Châteaux and fresh air in the Cher valley

Each year, not far short of one million visitors head for the majestic Château de Chenonceau with its arches over the River Cher. But far fewer opt for a stay in this beautiful valley. And yet, they would never regret it…

Chenonceau, Montpoupon, Civray-de-Touraine…

The elegant architecture, as well as the floral decoration from the flower garden, the grounds, the gastronomic restaurant, wine tastings in the château at the Cave des Dômes, a rich history… the Château of Chenonceau combines all the ingredients for an exceptional day out.

Overshadowed by its famous neighbour, the Château of Montpoupon has been growing in popularity in recent years. The quality of the guided visits, taking visitors back to the 1920s, is one reason for it. We should also mention the Château de Civray de Touraine, which you can visit in the company of the owner, Diane de Thoran.

Château de Civray de Touraine

Château de Civray de Touraine

The château of Montpoupon

The château of Montpoupon

Taking it easy in the Cher valley…

Alongside the Loire châteaux, let’s take a look at some of the other sights and experiences awaiting you in the beautiful Cher valley. If you’re in the mood to relax, then don’t hesitate to try a lunch-cruise with the Bélandre boat or to rent a small electric boat, with no sailing licence needed. During your river trip, you are likely to catch a glimpse of the hot-air balloons. And after seeing them in the sky, perhaps you will be tempted to climb into the basket?!

Hot-air balloon above Chenonceau castle


Since 2011, some wine estates in the area have had the AOC Touraine Chenonceaux label with Sauvignon grapes for the white wines, and a blend of Côt and Cabernet Franc for the reds. The Caves du Père Auguste welcome visitors to taste and take home a few bottles, just like the Domaine de la Grange (AOC Touraine). That said, you can also try them out during a meal, with the help of the wine list in local restaurants. L’Auberge du Bon Laboureur, the Bistro’QuaiL’Auberge de la TreilleLa BoulayeL’Auberge du Cheval Rouge… Enjoy!

… or something more dynamic!

For the most energetic visitors, the Cher valley is a vast playground. You can set off on an adventure in a Canadian canoe, while the brand-new Coeur de France by bike – Cher Valley trail is a chance to pedal across the region in the course of a few days. On a smaller scale, there are cycling trails lasting just a few hours.

Hikers should rest assured, because there are naturally plenty of trails for them.

Canoë Company

Canoë Company

The Cher valley by bike

The Cher valley by bike

Useful information

Accommodation: Le Cheval Blanc, the guest rooms at the Château de Fontenay, the Volandrie gîte, the Gâtine 3-star campsiteYourte and Spa.

To find out more

All our magazine articles to make sure your stay is perfect

The French art of living at “Le Clos d’Amboise” hotel

Biodiversity in the garden

Ussé, Sleeping Beauty chateau