The Loire Valley & Surroundings

And what a rich and stunning valley it is! The Loire Valley is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the quality of its noble and royal architecture (the numerous chateaux), its historic towns (Blois, Chinon, Orléans, Blois, Tours, Chinon, Saumur, Angers) and the "harmonious development of interactions between human beings and their environment [e.g. vineyards, gardens] over two millennia." The Loire as explored here flows through two administration regions, Center-Loire Valley and Western Loire (Pays de la Loire). There’s much else to discover in these two regions: the cathedral towns of Chartres to the north and Bourges to the south, Le Mans in the rural department of Sarthe, the upbeat city of Nantes, and a portion of France’s Atlantic coast with the resort towns of La Baule and Les Sables-d’Olonne (Vendée) and the islands of Noirmoutier and Yeu.

Elsewhere along the Loire: Val d’Aubois

You’d be the rare traveler, French or foreign, to have heard of the Val d’Aubois, the Aubois Valley, a largely bypassed portion of Loire...

Blois Castle: The Key to the Loire Valley

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.

Equitation in the French Tradition Joins List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage has inscribed equitation in the French tradition, with specific reference to the Cadre Noir of...

A Little Loop in the Loire Valley: A 2-day Cycling Route from Blois

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...
A glimpse of the chateau of Chaumont from the domain's International Garden Festival. Photo GLK.

Chaumont Playfully Imagines Gardens of the Future

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.

Europ’Amazones: Side-saddling Horsewomen Bring Pageantry, Sport and Elegance to Lion d’Angers

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

“New Wine From France”: Documentary By American Jeanne Bernard Examines Biodynamic Vineyards in the...

An interview with Jeanne Bernard, an American from Louisiana living in Paris, author of “New Wine From France,” a documentary about biodynamic wine in France.

Great Encounters: Blois

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.

Travel Beyond the Clichés While Looking Back In Angers

It was a slow news day in Angers, and probably too in the surrounding swath of the Loire Valley, when I arrived to speak...

Private Paris & France Tours

Award-winning travel writer and editor Gary Lee Kraut is the go-to guy for individuals and agencies seeking personalized tours, events and advice in Paris and throughout France.

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France Revisited posts 4 to 6 new articles each month along with information about upcoming festivals, events and touring opportunities. We send out the France Revisited Newsletter every several weeks in order to keep readers and travelers informed about what’s new and in the works.

It’s free, of course, and you can unsubscribe at any time, though we can’t imagine why anyone would do so.

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France Revisited Newsletter

Stay curious. Stay informed. Sign up for the free France Revisited Newsletter.

France Revisited posts 4 to 6 new articles each month along with information about upcoming festivals, events and touring opportunities. We send out the France Revisited Newsletter every several weeks in order to keep readers and travelers informed about what’s new and in the works.

It’s free, of course, and you can unsubscribe at any time, though we can’t imagine why anyone would do so.

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