The Loire Valley is the biggest area in France ever to be included in UNESCO’s world heritage list. Discover the Loire Valley and its châteaux, from Sully-sur-Loire as far as Nantes: Renaissance châteaux, medieval fortresses, remarkable gardens, etc.
Kings, artists and famous authors have fallen under the spell of the Loire and taken up residence on its banks in their droves. Here the local stone and slate are reflected in the water of the river. On foot, by bicycle or on board a barge… enjoy the harmonious landscape at the heart of the unspoiled natural world. The wines of the Loire and the renowned gastronomy can be savoured in a troglodytic cave dug out of the rock, at the table of a restaurant or at a gourmet village market.
The Loire Valley is also the Loire Châteaux and La Loire à Vélo.
At the heart of the Loire Valley and close by, there are other destinations rich in natural beauty as well as having great cultural significance: Touraine, Berry and Eure-et-Loir: the gateway to the Loire Valley.
The Châteaux of Loire Valley, an extraordinary heritage
Be enchanted by the largest of all the châteaux of the Loire, the Château de Chambord. Discover the Château de Cheverny, inspired by Hergé to create the Tintin’s fictional Château de Moulinsart. Overhanging the Loire, the Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire and its domain offer one of the most beautiful panorama over the royal river. Every year, the Gardens Festival propose amazing gardens around a different theme to its visitors. At Azay-le-Rideau, watch the reflections ripple in the water and at the Park of the Château de Valençay, lose yourself in the largest maze in France ! And be amazed by the astounding light show.
A very musical region
The Loire Valley moves to the beat of its many music festivals, the most popular being the Printemps de Bourges. Jazz plays an important role in this area, which is showcased in the Jazz en Touraine festival and the Jazz en Val de Cher festival.
In Bourges, Chartres, Orléans and Tours you can see some of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in France. The refined elegance of these cathedrals and the châteaux of the Loire makes for an ideal atmosphere to enjoy classical music. Several festivals are held at these venues, such as the Renaissance Music Festival at Clos Lucé, the Festival de Sully and Loiret and the Chartres International Organ Festival.
Enjoy Loire Valley specialties
Celebrated by Rabelais, venerated by Gargantua, the cuisine of the Loire Valley region, and more precisely of Touraine and Berry, is an institution in itself. Among the numerous specialties of the region, you must taste the andouillettes (sausage) from Jargeau, Orléans poultry, game from Sologne, freshwater fish from the Loire and green lentils from Berry.
Fans of cheese will be in heaven here, with the crottin de Chavignol, chèvre from Selles-sur-Cher, and the Valençay pyramide. To finish this feast, those with a sweet tooth can choose between a tarte tatin or a slice of pithiviers (an almond pastry).
Bourgueil, Chinon, Vouvray, Cheverny, Sancerre ... are these names familiar to you? These are just some of the many Loire Valley ‘s wines. From Touraine to Sancerre, Loire vineyards are rich with exceptional wines that are distinguished by their variety and authenticity.
Wines to be discovered through 1000 km of Tourist Road Vineyards which will lead you to discover the different varieties, hallmarks of the Loire Valley ‘s wines.
The winemakers open their doors and invite you to taste these famous wines. They also are very keen to share with you their passion for their wines and their terroir skills coming from a long viticultural tradition which makes these wines’ renown.
The Wine House of Tours, the Wine House of Cheverny and the House of Sancerre offer original formulas to discover and enjoy those wines. Deep red and fruity colors, white with subtle an intense flavors, fresh and light pink and not to mention sparkling, wines won’t have any more secrets for you!
A region at the heart of the natural world
Take your children to discover the marvels of the animal kingdom at the Beauval Zoo and the Haute-Touche Nature Reserve.
Even more, make the most of this natural scenery with the Loire à Vélo (Loire By Bicycle), a unique route which allows you to discover the area according to your own interests, at your own pace, as a couple or with children. The route consists of 800km of signposted and secure tracks, running from the village of Cuffy near Nevers, to St. Brévin-les-Pins on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Created for easy usage, this cycling trail is equipped with services specially adapted for the needs of cyclists.
There are no less than three natural parks : the Brenne, the Loire-Anjou-Touraine and the Perche, that are punctuated by rivers and rolling green valleys, such as the many lakes and forests of Sologne. And don’t miss the troglodytic caves dug out from rocks.
The Loire Valley conjures up a dreamlike landscape of sumptuous chateaux and cathedrals along the Loire, a wild river which can also be explored by boat.