Region of Centre-Loire Valley
A territory steeped in history and heritage, once enjoyed by the Kings of France,
Today Centre-Loire Valley is highly prized by visitors who go there for its famous Renaissance castles, charming villages and gastronomic specialities.
It’s also a very green destination where nature and the forest have pride of place, making it ideal for walking holidays. Examples include the mysterious Sologne with its countless ponds, Berry with its pastoral landscapes, the immense Orleans forest and the banks of the famous wild River Loire, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The many splendid French and English-style gardens in the region are sure to delight lovers of extensive plant collections!
Famed all over the world, the Loire Valley castles have made their mark on the history of France. Chambord and its prestigious estate, Chenonceau and its magnificent arches over the Cher, Azay-le-Rideau and its romantic park, Amboise and its unforgettable views over the Loire, and Villandry with its remarkable gardens are all among the magical sites for visitors to enjoy on a weekend or longer trip… In Berry, heritage enthusiasts can enjoy the wonderful castles of Ainay-le-Vieil, Argy, Bouges, Meillant and Valençay, as well as charming villages like Apremont-sur-Allier, Gargilesse-Dampierre and Saint-Benoît-du-Sault. When it comes to outings in the Berry countryside, you’ll be spoilt for choice, with the Brenne Regional Nature Park and its thousands of ponds, Châteauroux forest, the Berry canal towpath and the vineyards of Sancerrois.
Everything you need for a very pleasant country holiday!
Not to be outdone, the towns of Centre-Loire Valley are brimming with architectural treasures from the medieval era and the Renaissance. Lovers of culture and old buildings will be delighted by Blois and its royal castle, Bourges and its Jacques Cœur Palace, Tours and its museums, Chartres and its Gothic cathedral, Orleans and its Place du Martroi, to name but a few.
Loire Valley Wines
You can also take advantage of the region’s mild climate by treating yourself to a walk around the famous Loire Valley vineyard. It’s a great opportunity to stop by one of the many wine cellars and enjoy a little glass of wine from Anjou or Touraine
Terroir and Climate
The Loire Valley Vineyards features a large variety of climates and soils générating a wide variety of wines .
Most of Loire Valley Wines are from a single grape variety. From Chenin to Cabernet through Sauvignon and melon de Bourgogne, 24 grape varieties make their diversity .
Appellations and PGI
Rosés, red, white, dry, off-dry, sweet, fruity, greedy, round, bodied…The 31 appellations from the Loire Valley represent a wide family.
Situated on the edge of the Loire River, Blois, a City of Art and History, forms an attractive and harmonious architectural group with its royal château, houses in the old town and religious monuments.
A former residence of French kings, the Château de Blois is a majestic building that is unusual because it features several different architectural styles – Gothic, Flamboyant Gothic, Italian Renaissance and Classical – a wonderful range of French architecture. The château’s highlights include the gate topped by an equestrian statue of Louis XII, the stunning internal courtyard and the four wings from different periods and of different architectural styles, and the sumptuous spiral staircase in the Francis I wing. The fine art museum in the Louis XII wing houses a collection of tapestries, paintings and sculptures
Became royal property in the late fifteenth century, the village of Chambord took off in the sixteenth century thanks to the construction of its castle by the King of France, Francis I. The construction, long, will not end until the reign of Louis XIV, in 1690. The town became, in 1930, property of the French State which has all the buildings built on site.
Ancient royal city, Chambord is now a Mecca of French tourism, unveiling an architectural heritage of great historical importance.
Villandry is a Renaissance Chateau in a beautiful setting among three tiers of terraced gardens.
It was the last of the great Renaissance chateaux to be built on the banks of the Loire, and its architecture combines with gardens laid out on three levels, its best-known feature, in a happy marriage of beauty, diversity, and harmony.
City of Art and History, Bourges has a rich architectural heritage. The Saint-Etienne cathedral built in the 13th century is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This cathedral of Gothic architecture is extremely unusual in that it does not possess a transept. Its ancient stained glass windows as well as the sculptures of its central portal are awe-inspiring. Nearby, the flower garden of the Archbishop’s Palace is a quiet and peaceful place offering a magnificent view of the Saint-Etienne cathedral.
The visit of Bourges continues with the famous Jacques-Coeur palace, a 15th-century civil building of Flamboyant Gothic style. Strolling through the old town is very pleasant with its narrow paved streets lined with half-timbered houses, its Gothic and Renaissance hotels, as well as its small squares decorated with cafés and the shops in the pedestrian streets