Loire Valley, a UNESCO world heritage site in France
In 2000, UNESCO bestowed the cultural landscape World Heritage title on the Loire Valley, a prestigious title held by some of the world's most significant sites. The area along the banks of this nearly 155 miles stretch of Europe's last wild river constitutes a unique setting that is the result of a harmonious blend of natural treasures and the genius of mankind.
Loire Valley, an invitation to travel in a Unesco world heritage site
From Amboise to Candes-Saint-Martin, by way of the city of Tours, visitors on a Loire Valley tour can admire unique landscapes comprised of islands and shape-shifting sandbanks that create an impression of constantly evolving scenes.
With its wide open spaces, preserved landscapes and the very particular lighting that has attracted painters here for generations (including William Turner), the majestic Loire is also home to a remarkably rich ecosystem: numerous migratory birds (terns typically nest on the banks), beaver colonies and rare plants (including endemic species of small orchids) have made this haven of peace their home.
Wine tasting on a Loire Valley traditional boat - Photo credit: Stevens Frémont
Canoeing on the Loire - Photo Credit: Jean-Christophe Coutand
How to enjoy Loire Valley
We offer you three possibilities to discover this world heritage site in France:
- by navigating on a traditional boat or in a canoe
- by cycling on the banks of Loire with the Loire cycle route ('Loire à vélo')
- By a walk on the Bondésir Island
- by visiting the house of the Loire which offer several nature outings, or the bargeman museum.
Boat ride along the river Loire
Canoeing on the river Loire
Touraine, in the heart of the Loire Valley
Around Tours perhaps more than anywhere else, the Loire and the "tuffeau" stone beds constitute an ideal showcase for the majesty of the major chateaux and the arts of gardening and winegrowing. Moreover, numerous beautiful landscapes are due to 4 other big rivers: the Cher, the Creuse, the Indre and the Vienne.
On the EuroVelo route #6 that runs from Sully-sur-Loire (Loiret) all the way to the Saint-Nazaire beaches, a Loire Valley bike Tour is an original way to discovering the best of Loire Valley, along the Loire à vélo route. Landscapes, towns, castles, vineyards... a great tour focycling holidays in Franc (...)
For starters, a little bit of history. Navigation on the river Loire reached its peak in the 19th century. The Loire and its tributaries were dotted with the small white sails of vessels transporting passengers and goods.
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