If you’re in need of a luxurious getaway on the continent, I think the Loire Valley is certainly one place that delivers the goods. From its fabulous visitor attractions and gorgeous natural scenery to the friendly locals and great-tasting cuisine, this part of central France has long been popular among holidaymakers seeking a chic break.
While there is a wide range of accommodation in the region for you to choose from, I say that it’s worth renting a holiday chateau in the Loire Valley. Choosing one of the period properties in the area will not just give you a stylish base for your break, but also offer an insight into what life for noblemen was like hundreds of years ago. If you’re struggling to decide where exactly to book, however, here are some of the places you might want to consider.
Whether you decide to stay in the heart of Blois or in a chateau just outside the pretty town, I don’t think you’ll fail to be mesmerised by its wonderful landmarks. This part of the Loire Valley contains a range of amazing castles, including the 9th-century Royal de Blois. Over the years, this property has been inhabited by ten queens and seven kings, although today it is now one of the area’s most popular tourist attractions. Head to the fine art museum contained in the Louis XII wing and you’ll have the chance to peruse hundreds of pieces of art made by Lavinia Fontana and other leading European painters, sculptors and weavers.
From here, you can visit the amazing Blois Cathedral, a stunning Gothic cathedral situated in the heart of the town. Although the vast majority of the building you see today was constructed in the 15th and 16th centuries, it actually dates back to the 12th century.
Just to the east of Blois is Millancay, a quaint town nestled in the heart of the countryside. This is a great place to stay if you like walking and, with lakes, forests and marshes all close by, there’s plenty of terrain to take in as you stroll.
If you find that you’ve worked up an appetite from your walk, I advise you check out some of the local restaurants that serve delicious dishes featuring apples, pumpkins and wild mushrooms, as well as locally-caught game such as geese, pheasants and ducks.
Make Tours the base for your holiday and you’ll sample some fantastic fare. Of course, this is something that applies no matter where in France you stay, but coming to the pretty town means you can tuck in fouaces, a delicious bun that is cooked on a wooden stove.
You can eat these tasty delicacies while sipping on a coffee from one of the cafes at the Place Plumereau public square, although if you want something a little stronger you should try a glass of vouvray, a type of wine that is made in the region’s vineyards.
Once you’ve finished your drink, head out to the Plaine de la Gloriette. This wonderful park contains well-maintained vegetable patches, flowerbed and herb gardens and guided tours run on a regular basis.
If you’re thinking of going on holiday in the Loire Valley, please leave a comment and let us know where you’d like to go.