Amboise Adventure

Allison, who lives in Paris, contacted us wanting a day tour in Amboise for her family and parents who were visiting from the US.

Her husband Hamid is French and they’re very comfortable traveling through France on their own. However, this was the first trip to Amboise that Grant, their seven year old son would remember, as well as her parents first visit to the Loire Valley. She wanted it to be extra-special.

As an independent traveler, Allison booked an apartment for each family herself. She knew her parents would prefer a relaxed morning, so we met at Chateau du Clos Luce at 11am. This lovely estate was the final home of Leonardo DaVinci and is fabulous for children and the young at heart!

Allison's Amboise Adventure

We toured the chateau, constructed of beautiful red brick in 1471 by a favorite of King Louis XI, Etienne le Loup, a former ennobled kitchen boy. In 1516, Francois I invited DaVinci to Amboise and was so impressed by his varied talents, he named DaVinci the “Premier Painter and Engineer and Architect of the King”. Francois I also gave him Clos Luce, where DaVinci spent the last 3 years of his life, working on several projects.

Although owned by other families after DaVinci’s death, the chateau is a living memory of Leonardo DaVinci and his vast accomplishments. With fascinating workshops set up as they would have been in his time, Allison’s family awed over models of the first mechanical car and the Archamede’s Screw.

The seven of us then enjoyed a quick lunch (by French standards!) of savory galettes at the onsite creperie, before beginning the tour of the vast estate. This is the highlight of the visit to Chateau du Clos Luce, with interactive life-size models of DaVinci’s inventions.Grant spun in the assault chariot with other French children, giggling as he jumped out as it was still spinning, like an old-school merry-go-round.

Grant raced from model to model, eager to explore each, but the best moment to me was when he and his Grandfather figured out how the paddleboat worked together.

None of my Grandparents are alive now, but I have fond memories like these, particularly with my maternal Grampa, and I know Grant will too. Children experience and learn so much more from multi-generational travel, because each family member is interested in different things and points them out to the children.Grant wore himself out before exploring everything, so Hamid and Grandpa took him back to the hotel for a rare nap.

Meanwhile, the rest of us had reservations for a wine tour and tasting nearby. Allison and her Mother delighted in learning about the Vouvray wine region surrounding Amboise with our guide, as well as an interactive smell guessing game created by the vineyard.

Following a self-guided path through the dark caves where the wine is stored, we came to the tasting room and the culmination of the visit: three delicious wines and a paired charcuterie board to accompany it. Allison and her mother especially marveled at how a bite of this cheese or that sausage altered the flavor of the wine. The expert explained that this is exactly why thoughtful pairing is so important!

We each purchased a bottle (or three!) and headed back to Amboise center where the ladies returned to their lodgings to prepare for their dinner reservations. We had a wonderful day together and really enjoyed seeing you all traveling France as an extended family!

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We believe that your vacation should be as unique as you are. Beyond crafting itineraries, we’re creators of experiences, artisans of adventure. Imagine each destination as a brushstroke on your journey’s canvas. It’s like crafting a story, where you’re the central character.

Envision France as the backdrop, seamlessly interwoven with your narrative. This is more than travel; it’s an alchemy, where the spirit of France and your dreams and passions merge to craft a love story that’s singularly yours.

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