Best things to do in Loire Valley
Find out more about those top places in Loire Valley
While the Loire Valley is popularly known as ‘the garden of France’, it is also the country’s enchanting heart with an array of majestic chateaux, picturesque medieval towns and breathtaking cathedrals set against a backdrop of rolling vineyards. The Loire Valley follows the course of the River Loire from the lush hills of the Sancerre wine producing region to the lively university city of Angers. Undoubtedly the region’s main draws are the regal castles that pepper the countryside, including the world-famous Chateaux de Chenonceau, which gracefully spans the Cher River, and the idyllic Chateaux de Chambord. Beyond the castles, the main cities of the Loire Valley include Orléans, Blois and Tours, which offer urban vibrancy and an old world atmosphere in equal measure.
The Château de Chambord can be found standing majestically on the left bank of the Loire River and poses an awe-striking sight. As the most emblematic Renaissance monument in France, the Château de Chambord is highly valued by the French people. This castle also served as the source of inspiration for the construction of the Château de Versailles.
The Château de Chenonceau is a French château that is located close to Chenonceaux which is a small village in the Indre-et-Loire département of the Loire Valley in France. This structure spans the River Cher and is a very magnificent edifice. Among other chateaux of the Loire valley, the Château de Chenonceau is the best known.
The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres used to be a very important destination for pilgrims during the middle age and is still accorded that importance today. This landmark structure can be found standing in the laid-back town of Chartres and the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres is UNESCO-listed as well.
To have a feel of some ancient French culture and lifestyle, a visit to the Bourges is in order. The Bourges is home to a host of old palaces as well as burgher's houses. A picturesque view of the Yèvre and Aveyron Rivers that are located in the province of Berry with a lot its history is also very visible from here.
The exquisite furnishings and strategically placed decorations of the Château de Cheverny does not begin to describe this magnificent Château. It is even rumored to be the best looking among every other châteaux in terms of furnishing and decoration. Located at Cheverny within the department of Loir-et-Cher in the Loire valley, the Château de Cheverny remains one site in France that records thousands of visits by tourists.
The Azay-le-Rideau is well-known for its splendid and glorious Renaissance château which is almost like a fairy tale world. This building was constructed on the orders of King Francis the First and can be found on an island in the Indre River. Azay-le-Rideau is surrounded by beautiful gardens and a moat.
The city of Orléans can be found in north-central France right on the banks of the Loire River. It also serves as the capital of the Centre-Val de Loire region. Orleans is famous for being the city that Joan of Arc saved from the siege of the Englishmen in 1429 and this occasion is celebrated by a festival that takes place annually.