Loire Valley places to visit and attractions

Below you can explore some of the most popular highlights and places of interest in the Loire Valley region. See also our Loire Valley travel guide.

Amboise (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Amboise

Although it is the castle that attracts visitors to Amboise, you will also enjoy exploring the main square and old streets elsewhere in the small town

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Apremont-sur-Allier (Cher)

photo of Apremont-sur-Allier

The story of the renewal of Apremont-sur-Allier is fascinating, and leads us to the 'most beautiful village' and Castle Park that we see today

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Argenton-sur-Creuse (Indre)

photo of Argenton-sur-Creuse

There are several churches of interest here in Argenton-sur-Creuse, and a very pretty walk along the banks of the Creuse river

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Aubigny-sur-Nere (Cher)

photo of Aubigny-sur-Nere

It is the multi-turreted castle and the Scottish connection that explain the popularity of Aubigny-sur-Nère

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Azay-le-Rideau (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Azay-le-Rideau

The village of Azay-le-Rideau is best known for its castle but also has a pleasant centre with a historic church and mill to explore

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Beaugency (Loiret)

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A small town on the banks of the Loire River, Beaugency squeezes a remarkable number of interesting sights in a small space!

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Bellegarde (Loiret)

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Bellegarde is a small traditional town with an atractive moated castle in the centre

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Blois (Loir-et-Cher)

photo of Blois

The town of Blois, with its castle, cathedral, extensive historic centre and other monuments is one of our favourite Loire Valleyt towns

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Bourges (Cher)

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Although Bourges is known for its stunning cathedral, it also has a substantial medieval centre and the Palais Jacques-Coeur among its many places of interest

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Bourges Cathedral (Cher)

photo of Bourges Cathedral

The cathedral in Bourges is a 13th century building with remarkable stonework and impressive stained glass windows

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Bourges Palais Jacques-Coeur (Cher)

photo of Bourges Palais Jacques-Coeur

The Palais Jacques-Coeur is a charming medieval palace with impressive rooms and fireplaces in the heart of Bourges

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Brenne Regional Natural Park (Indre)

photo of Brenne Regional Natural Park

This quiet region of small lakes and fields is a perfect place for cycling on peaceful lanes

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Briare (Loiret)

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With the Loire River and the Canal de Briare crossing in the centre of Briare it is not surprising that water based activities are important here

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Candes-Saint-Martin (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Candes-Saint-Martin

In the village of Candes-Saint-Martin, a 'most beautiful village in France', you can see the Vienne river, a medieval collegiale church and a lovely viewpoint

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Candes-Saint-Martin collegiate church (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Candes-Saint-Martin collegiate church

The collegiate church of Candes-Saint-Martin has numerous medieval statues incorporated in the facade and porch

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Cathedral of Sainte-Croix, Orleans (Loiret)

photo of Cathedral of Sainte-Croix, Orleans

The carvings and grandeur of the western facade are the highlight of the 17th century cathedral in Orleans

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Chartres (Eure-et-Loir)

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Although most famous for its cathedral, you will also find plenty to explore elsewhere in the town of Chartres

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Chartres Cathedral (Eure-et-Loir)

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The 13th century cathedral in Chartres is generally considered to be one of the most beautiful gothic cathedrals in the world

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Chateau d'Amboise (Indre-et-Loire)

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The Chateau d'Amboise is a castle with impressive gardens and a lovely view across the rooftops of Amboise

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Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau

Not the most luxurious or largest castle in the region, it is the beauty and waterside location that gives the Chateau d'Azay-le Rideau its special charm

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Chateau d'Ussé (Indre-et-Loire)

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The imposing Chateau d'Usse, next to the Loire, is an imposing medieval-renaissance castle surrounded by gardens and park

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Chateau de Blois (Loir-et-Cher)

photo of Chateau de Blois

One of the most impressive of the Loire castles, the Chateau de Blois is best known for its double helix renaissance staircase

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Chateau de Chambord (Loir-et-Cher)

photo of Chateau de Chambord

The largest castle in the Loire Valley, Chateau de Chambord exceeds all expectations with its grandeur - despite being built as a hunting lodge and rarely occupied!

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Chateau de Chaumont (Loir-et-Cher)

photo of Chateau de Chaumont

The small village of Chaumont-sur-Loire is dominated by the Chateau de Chaumont, one of the largest Loire Valley castles and with a famous annual International Garden Festival

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Chateau de Chenonceau (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Chateau de Chenonceau

The perfectly lovely Chateau-de-Chenonceau includes a renaissance gallery across the river and gardens designed by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medicis

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Chateau de Cheverny (Loir-et-Cher)

photo of Chateau de Cheverny

Cheverny Castle is perhaps the most opulently furnished of the Loire castles, and also has very lovely gardens

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Chateau de Chinon (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Chateau de Chinon

Château de Chinon retains more medieval elements than most Loire Valley castles

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Chateau de Clos Lucé at Amboise (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Chateau de Clos Lucé at Amboise

The Chateau de Clos-Lucé was home to Leonardo da Vinci and you can visit the house and also see recreations of many of his inventions

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Chateau de Langeais (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Chateau de Langeais

Château de Langeais is a medieval-renaissance castle with nicely furnished rooms and the oldest castle keep in France

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Chateau de Valencay (Indre)

photo of Chateau de Valencay

The renaissance style castle and formal gardens make the Chateau de Valencay among the most interesting in the Loire

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Chateau de Villandry (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Chateau de Villandry

The rooms at Chateau de Villandry can be explored, but it is the world famous French style gardens here that will hold your attention the longest

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Chateau du Rivau (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Chateau du Rivau

One of the more modest castles in the region, both the Chateau de Rivau and its associated gardens are very pleasant to explore

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Chateaudun (Eure-et-Loir)

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Both the castle and the town along the Loir River make Chateaudun an enjoyable destination

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Chateauroux (Indre)

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A little remote from the main tourist routes, Chateauroux is quite a sprawling town but has some sites of interest in its historic centre

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Chinon (Indre-et-Loire)

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As well as the castle, Chinon has a very impressive medieval centre to explore and lovely river views

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Crissay-sur-Manse (Indre-et-Loire)

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Explore the lovely stone houses and narrow streets in the tiny village of Crissay-sur-Manse

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Culan (Cher)

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The castle at Culan is one of the most interesting in the quiet Cher department

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Domaine Royal de Château Gaillard (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Domaine Royal de Château Gaillard

The Domaine Royal de Château Gaillard in Amboise is the first Renaissance manor house in France, newly restored and surrounded by lovely gardens

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Gargilesse-Dampierre (Indre)

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Gargilesse-Dampierre is a very small village, but also very pretty and in a lovely setting. Don't miss the frescoes in the church crypt!

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Gien (Loiret)

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To the east of the main Loire Valley, the view across the bridge to the castle and town of Gien is very atractive

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Issoudun (Indre)

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There are few important monuments here in Issoudun, but we enjoyed a stroll around the old town near the 'White Tower'

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La Chatre (Indre)

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La Chatre is a small town and quick to explore - before setting off to discover the other castles and countryside nearby

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Langeais (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Langeais

Langeais is a small town with a pretty town centre, best known for the castle in the town

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Lavardin (Loir-et-Cher)

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With a river and ancient bridge below and an ancient castle above Lavardin, it is an exceptionally pretty little village

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Loches (Indre-et-Loire)

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Numerous historic monuments make the citadel in Loches a very interesting place to visit

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Mehun-sur-Yevre (Cher)

photo of Mehun-sur-Yevre

The castle and the 11th century Collegiale Notre-Dame are among several sights of importance in Mehun-sur-Yevre

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Montargis (Loiret)

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With more than 130 bridges across the numerous canals and rivers in Montargis, it is the scenery along these waterways that is the highlight here

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Montresor (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Montresor

On the Indrois river, it is the quaint old town, the castle and the collegiale church that will be the focus of your visit to the pretty village of Montresor

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Nogent-le-Rotrou (Eure-et-Loir)

photo of Nogent-le-Rotrou

Within the Perche Regional Natural Park, in Nogent-le-Rotrou you can discover the castle and other ancient monuments

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Nohant-Vic (Indre)

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The 18th century French manor house where George Sand lived is the main attraction in the village of Nohant-Vic

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Orleans (Loiret)

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The large town of Orleans has a great deal to recommend it: a famous cathedral, an extensive old town, a riverside promenade, and some lovely gardens nearby

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Parc Floral de la Source, Orleans (Loiret)

photo of Parc Floral de la Source, Orleans

The Parc Floral de la Source is an extensive park to the south of Orleans that includes the source of the Loiret river

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Saint-Benoit-du-Sault (Indre)

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The unspoiled medieval streets in the 'most beautiful village' of Saint-Benoit-de-Sault quickly take you back several hundred years in time

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Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire Abbey (Loiret)

photo of Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire Abbey

Fans of romanesque architecture will appreciate the many period features in the 12th century Abbey of Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire

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Saint-Chartier (Indre)

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Take a stroll through the grounds of the castle here in the quiet town of Saint-Chartier

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Sancerre (Cher)

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The pretty village of Sancerre is best known for the famous wines of the same name produced nearby - and to be samlped in the village!

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Tavant (Indre-et-Loire)

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Tavant is a small village but a visit to se the murals in the church is recommended when you are nearby

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Tours (Indre-et-Loire)

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Tours is a large important town with numerous monuments, gardens and medieval buildings, and is also well placed to explore the west of the Loire Valley

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Tours Cathedral and La Psalette Cloisters (Indre-et-Loire)

photo of Tours Cathedral and La Psalette Cloisters

The la Psalette cloister and the cathedral of Tours together make a very impressive religious monument with various architectural styles

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Valencay (Indre)

photo of Valencay

The castle is the main attraction in Valencay, but we also suggest a visit to the Museum de l'Automobile and a stroll along the river

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Vendome (Loir-et-Cher)

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Now listed as a 'town of art and history', Vendome retains many monuments from its active past despite extensive wartime damage

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Yevre-le-Chatel (Loiret)

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The walk along the Rimarden river, the traditional charm and the ruined castle all contributed to Yevre-le-Chatel being listed as a 'most beautiful village in France'

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For more information see the Loire Valley guide


Tourist attractions to visit in Loire Valley

The following sites have received official "tourist classifications"...

UNESCO world heritage sites

Chartres Cathedral: Tourist guide

Villages classified as "most beautiful villages"

Apremont-sur-Allier: Tourist guide

Candes-Saint-Martin: Tourist guide

Crissay-sur-Manse: Tourist guide

Lavardin: Tourist guide

Montresor: Tourist guide

Saint-Benoit-du-Sault: Tourist guide

National Monuments

Bouges-le-Chateau Castle

Bourges Cathedral: Tourist guide

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau: Tourist guide

Chateaudun: Tourist guide

Cloisters of la Psalette: Tourist guide

Fougeres-sur-Bievre Chateau

George Sand House

Palace Jacques Coeur: Tourist guide

Talcy Chateau

Towns classified as Recommended Detours

Beaugency: Tourist guide

Chateaudun: Tourist guide

La Chatre: Tourist guide

Loches: Tourist guide

Mehun-sur-Yevre: Tourist guide

Montargis: Tourist guide

Nogent-le-Rotrou: Tourist guide

Sancerre: Tourist guide

Valencay: Tourist guide

Regional Natural Parcs

Brenne: Tourist guide

Loire-Anjou-Touraine: Tourist guide

Secteur Sauvegardé (protected historical town centre)

Amboise: Tourist guide

Blois: Tourist guide

Bourges: Tourist guide

Chartres: Tourist guide

Chinon: Tourist guide

Loches: Tourist guide

Richelieu: Tourist guide

Tours: Tourist guide

Towns of Art and History

Blois: Tourist guide

Bourges: Tourist guide

Chinon: Tourist guide

Loches: Tourist guide

Orleans: Tourist guide

Tours: Tourist guide

Vendome: Tourist guide

Ville d'etape



4* Towns in Bloom

Aubigny-sur-Nere: Tourist guide

Blois: Tourist guide

Bourges: Tourist guide

Briare: Tourist guide

Chartres: Tourist guide

Chateauroux: Tourist guide











Tours: Tourist guide

Vendome: Tourist guide