Beautiful, vibrant and lively, Tours is a pretty stopping point on the ‘Route des Châteaux’. Wander round its historic quarters with their half-timbered houses, the bustling Place Plumereau and Saint-Gatien Cathedral, as well as the Olivier Debré Contemporary Art Centre.

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On sunny days, the star of Tours is the River Loire! The now famous ‘Tours-sur-Loire’ guingette and the Tours beach extend the city limits to the banks of the river.

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Crowned with its status of International City of Gastronomy, Tours is packed with gourmet bistros featuring fresh, locally sourced produce on their menus. Genuinely unique!

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Tours, a tale of two cities

In a perfect location in the heart of an area of outstanding heritage, Tours is the great capital of the Loire Valley… but it is far more than just a gateway to the ‘Route des Châteaux’. Indeed, Tours delights in being charming and doesn’t think twice about playing a double game in order to do so.

First of all, there is its historical heritage. The birthplace of Balzac is proud of its ‘Cathedral’ and ‘Plumereau’ quarters, which take visitors on a wonderful journey back in time. The narrow cobbled streets, half-timbered houses and the stone façade of the monumental Saint-Gatien Cathedral give the city a charming medieval air.

Yet Tours also has a contemporary, mischievous side, offering great shopping, exhibitions at the Olivier Debré Contemporary Art Centre, tables at the summer guinguette and the mouth-watering menus of its many gourmet bistros.

For night owls, a stopover in Tours also gives them an opportunity to treat themselves to a show, an evening in one of the many bars and cafés in the Old Town or a front seat at the sound and light show projected onto the cathedral façade every evening in the summer.

Tours Cathedral Illusions

Tours Cathedral Illusions © David Piton

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