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.

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.

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...

Château de Beauregard: A Castle Road Less Taken

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.

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

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.

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...

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...

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