Chambord. France. 02-28-2021. Chambord Castle at Loire Vallay. France.

Getty Images

The Loire Valley

If it's French splendour, style and gastronomy you seek, the Loire Valley will exceed your expectations, no matter how great. Poised on the crucial frontier between northern and southern France, and just a short train or autoroute ride from Paris, the region was once of immense strategic importance. Kings, queens, dukes and nobles came here to establish feudal castles and, later on, sumptuous pleasure palaces – that's why this fertile river valley is sprinkled with hundreds of France's most opulent aristocratic estates. With crenellated towers, soaring cupolas and glittering banquet halls, the region's châteaux, and the villages and vineyards that surround them, attest to over a thousand years of rich architectural and artistic creativity. The Loire Valley is also known for its outstanding wines (red, white, rosé and sparkling) and lively, sophisticated cities, including Orléans, Blois, Tours and Angers – yet more reasons why the entire area is an enormous Unesco World Heritage Site.


Must-see attractions

Top picks from our travel experts

Plan with a local


Latest stories from The Loire Valley

Filter by interest:

Travel in France - beautiful castles of Loire valley - Montpoupon; Shutterstock ID 669972859; your: Daniel Fahey; gl: 65050; netsuite: Online Editorial; full: Loire Valley road trips

Road Trips

The 5 best road trips in the Loire Valley

May 21, 2023 • 8 min read

Go Beyond

The Loire Valley and beyond