The Loire Valley is a spectacular region in central and western France comprised of Centre-Val de Loire and Pays de la Loire. Home to the cities Tours, Amboise, Blois, Chambord, Chinon, Orléans, Saumur and Fontevrault, the Loire Valley is just two hours south of Paris by car. Renowned for its striking chateaux (castles), the Loire Valley is as equally famous for its local produce including huge, ripe fruit orchards, wonderful wines, stunning gardens and scenic cycle routes.
Loire Valley is home to a wide range of accommodation options nestled in the countryside, gardens, orchards and major holiday destinations and cities including Tours. Home to a variety of rural properties, hotels, spa retreats, residences, and wine region accommodation, the 3 to 5 star Loire Valley accommodation also offers boutique properties as well as major hotel chains including Ibis, Best Western and Mercure. Offering a range of accommodation to suit all travellers and budgets, Loire Valley accommodation is also close to popular local shopping, dining and attractions including Notre-Dame d'Orsan, Ainy-le-Vieil Chateau, the Apocalypse Tapestry in Angers and Bourges Cathedral. Book Loire Valley Accommodation
Beginning with chateaux, 1467 Ainy-le-Vieil is one of the most famous of the Loire Valley and it's architecture, interiors and garden 'rooms' should not be missed. Other popular chateaux include Chaumont-sur-Loire Chateau renowned for its international garden festival, Chenonceau Château and Son-et-Lumiè at Blois Château. Notre-Dame d'Orsan is comprised of warm stone buildings surrounded by landscaped gardens inspired by tapestries of the Middle Ages. The 12th century Bourges Cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of France's greatest gothic cathedrals. The amazing stained glass of Cathedrale St-Etienne will leave you in awe while the Apocalypse Tapestry in Angers is a must see. More about Loire Valley Attractions.
Getting to and around the Loire Valley is easy thanks to a great range of transport options. France's high speed train, the TGV, runs from Charles de Gaulle airport to Tours in less than 2 hours and from the centre of Paris to Tours in just 1 hour. Other train services operate to Orléans and Blois taking 1 hour and 1 and a half hours respectively. There are plenty of great motorways that will get you from Paris to the Loire Valley within 1 to 2 hours, however if coming from nearby Normandy the A28 will take you directly to the Loire Valley. There are plenty of car hire options in Tours and the Loire Valley as well as a number of shuttle excursions that tour chateaux and vineyards, however the region is renowned for its picturesque cycling trails and these are a wonderful way to explore the sights. Bicycles can be rented from a number of shops in town and the famous Loire à vélo offers a number of itineraries ranging from 25km to 83km.
There are over 300 chateaux (castles) in the Loire Valley that offer visitors the opportunity to experience the way French Monarchs used to live. The Loire Valley is home to Europe's largest oriental garden, the Maulévrier Japanese gardens. In contrast to the French countryside, the gardens feature bridges, pagodas and Japanese plants. The Loire Valley is home to a 2000km complex of Tuffeau limestone caves known as The Troglodyte caves. Once used by quarrymen and artisans in the middle ages, the caves are now home to museums, shops, restaurants and even hotels.