France - Amboise, Loire Valley

 "Leonardo Da Vinci’s tomb in the grounds of Francis 1 Chateau Amboise, Loire Valley (France)". - Malcolm & Gillian Lawes"

"Leonardo Da Vinci’s tomb in the grounds of Francis 1 Chateau Amboise, Loire Valley (France)". - Malcolm & Gillian Lawes"

Best time of year to travel to

May to September (Avoid school holidays).

Best accommodation you experienced

In 2008 we stayed 5 days at “Le Blusson” B&B in the town of Amboise. The delightful double story, 18th century home was set in beautiful private gardens with views overlooking the Loire valley. Our comfortable bedroom was on the first floor with uninterrupted of the valley in both directions.

Best restaurant/food of the trip

There were many restaurants in the town all serving such delicious food that it was hard to distinguish one being better from another. However, we clearly remember the breakfasts served by our hosts in the ambience of their period dining room as being so delicious that we often found it hard to leave in the mornings to begin our day’s exploration.

Money saving tip

We hired a rental car in Paris and drove to Amboise and used it for about 2 weeks to explore the entire region. Because it was a fairly long term hire we managed to negotiate a good rate. We chose an almost new diesel VW Golf with low running costs and as we had travel insurance we managed to avoid the usual horrific rental insurance fees.

The main attraction

The Loire Valley Region with its incredibly beautiful chateaux is certainly an amazing destination.

Hidden secret

There are two beautiful chateaux close to Amboise, one of which was given to Leonardo Da Vinci by the then King of France (Francis 1) because the monarch so admired his genius. Francis and Leonardo and Francis were great friends and the King visited him there many times. The chateau is beautifully preserved and there is a permanent display of Leonardo’s many inventions, art and manuscripts. Leonardo’s tomb is also in the gardens of the king’s chateau nearby.

Other knowledge to share

From this base in Amboise it is very easy to visit many other chateaux, wineries and historic towns.