Famous for producing wines such as Sancerre and Muscadet, the Loire Valley in Central France is one of the country’s main wine regions, second only to the area of Champagne in its sparkling wine production. Not only has it been famed for its grapes since the 1st century, the central part of the valley was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Known as the Gardens of France, the beautiful, verdant area is home to over 300 historic castles, such as the stunning Châteaux de Chambord and Chenonceau. A perfect way to enjoy the region's many treasures is to spend time exploring the varied architecture of the spectacular châteaux, followed by a visit to some vineyards to sample some of the country’s best wine.
You can reach the heart of the region by flying into Tours Val de Loire airport. An alternative is to fly into Paris Charles de Gaulle and from there take a train down to one of the Valley towns - the TGV high-speed train to St-Pierre-des-Corps near Blois, for example, will get you there in under two hours. The Loire can certainly be experienced as a day trip from Paris but, with so many castles to visit and so many wines to taste, a longer visit is certainly recommended! Most of the châteaux are open from 9am until at least 6pm. While they can be reached by public transport, you’ll have more flexibility if you base yourself in one of the region’s vibrant towns, such as Orléans or Tours, and hire a car from there.
A good time to visit is during the grape harvesting season of September to October. You’re also likely to encounter fewer crowds during your castle visits.
Get the best out of your visit to the area by choosing the very best private accommodation for you. At Eventful Stays, you can choose to stay in houses, B&Bs, boats, studios, country houses, apartments or flats…all close to the castles and wine-growing regions of this wonderful area.
There are plenty of sights and activities for you to enjoy during your trip to Central-Val de Loire, including the spectacular Tower of Chartres Cathedral in the gorgeous castle town of Chartres. Live out your childhood dreams by visiting the fairytale castle of Ussé, thought to be the inspiration for the castle in Sleeping Beauty. If you’re looking for nightlife, head to the bars and restaurants of lively Tours and Orléans.
If you’re looking for more information, please contact the regional tourist information office where you’ll be able to find out information about: châteaux in the Loire Valley, must-see places, where to go, top sites and things to do in the area.
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