World Europe France Loire Valley

Loire Valley Accommodation

 No visit to France is really complete without a trip through the Chateau country, the center of which is Tours. Make this city your headquarters and then take any of the standard trips to Blois, Amboise, Chaumont, Chenonceaux, Chambord, Loches, Luynes, Langeais, Villandry, Azay-le-Rideau, Chinon. During summer months Sound and Light Spectacles are given every night in most of these chateaux similar to those in Versailles. Night trips can be arranged from Paris or from Tours. The central section of the Loire Valley, from Orleans to Angers, is called the `garden of France', because of its gentle light and rich pastures along the banks of the broad river and its tributaries, the Vienne, Indre, Cher, and Loir. It is a focal point of French history, a region traditionally royal and serene, famous today for the chateaux, castles, and abbeys built by the kings and abbots who settled here. The Capetian dynasty came from the Loire in the Ioth cent., their descendants, the Valois kings, built most of the great chateaux in the 15th and 16th cents.
Some of the chateaux are furnished in magnificent style; some are in ruins; others are visited for their architectural interest. Azay-le-Rideau contains a kitchen which is a rarity. It has, too, a Fontainebleau tapestry ordered by Charles I for the city of Rome. Villandry is famous for its Spanish Museum, its beautiful gardens. Chenonceaux is one of the most famous and is the castle given to Diane de Poitiers by Henry II. The gardens were ruined in 1944 by bombings but the chateau was unharmed.
Blois contains an ornate staircase in its inner court. Here, too, is the death chamber of Catherine de Medicis and her private chapel. Amboise is furnished with period pieces, Aubusson tapestries; there is an interesting collection of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century armors in the guardroom. Chambord is an enormous place with 365 rooms. There are innumerable turrets and spires, a wall surrounding the gardens and an estate which is the largest in France.
Visit Vouvray while in Tours. Here is where some of the finest wines in the world are made. Visit the vineyards with their acres and acres of grapes. While in Tours take a run down the Cognac country, if you are a brandy fancier. Here is the world-famous center for the Cognac which takes its name from the city and the region. A little farther on is Bordeaux, which is as famous for its wines as Cognac is for its brandy.Chambord, created by Francis I as a hunting-lodge, is the most massive, but some of the smaller ones are more pleasing, notably Azay-le-Rideau, beside the River Indre, and feminine Chenonceaux on pillars astride the Cher, marked by the personalities of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medicis. Other chateaux well worth a visit are Blois, Amboise, Chaumont, Loches, and Villandry. The Castle of Chinon, an imposing fortress on a hill, dates from the early Middle Ages and today is largely in ruins.
Orleans has associations with Joan of Arc, and there are some fine wooden choir-stalls in the cathedral. Bourges, to the S., has splendid stained glass in its cathedral, and'a flourishing new arts centre. Tours, on the Loire, is a graceful university town, with a cathedral and museum. Angers, capital of Anjou, has a castle with notable tapestries. To the N., Le Mans is famous for its motorrace in June.
The wines of the Loire are famous: rose from Anjou, full red Bourgueil or Vouvray from Touraine, fine, dry whites, ideal with shellfish. The red wines go well with classic Loire cooking, which is not very different from Burgundian, coq an vin being a great favourite.

Hotels in Loire Valley

Clair Cottage Clair Cottage 27, Rue De L'europe, Chisseaux (Touraine)

 Situated 1 km away from the castle of Chenonceau, the hotel benefits from a privileged location in the heart of the Loire region and Touraine vineyards. More

Quality Hotel Harmonie Tours Quality Hotel Harmonie Tours 13 rue Joliot Curie, Tours, 37000

In the region of the Chateaux de la Loire and its vineyards, the Quality Hotel Harmonie will welcome you with the quiet atmosphere at 150 m from the train station, its modern building with 48 rooms...… More

Arcantis Le Domaine De Thomeaux Arcantis Le Domaine De Thomeaux 12 Rue Des Thomeaux, Mosnes

Ideal destination for a holiday, the hotel offers the charms and simplicity of a great environment in country side surroundings..More

Premiere Classe Tours Nord Parcay Premiere Classe Tours Nord Parcay 0 stars Rue Des Ailes, Parcay Meslay .In the Val de Loire,a few minutes from the centre, near the Saint - Symphorien aerodrome, and less than 1h from Futuroscope in Poitiers, our hotel is situated beside the N10 and is easily accessible..More.…
Hôtel Saint Jacques Hôtel Saint Jacques 7 Rue Ducoux, Blois

The Hotel St Jacques is only located 2 minutes from Blois Castle and the historical town centre. The hotel is situated within close proximity of the station More

Kyriad Hotel Blois Sud Kyriad Hotel Blois Sud 320, Rue de la Fédération, Saint Gervais la Forêt, 41350

The hotel with restaurant Kyriad Blois disposes of 60 rooms. All are equipped with complete bathroom, with the satellite TV (Canal + and CanalSat), of the direct telephone, Internet connection. More

Citôtel Criden Citôtel Criden 65 Boulevard Heurteloup, Tours

Discover the hotel in the centre of Tours, heart of the garden of France, on the way to Loire's castles and valley.…More

Hôtel Balladins Tours Nord Confort Hôtel Balladins Tours Nord Confort 233, Avenue André Maginot, Tours

Our hotel is located near to the Vineyards and the Castles of the area . Why not come and enjoy our magnificient region whilst staying in our relaxing hotel. More

2007 travel guides