Holidays in Loire

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Loire Overview

Visiting The Loire

Travel beyond Normandy and Brittany (not the pop stars) and you’ll find the glorious Loire Valley, a land of lush, rolling hills and grand Châteaux. But because we know that most Eurocampers like to enjoy a blend of sunshine and culture, many of our camping parcs in the Loire also feature river or lakeside beaches.

Feel The Loire

There are reputedly more than 1,000 fairy tale chateaux in the Loire. No prize for visiting them all, we’re afraid. The Loire is also rightly known as the Garden of France, so those with a taste for the grape will feel particularly at home here, as there are even more vineyards than châteaux. Some great wines originate here and can be sampled on the famous wine tours.

Explore The Loire

There is much to entertain Eurocampers besides great Châteaux, as the Atlantic coast of the Vendée is within easy reach, offering bracing views, centuries old villages and water orientated activities. The Loire boasts some lovely towns such as Tours, Orleans and Montrichard, not forgetting Le Mans, as famous for its splendid cathedral as for its racey reputation.

Places to visit - Sightseeing

Best known for its plentiful châteaux, the Loire region also offers those camping here a host of unforgettable views, towns and attractions:

Le Mans
Most famous for the 24 hour car race that is held here every year, Le Mans also offers you Vieux mans, the ancient, fortified centre surrounded by the finest Gallo-Roman walls in France. Cathédrale St-Julien is also an exquisite, Romanesque surprise.

Tours
Perhaps the most beautiful city in the Loire, Tours has many splendid sights to enjoy. The Place Plumereau in the city’s medieval heart is simply wonderful, though the gothic splendour of the Cathédrale St Gatien is also a must-see.

Orléans
It was here that the maid of Orléans, Joan of Arc, saved France from the English in 1429. The ancient Viel Orléans quarter and the Cathédrale Saint-Croix are best-known, but there are also many gorgeous Renaissance facades to enjoy here.

Blois
With its magnificent Chateau and Cathedral overlooking the River Loire, it is easy to see the power that once resided here in Blois. Yet the simpler architecture of the hilly, Vieux Blois quarter and the 17th century Maison des Acrobates are equally fascinating.

Chateau de Chambord
The greatest house in the Loire – which is really saying something – this extravagant Renaissance chateau was built between 1519 and 1685 and is quite simply the most stunning of its kind in the world, with quite breathtaking scale.

Saumur
Known as the ‘White City’ of Anjou, Saumur enjoys a gorgeous location on the banks of the Loire, where its fairytale chateau sits high above the city, looking down over the lovely spire of St Pierre and the magnificent stone bridge across the Loire itself.

La Cave aux Sculptures
This part of France offers a number of troglodyte dwellings, where caves have been carved out of the soft limestone. This unusual attraction at Doué-la-Fontaine also includes a fascinating selection of carved figures.

Chinon
With its ruined chateau and picturesque medieval streets, a trip to Chinon really is like stepping into the past. While there are many fine buildings here, 44 Rue Voltaire is particularly worth a visit, as it is said to be where Richard the Lionheart died in 1199.

Great for younger kids

Zoo Parc de Beauval
Considered by many to be the finest in France, this zoo park in St Aignan allows you to see more than 4,000 wild creatures, many of them roaming free in parkland that has been landscaped to recreate their African homeland.

Parc Floral de la Source
This lovely attraction, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site comprises of ten themed gardens, together with a host of butterflies, donkeys, sheep and birds that will keep younger visitors amused for hours.

Great for older kids

Fantasy Forest
With everything from mountain biking and canoeing to paintballing and cave climbing, Fantasy Forest at Mosnes makes the ideal place to visit for families camping in the Loire with older children and teenagers.

Canoeing at St Dye
Canoeing is popular for all ages in the Loire valley, but this centre at St Dye makes it especially easy for you to hire kayaks for teens, with organised outings as well as the chance to go your own way.

Places to visit - Activities & events

Golf
You can play 18 holes on no less than 18 courses in the Loire valley, with some such as Golf de Touraine and Golf du Château d'Augerville la Rivière offering courses set in the grounds of very fine Châteaux.

Ballooning
There are many places from which to enjoy hot air balloon rides in the Loire Valley, enabling you to enjoy this peerless scenery and the many fine Châteaux from the air. You’ll find just some of them at Chenonceaux, Amboise, Chaumont and Loches.

Horse riding
The gentle hills and valleys of the Loire really lend themselves to equestrian pursuits, and you will find a wealth of horse riding and pony trekking centres here, including those at Brehemont, Oucques, Vendome and Gizeux.

Watersports
In addition to the many opportunities you will find to canoe here, you are also just a short drive from the beaches of the Vendée, where you will find excellent windsurfing, surfing, sailing, kite-surfing and sand yachting.

Unmissable events in the Loire

Festival International des Jardins
Every year between April and October, 30 top gardeners from around the world create exceptional small gardens within the splendid grounds of Château de Chaumont. Unmissable for garden lovers.

International Guitar Festival, Vendome
This world-famous festival takes place in Vendome every year, usually around the first week in May and brings top guitarists from around the world together, to the delight of guitar fans.

Orléans Jazz
Before there was New Orleans, there was Orléans. So what better place to enjoy an eclectic line-up of the top jazz acts from around the world in this lively festival that usually occupies the last two weeks in June.

Le Mans 24 Hours
Le Mans doesn’t just hold the ultimate test for supercars here; in addition to the legendary race itself in mid-June, you will find 24 hour races here throughout the year, for everything from go-karts and motorbikes to lorries.

Places to visit - Eating out

The Garden of France offers a broad cuisine, including plenty of fresh seafood from the nearby Vendée and of course, a multitude of excellent wines:

  • Beurre Blanc – this creamy sauce, which complements fish dishes so well, originated in the Loire Valley, and you will find it on most restaurant menus here.
  • Rillettes de Tours -  hearty portions of pork cooked in its own juices and flavoured with bouquet garni make a calorific but delicious choice.
  • Quenelles de Brochet – Fish from the river are always popular here, and this unusual fish mousse made from Pike is no exception.
  • Wine – there are too many fine wines from the Loire to only mention one, so look out for the Sancerre, Pouilly-Fumé, Saumur and Vouvray (to name but a very few) on the menu.

Campsites in region

Saumur Domaine de la Brèche lake
Domaine de la Brèche | Saumur

If you’re planning a trip to Domaine de la Brèche, get ready to step into acres of space and wonderful woodlands that were made to be explored.

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Pierrefitte Alicourts waterski
Les Alicourts Resort | Pierrefitte-sur-Sauldre

Golf course? Check. Lakeside beach? Check. Indoor spa? You bet! There are parcs and then there is Alicourts - a resort that offers so much you’ll find it a struggle to leave and explore the beauties of the Loire valley beyond. But, really, you must.

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St Catherine Tours Le Parc de Fierbois pool and lake
Le Parc de Fierbois | Tours

Mix the great outdoors with great entertainment and you’ll conjure up Le Parc de Fierbois.

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Chambord Le chateau des Marais pool and slide
Le Château des Marais | Chambord

France isn’t short of extravagant chåteaux - but, trust us, the royal palace, Château de Chambord (just six miles from your parc) is one of the most opulent and should definitely be on your ‘to see’ list. But, then, your beautifully situated parc is pretty special too.

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Apartments in region

Loches View of chateau
Loches | Tours

It’s highly likely you’ve never heard of Loches, one of the lesser-known gems of the Loire region. Once visited, though, this historic town is never forgotten.

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Location reviews

Loire reviews collected by Reevoo

Overall rating
8.3
Scores 8.3 out of 10 based on 820 reviews
Reviews and scores from the last 12 months.
8 out of 10

Roger

Aberystwyth
We experienced a little difficulty finding activities beyond chateau visits. Especially in wet weather. But books help to fill such 'gaps'. And in too hot weather, the sunloungers are great!
Confirmed stay: 15 September 2013
6 out of 10

Karen

Portsmouth
Big fields, open spaces, some stunning Chateauxs. Probably more suited to the older traveller, a few days is probably enough!
Confirmed stay: 14 September 2013
8 out of 10

Ken

Warrington
The Loire is a beautiful part of France providing a range of opportunities for those who want an active holiday, or those who want to relax and take in the local culture. As well as all the Chateau to see, there are lots of interesting little towns, some excellent zoos and a good choice of shopping and restaurants.We had a number of relaxing lunches sitting in the restaurants overlooking the chateau at Chambord, which we would recommend as well as the Auberge du Chateau at Beaugency.
Confirmed stay: 13 September 2013
8 out of 10

Alison

Cambridge
Loads to do, lots of variety for all ages.
Confirmed stay: 13 September 2013
10 out of 10

Kathleen

Boston
So many beautiful places to visit all within half an hour or less of travelling.
Confirmed stay: 13 September 2013
8 out of 10

Helen

Caerphilly
Excellent area for flat walking and cycling, trips on the river. Many interesting cultural and historial sights within easy driving distance.
Confirmed stay: 13 September 2013
7 out of 10

James

The Loire itself is a beautiful river, although the countryside around lacks the stunning vistas of the Dordogne, but being pretty flat is ideal for cyclists. For lovers of chateaux it is unsurpassed.
Confirmed stay: 12 September 2013
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