THE RICH FRENCH LIFE
The chateaus of the Loire have become synonymous with the Loire Valley from the time this region was embraced by French Royalty as a safe haven away from the political back-stabbing of Paris and then as a rich cultural playground. What they and their noble followers created is here for us all to see today, preserved in a way perhaps only the French can, even to the extent of rebuilding, as at the fortress at Chinon, Chambord Castle, Chenonceau, Blois, Richelieu, Aizay Le Rideau, Langeais, ...
VISIT LOCAL MARKETS
Markets are part of everyday life within Centre/Val de Loire ( Loire Valley) with almost every town and village having their local marchés.
A visit here is not complete without a wander around the stalls sampling and taking in the atmosphere of French life. It is here you will come to understand part of the French psyche - for as you wait to be served you might get a little frustrated with the apparently idle chatter between the customer and stall holder - but if you stop for a moment you will realise that you can spare the time and they have got it right! Richelieu and the surrounding villages are well known for their nice brocante & antiques, so they are the perfect spot to buy good priced and nice things to remember your holidays by. October & november are ideal to stroll along the 'marche de puces' and brocante markets.
THE LOIRE VALLEY
Well known for it's vast vineyards, the Loire Valley offers visitors a wide range of wonderful wines and bubbles. Many of these vineyards are only a short drive away, and are all very happy to welcome you for a wine tasting experience.
The Touraine area is also known for it's fine goats cheese. A car is perfect to visit the region, but a bike is as good, there are biking-routes available which will lead you true vineyards, gardens, along the Loire and the Vienne. So much to explore. The Epicurists among you will love this region, as well in summer, spring, autumn and winter.
WE RECOMMEND :
Experience 'Vineyard & Velo'Why? I'll quote the devoted guide : 'We have a passion for cycling, and we've developed a real love of the Cabernet Franc grape! We're English and now living in the Loire valley, allowing us to build relationships with the very best vineyards willing to open their doors to you, and your bike! '