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Loire Valley

Grandiose Renaissance castles, high-class gastronomy and fine wines

Loire Valley Highlights

Loire Valley sums up French splendor: it is one of France’s most beautiful and rich regions. Famous for its stunning Renaissance castles, authentic villages, beautiful gardens and wines, Loire Valley is just a short train ride from Paris.

More than 300 châteaux

There are more than 300 stunning castles located in the picturesque Loire Valley. The history of these castles dates back to the 10th century when they were first built as fortresses. Later on they became the playground of the French aristocracy during the Renaissance. Today, many of the castles are owned by the French government or local municipalities and are open to the public. However, some are still privately owned and not open to visitors. The most famous castles in the Loire Valley include Château de Chambord, famous for its double helix staircase, inspired by Leonardo da Vinci, Château d’Amboise, the burial place of the latter and Château de Chenonceau, known for its beautiful gardens and architecture.

Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire | © original content / The French Route
Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire | © original content / The French Route
Gardens in Château de Villandry | © Original content / The French Route
Gardens in Château de Villandry | © Original content / The French Route


The Loire Valley region is a paradise for garden enthusiasts with its charming French-style gardens located in the châteaux premises. The gardens of the Château de Villandry, with its intricate patterns of colorful flowers, are a must-see. We also strongly recommend visitors to explore the magnificent gardens at the Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire. Every year during Summer, the International Garden Festival (Festival International des Jardins) showcases innovative contemporary gardens designed by artists and designers from different countries around the world.

Quaint villages rich in cultural legacy

Loire Valley region is home to numerous quaint villages. Take Saché for instance, which is home to the 19th-century house of French author Honoré de Balzac. Today, you can visit his home, now a museum dedicated to his life and work. In this mansion, Balzac wrote some of his most famous novels, including “The Wild Ass’s Skin”. Also there is the American sculptor Alexander Calder who fell in love with the region and built a workshop in Saché where he spent half of his life. And it doesn’t end here. Saché also offers great restaurants (we can book a table for you at L’Auberge du 12ème siècle, one of the best restaurants in the area).

Balzac House in Saché | © original content / The French Route
Balzac House in Saché | © original content / The French Route
Vineyards in Saumur-Champigny
Vineyards in Saumur-Champigny

Wine, where tradition meets avant-garde

The Loire Valley is home to some of the world’s most traditional and reputable wines, such as the crisp and mineral-driven Sancerre and the rich and elegant Chinon. These classic wines are made using traditional methods and are highly regarded by wine enthusiasts around the globe. In recent years, the Loire Valley has also become a hotbed for avant-garde natural winemaking. These wines are made with minimal intervention, allowing the grapes to fully express themselves, and often have a funky and unpredictable character that appeals to adventurous wine drinkers. Whether you prefer the classic or the experimental, we can arrange for you a wine-tasting with a winemaker or a sommelier.

Try out some of the best French cuisine

This region is definitely a haven for foodies. Loire Valley – and central France generally speaking – boasts a rich culinary heritage and is renowned for its gastronomy, which blends local ingredients and special dishes. For instance, the “rillettes de Tours” which is a recipe similar to confit where meat is seasoned then slow cooked with fat and cooked at slow pace for up to 10 hours. You can also try out rillons which are made from pig’s neck fried in fat. The Loire Valley is also home to several Michelin-starred restaurants, which offer memorable dining experiences. We usually recommend the two-starred restaurant at Fleur de Loire in Blois, but there are many other ones that are worth dining at.

Crottins de Chavignol and other goat cheeses from the Centre-Val de Loire region

Loire Valley Trips

Our trips are 100% customizable

Les Sources de Caudalie - Bike Ride in the Vineyards

A Family Adventure: Paris, the Loire Valley & Bordeaux

Discover the Magic of Paris, the Splendor of the Loire Valley Castles, Explore Bordeaux’s Charming Streets and Vineyards, and Ascend the Dune of Pyla


Azay-le-Rideau Castle

Paris & Loire Valley Castles: A Journey through French Royalty

Discover Paris’s Iconic Monuments, Savor A Dinner with Local Parisian Hosts, Cruise Along the Seine, and Explore the Castles of the Loire Valley