The Loire Valley is one of the best stops or destinations when you are travelling to Paris and the neighboring regions of France. It’s a great place if you are looking for the right mix of nature, sights and sceneries, history, architecture, and of course, food particularly wine. The valley also has a very good and mild climate. And this place will not only be enjoyed by adults, but children and the entire family as well.
When you’re in The Loire Valley, here are 7 of the best things to do:
- Chateau or Castle Hopping. The Loire Valley is perhaps best known for its chateaus or the castles and vacation houses built by the early noble people in France. According to estimates, there are more than 300 chateaus in this region. And if you’re looking for the largest and the best ones, there are dozens for you to choose from. Among the notable ones include the Usse and the mighty Chambord. Your kids will certainly recognize the Usse because it was the inspiration for the castles in “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”. On the other hand, only in Chambord you can see and experience the world’s most impressive rooftop. Of course, there are plenty to stay in too Le Manoir de Montecler being one of note.
- Relaxing at the Natural Parks and Gardens. The next best attractions to the chateaus are the natural parks and gardens which are usually situated close or right next to these castles. If you love the Renaissance style of most Italian gardens, you can also see such influence in this region. Because of The Loire Valley’s beautiful terrain and climate, previous kings and nobles seemingly competed when it comes to landscaping. The result: top notch gardens like the Villandry, Chaumant-sur-Loire, Chenonceau, Le Parc Foral, Square de Vierzon, etc.
- Cruising or Canoeing. A valley isn’t complete without its main river and tributaries. You can participate in a cruising expedition in the main Loire. If you want to enjoy the tributaries and the neighboring lakes with your family or explore it yourself, canoeing or kayaking is an ideal option.
- Wine Tasting. Another benefit of a good weather coupled with the fertile land is the production of the best tasting grapes and wines. And your wine tasting experience in The Loire Valley can be unique because you may not only visit wine stores but directly see the process of wine making itself from farms, cellars, or the wineries.
- Bicycling or traversing the Loire a Velo Route. The entire 800 kilometer stretch of the valley is home to a great cycling route just along the Loire River. What’s better than traversing a terrain filled with sights and wonders you can see along the way? For hikers and trekkers, there are also dedicated routes or paths for these activities.
- Play Golf. All across France, there are hundreds of golf courses. Though they may not rival those world renowned courses in Scotland, they still have something unique to offer. The better and more predictable climate in the Loire Valley also means better playing. And of course, it’s only here that you have a distinct chateau, castle, or garden background while playing.
- Go-Karting. For dads and children who enjoy racing, you might want a stop at the A.S.K. Chatellerault, one of the oldest go-karting clubs and tracks in France. There’s another club which offers both indoor and outdoor karting, the Formule Kart de Touraine.