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REASONS TO DISCOVER LOIRE VALLEY
There are about 3000 castles in the area! Here are some of the most remarkable :
Chartres’s breathtaking cathedral is considered to be one of the best examples of gothic architecture in the entire world. It is therefore a UNESCO World Heritage site and its towers are listed as a French National Monument. Rebuilt on the site of a holy cathedral destroyed by lightning and fire, the Chartres Cathedral was designed and erected to honor the sacred relic Sancta Camisa, which miraculously survived fire and destruction unharmed. The cathedral’s magnificent exterior opens to an even more awe-inspiring interior, with its brilliant colors and detailed stained glass windows. Medieval carvings adorn the doors and porches while hand carved sculptures provide testament to the Christian beliefs while drawing a comparison to the close ties that were believed to exist between God and the Kings and Queens who ruled during that time. A walk through the Chartres cathedral is truly a walk through history.
The gardens surrounding the Chateau de Villandry are often referred to as the most beautiful gardens in the world. Among the 15 acres of different gardens featured at Villandry, there is a water garden, vegetable gardens and incredible ornamental flower gardens, all of which are strategically laid out in formal patterns and linked together with low hedges. Give your legs a break from pedaling, while you take a stroll through an assortment of picture-perfect gardens. Like all the castles in the Loire Valley, the Chateau de Villandry is part of what makes the Loire Valley a World Heritage site and it is currently open to the public for tours.
A trip to France would not be complete without a visit to the Loire Valley. Perfectly located nearby Paris, it offers visitors a chance to experience the natural beauty of the French countryside with quiet riverbanks and countless vineyards. The Loire Valley is known for its great wine, and cycling through the villages and vineyards you must go on a wine tasting tour!
Although most people come to the Loire Valley to visit the ancient castles, the gorgeous landscape is often the reason why they come back. If you are looking for picturesque towns off the beaten path, the Loire Valley is the perfect region, as it hosts several of the “Most Beautiful Villages of France”
Amboise was once home of the French royal court and The Royal castle became one of the favorite royal residences. It was rebuilt in the 15th and 16th centuries and introduced Italian style and taste into the Loire Valley. Nearby is a smaller castle, Le Clos Lucé, where Leonardo Da Vinci lived and worked for a few years. Today it is a museum dedicated to Leonardo Da Vinci, and gives good insight into his work and genius in different fields such as art, civil and military engineering, architecture and urban planning, anatomy, botany…
Make sure you visit the “Parc Mini Châteaux” a 2 ha park with the most significant châteaux of the Loire on a 1/25 scale. Really amazing!
As you probably already know, the Loire Valley is wine country. From the dry white Muscadet, Pouilly Fume and Sancerre wines to the light red Saumur, Bourgueil and Chinon, the Loire Valley wines are famous worldwide. Our Wine Tour gives you the opportunity to take part in wine tasting sessions of some of the most delicious French wines. Don’t miss out!
The Loire Valley also offers some fine cuisine. Try the very typical Fricassee d’escargots au Sancerre – snails cooked in Sancerre wine!
And don’t leave without tasting the goat cheese specialties: the Crottin de Chavignol and the Valancay. Served warm on a bed of greens or in a cheese pie, they are delicious.
The Loire Valley is located in the center of France, with the Loire River symbolically dividing the country in 2. This slow moving river, the longest of France (1012 km), crosses the beautiful regions of Touraine (the area around the city of Tours) and Anjou (the area around Angers).
Both valleys are covered with vineyards producing some of the best wines in France. And they are also home to many castles (more than 3 000!). Among the most famous Châteaux of the Loire Valley, our tours will bring you to the Chateau de Chambord, Chateau d’Amboise, Chateau de Chenonceau and many more!
For centuries, the Loire River was used for transportation between the Atlantic and the heart of France. During the Hundred Year’s War, the river marked the boundary between French and English territory. It has always played an important and critical part in the History of France.
Most of the Loire Valley castles were not built to protect people against enemies but to illustrate the prosperity of France. Indeed, it is in the Loire Valley that the king Francois Ist (1515-1547) and his court chose to build castles to be able to lead a life-style inspired by the new humanist values of the Renaissance and to celebrate beauty, luxury and refinement.