Bus tours of the main châteaux leave daily in summer from Tours and other hubs: tourist offices have the latest times and prices.
Acco-Dispo Tours. Travelers rave about Acco-Dispo van excursions, which usually include two or three top châteaux; half-day trips start at €23 and depart from Tours or Amboise. 18 rue des Vallees, Amboise, Centre-Val de Loire, 37400. 06–82–00–64–51; www.accodispo-tours.com. From €23.
France Montgolfiéres. A tranquil alternative to other tours, France Montgolfières offers balloon rides over the Loire that last at least 75 minutes, and the experience as a whole takes about three hours. 03–80–97–38–61; www.franceballoons.com. From €189.
Jet Systems. Eager for an aerial view? Jet Systems makes helicopter trips over the Loire Valley on Tuesday, Thursday, and weekends from the aerodrome at Dierre, just south of Amboise. Trips can be a quick 12-minute flight over Chenonceau or a full 90-minute survey of the glories of the Loire, including a stop at Chaumont or Le Rivau. L'Aérodrome d'Amboise-Dierre, Amboise, Centre-Val de Loire, 37150. 08–20–82–06–98; www.jet-systems.fr. From €79.
La Bélandre Croisières. Depending on water levels, sightseeing by boat is a possibility. La Bélandre Crosières offers some unique outings; April through October, you can sail the Cher River on a traditional flat-bottom boat from the foot of Chenonceau. Maison Eclusière de Chisseaux, Chisseaux, Centre-Val de Loire, 37150. 02–47–23–98–64; www.labelandre.com. From €9.50.