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The Loire Valley lies in a lush pastoral landscape that has traditionally provided some of the nation's agricultural treasures, from wine to sausage to regional cheeses. For this reason, it's often called the Garden of France. Come here to explore the side streets of historic villages like Amboise, Nantes, Chinon and Orleans. Go on a hike or bicycle trek and take in the bucolic scenery of the countryside. And most importantly, visit the Loire Valley for its castles. This area is a treasure trove of extraordinary architectural heritage and cultural monuments.
The Loire Valley is home to over 300 preserved castles, also called chateaux, which were built as far back as the 10th century. The tranquil climate and beautiful scenery here began to attract the attention of French kings centuries ago. They began to commission opulent homes and summer residences here, and as other nobility followed suit, castles began to proliferate along the Loire River and down the green fertile valley. Tour the lavish rooms and formal gardens of some of these elegant structures and learn more about the architecture, culture and history of this region.
Here are a few additional suggestions as you plan your trip:
You'll have no trouble finding a perfect place to stay in the villages and towns of the Loire Valley. Book a charming vacation rental close to your favorite sites and activities. Rent an elegant cottage, a country villa, or beautiful condo in the Loire Valley. During your visit to the Loire Valley, you may also want to visit Paris or one of the other beautiful and historic cities in the area including Le Mans and Chartres.