The Loire area spans 175 miles, so naturally for those who’re contemplating reserving a tour of the Loire Valley, the primary query shall be the place to remain.
This publish seems at a few of the most central and fashionable places within the Loire Valley, in addition to places that are a bit extra distant or farther afield.
See more: Best place to stay in loire valley
We clarify the professionals and the cons of every location and their place in relation to a few of the Loire Valley’s most important points of interest. We hope this can make it easier to to determine which space would go well with you finest throughout your keep within the Loire.
To journey to the Loire Valley is to expertise ‘the nice life’ in France. Its gentle local weather, the tasty native gastronomy, and Loire Valley wine, in addition to the nice and cozy and welcoming character of the native persons are all an actual draw.
The Loire Valley is scattered with centuries’ outdated chateaux, a few of which have been transformed to accommodations. Lots of them have lovely formal gardens which make for an pleasant and peaceable out of doors expertise within the spring, summer time, and fall. Add to that the lovely vineyards and charming cities, and also you may say the Loire Valley has one thing for everybody.
Staying CLOSE to the must-sees of the Loire Valley
Many vacationers who go to the Loire Valley keep in Blois or Orléans, however we do not suggest these cities are they don’t seem to be actually central sufficient for those who’re planning to tour the entire area.
If you wish to see the area’s most well-known castles, Amboise or Cheverny would be the finest locations to remain within the Loire Valley. Nonetheless, for those who want a extra city setting, many Loire Valley excursions depart from the stunning city of Excursions.
The City of Excursions
Excursions began out as a Gallic-Roman settlement however is these days a college city and fashionable departure level for excursions of the Loire Valley.
It is price visiting Saint-Gatien cathedral, which displays varied kinds of structure all through French historical past. It has a beautiful Gothic facade and towers whose bases date again to the twelfth century, with Renaissance tops.
There are additionally some beautiful gardens on the town – the Botanical Backyard of Excursions and the Prébendes d’Oé Backyard.
The outdated city could be very fairly. Nonetheless, Excursions is a bit too touristy for our style, so until you notably need to go to it, we might suggest you take into account different locations to remain within the Loire Valley.
The city of Excursions within the Loire Valley – Place Plumereau (Roger W – CC BY-SA 2.0)
The attractive Chenonceau fortress is only a 20-minute drive away from Amboise. Within the metropolis, you’ve Amboise fortress overlooking the Loire River, a residence as soon as favored by royalty within the 1600s.
There’s additionally the Chateau du Clos Lucé which is known for being the house of the good Italian artist, Leonardo Da Vinci between 1516 and 1519. The domaine is now a small museum and accommodates many working fashions of Da Vinci’s designs.
Though Amboise is a well-liked vacationer vacation spot, we expect it is one of the best city to remain within the Loire Valley for those who want a extra central location.
Amboise Fort (tasart – Pixabay)
Cheverny is an effective choice for those who want to flee from town to extra peaceable, rural environment.
In Cheverny itself, you may discover Cheverny fortress. This has been privately owned by the identical household for greater than 600 years, and so they nonetheless dwell within the chateau at present. The inside is superbly embellished and the in depth gardens are beautiful to stroll by way of on day. Cheverny fortress may look acquainted to followers of the comedian e-book collection The Adventures of Tin-Tin. The fortress was the inspiration for the fictional Marlinspike Corridor.
The well-known Chambord fortress is a 20-minute drive away from Cheverny.
Cheverny Fort (Benh LIEU SONG – CC BY-SA 4.0)
The Loire Valley off-the-beaten monitor
When deciding the place to remain within the Loire Valley, there are three most important belongings you’ll need to take into consideration.
First, do you favor to remain in an city or rural space?
Second, do you thoughts staying the place most different vacationers keep, or would you favor a break from the crowds?
Lastly, do you thoughts being a bit additional away from probably the most well-known castles if it means barely decrease costs and extra peace and quiet?
Staying within the extra well-known city areas of the area (e.g. Amboise or Excursions) you can find that it’s important to pay about 20% extra to your lodging.
Then again, within the countryside, there are some beautiful choices that are nonetheless fairly central, and these lodging have a tendency to supply higher high quality and worth for cash. It additionally means you keep away from the vacationers arriving on day excursions from Paris.
If you wish to escape from the vacationer crowds, the next areas are nice locations to remain. They’re very shut to some of the nicest Loire Valley chateaux, and solely 45 minutes to 1 hour half-hour’ drive away from different well-known castles like Chambord and Chenonceau.
Chenonceau Fort (Krzysztof Golik – CC BY-SA 4.0)
Chinon is the place France Simply For You co-founder Emilie went to highschool. Now we have cherished this city for a very long time. It exudes medieval appeal with its stone and half-timbered homes.
Chinon fortress sits atop a golden cliff on the sting of city, overlooking town. It was on this fortress that Joan of Arc, the so-called virgin warrior and French nationwide heroine, satisfied King Charles VII to struggle the English invasion within the fifteenth century. You may need to go to the effectively that Joan of Arc used to step on as she dismounted her horse.
There are splendid views throughout the Vienne River from the fortress partitions. From the opposite aspect of the river, you possibly can take pleasure in equally spectacular views of town and the fortress.
In addition to Chinon fortress, you may be effectively situated for visiting different Loire Valley chateaux similar to Villandry, Azay-le-Rideau, Langeais (Emilie and Guillaume’s hometown) and Ussé.
Chinon is among the finest locations to remain within the Loire Valley if you wish to do a wine tour. This space is known for its vineyards, which primarily produce Cabernet Franc crimson wine. Loire Valley wine is gentle and contemporary, and we have now a couple of favourite wineries which we embrace in our Loire Valley itineraries.
Other than its proximity to vineyards and chateau, plenty of sizzling air balloon excursions additionally depart from the areas of Chinon and Amboise. We went on an early night sizzling air balloon trip which departed from Chinon, and the view of the fortress and metropolis was breath-taking.
Chinon fortress (W. Bulach – CC BY-SA 4.0)
Langeais is our hometown and has its personal fortress, the Chateau de Langeais. Langeais fortress was first based in 992 by Fulk Nerra, one of many early counts of Anjou and a celebrated builder of medieval castles. Nonetheless, it was destroyed in the course of the Hundred Years’ Warfare (1337 – 1453) and later rebuilt by King Louis XII within the mid-to-late fifteenth century. It’s this Chateau de Langeais which nonetheless stands at present and is a superb instance of late medieval structure.
Chenonceau and Chambord castles are about 40 minutes and 1 hour 20 minutes respectively from Langeais and Azay-le-Rideau. Nonetheless, in addition to having their very own lovely castles, Langeais and Azay-le-Rideau are additionally simply fifteen minutes’ drive away from Villandry fortress and its gorgeous formal gardens.
So general, each Langeais and Azay-le-Rideau are fairly handy places for those who’re nonetheless deciding the place to remain within the Loire Valley.
Langeais Fort on a gorgeous summer time’s day (Campus France – CC0 1.0)
The city of Azay-le-Rideau is only a few steps from Azay-le-Rideau fortress and could be a beautiful place to remain within the Loire Valley for those who want extra of a quiet village ambiance.
Additionally inside simple attain of the city of Langeais, this gorgeous village has a good vary of eating places and cafes the place you possibly can loosen up after a protracted day exploring the castles. The Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau was just lately restored and refurbished and is a stunning instance of Renaissance structure. You may be struck by the gorgeous reflections of the chateau within the Indre River.
Simply alongside the river from Azay-le-Rideau fortress is the less-well-known Chateau de l’Islette, which continues to be lived in at present but additionally open to the general public. This can be a lovely little fortress, fairly paying homage to its neighbor however with fewer guests, so it is a good escape from the vacationer crowds. Get pleasure from stress-free in one of many deck-chairs within the fairly grounds or collect round a picnic desk for an al fresco lunch.
The Chateau de Villandry with its lovely formal gardens is simply quarter-hour’ drive from Langeais and Azay-le-Rideau. It was the final chateau of the Renaissance interval to be constructed subsequent to the River Loire.
Villandry gardens display the standard structure and gardens of the interval and are unfold amongst three terraces to kind the kitchen gardens, the water backyard, and the decorative backyard. There’s additionally a maze on the second terrace, which is kind of enjoyable to discover. The gardeners at Villandry fortress are regularly replanting and renewing the gardens, so even for those who’ve visited earlier than there’ll at all times be one thing completely different to see.
Azay-le-Rideau fortress (Jean-Christophe BENOIST – CC BY 3.0)
Staying Farther Afield
Saumur is a pleasing city to remain in within the far west of the Loire Valley. Nonetheless, it could also be too far-off from a few of the extra well-known castles, similar to Chambord, which is situated 1 hour 45 minutes’ drive away within the east of the area.
If you wish to expertise staying in cave houses, that are a particular function of this area (see the paragraph about troglodyte lodging beneath), Saumur is definitely choice to your keep within the Loire Valley.
The beautiful city of Saumur within the west of the Loire Valley (Daniel Jolivet – CC BY 2.0)
Sorts of Lodging
We focus on the kinds of lodging obtainable in France on one other web page of our web site. Within the Loire Valley, we expect one of the best choices are to remain in a premium Mattress & Breakfast so you possibly can work together with locals and the place you’ll obtain a heat welcome.
Nonetheless, for those who’re in search of one thing a bit completely different, you may take pleasure in staying in troglodyte lodging.
Troglodyte houses are domesticated cave dwellings and are a really particular function of the Loire Valley. These are present in cavities within the Loire Valley’s cliffs and plains which had been initially a consequence of mining for the well-known tuffeau stone ranging from the eleventh century. That is the native limestone from which most of the area’s castles had been constructed.
Over the centuries, the quarrying created an in depth community of caves and underground galleries. A few of these prolong for a number of miles. People began to maneuver into these caves centuries in the past, because the indoor temperature stays pretty fixed by way of the seasons.
The human cave dwellers are generally known as ‘les troglodytes’, and lots of of those dwellings have been renovated and fitted with trendy furnishings and facilities.
Staying in one in all these troglodyte lodging is to expertise an vital piece of the Loire Valley’s historical past. Many of those may be discovered within the Saumur area.
After all staying in a chateau can also be fairly particular and there are a number of within the area which settle for in a single day guests.
Troglodyte cave dwellings within the Loire Valley (Croquant – CC BY-SA 4.0)
Past visiting castles, there may be a lot extra to do within the Loire Valley. You may prefer to go on a sizzling air balloon trip or a wine tasting tour, or get lively and go kayaking within the Loire River. We additionally know some nice biking routes alongside the river.
Discover out extra about our Loire Valley excursions right here or contact us to inform us about your needs to your subsequent trip in France!