- The Château de Chenonceau. Photo: ©Y. Lastes
The Loire Valley along the Loire River in central France takes on a new color in the fall. Thanks to its moderate climate, pleasant landscape, and incredible sights, it’s an ideal destination for an autumn trip.
Historically, its location gave the valley great strategic importance. During the Middle Ages, many rulers and nobles established their strongholds there, and centuries later their castles were replaced with Renaissance châteaux, now the area’s main attractions.
One of the most notable châteaux of the Loire Valley is the Château de Chenonceau, which spans the River Cher near the small village of Chenonceaux in the Indre-et-Loire department. Serving as the residence of royal personalities like Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de’ Medicis, it gained the moniker “Château des Dames.” Today, it is the most visited château in France after Versailles.
The Loire Valley is also known for bicycle tourism. “La Loire à vélo,” a long distance cycling route, allows visitors to go for pleasant bike rides or walks near the calm waters of the Loire while admiring the beautiful castles.