CULTURE FRANCIA

Table of Contents

15 Best Things to Do in Loire Valley

Up-to-Date 2024  –  By Culture Francia Team

Table of Contents

15 Top Things to Do

Loire Valley Overall Appeal ★★★★★

  Name Appeal Type Visit Cost
01 Chambord ★★★★★

Castle

Either Paid
02 Chenonceau ★★★★★

Castle & Garden

Either Paid
03 Villandry ★★★★★

Castle & Garden

Either Paid
04 ➡️ Amboise ★★★★★ Town - -
05 Vineyards ★★★★★ Vineyards + Tastings Tour Paid
06 Balloon ★★★★★ Flight Tour Paid
07 Sidecar ★★★★★ Sidecar Excursion Tour Paid
08 Biking ★★★★☆ Biking Self Free
09 ➡️ Blois ★★★★☆ Town - -
10 Chaumont-sur-Loire ★★★★☆

Castle & Garden

Either Paid
11 ➡️ Loches ★★★☆☆ Town - -
12 ➡️ Tours ★★★☆☆ City - -
13 ➡️ Azay-le-Rideau ★★★☆☆ Town - -
14 ➡️ Langeais ★★★☆☆ Town - -
15 Fontevraud Abbey ★★★☆☆ Abbey Self Paid

01. Chambord Castle

Grand view of Chambord Castle with its elaborate Renaissance architecture, symmetrical gardens, and clear blue sky.

Appeal ★★★★★
Type Castle

Visit Self or Tour
Cost Paid

The Château de Chambord is an architectural marvel located in the heart of the Loire Valley. This Renaissance-style castle from the 16th century represents the height of French style.

Inside, the double-helix staircase, designed by Leonardo da Vinci, is a highlight.

Outside, the castle is adorned with 800 sculpted columns and towers.

The rooftop, with its many chimneys and spires, offers nice views.

The grounds surrounding the castle include a 13,000-acre forest, one of Europe’s largest enclosed parks. 

02. Chenonceau Castle & Gardens

Aerial view of Chenonceau Castle with its distinctive arches over a river, surrounded by manicured gardens and dense forest.

Appeal ★★★★★
Type Castle & Gardens

Visit Self or Tour
Cost Paid

Château de Chenonceau, a Renaissance-style castle from the 16th century, famously spans the River Cher and is known as the “Ladies’ Castle” due to its history of influential female owners. It also includes elegant galleries over the river.

The beautifully designed French-style gardens are also a major attraction at the site.

03. Villandry Castle & Gardens

View of Villandry Castle with its meticulously maintained Renaissance gardens featuring symmetrical patterns of hedges, plants, and colorful flowers.

Appeal ★★★★★
Type Castle & Gardens

Visit Self or Tour
Cost Paid

Château de Villandry is renowned for its 16th-century Renaissance-style castle, but it is most famous for its exquisite French-style flower and vegetable gardens, which were primarily created during the 20th-century restoration by the Carvallo family, a Spanish-American couple.

04. Amboise Town

Aerial view of Amboise town featuring a historic castle with stone walls, surrounded by lush green lawns, residential buildings, and a river running through the town.

Overall Appeal ★★★★★

Amboise is a picturesque town situated on the banks of the Loire River. It is known for its charming medieval streets and historic significance.

Amboise played a crucial role in the French Renaissance, serving as a royal residence in the 15th and 16th centuries. 

The town was also the final home of Leonardo da Vinci.

The pedestrian-friendly old town is filled with quaint shops, cafes, and half-timbered houses. 

05. Loire Valley Vineyards

Expansive view of lush green vineyards in the Loire Valley with rows of grapevines stretching into the distance, bordered by trees and a distant building.

Appeal ★★★★★
Type A

Visit Tour
Cost Paid

The Loire Valley vineyards are famed for producing some of France’s best wines, including Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, and Cabernet Franc. Visitors can tour historic wine cellars, participate in tastings, and learn about winemaking traditions. The scenic vineyards also offer picturesque views of the rolling landscape.

📜 Wikipedia

06. Balloon

A colorful hot air balloon floating over the lush green landscape of the Loire Valley, with a historic chateau and extensive gardens below.

Appeal ★★★★★
Type Flight

Visit Tour
Cost Paid

Hot air balloon rides over the Loire Valley give you stunning views of the castles, vineyards, and rivers. These peaceful flights offer a unique way to see the region’s natural beauty.

07. Sidecar

Person wearing a helmet and sunglasses, sitting on a retro sidecar motorcycle parked near a historic stone wall, with blooming flowers and greenery in the background.

Appeal ★★★★★
Type A

Visit Tour
Cost Paid

Exploring the Loire Valley in a vintage sidecar is a fun and exciting adventure. These guided tours let you visit the castles, villages, and the countryside.

08. Biking

Two bicycles with panniers parked by a river in the Loire Valley, with a scenic view of a castle and dense greenery in the background.

Appeal ★★★★☆
Type Biking

Visit Self
Cost Free

Biking through the Loire Valley is a popular way to explore its countryside, especially the Loire river banks. The region is flat and offers well-marked trails suitable for all levels of cyclists.

09. Blois Town

Picturesque view of Blois town featuring a stone bridge over a river, historic buildings, and a cathedral spire against a backdrop of a partly cloudy sky.

Overall Appeal ★★★★★☆☆☆☆

Blois is a vibrant town with a rich history, located along the Loire River. It is renowned for its Castle, its cultural heritage, lively atmosphere, and beautiful architecture.

10. Chaumont Castle & Gardens

Majestic view of Chaumont-sur-Loire Castle with its conical towers, stone walls, and lush gardens filled with blooming flowers and greenery.

Appeal ★★★★☆
Type Castle & Gardens

Visit Self or Tour
Cost Paid

Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire hosts the International Garden Festival from spring to automn, showing off innovative garden designs.

The castle offers great views of the Loire River and features contemporary art installations. Its historic stables and landscaped park are also worth seeing.

11. Loches Town

Aerial view of Loches town featuring a medieval castle with twin spires, surrounded by densely packed traditional houses and green spaces.

Overall Appeal ★★★☆☆

The medieval town of Loches is dominated by its royal château and a well-preserved dungeon. 

The town’s cobbled streets and historic buildings give a charming glimpse into its past.

12. Tours City

Panoramic aerial view of Tours town with the Loire River running through, showcasing historic buildings, bridges, and extensive green spaces.

Overall Appeal ★★★☆☆

Tours is a vibrant city known for its well-preserved old town, with half-timbered houses and lively squares. The city’s Saint-Gatien Cathedral features stunning Gothic architecture. Tours serves as a cultural hub with museums, markets, and a rich culinary scene.

13. Azay-le-Rideau Town

Serene scene in Azay-le-Rideau with a calm river, a quaint stone bridge, and traditional French houses in the background, framed by trees and a park bench in the foreground.

Overall Appeal ★★★☆☆

Azay-le-Rideau is a quaint town nestled along the Indre River. It is known for its serene ambiance and charming rural scenery.

The town developed around the château in the 16th century. It was a quiet agricultural village for centuries, maintaining its rural character. The construction of the château brought some prosperity and growth.

14. Langeais Town

Scenic aerial view of Langeais town with a historic castle, manicured gardens, and residential houses near a river, framed by lush trees.

Overall Appeal ★★★☆☆

Langeais is a historic town situated on the edge of the Loire River. It has medieval heritage including a main castle and charming atmosphere. Its streets are lined with stone houses and inviting shops.

15. Fontevraud Abbey

Aerial view of Fontevraud Abbey showcasing its large, historic complex of stone buildings with dark roofs, surrounded by green lawns and nearby town structures.

Appeal ★★★☆☆
Type Abbey

Visit Self
Cost Paid

Fontevraud Abbey is one of Europe’s largest monastic complexes, with a history dating back to the 12th century. It’s a royal necropolis with the tombs of notable Plantagenets.

20 Secondary Things to Do

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