The last untamed river in Europe and one with many features. Sometimes calm, sometimes wild, the Loire has an unpredictable temperament that always surprises. Leafy islets and tropical flowers, shifting sandbanks and elusive beavers – these are just some of the things on offer!
Wild it may be, and yet the hand of humankind has also helped to bring out the best of these sumptuous, changing landscapes. The many châteaux dotted along the river are a reminder that the Loire has always attracted the great and the powerful, while picturesque villages alternate with towns rich in art and history.
It is thanks to this astonishing originality that the Loire Valley has just been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage. So come and share in the adventure of this exceptional river.
On foot or by bike - the Loire was made for the pleasure of hikers and cyclists. So head off along the riversides and embankments to enjoy the Centre region's natural riches and charming villages to the full.
With its great variety of scenery, the river is the perfect way of getting around. So why not just climb into a canoe and set out among the islets and gravel pits.
A flight in a hot-air balloon will give you an original vantage point from which to admire the châteaux of the Centre region, to discover the many faces of the great river and to take in all its poetic beauty…
For a more close-up approach, the Loire offers opportunities for some intense moments in contact with the plant and animal life. With the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Natural Park and its organised excursions, set out to "Meet the Beavers" or "In Search of the Osprey".
Or practice your swing in some idyllic settings on the greens and fairways of golf courses just a stone's throw from the Loire
For those with their eye on a bit of culture, the Loire Valley will not disappoint. A key place of the Middle Ages, cradle of the Renaissance, the Centre Loire Valley region has successfully preserved the breathtaking works created at this cultural crossroads.
Push the doors of the Fine Arts Museums of Orléans or Tours, step into the homes of great writers or stroll along the streets of towns rich in art and history and around some of France's most beautiful villages.
Thrill to the sounds of a music festival or lose yourself in the dazzling magic of witches.
And then of course there is the regions renowned 'art de vivre'. Warmth, serenity and colour are the watchwords in the way of life in the Centre region. Whether you feel like wandering around parks and gardens, savouring fine wines or discovering the rich variety of arts and crafts so renowned that they have travelled beyond national borders, the Centre region has much to offer.
Life in the towns and villages promises you fascinating hours of avid discovery or restful strolls. And don't forget to stock up at our markets, with their abundance of local produce and gourmet specialities!
Accommodation in France perfect for garden lovers from grand chateau to homely B&Bs
A personal selection of accommodation for a mountain holiday in France including the Pyrenees, Alps and the Vosges