% deposit the date is reserved for you. To make it quick, simple and secure we use the PayPal system which enables you to use your credit card.
Normally this is not a problem. If you have a confirmed booking for two people, we can easily add another couple of guests, up to a total of 6.

Visits

Yes it is. The wine tasting and where offered, cellar tour, vineyard visit and food to accompany the wine is all included.
We generally visit one chateau on each of the tours, but see tour description for details. Most tours offer additional chateaux as an option for an extra charge.
Let us know in advance and bring an able-bodied friend to assist you and it should be fine. This is one of the advantages of private tours. Do bear in mind that we are visiting ancient momuments, cellars and other buildings which have not always been adapted for those with special needs. Our vehicles also have not be adapted for this, but we have plenty of space for a calapsable wheelchair, for instance.
We drive a top of the range 7-seater vehicle (currently, a Ford Galaxy) featuring air conditioning, leather seats and phone charger.
Sometimes we are able to do this, given sufficient notice, but if you arrive with a list of vineyards from your wine merchant you may be disappointed. Many vineyards do not welcome visitors, or do so only by appointment. This type of establishment will assume you will be buying several cases of wine if they open their doors to you.
Your guide will be with you all day and will accompany you on your visit to the chateau. He will help you get the best from your time there, having generally visited the site many times before.

Meals

We can arrange a special meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant, for instance. We are happy to make the booking for you but you will settle the bill directly with the establishment. The meal is likely to take two hours or more but we can continue our tour after your meal (if you still have the energy!)
Although we will not be eating at a vegetarian restaurant, dishes are home-made and special diets can normally be catered for at any of them. Just let us know so we can ask the waiter to suggest suitable dishes.
Sometimes, but your guide will translate as required to help you get the best from your experience.
No. If you would like wine or beer with your meal please settle this part of the bill yourself. The rest of the meal is included in the trip price.

Wine deliveries

Not at all, but it is rare for clients not to, given the quality of the wine and the low, Loire Valley prices.
In normal circumstances the whole process takes 6 - 8 weeks door to door. Weather and other issues can effect this however, so patience is essential. We use wine delivery specialists and they will not ship if they beleive that weather conditions will ruin the wine.
Wine delivery for us is a service rather than a money making part of our business. For a small additional charge we will always look after our clients however. We would hate to think you would not have Loire Valley wine to drink when needed!
An insurance charge is made for each delivery and your wine is fully covered.