Apart from exploring castles and drinking wine, travelers who visit the Loire Valley can also enjoy its excellent cycling itineraries. The so called La Loire a Velo concept invites visitors to discover the beautiful landscape by bike. The 800 km (495 miles) well signposted itinerary is made up of minor roads without much traffic and cycling tracks and winds around Europe’s last untamed river. You get so much more of the culture when you are traveling at a slow pace, and the hidden treats and smells you get along the way are worth the exercise!
More than 1000 castles stand majestically along the Loire and in the endless expanses of forests. Home to the royalty and historical figures in the past, their stunning grandeur nowadays attracts visitors from all over the world. More then 120 castles are open to the public, each castle with its own history and its own unique characteristics.
Chateau de Chenonceau was home to many French women, history books even refer to the castle as the Ladies Castle. While you are there also pay a visit to the breathtaking Renaissance gardens.
The largest castle in the Loire Valley is the Chateau Chambord - an impressive castle that features 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases was built from 1519 – 1547 for King Francois I. The park around the castle with its 5440 hectares of trees, forest and wildlife is equally as stunning.
The Chateau Villandry was one of the last large castles built in the Renaissance era along the river Loire. Here you will find the most impressive renaissance gardens in the whole world.
The Capital of the Loire Valley is famous for Joan of Arc and the many magnificent castles in the region. Joan of Arc is honored everywhere in the city, in museums, with statues and most memorably, in the stained glass of the Cathedral Saint Croix. The city also features Hotel Groslot, a brick stone Renaissance mansion which served as the Town Hall.
Angers is the capital of the historic Province of Anjou and famous for its impressive castles and the magnificent twin-spiraled Cathedral of Saint Maurice. Angers is a city with a rich past and whether you are taking a stroll or looking for signs of history, its heritage and culture will delight you.
Architectural heritage, museums, theatres, cultural events and excellent gastronomy make Tours the cultural centre ánd gourmet paradise of this region of France. Discover the attractive old part of the city, by strolling past medieval half-timbered houses, the Plumerau square with its cozy pubs and restaurants and visit the many markets and fairs. With 30 street markets weekly, from traditional markets to Antiques, crafts and gourmand markets, this lively town offers something for everyone.