Centre-Loire Valley

Centre - Loire Valley which includes farmland
Discover sun-drenched vineyards and wineries in this picturesque French region on the beautiful Loire River. See its lavish castles and historic towns.

France’s magnificent inland region, Centre, follows the valley of the meandering Loire River. The combined Centre-Loire Valley (Centre-Val de Loire) is known for beautiful countryside, fertile vineyards, heritage villages and stunning châteaus. Discover fine French wines, picturesque riverside communities, bicycle paths and delicious regional produce in this laidback French region.

Centre-Loire Valley has two major cities. Orléans is located on the banks of the Loire River and features spectacularly ornate castles, cathedrals and medieval buildings. Visit a local boulangerie to buy delicious regional pastries and breads to enjoy while strolling down the Loire riverfront. Join celebrations in the first week of May when Orléans honors Joan of Arc with a festival and medieval market.

In Tours and its surrounding region of Touraine, see beautiful architecture and public parks. Don’t miss the Cathédrale Saint-Gatien, or Jardin des Prébendes d'Oé, a pretty park with flower gardens and a water feature.

The Loire Valley, known as the “Garden of France,” is famous for its ornate châteaus and history as a royal playground. See magnificent castles, such as the Châteaux Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau and Château de Chambord. Learn about the valley’s fascinating Renaissance history and visit gorgeous cathedrals and churches, especially in Bourges and Chartres.

Centre-Loire Valley is famous for its wineries. Try the still white wines and traditional sparkling wines that put Amboise and Saumur on the sommelier’s map. Visit vineyards and join a fascinating “routes de vignobles,” or wine tour, to learn about each vineyard’s production methods, cellars and complex tasting notes. Visit Centre-Loire Valley during a wine festival occurring in different regions throughout the summer.

Reach Centre-Loire Valley by plane to the Aeroport de Tours Val de Loire in Tours. Alternatively, fly into Paris and take a train or car. Centre-Loire Valley has warm summers and mild winters. Explore the Loire Valley region by bike along the Loire à Velo cycling paths to experience the scenic countryside at your own pace, which may be somewhat slower after a glass of wine!

Popular cities in Centre-Loire Valley

Tours featuring café scenes, a city and street scenes
Known for Tours, Historical and Cathedrals
Relax in the quaint central plaza of this former Roman city, which is a hub of historic remnants, art and elegant churches.

Reasons to visit

  • Musee des Beaux-Arts
  • Saint-Gatien Cathedral
  • Place Plumereau
Indre-et-Loire showing a small town or village
Known for Castle, Swimming and Coffee
Chinon awaits: its wineries, museums, monuments and more!

Reasons to visit

  • Royal Fortress of Chinon
  • Forteresse Royale de Chinon
Amboise featuring café scenes, a small town or village and street scenes
Known for Historical, Castle and Gardens
Visit the town where Charles VIII of France was born and Leonardo da Vinci died. Explore lavish palaces and the fields and forests of the Loire Valley.

Reasons to visit

  • Château-Gaillard
  • Château d'Amboise
Orleans showing street scenes and a city
Known for Shopping, Rivers and Cathedrals
Learn about the siege led by Joan of Arc, visit the stunning cathedral and explore the picturesque landscape of Loiret.

Reasons to visit

  • Sainte-Croix Cathedral
Chartres featuring heritage architecture and heritage elements
Known for Cathedrals, Historical and Luxury
This Loire Valley town excites with its magnificent religious architecture, gorgeous parks, medieval streets and scenic riverside setting.

Reasons to visit

  • Chartres Cathedral
Bourges featuring heritage architecture and a garden
Known for Historical, Cathedrals and Castle
Home to one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in France, Bourges combines beautiful traditional architecture, unique gardens and an attractive old town.

Reasons to visit

  • Bourges Cathedral