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Tourist information for The Loire

The Loire is justly famed. It is home to some of the most beautiful chateaux in the world, some set in rolling farmland and woods, some on the banks of languid rivers, some dominating the many historic towns and cities. The whole region, with its gentle scenery crossed by wide rivers is excellent for touring and cycling. Many of the rivers offer boating, canoeing. Swimming is possible, although take care as these rivers are big and can be dangerous. The area is steeped in history and culture. There are numerous music festivals in the summer and many of the chateaux have spectacular son et lumiere shows. Indeed, there is so much to see and do we can only suggest you come here, invest in a good guide book, and enjoy. The problem with the Loire is not what to do, but what to leave out!

Towns and places of interest in The Loire:

Angers. Lively city whose medieval chateau houses the famous and stunning Tapestry of the Apocalypse. Also home to several museums and, across the river, another amazing tapestry, the twentieth century tapestry Le Chant du Monde

Amboise. Near to the house of Leonardo da Vinci at Clos-Luce - a beautiful atmospheric house and gardens with demonstrations of his ideas and inventions. Amboise has a chateau of its own.

loire chateau
Blois. Modern town surrounding one of the most historic old chateaux. The town is in turn surrounded by woodland offering walking, cycling and riding, and several worthwhile chateaux, including those of Cheverny, Chambord and Chaumont.
loire chateau
Bourges. Bourges is a useful stopping point if you're travelling south on the A71, and its most interesting feature is its superb cathedral. Clustered around the cathedral are a collection of fascinating streets lined with tall timber-framed houses, and these fine old buildings make the centre worth exploring on foot. Bourges is a large town, so there are plenty of bars and restaurants where you can enjoy regional specialities. Then you can walk it all off in one of the town's lovely and peaceful gardens. Perhaps the most interesting is the Prs Fichaux, where the Art Dco theme extends to the shape of the hedges and walkways. During late April the town is host to one of France's major rock festivals.

loire chateau
Le Mans. 80 kms north of the Loire and famous for its 24 hour car race, it also has a beautiful medieval old town and walls and a car museum.

Orleans. Eastern gateway to the Loire and home of Joan of Arc, who is commemorated everywhere. Nearby is the forest of Orleans, good for walking, cycling and riding.

village scene with stream loire valley
Saumur. Attractive town with its fairytale chateau housing two museums and offering spectacular views. Between here and Angers visit the Troglodyte cave dwellings.

Tours. Large, busy city and good base for exploring the surrounding chateaux during the day whilst taking advantage of its good restaurants and night-life in the evening.