When talking, in tourist terms, about the “Loire Valley”, we are in fact talking of the length of river stretching from Orleans in the east to Saumur or even Angers in the west.
Otherwise known as the Royal Chateaux Country.
The Loire is a 600 mile long river. Born in southern France, growing up and enjoying its adulthood in central France, it reaches its full maturity on the western shores of France, rejoining the Atlantic at St Nazaire.
The Loire! In the summer, a lazy, shallow, water course, in the winter and early spring, a monstrous mass of rushing water running powerfully down-stream defeating any and all obstacles placed in its way!
La Loire gives its name to the Loire valley.
But it is but the principle river of four others:
- Le Loir to the north, flowing through Vendôme,
- The Cher, famously spanned over by the gallery of Chenonceau Chateau,
- The Vienne, flowing gracefully through Chinon in the West
- The Indre/Indrois in the south of the county watering that very English part of the world: Montresor, Loches, Montbazon.
These rivers are together responsible for our perfect weather, warm summers (not too hot) and not too cold winters.
They are also responsible for our attractive farming countryside, encouraging a mixture of arable and animal farming and with of course a great amount of grape and fruit growing.
So come to the Loire Valley yourselves to discover and enjoy the pastoral and riverside scenery!
The Loire valley is also known as the Royal Chateaux Country. This is due to the fact that over 10 % of all French chateaux are within the area called “le Centre” , that is to say over 800 chateaux!
No you can’t visit them all! Talk about chateau fatigue!
Further up these pages you would have come across some brief descriptions of the major châteaux which you are encouraged to visit: Chambord, Chenonceau, Azay-le-Rideaux, Loches, Amboise, Saumur, Chinon, Talcy, Blois, Beauregard, Beaugency, Nitray, Chaumont, Montrichard, Gue Paon, Mondoublon…