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Landscape

The Loire Valley is an ideal destination for those who are in Paris and want to explore a nearby French region. It is just a one-hour train ride on the high speed train to Tours. Then you can pick up your rental car and explore the countryside.

Everything in the Loire Valley seems bigger than life. The Loire River itself is wide and deep. It is often overlooked by small elegant cities and ornate chateaux. The countryside is lush and green. Rolling vineyards stretch for miles. Vast fields are covered with produce. It seems that any direction you turn, you find another river and more fabulous chateaux. Where to start? I use Tours as center of any visit to this area. There are so many famous chateaux within an hour's drive of here that it is a convenient spot to start exploring. Online we offer a few rentals which are in this general area. However, if you don't see what you need here, view our online catalog for a larger selection of properties in this region.

 

Towns and their Attractions

Often referred to as a mini-Paris, Tours offers high fashion shops, great restaurants and charming caf»s. There are also museums, historic churches and a charming town square lined with half timbered houses. Street entertainment takes place here throughout the summer. Tours is a clean, authentic and charming town. What better introduction to French, big-city life?

Azay le Rideau is a little town with an entire morning of things to see and do, charming stores, a pretty river and a lovely small chateau. Sach» is the home of the famous Calder exhibit and one of the oldest churches in the Loire Valley. And for lovers of French literature, it has a museum dedicated to Balzac. Langeais is an authentic French town with cobblestone streets leading up a hill to a beautiful walled chateau.

And there are other sights to see including Villaines les Rochers, a village famous for the fine art of wicker. Or you can visit original troglodite homes which in feudal times were built into the rock face and inhabited by serfs.

 

The Chateaux

It can be daunting to consider which chateaux to visit. Why not, visit a "representative sample" of the chateaux the valley has to offer? For example, Azay is a small ornate chateau, while Chenonceau is an elaborately landscaped tribute to Diane de Poitiers, mistress of Henri II. Langeais is a historically rich fortified castle, and Amboise is a mix of the two styles, an elaborately decorated fortress on the Loire river.

 

Food & Wine

The Loire Valley is one of the most famous regions for wine. Sancere, Touraine, Chinon... the list continues. Local cheeses are equally famous with St. Maure de Touraine and goat cheeses perhaps the most well known. As this was the land of kings, there were many forests preserved around the chateaux, and wild game is still an important item on restaurant menus. All told gastronomy is almost as important to experience as are the chateaux in this region.

 

Sports & Recreation

Pull yourself away from the chateaux and this is a lovely area in which to rent a canoe or rowboat and float down the smaller tributaries to visit chateaux from the water's edge. Biking on the smaller country roads is very popular. Horseback riding is another a favorite in this region.

Call or email us. We look forward to helping you plan your trip!

 
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