Take a trip to the Loire Valley
This forest region, traced from east to west by the Loire river, is not the most well-known tourist spot in France yet is full of treasures. Be sure to visit the famous Loire castles, the jewels of the region and like something out of a fairy tale. You’ll love walking through the back alleyways of its charming villages, not to mention its romantic riverbank and diverse heritage. As well, you’ll have access to some of the best cuisine in the country.
Tour guides in Center – Loire Valley
Five ideas for guided tours in the Loire Valley
One of the prestigious gems of the Loire Valley, the Chenonceau castle has a unique architecture due to being constructed directly on the Cher. It is also known as the Castle of the Ladies thanks to the charismatic women who have played a part in its history. Katherine Briçonnet was the first to oversee its construction. The building was then inhabited by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medicis. This is likely why the rooms remain so elegant, containing many paintings by masters such as Van Loo, Murillo and Nicolas Poussin. Don’t miss the grounds and the vegetable garden, which are a good enough reason to visit in themselves. And do not forget that accompanied by an official tour guide of Center-Val de Loire that you will better appreciate this historic place.
With the Loire running through it, Vendôme unites culture with nature. Opt for one of three walks available to you. The first will take you through the town where you can discover medieval era homes. The second climbs to the remains of the Count and Dukes of Vendôme Castle by way of religious structures and the Baltard-style covered market. The last path is dedicated to gardens in which you can appreciate a seasonal series of diverse floral compositions, without passing over the Ronsard Park and its century-old trees. Go on a discovery of an absolutely beautiful city.
Saumur and its equestrian center
Located on the left bank of the Loire, Saumur is imbued with authenticity and tradition. The glaring proof is of course the “Cadre Noir” and its riding school dating back to the late 16th century. Come and immerse yourself in this equestrian world, visiting the stables and attending horse training sessions. Then go for a walk in the city center where the whiteness of the houses is sure to surprise you. The effect is due to tuffeau stone, a kind of chalk that was used to build the castles of the area. Saumaur’s well-preserved historic center is home to remarkable sites: the old town, the church of Nantilly, and the Royal Chapel of Our Lady of the Ardilliers. Finally, the city will officially win you over with gastronomy and wine-tasting.
Apremont Floral Park
Next to the town of Nevers, the floral park of Apremont-sur-Allier is enchanting. It sits as a green backdrop to the medieval village ranked as one of the “Most Beautiful Villages in France.” A magical and open pathway between different spaces is open to visitors, linked together by well-kept stretches of grass. You can discover the famous “white garden” with its sublime Japanese cherry trees, more than 1,500 types of plants, a pergola made of wisteria and a multitude of rare trees. Don’t miss the waterfall and body of water that highlight the Chinese bridge.
The Chambord Castle
Gem of the Renaissance, Chambord Castle is one of the most visited monuments in the Loire Valley. Its estate is located on the banks of the Cosson River, 10 kilometers from the town of Blois. Originally a 10th century fortress, King François of France began renovating the site in 1519 to create a new hunting residence. The enclosure has 400 rooms, more than 80 staircases, 365 fireplaces and an exceptional number of towers. Not to mention the vast, 5,000-acre park and its French gardens that can be explored on foot or by bike.