If you are looking for grand, historical castles, views that will take your breath away and visiting places that are unprecedented anywhere in Western Europe.

Loire Valley is known as the Garden of France because of captivating areas abounding in flowers, rolling hills, vineyards and thousands of chateaus splashing throughout the land. This undisturbed countryside is enchanting for those holiday or vacation destinations. Loire Valley carries everyone back in time and has been doing so for centuries. Writers and Poets, alike, have put pen to paper exclaiming the serenity and beauty of this region of France. If you are becoming intrigued with Loire Valley, here are some areas, within the valley, that you should put on your list of must-sees.

Chambord

Chambord is considered the most famous and recognizable castle in all of Loire Valley and maybe France. With its French Renaissance architecture, Chambord is the largest castle in the Loire. Built by King Francois I as a hunting lodge, it’s surrounded by a hunting preserve and an enormous park that is easily accessible by a horse drawn carriage. It’s sheer size is unbelievable with 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases. It is said that Leonardo de Vinci designed the double helix staircase that is the centerpiece of the castle in nearby Clos de Luce.

Château de Cheverny

Chinon, Loire Valley, France

Nearby Chambord is the exquisite Château de Cheverny. One family has inhabited it for well over six centuries, and its breathtaking gardens, and mysterious labyrinth will make your visit totally unforgettable.

Château de Villandry

This is considered one of the best examples of Renaissance style gardens throughout the entire world. What is going on around the grounds is even more spectacular than the castle. With a beautiful water garden, flower gardens galore and perfectly laid out vegetable gardens with low box hedges. This a must see stop on your journey.

Cathedral of Chartres

This cathedral is a spectacular vision drenched in medieval architecture; Rodin called it the Acropolis of France. The Old Town of Chartres is a wonderful combination of cobblestone streets, footbridges and gabled homes. You will easily wander back in time while visiting this charming town.

Orleans

It is located about 111 kilometres (69 mi) southwest of Paris only and is quite famous for its vinegar production. In 1429, Joan of Arc aided in the liberation of the city from the British. Each May there is a celebration to honor her achievements. While visiting Orleans, you will be able to visit the house she resided in during the ten-day siege.

Amboise & Chenonceau

Within the shadows of the Royal Castle Chenonceau, this 15th century Amboise is a spectacular town consisting of beautiful white stone houses from the 15th century.

Château de Chenonceau

This “château” spans the River Cher near the village of Chenonceaux in Loire Valley and is a very popular visitors’ attraction. As a visitor, you will soak in this beautiful château reflecting off the river that will surely impress the staunchest of people.

Tours

Tours is an active and modern town and very popular destination for beginning a journey throughout Loire Valley. This city holds great pride in their beautiful Renaissance and neo-classical mansions that are amazing to view. The backdrop for the city is the intersection of the Cher and Loire Rivers and is a wonderful place to visit.

Town hall of Tours – France, Region Centre