Meet our Guides

Get to know the person behind the tour

Susan W.

Preuilly sur Claise, France

We are Australians living in the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Loire Valley.

When our families visit us they always want to see things that "the tourists" don't get to see, and this is a philosophy we have carried over into our tours. We are passionate about where we live; the gently rolling countryside, the history, little hamlets tucked away in hidden hollows, the wine and food, and we are proud to show these to our visitors.

I do the talking while Simon drives: I'm Australian and lived in Great Britain before settling in France. I worked for many years in one of the world's leading heritage organisations and have a particular interest in textiles and costume. My background is not art history, but collections care and the behind the scenes management of historic sites. In addition I have a qualification in biodiversity surveying, so I am always quick to point out and identify the local wild flora and fauna. I'm also a keen gardener, managing my small orchard like a nature reserve. A fine cook, who originally trained as a hotel manager, my other passion is the food and recipes of the Touraine region.

Formerly a professional musician and teacher, Simon has travelled extensively over the last 30 years, as a tourist and professionally. A knowledgeable photographer and photo editor he is always looking for a new angle on things. This means he is always ready to stop the car for a photo opportunity - all you have to do is ask.

For the tours he drives either Célestine, a 1953 Citroën Traction Avant, or Claudette, a 1956 Traction Avant. He loves just gently motoring Célestine down country roads. He thinks the ideal speed for sightseeing is 80km/h (about 50mph), and in a classic car other motorists are perfectly willing to just let you travel at your own pace. When we stop, the car is an instant ice breaker and it is not uncommon for complete strangers to come up and start conversations.

When we aren't on the roads of the Touraine we are restoring an 800 year old house. We have learnt an awful lot about architecture and vernacular buildings over the past couple of years!

In addition to the tours using the classic cars I am also available for half day walking tours of Loches and the surrounding area.

A Recent Review of this guide

Our Chateau tour, french-workers lunch, wine tasting and Classic car ride could never top the time we spent with Susan and Simon learning about the culture and history of the French. The discussions on local customs while traveling between the historical sites was truly enjoyable. Both Susan and Simon seem to have totally immersed themselves in the history of the region and were exceptional in relaying this knowledge and information to us. We would highly recommend this tour and these guides.
Timothy Griffin

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Restrictions

The cars are licenced to carry 5 people including driver.

We cannot provide pickup service in Paris. The train takes one hour to reach Tours from Paris, the same journey in our car would take about 4 hours

Guide Requirements for France

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Message Susan W.
Web address (URL) of this page: http://www.toursbylocals.com/LoireValleyPrivateTourGuide

Tours by Susan W.

See all of the tours offered by this guide.

Cheverny and Chenonceau - one day private,...

Exploring the chateaux of the Loire in a classic car

1347 USD per tour

(max 4 people)

9 hours 30 min.

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Villandry and Chenonceau - one day tour,...

 unrated

A visit to two iconic Loire Valley chateaux - with an added bonus

1270 USD per tour

(max 4 people)

9 hours

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Two Magnificent Gardens - One day tour,...

 unrated

Visit the world famous gardens of Villandry and the garden festival,...

1359 USD per tour

(max 4 people)

9 hours

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Two day private tour of the Loire Valley

Two leisurely days exploring an iconic landscape

2563 USD per tour

(max 4 people)

2 days

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Three day private tour of the Loire Valley

 unrated

Discover the heart of France with a knowledgeable private guide

3589 USD per tour

(max 4 people)

3 days

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Half day walking tour of Amboise: Chateau,...

 unrated

The residence of kings and the resting place of their codebreakers

486 USD per tour

(for up to 6 people)

4 hours

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Half day walking tour of Chenonceau

 unrated

The most iconic of the Touraine Loire Valley chateaux

374 USD per tour

(for up to 6 people)

3 hours

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Half Day walking tour of Loches

 unrated

Medieval and Renaissance off the beaten Track

356 USD per tour

(for up to 6 people)

2 hours 30 min.

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Half day walking tour of Blois chateau

 unrated

The first and favourite of the royal chateaux

421 USD per tour

(for up to 6 people)

3 hours

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Wild Orchids in the South Touraine

 unrated

The Claise Valley, a hidden hotspot for orchids

225 USD per tour

(for up to 6 people)

2 hours

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Producer to Plate

 unrated

Market shopping and seasonal cuisine.

415 USD per tour

(for up to 6 people)

5 hours

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Taste the Touraine

 unrated

Tasting local foods in the Loire Valley

326 USD per tour

(for up to 6 people)

1 hour 30 min.

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