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France: Loire Valley, The Land Of Kings

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Inspire Magazine Europe 14 Cover
Chateau Chambord France
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France: Loire Valley, The Land Of Kings

story by: Mike Williams

The Loire Valley is filled with jaw-dropping châteaux, stunning natural scenery and gastronomic delights, making it the perfect spot for travellers who want it all.

Located along the middle stretch of the river Loire, the region became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000, and is the biggest in France.

If that doesn’t convince you of the Loire Valley’s unique qualities, the fact that it was home to generations of French kings who were captivated by its beauty should give you an idea of how spellbinding the region is.

These monarchs have left their mark here in the form of spectacular châteaux, from medieval fortresses to Renaissance castles. Each château has its own fascinating history and some have been converted into charming hotels so you can know how it feels to live like a king!

One of the most impressive châteaux is Chenonceau in Indre-et-Loire, which is built across the Cher River in an amazing feat of architectural brilliance. This truly exceptional site has mesmerising gardens, a magnificent art gallery with paintings by the great masters and remarkable Flemish tapestries.

But there’s more to the Loire Valley than its castles, particularly if you are a foodie. The Valley is one of the biggest wine-growing regions in France, with its fertile soil providing a delectable variety of flavours for wine lovers of all palates. Tasty fresh fish, goats cheese and other local produce are easy to find, while a large selection of gourmet restaurants are available for those who prefer dining out.

If you want to work up an appetite first, the Loire Valley is a very popular cycling location and features in the Tour de France every year.

The Loire a Velo trail includes 800km of cycle routes that will take you through some of the valley’s most eye-catching gardens, vineyards and châteaux.

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