Corinne LaBalme reports on the International Garden Festival at Chaumont, one of the most delightful castle ground strolls in the Loire Valley. With “Gardens from the Coming Century” as its theme for 2016, the festival presents the brave new world of flower beds, hydroponics and botanical fantasies. Castle-hoppers exploring the valley and day-trippers from Paris take note.
There are those big biking trips that you spend months preparing. Then there are those short trips that begin with “Hey, it’s going to be nice out this weekend—let’s go biking… in the Loire Valley!” This little Loire loop—three days, two nights, including two days of biking—is of the latter kind. Beginning and ending in Blois...
To Blois or not to Blois, that is the question that travelers ask when planning their itinerary of Loire Valley chateaux. Though not as photogenic as some the other stars of the valley, Blois, easily accessible from Paris, is in many ways the key to understanding royal history and architecture all along the Loire. This illustrated article examines the men and women who made Blois, followed by information about hotels, B&Bs and restaurants in Blois and in the surrounding area.
The elegant Château de Cheverny is "chez moi" for Charles-Antoine de Vibraye and his family. Call him "marquis" if you like. His ancestors have resided on the premises for the better part of 600 years. Cheverny was one of the first private French estates to open its gates to the public, and de Vibraye welcomes on average 350,000 guests per year to his castle-sweet-castle.
Tourists in the Loire Valley generally head only for the A-list castles. But for sightseers who dislike crowds and relish the possibility of running into a congenial chateau owner, quieter slices of 16th-century splendor are a few minutes away at the Chateau de Beauregard, 3 miles southeast of Blois.
When you can't get any bigger, you just have to get better. Chambord, the massive chateau in the Loire Valley, 9 miles east of Blois, is in the midst of a major development plan (€4.5 million invested in 2014) to make the castle more user-friendly and, ultimately, self-financing.
A photo/video-log from the Saumur area of the Loire Valley in which Gary Lee Kraut remembers when travel was less about fooding and more about flirting, less about getting reservations and more about losing inhibitions, less about looking for recommendations and more about following your own nose.
Versailles’s got its royal stables, Chantilly’s got its noble horse museum and Saumur’s got its Cadre Noir, but for me as a horse-lover watching the horsewomen at the National Stud Farm at Le Lion d'Angers is paradise. By Justyna Gawąd
Even without knowing much of the historical bla-bla about Blois, this Loire Valley town is a place of fascinating, magical, entertaining and tasty encounters. So before describing why Blois is considered the linchpin of understanding the history and architecture of the Loire Valley I’d like to introduce you to some of the people and characters that I encountered during a day of research throughout the town.