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.

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.

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...

“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.

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...

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

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...

Chambord, the Loire Valley’s XXL Château, Gets a Tourist Makeover

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.

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...

Blond Girl in Saumur: When Our Eyes Met for the Second Time

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.

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 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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