The Loire Valley

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Loire Valley - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Founded in 1101, the Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud (Royal Abbey) had separate churches and living quarters for nuns, monks, lepers, "repentant...Read More

  • 2. Château d'Ussé

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    The most beautiful castle in France is first glimpsed as you approach the Château d'Ussé and an astonishing array of blue-slate roofs, dormer...Read More

  • 3. Château de Candé

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    When King Edward VIII of England abdicated his throne in 1937 to marry the American divorcée Wallace Simpson, the couple chose to escape the...Read More

  • 4. Château de Chambord

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    As you travel the gigantic, tree-shaded roadways that converge on Chambord, you first spot the château's incredible towers—19th-century novelist...Read More

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  • 5. Château de Chenonceau

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    Achingly beautiful, the Château de Chenonceau has long been considered the "most romantic" of all the Loire châteaux, thanks in part to its...Read More

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  • 6. Château de Saché

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    In the center of town, the Château de Saché houses the Musée Balzac. If you've never read any of Balzac's "Comédies Humaine," you might find...Read More

  • 7. Château de Villandry

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    Green thumbs get weak in the knees at the mere mention of the Château de Villandry, a grand estate near the Cher River, thanks to its painstakingly...Read More

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  • 8. Citadelle

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    A "Cité Royale," Loche came to be adorned with a bevy of gorgeously picturesque medieval and Renaissance-era structures—none more imposing than...Read More

  • 9. Hôtel Groslot

    Museum/Gallery

    Just across the square from the cathedral is the Hôtel Groslot, a Renaissance-era extravaganza bristling with caryatids, strap work, and Flemish...Read More

  • 10. Place Plumereau

    Plaza/Square/Piazza

    North from the Basilique St-Martin to the river is Le Vieux Tours. This lovely medieval quarter—a warren of quaint streets, wood-beam houses...Read More

  • 11. Ackerman

    Saint-Hilaire-Saint-Florent | Winery/Brewery/Distillery

    For sparkling Saumur wine—including a rare red—try a tour and a tasting at Ackerman. ...Read More

  • 12. Allée Sainte-Catherine

    Historic District/Site

    After touring the Abbaye Royale, head outside the gates of the complex a block to the north to discover one of the Loire Valley's most time...Read More

  • 13. Basilique St-Martin

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Only two sturdy towers—the Tour Charlemagne and the Tour de l'Horloge (Clock Tower)—remain of the great medieval abbey built over the tomb of...Read More

  • 14. Cadre Noir de Saumur

    Educational Institution

    This prestigious national equestrian academy trains France’s future riding stars. Unique in Europe, the Cadre Noir de Saumur has 400 horses...Read More

  • 15. Carré Cointreau

    Winery/Brewery/Distillery

    To learn about the heartwarming liqueur made in Angers since 1849, head to the Carré Cointreau on the east side of the city. Guided tours of...Read More

  • 16. Cathédral St-Gatien

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    Built between 1239 and 1484, this noted cathedral, one of the greatest churches of the Loire Valley, reveals a mixture of architectural styles...Read More

  • 17. Cathédrale St-Maurice

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    This 12th- and 13th-century Gothic edifice is noted for its curious Romanesque facade and original stained-glass windows; bring binoculars to...Read More

  • 18. Cathédrale Ste-Croix

    Religious Building/Site/Shrine

    A riot of pinnacles and gargoyles embellished with 18th-century wedding-cake towers, the Cathédrale Ste-Croix is both Gothic and pseudo-Gothic...Read More

  • 19. Château d'Amboise

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    The Château d'Amboise became a royal palace in the 15th and 16th centuries. Charles VII stayed here, as did the unfortunate Charles VIII, best...Read More

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  • 20. Château d'Angers

    Castle/Palace/Chateau

    The banded black-and-white Château d'Angers, built by St-Louis (1228–38), glowers over the town from behind turreted moats, now laid out as...Read More

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