Castles of the Loire Valley, well 19 of them!

The Loire Valley for me has to be one of the best places to visit in Europe; there really is something of everything France has to offer there. This is a river valley that covers some 800 square kilometres and is over 280 km in length. Besides being one of the great wine regions of France, from Sancerre and the wines of Nantes through to the vineyards of Touraine and Anjou, the Loire Valley is world renowned for its cultural and historical heritage. And in recognition of this heritage in 2000 the Loire Valley was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, along with the likes of the Great Wall of China and the Abu Simbel Temple in Egypt.

It is, however, the flamboyant châteaux that are perhaps the most popular attractions in the Loire Valley. I have already written about my favourite, namely Château de Chenonceau, but there are many more. Visitors to the Loire are simply spoilt for choice.

Until now, when planning your trip to this wonderful European destination, you would have had to search for each of the castle’s websites individually. But now help is at hand, a new website has just launched that will greatly assist with Europe travel planning. Châteaux de la Loire is a long awaited website that allows you explore 19 of the major castles in the Loire Valley.

The homepage has an interactive map of the river, with the location of the 19 featured castles. The pages for each of the castles have all you need to know about the castle, from practical and access information, to the forthcoming events, and some background to the castle’s history. The website even includes some suggested routes to discover the castles of the Loire, including itineraries for seniors and families, in the country and in the towns along the Loire.

This website will prove to be an invaluable resource for anyone wishing to visit the Loire Valley, and its wonderful architectural heritage. Just looking at the website is making me want to pop down from Normandy immediately! Sadly, I will just have to wait until the end of June; more of which in a future post.

The wonderful photographs of the Château de Saumur I have used here were taken by my friend Stu Bradley, a photographer living and blogging in the Loire.

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About Thomas Dowson

Hello, I am Thomas Dowson - a freelance writer and archaeologist living in Normandy, France. My field of expertise is prehistoric art - such as the cave paintings in the Dordogne and South Africa. But I am becoming passionately interested in France more generally, and Normandy in particular, and what this country and one of its very well known regions has to offer people with all sorts of tastes and desires. In 2005 I exchanged a university archaeology lecture room for a Bed & Breakfast in Normandy. More recently I started the Archaeology Travel website; sharing my expertise and love of archaeology and travel with others who also want to explore the many different pasts around the World.