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.
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.
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.
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.
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