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Centre Region of France - France's Loire Valley

The Centre Region of France, France's eastern Loire Valley, was the epicenter of French royalty. It features amazing chateaux and cathedrals, including Notre Dame de Chartres (in the village known as the Stained Glass Capital of the World). Centre is also a wonderful destination to experience fine cuisine, wine and art.

The Loire Valley's Top Ten Attractions
The Loire Valley is one of France’s most popular regions to visit. Here is my choice of the top ten attractions including chateaux, gardens, vineyards, and great activities like cycling the Loire a velo route to enjoy. The whole Loire Valley is, quite rightly, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Loire Valley by Bicycle
The 800 kilometer (500 mile) Loire Valley Bicycle Route (La Loire a Velo) goes from the little village of Cuffy in the eastern Cher to the coastal village of St-Brevin-les-Pins on the Atlantic. A large part of the route lies within the UNESCO World Heritage Site along the banks of the Loire. This huge project took more than ten years to build,...

Bourges Guide to the Cathedral, Hotels and Restaurants
The city of Bourges at the southern end of the Loire Valley has a world-famous cathedral, an old quarter at its heart and good restaurants. The wine-growing areas around Sancerre, chateaux and gardens are very near and all worth a visit.

Guide to the city of Tours in the Loire Valley
Tours is at the junction where the Loire and Cher rivers join. It’s the chief town of the Loire Valley and is less than an hour away from Paris by TGV. It’s particularly known for good food and wine and is a bustling, lively city with an old center.

Gardens in the Western Loire Valley
The Indre-et-Loire department in the Loire Valley region is centered around Tours in the western end of the river. It includes chateaux like Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau and Chinon and some wonderful gardens. The Chateau du Rivau is a medieval castle with 14 different gardens from a Garguantua kitchen garden to an Alice in Wonderland-style maze.

Gardens in the Eastern Loire Valley
The Loire Valley has some wonderful gardens to visit. Some come with a chateau, others are private. Here is a guide to the best gardens plus suggestions of places to stay with gardens or parks in the Cher, Indre-et-Loire, Loir-et-Cher and the Loiret, all departments around the Loire Valley.

Book a Hotel in Tours in the western Loire Valley
Hotels in Tours range from boutique hotels to discount hotels. Choosing a hotel in the city of Tours makes a good central point for visiting the chateaux and gardens in the western part of the Loire Valley. Check out which hotel to choose in Tours from these recommendations, including chateaux hotels.

Top Ten Chateaux in the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is a wonderful place to visit, with its châteaux being the top attraction. From the Middle Ages on the French nobles and kings built their glorious palaces along the river banks. Here is my pick of the ten you should see along the banks of the Loire River.

Guide and Attractions in Orleans in the Loire Valley, France
Orleans, capital of the Loiret department, is the Loire’s most northern city. At the heart of the Loire Valley with its chateaux, gardens and historic attractions, Orleans is easy to reach by train and car from Paris. It makes the city perfect either for a short break from Paris or for the start of a longer Loire Valley tour. Check out this...

St. Valentin Village
St. Valentin is a tiny village in Indres, France, which celebrates St. Valentine's Day annually with a Festival, marriages, renewals of vows and more

Winter Sightseeing in the Loire Valley
The magnificent castles or chateaux that line the mighty River Loire are a major attraction in summer. But happily, some stay open in the winter as well. And in winter, you have the rooms to yourselves so you feel the ghosts of the great figures of the past walking beside you through the echoing, empty rooms. Here are four of the most...

Loire Valley Chateau Castles in Pictures
Take a photo tour of France's Loire Valley chateaux, once the homes of Europe's elite lords and kings.

Paris to Chartres by Train and Car
How to Get from Paris to Chartres by train and car. Use this information resource to plan your journey in France.

Paris to Tours by train, bus and car
Details of how to get from Paris to Tours in the west Loire Valley by various forms of transportation. Use these information resources to plan your journey.

Paris to Orleans by Train and Car
How to get from Paris to Orleans in the Loire Valley by train and car. Use this information resource to plan your journey in France.

Chateau d'Artigny Hotel in the Loire Valley
The luxury Chateau d'Artigny hotel in the Loire valley offers a real treat. Rebuilt by Francois Coty, the famous perfumer in the 1920s, it became the glittering venue for fabulous parties. Today its gorgeous 18th-century style fills the chateau.

Loire Valley Gardens & Chateaux
Approaching an imposing moat-surrounded château, embellished with hedges trimmed into designs and patterns called parterres de broderies, gravel crunching underfoot, is an unforgettable experience. The Loire Valley, more than most places in the world, personifies the good life.

Saint Valentine and His Day in France
The origins of St. Valentine's Day in France

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