The best things to do in the Loire Valley are to walk in the footsteps of French aristocrats who have converged here throughout the years in search of the same three things: peace and tranquility visiting castles, châteaux, and winery.
Loire Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage site that stretches for 280 kilometers along the Loire River in central France. It offers castles straight out of a storybook, magnificent chateaux and exquisite wine, totally perfect for couples getaways from Paris.
A trip experience to Loire castles (more than 300) and chateaux are without a doubt one of the most popular tourist attractions in the valley. France have some of the most beautiful castles and chateaux in the world.
From Sancerre all the way to the sea, Loire valley winery landscape is dotted with tons of vineyards. Wine connoisseurs should regard this region as one of France’s best holiday destinations.
This means that there are plenty of places to visit for those who enjoy the finer things in life: excellent food, wine and souvenirs hunting among others.
To make it easier to get to these vacation places, most tourists prefer to arrange day trip from Paris by bus or train, while others prefer to to stay in Loire valley for few days. The choice is up to you.
Best Time To Visit Loire Valley
Although the castles are open and are available to the public all year round, the best time to go visit Loire Valley is probably in April where it’s less crowded. But September to October is your best bet for a great time.
The roses are blooming profusely but the beautiful landscape will be less appealing compare to summer months when the climate is mildly warm and sunny with picture-perfect French garden settings.
If you are visiting the valley for a longer stay, you might want to go in December when the quaint villages and towns turn on the charm with beautiful lightings at Christmas.
The ideal budget-friendly trip are by public transports. But if you want to escape the hassle then try Loire Valley tours from Paris.
If you’re short on time, guided tours of the Loire Valley are also a good alternative. Most trips include all meals and wine tasting.
There are various excursions available including full-day trips and multi-day tours for small groups to truly see the beauty of Loire Valley.
Best Chateaux To Visit in Loire Valley
Château de Chenonceau
One of the most renown and visited castles in France is Château de Chenonceau. The property’s structure is a blend of late Gothic and early Renaissance styles with lovely riverbank surroundings, making it a popular Loire Valley day trip from Paris.
Château de Chenonceau has to be one of the most magnificent castles in the Loire Valley with its exquisite spires and bridge, sprawling gardens that spans the River Cher.
When Henry II died, his wife Catherine de Medici took it for herself and gave it to his mistress Diane de Poitiers.
Now, you can visit the recreation of both of their bedrooms which are furnished with 16th – 17th century furnishings. You’ll feel as if you’ve stumbled into France in the middle ages via a time portal.
Red kites and peregrine falcons may be spotted soaring around the ancient castles. As you stroll through the gardens, you’ll be bewitched by a diverse range of flora and fauna.
There are more than 130,000 plants in the extensive garden. The castle’s more recent history is equally noteworthy, since it was utilized by the resistance movement to flee German-occupied France and enter the country’s free territory.
Château de Chenonceau is not only amazing but it is also one of the most spectacular architectural masterpieces in the world. Even better, this beautiful site can be accessed for a small fee.
The cost of admission is $24 but there are other easier options to visit like by engaging a private guide offering Loire Valley tours from Paris or pick up at your hotel lobby.
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Envision yourself drinking wine in a gorgeous surroundings at Loire Valley chateaux with Marie Antoinette or a picnic settings to experience some of France’s most beautiful gardens by the river while learning about the country’s long and dramatic history.
Loire Valley chateaux are manor houses which tend to be large, beautiful and often extravagant residences with lush gardens often surrounded by spacious grounds and beautiful architecture.
This tiny château, built on the ruins of an old stronghold above the River Loire, glows honey-yellow when the sun shines on it.
Château d’Amboise hosted many of the great thinkers of the 14th and 15th centuries including Joan of Arc and Leonardo Da Vinci, who spent the three remaining years of his life exploring its walls and towers.
Charles VIII died (1948) in the castle in an unusual way after hitting his head on a horizontal beam at the top of the doorway. So yeah, when you explore the network of medieval corridors, ensure to mind your way around the royal house.
The cost of admission is $26.60. To avoid ques on peak hours, hire a local guided tour for a more personalized trip that includes wine sampling and lunch.
Loire Valley Winery
Vouvray has long been favored worldwide, despite being three times the size of its neighbor Montlouis, The region is one of Loire Valley’s finest winery located on the Vouvray Cliffs and it’s surroundings.
Montlouis is a village in the Montlouis-sur-Loire and are not well known in worldwide wine markets, a pall shadow of it’s more famous neighbor Vouvray. Nevertheless, Montlouis wine have a longer shelve life.
With its breathtaking views of flawless lines of grapes and colonial architecture residences, this is one of the top vacation spots in France for novice to experts wine aficionados to visit.
It’s a different side of France that most people don’t know about. The coolest thing I experience was sipping wine in a super peaceful environment.
The vineyards have been around for decades and it’s a relaxing haven where visitors may experience Loire Valley history as well.
Joining a small group tour with a local guide is a fantastic way to learn about the Loire Valley wineries and its variations.
- Here’s the resource: Loire Valley Winery Tour in Vouvray and Montlouis
Most likely, you are already familiar with the top places to go on vacation in France. But the Loire Valley is full of more tranquil and unruffled vacation destination for tourists to explore without a swarm of tourists buzzing around.