Loire Valley guide
It comes as no surprise that this region is often referred to as the Garden of France as it is an enchanted land of vineyards, flowers and rolling green hills dotted with picturesque villages.
With the added charm of its gentle pace of life it has for centuries been a sought after location as inspiration for many artists, poets and writers. There is a wealth of sightseeing opportunities here including historic cities such as Tours and Orléans and many magnifi cent châteaux; glorious Chambord, Chaumont sur Loire with its stunning gardens and the picture perfect Azay le Rideau to name but a few. It's also an ideal place to relax and unwind - the climate is soft and mild and the countryside ideal for leisurely walks or gentle cycling whilst taking in the wonderful views.
The mighty Loire river (the longest in France) provides boat trips and watersports, bathing areas and little man-made sandy beaches for soaking up the sun.
Places to visit in Loire Valley
Aquarium du Val de Loire
Wander around this freshwater aquarium in Lussault sur Loire that displays many of the fish from the Loire as well as those which frequent tropical rivers such as turtles, piranhas and sharks.
A town rich in history with paved stone streets, Renaissance architecture, ancient ramparts and a remarkable Gothic Cathedral which dominates the hilltop.
Every evening in July and August there is a 'Son et Lumière' show where the wonderful gardens are lit up at night and you can take a pleasant stroll accompanied by the sounds of Corelli.
Château de Cheverny
Renowned for magnificent interior rooms and its fine collection of furniture, tapestries, and objets d'art.
Things to do in Loire Valley
Discover the history of the cellars at Montrichard and sample the sparkling wines that have given Monmousseau its worldwide reputation.
The oldest golf course in the Loire Valley is at Château de Cheverny set amidst 350 acres of natural woodland, greens, lakes and fields.
Food and drink
- Goats' cheese including Ste Maure de Touraine or the pyramid-shaped nutty Valençay
- Colourful macaroons
- Mushrooms grown in the limestone caves
- Confit de vin (wine jelly from Chinon) to serve with cold meats
What's on the menu?
Freshwater fish (salmon, pike-perch, trout) often cooked in a beurre blanc (butter) sauce. Tarte tatin, an upside-down tart with caramelised apples.
What to drink
Red wines from Bourgueil or Chinon, white wines from Touraine and sparkling ones from Vouvray or Saumur should all hit the spot.