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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.

photo of Amboise

Amboise (Indre-et-Loire)

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
See guide

photo of Apremont-sur-Allier

Apremont-sur-Allier (Cher)

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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photo of Argenton-sur-Creuse

Argenton-sur-Creuse (Indre)

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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photo of Aubigny-sur-Nere

Aubigny-sur-Nere (Cher)

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

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

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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photo of Beaugency

Beaugency (Loiret)

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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photo of Bellegarde

Bellegarde (Loiret)

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

Blois (Loir-et-Cher)

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

photo of Bourges

Bourges (Cher)

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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photo of Bourges Cathedral

Bourges Cathedral (Cher)

The cathedral in Bourges is a 13th century building with remarkable stonework and impressive stained glass windows
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photo of Bourges Palais Jacques-Coeur

Bourges Palais Jacques-Coeur (Cher)

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

Brenne Regional Natural Park (Indre)

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

Briare (Loiret)

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
See guide

photo of Candes-Saint-Martin

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

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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photo of Candes-Saint-Martin collegiate church

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

The collegiate church of Candes-Saint-Martin has numerous medieval statues incorporated in the facade and porch
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photo of Cathedral of Sainte-Croix, Orleans

Cathedral of Sainte-Croix, Orleans (Loiret)

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

Chartres (Eure-et-Loir)

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

photo of Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Cathedral (Eure-et-Loir)

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

photo of Chateau d'Amboise

Chateau d'Amboise (Indre-et-Loire)

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

photo of Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau

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

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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photo of Chateau d'Ussé

Chateau d'Ussé (Indre-et-Loire)

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

Chateau de Blois (Loir-et-Cher)

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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photo of Chateau de Chambord

Chateau de Chambord (Loir-et-Cher)

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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photo of Chateau de Chaumont

Chateau de Chaumont (Loir-et-Cher)

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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photo of Chateau de Chenonceau

Chateau de Chenonceau (Indre-et-Loire)

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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photo of Chateau de Cheverny

Chateau de Cheverny (Loir-et-Cher)

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

Chateau de Chinon (Indre-et-Loire)

Château de Chinon retains more medieval elements than most Loire Valley castles
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photo of Chateau de Clos Lucé at Amboise

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

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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photo of Chateau de Langeais

Chateau de Langeais (Indre-et-Loire)

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

Chateau de Valencay (Indre)

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

photo of Chateau de Villandry

Chateau de Villandry (Indre-et-Loire)

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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photo of Chateau du Rivau

Chateau du Rivau (Indre-et-Loire)

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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photo of Chateaudun

Chateaudun (Eure-et-Loir)

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

Chateauroux (Indre)

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

photo of Chinon

Chinon (Indre-et-Loire)

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

photo of Crissay-sur-Manse

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

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

photo of Culan

Culan (Cher)

The castle at Culan is one of the most interesting in the quiet Cher department
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photo of Domaine Royal de Château Gaillard

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

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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photo of Gargilesse-Dampierre

Gargilesse-Dampierre (Indre)

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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photo of Gien

Gien (Loiret)

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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photo of Issoudun

Issoudun (Indre)

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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photo of La Chatre

La Chatre (Indre)

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

photo of Langeais

Langeais (Indre-et-Loire)

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

photo of Lavardin

Lavardin (Loir-et-Cher)

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

photo of Loches

Loches (Indre-et-Loire)

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

photo of Mehun-sur-Yevre

Mehun-sur-Yevre (Cher)

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

photo of Montargis

Montargis (Loiret)

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
See guide

photo of Montresor

Montresor (Indre-et-Loire)

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
See guide

photo of Nogent-le-Rotrou

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

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

photo of Nohant-Vic

Nohant-Vic (Indre)

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

photo of Orleans

Orleans (Loiret)

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
See guide

photo of Parc Floral de la Source, Orleans

Parc Floral de la Source, Orleans (Loiret)

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

photo of Saint-Benoit-du-Sault

Saint-Benoit-du-Sault (Indre)

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

photo of Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire Abbey

Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire Abbey (Loiret)

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

photo of Saint-Chartier

Saint-Chartier (Indre)

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

photo of Sancerre

Sancerre (Cher)

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!
See guide

photo of Tavant

Tavant (Indre-et-Loire)

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

photo of Tours

Tours (Indre-et-Loire)

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
See guide

photo of Tours Cathedral and La Psalette Cloisters

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

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

photo of Valencay

Valencay (Indre)

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
See guide

photo of Vendome

Vendome (Loir-et-Cher)

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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photo of Yevre-le-Chatel

Yevre-le-Chatel (Loiret)

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'
See guide

For more information see the Loire Valley guide

 
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Tourist attractions to visit in Loire Valley

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

Aquarium

Aquarium du Val-de-Loire

UNESCO world heritage sites

Chartres Cathedral: See tourist guide

Neuvy-Saint-Sépulchre collegiale St Etienne (monuments on French pilgrim routes)

Villages classified as "most beautiful villages"

Apremont-sur-Allier: See tourist guide

Candes-Saint-Martin: See tourist guide

Crissay-sur-Manse: See tourist guide

Lavardin: See tourist guide

Montresor: See tourist guide

Saint-Benoit-du-Sault: See tourist guide

National Monuments

Bouges-le-Chateau Castle

Bourges Cathedral: See tourist guide

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau: See tourist guide

Chateaudun: See tourist guide

Cloisters of la Psalette: See tourist guide

Fougeres-sur-Bievre Chateau

George Sand House

Palace Jacques Coeur: See tourist guide

Talcy Chateau

Towns classified as Recommended Detours

Beaugency: See tourist guide

Chateaudun: See tourist guide

La Chatre: See tourist guide

Loches: See tourist guide

Mehun-sur-Yevre: See tourist guide

Montargis: See tourist guide

Nogent-le-Rotrou: See tourist guide

Sancerre: See tourist guide

Valencay: See tourist guide

Regional Natural Parcs

Brenne: See tourist guide

Loire-Anjou-Touraine: See tourist guide

Secteur Sauvegardé (protected historical town centre)

Amboise: See tourist guide

Blois: See tourist guide

Bourges: See tourist guide

Chartres: See tourist guide

Chinon: See tourist guide

Loches: See tourist guide

Richelieu: See tourist guide

Tours: See tourist guide

Towns of Art and History

Blois: See tourist guide

Bourges: See tourist guide

Chinon: See tourist guide

Loches: See tourist guide

Orleans: See tourist guide

Tours: See tourist guide

Vendome: See tourist guide

Ville d'etape

Eguzon-Chantome

Vatan

4* Towns in Bloom

Aubigny-sur-Nere: See tourist guide

Blois: See tourist guide

Bourges: See tourist guide

Briare: See tourist guide

Chartres: See tourist guide

Chateauroux: See tourist guide

Fleury-les-Aubrais

Issoudun: See tourist guide

Moutiers

Olivet

Pierrefitte-sur-Sauldre

Quiers-sur-Bezonde

Saint-Amand-Montrond

Saint-Cyr-en-Val

Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire

Saint-Jean-de-la-Ruelle

Tours: See tourist guide

Vendome: See tourist guide

Veuil

Zoo or wildlife park

Réserve de Beaumarchais

ZooParc de Beauval

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