The Loire Valley

From prehistory to the Renaissance, from the Middle Ages to the 19th century, the Pays de la Loire, cradle of French royalty, has been the setting for many important events in the country's history.

The chateaux of the Loire are renowned world-wide and many of the most famous are located an hour's or so drive from where you will be staying. Of the most famous there is the Chateau de Chenonceau and the Chateau of Chambord.   Well worth visiting, for something different, near Saumur is the Chateau de Brezé, where the most interesting parts are in troglodyte dwellings carved below the modern chateau.  Occupation here dates from Roman times through the middle ages.

The towns which must not be missed include Saumur, with its cavalry school and chateau, Tours, Amboise with its wonderful chateau and views across the Loire, and Chinon.  The troglodyte village of Rochemenier is also an attraction not to be missed.

To the right are Chambord, Chenonceau, Breze, and the troglodyte village.