The Loire Valley region, known for its castles and bucolic scenery, is located an hour from Paris by train. It is a place to feel as if you have stepped into a fairy tale
Château de Chenonceau
The most beautiful and frequently photographed cha^teau in the region is sustained by pillars built on the Cher River. Also known as the Cha^teau des Dames, the Cha^teau de Chenonceau was once home to Catherine de’ Medici after the death of Henry II.
Château de Chambord
The largest cha^teau in the Loire, Chambord was built by Francis I to accommodate his hunting expeditions – he also possessed two other cha^teaux in the region (Blois and Amboise). It has 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases – which, legend has it, Leonardo da Vinci was responsible for designing.
Château de Villandry
In addition to the lovely cha^teau, Villandry is worth visiting for its amazing gardens, which are redesigned several times a year. Anyone interested in the subject can visit the cha^teau’s website and check out tips from the main gardener, Laurent Portuguez, organized according to season.
A great way to explore the local nature, bike rides in the region are becoming more and more popular. There are different categories of routes, for beginners (and kids), intermediates (between 15.5 miles [25 km] and 31 miles [50 km]) and even for the more athletic.
In the summer it’s possible to admire the scenery in the region on one of the themed cruises: balades ape´ro (an on-board picnic) or balades ressourc¸antes, designed for nature lovers.