The Loire Valley is well known for its royal castles and there are majestic sites to be visited : Chambord, Cheverny, Blois, Chaumont-sur-Loire, Chenonceau …
The château de Blois deserves a special mention as it combines in one single building a large part of the history of French architecture: Louis XII, François 1st and Charles d’Orléans all put their mark on this monument, one after the other.
But, there are also lots of « little» castles, as discreet as they are charming, they are certainly worth a visit.
These include :
- The Manor de la Possonnière in Couture-sur-Loir. Surrounded by greenery and far from noise and agitation, Ronsards birthplace is built on a hillside on the edge of the forest.
- The château de Talcy. This 16th century castle still has the elements of its typical local architecture: old wells, wine press and dovecoat, its gardens have been transformed into a landscaped orchard. Casandre was born here; she inspired the famous French poet Ronsard.
- The château de Fougères-sur-Bièvre. Right in the heart of a pretty village recently renovated, this medieval castle is a lovely place to stop for a break.
Towns and villages
From Lavardin, ranked among the prettiest villages in France, to the medieval city of Monthou-sur-Cher, you’ll find many remarkable villages in the Loir-et-Cher.
Previously a royal city, Blois deserves a full day’s visit to discover every nook and cranny as well as its special geographical position, straddling the Loire.
Our personal favorites at Ethic Étapes
- An out of the ordinary visit of Blois guided by Sylvain Ruiz.
- La Maison des parapluies in Blois : a shop and workshop making umbrellas and parasols
Some not to be missed sites:
- Trôo village :an atypical village with winding narrow streets. Rebuilt troglodyte dwellings can be visited.
- The underground town in Bourré : in an old freestone quarry a town was rebuilt 50 m (165 feet) underground.
- The silkworm cottage in Bourré : discover a troglodyte dwelling and learn about raising silkworms.
- The Monmousseau wine cellars in Montrichard : an underground circuit in one of best known wine producers in the Loire valley.
In the Loir valley and in the Perch area, at least 20 churches can be seen with biblical frescoes made with lime using the age old fresco technique.
The oldest date back to the 11th century and some have been exceptionally well conserved.