France

Things to do in the Loire Valley

Throughout the years, the Loire Valley has been home to some of the richest and most powerful families in the area, and many royals chose this as the location of their most impressive homes and palaces too, making it a very fascinating destination to visit.

Although the architecture certainly deserves your appreciation, you will find that there are plenty of great things to do in the Loire Valley no matter how you like to spend your time while you are on holiday.

It takes around 5 hours to drive from Calais to the Loire Valley, and if you want to break up your journey there are plenty of interesting places to stop en route, so why not book your crossing today and you can discover all of the things to do in the Loire Valley for yourself!

DVR

Dover Port

CQF

Calais Port

Morning

01:35

05:05

07:00

10:00

Midday

11:30

Afternoon

14:30

16:10

Evening

19:10

20:50

23:55

Loire Valley in France

Things to do in the Loire Valley

Parks and gardens in the Loire Valley
The Loire Valley is often referred to as the ‘Garden of France’ due to its impressive number of parks, gardens, and estates, so you will be spoilt for choice if you are looking for green spaces during your break.
 
Head to La Brenne Regional Nature Park where you will find over 2000 lakes and ponds, offering the perfect space to enjoy some fresh air and relax away from the towns and cities. This park is home to around 2300 different animal species, including turtles, herons, ducks and dragonflies, and 1200 types of plant, so if you love wildlife this really is the place to be.
 
When you visit the Loire Valley you will also have the chance to see the largest Japanese garden in Europe, the Parc Oriental de Maulévrier. With a design that is mostly centered around water, this park has a pond which is home to two islands, plus both natural and mythical landscape designs that are sure to enchant you. There are plenty of Japanese symbols to discover as you wander around the park, and you can choose to take a guided tour if you like.
Loire valley Parc Oriental in Maulvrier

Chateau Chambord in Loire Valley

Explore Famous Chateaux

The Loire Valley is home to over 300 castles boasting a whole variety of amazing styles and designs, so if you love wandering around stunning buildings you really won’t be disappointed.

One of the most famous examples is the Chateau de Chambord, which was originally created to be a hunting lodge for Francois I, but has over 400 rooms inside plus stables for around 1200 horses too! The grounds are extensive and beautiful, and you can choose to walk, cycle, or horse ride in order to see them for yourself.

You should also take a trip to the Chateau de Chenonceau while you are in the Loire Valley, as this is the most visited and photographed chateau in the region. With renaissance furniture, tapestries, and various artwork to admire as you walk around, you’re also sure to love the small chapel and its stained glass windows which replaced the originals that were damaged in World War II.

ZooParc de Beauval

Recognized as being one of the most beautiful zoos in the world, the ZooParc de Beauval is home to around 8000 residents from 600 different species, including white tigers, pandas, and koalas.

Part of the zoo has been created to look like an African Plain, and this is where you will be able to see zebras, giraffes, rhinos, and antelope among others. There is also an amphitheater where you can sit and watch a show that incorporates both sea lions and birds of prey!

You are sure to love the hippo enclosure which boasts a beach and a waterfall too!

Zoo Parc Beauval in Loire Valley

Troglodytes in Loire Valley

See the troglodytes

As you spend time in the Loire Valley you will spot troglodytes, which are dwellings carved into the slopes and rock faces, as those who lived there wanted to make to most out of the landscape. These residences are made from tufa stone which is very easy to work with, and the material taken from the landscapes during the carving process was then sold on.

If the troglodytes are of interest to you, head to the Troglodyte Village of Rochemenier where people were still living until the 1930s, and see farms, houses, and even an underground chapel!

With so many things to do in the Loire Valley, add a trip here to your travel wish list and discover all that it has to offer for yourself. Simply book your Dover to Calais crossing today and start planning your perfect break!

The Loire Valley is often referred to as the ‘Garden of France’ due to its impressive number of parks, gardens, and estates

Featured blog post Exploring the Loire Valley Chateaux

Explore the Loire Valley chateaux and discover exquisite banquet halls, extravagant gardens, and the amazing architecture of these noble residences.

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