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

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On sunny days, the star of the city is the River Loire! Visit Tours must include a rest break at the 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, and some Loire wines. Genuinely unique!

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Visit Tours – A tale of two cities

In a perfect location, Tours is the great capital of the Loire Valley, a Unesco world heritage site, but it is far more than just a gateway to the Loire Chateaux. Indeed, Tours delights in being charming and doesn’t think twice about playing a double game in order to do so.

Visit Tours and its beautiful architecture full of history

First of all, there is its historical heritage. The birthplace of Balzac is proud of its historical 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.

The architecture of the ‘Beaux Arts’ Arts Museum, the Hotel Gouïn (Renaissance architecture), Tours castle, the ‘la Psalette’ cloister and the Saint Martin Basilica is of great interest! You will enjoy those monuments through a great illuminated walking experience.

Visit Tours - Saint-Gatien Cathedral

Visit Tours - Saint-Gatien Cathedral

Château de Tours - Illuminated walking experience

Château de Tours - Illuminated walking experience

A lively city, a great place to live in

In addition to the built heritage, large green spaces perfectly enhance the city. Designed in the 19th century and classified as a remarkable garden, the Prebendes d’Oe garden is a perfect example, as is the botanic garden and the Gloriette park. Attached to the latter, the practice of La Gloriette Golf may allow you to make your first swing!

Renting a bike, you will have the possibility to cycle to the St Cosme priory, the gardens of Villandry and the Vouvray wineries (Château Gaudrelle, Vigneau-Chevreau…).

The gardens of Villandry castle

The gardens of Villandry castle

It is also very pleasant to go shopping, to have a look at the exhibitions at the Olivier Debré Contemporary Creation Centre, to relax at the summer ‘guinguette’, situated along the banks of the Loire River from which you can see the traditional boats (belonging to the Boutavant association). You may also be tempted to go on board for a fifty minute cruise on the river!

Visit Tours - Boutavant boat on the River Loire

Visit Tours - Boutavant boat on the River Loire

Visit Tours - Olivier Debré Contemporary Creation Centre

Visit Tours - Olivier Debré Contemporary Creation Centre

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 free sound and light show projected onto the Fine Art Museum façade every evening in the summer.

Visit Tours in video

Tours is the ideal place to spend a night as it is situated close to the main Loire Valley chateaux, along the Loire à vélo, along the GR3 pedestrian route and on the way to Santiago de Compostela!

Practical: Tours Val de Loire Tourist Office

http://www.tours-tourism.co.uk – +033 (0)2 47 70 37 37

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