A Travel Guide to the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is known all over the world as the garden of France. It has more than a thousand chateaus that fill the beautiful green hills, and it is probably the natural beauty and gentle pace of life that has attracted many writers and poets over the years. This is why visitors will have the opportunity to explore the creation of many world-famous artists and the source of their inspiration.
The Cathedral of Chartres is world-famous and was called the Acropolis of France by Rodin. The Cathedral testifies of the magnificent architectural skills the region enjoyed in the mediaeval times. The must see attractions of Chartres include a collection of ancient musical instruments, stained glass from the 12th and 13th century and the sculpture. Visitors will find the old town with cobbled streets, charming footbridges and gabled houses at the foot of the Cathedral of Chartres. The castles of Maintenon and Anet are also a major attraction here.
Known as the vinegar capital of France, Orleans was once the second largest city of France. In the year 1429 Joan of Arc liberated it from the British. Every year in the month of May celebrations are held in Orleans, in memory of the exploits of Joan. The house where she stayed during the ten-day period when Orleans was besieged can also be visited. Tourists can also visit the Chamerolles Castle and the Sully-sur-Loire Castle.
Located at the heart of France, the town is steeped in history with architecture from the mediaeval and Renaissance period, paved stone streets, the magnificent Gothic Cathedral St-Etienne and ancient ramparts. Places to see in the surrounding area include the Noirlac Abbey, George Sand's House in Nohant, the château o' Meillant and Sancerre. During the summer visitors can enjoy the illuminated nights when some buildings and monuments are lit with beautiful lightings and filled with music.
The Castle in Blois has been linked to the history of the Royals in France all through the past. There is a special ‘night spectacle’ in the Castle every Wednesday for all the English speaking visitors. Interesting places in the surroundings include Chaumont-sur Loire, which hosts the International Festival of Parks and Garden every year and the châteaux of Beauregard.
There is a wide variety of self catering holiday accommodation in the Loire Valley ranging from apartments in the towns to gites and cottages in the countryside.