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An historic area, the Loire Valley has seen some of France's most important events including the Battle of Orleans where Joan of Arc led the French into battle, and is filled with beautiful cathedrals and chateaux, winding rivers perfect for water sports and some excellent wine regions.

It comes as no surprise that this region is often referred to as the Garden of France as it is an enchanted land of vineyards, flowers and rolling green hills dotted with picturesque villages.

With the added charm of its gentle pace of life it has for centuries been a sought after location as inspiration for many artists, poets and writers.

There is a wealth of sightseeing opportunities here including historic cities such as Tours and Orléans and many magnificent châteaux; glorious Chambord, Chaumont sur Loire with its stunning gardens and the picture perfect Azay le Rideau to name but a few. It's also an ideal place to relax and unwind - the climate is soft and mild and the countryside ideal for leisurely walks or gentle cycling whilst taking in the wonderful views.

The mighty Loire river (the longest in France) provides boat trips and watersports, bathing areas and little man-made sandy beaches for soaking up the sun.

Top places to visit

Blois in the Loire Valley is a charming royal city with an historic château that has been home to 7 French kings and 10 French queens.

Tours in the Loire Valley is a modern city with a history dating back to the Romans that is famous for its architecture, wines and markets.

Orléans in the Loire Valley is a city rich with history and famous for its links to Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orléans.

Chartres in the Loire Valley is an historic city on the River Eure, famous for its ornate cathedral and its reputation for producing fine perfumery.

One of the most elegant chateau in the Loire Valley, the Château de Chambord was built as a Royal hunting lodge for Francois I and was a firm favourite with the French Royal Family throughout the following centuries.

An ornate Gothic masterpiece, Chartres cathedral contains the largest collection of original medieval stained glass in the world. A major pilgrimage destination since the Middle Ages, with a route between here and the Notre...

The Royal Château de Blois is located in the center of the city of Blois. The château has been the residence of several French kings, and is also where Joan of Arc was blessed in 1429 by the Archbishop of Reims, before...

This exceptional park in the grounds of a château features the bubbling source of the river Loiret, a tributary of the Loire. A mass of spring flowers bloom in April, followed by displays of over 900 varieties of iris, then...