Riverside châteaux, gorgeous wines and rustic gîte homes
Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Loire Valley is home to a wealth of cultural and architectural treasures. Before a bucolic backdrop, explore the region’s vibrant towns, tranquil villages and ancient vineyards.
This valley in central France is perhaps best known for its châteaux. More than 300 of them dot the hills and straddle the rivers here, with standouts including Chambord, Chenoncaeau and Chaverny. This fairytale display of pepper-pot turrets, sparkling moats and crenellated ramparts comes courtesy of the bygone kings, queens and noblemen of France, who sought sanctuary in this attractive region. Admire the splendour and scale of the best châteaux during a tour, and perhaps even stay in a châteaux-turned-hotel. Alternatively, the characterful gîtes and family-favourite holiday cottages make for a comfortable retreat. Although they may be without a moat, many come with a private pool – along with all the modern luxuries you could want.
The Loire Valley is also known as ‘the garden of France’. Its fertile soil, mild climate and natural irrigation help the grass stay green, the crops flourish and the vines ripen. The Romans established the first vineyard here – two millennia ago – while today, there are 87 appellation-certified wines produced in the Valley. Why not spend time getting to know the region’s unique blends during a luxury vineyard tour? Or simply get out and enjoy the great outdoors. The Loire Valley is a natural fit for cycling and boating enthusiasts. It’s also a superb choice for a family escape.