If you’re looking for the perfect holiday destination for the whole family, the Loire Valley offers something for everyone. The valley is
located along central France’s Loire River littered with glorious chateaux and versatile countryside. The River Loire is a World Heritage Site with interesting villages and towns to explore. The valley offers a huge range of activities for the clan to enjoy. From historic museums, waterpark, gardens and impressive castles everyone is guaranteed a good time.
Here’s a list of activities you can do while enjoying your stay in the valley:
Rediscover Leonardo da Vinci at the Chateau de Close Luce
Leonardo da Vinci, the great artist and inventor spent the last three years of his life in Chateau de Close Luce. The chateau in Amboise served as his official residence. Today, it has been converted into a museum. You can tour the museum to learn about the valley’s history as well as look at this invention. School-age-kids will surely love many of his inventions on display. Kids can learn by touching, spinning and exploring his fascinating inventions. The museum also offers playground and picnic area for the whole family.
Stroll the Garden of Love at the Chateau de Villandry
The gardens at the Chateau de Villandry are renowned for their beauty. The magnificent gardens have been admired for over 500 years. The best view of the gardens is from the higher vantage points inside and outside the castle. Look down and appreciate the meaning and the complete designs of the gardens. The labyrinth is divided into symmetrical sections for easy exploration.
Cycle along the River through the Loire à velo Cycle Route
Hire a bicycle and cycle the River Loire through the Loire à velo cycle route. The route stretches 800 kilometres from St-Brevin-les-Pins on the Atlantic coast through the cities of Nantes, Angers, Saumur, Tours, Orleansto Cuffy in the Cher. The route is easy and well organised with signpost and paths to ride. You can also take the side routes that concentrate on the Loire Valley chateau. Go at your own pace or stop for sightseeing. You can also have a picnic under the fruit trees or just rest on the banks of the river.
Marvel at the great Gothic Cathedrals at Bourges
Cathedrale St-Etienne at Bourges is one of the great gothic cathedrals of France which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Bourges cathedral is modelled in Notre Dame in Paris. Take a pair of binoculars when you visit this great cathedral so you can pick out the details of the biblical stories in the stained glass.
Taste the Healing Waters at the Spa Town
The spa town in La Roche Posay was founded by the Romans in 15th century. The spa is renowned for its healing waters which is good for the skin. Taste the waters from one of the taps outside the spa and enjoy its health giving properties. La Roche Posay is also the home of two race courses. The Hippodrome features both trotting and steeple chasing. You might even find some free book maker bets at the onsite tote style betting shop.
Tour the Château de Chenonceau
Chenonceau is perhaps the most famous chateau in the Loire Valley. The castle literally spans the River Cher with the attractive mixture of late Gothic and early Renaissance architecture style. The interior of Chenonceau is meticulously restored, showcasing the intricate tapestry, furniture and paintings. The high-ceiling rooms lets you step back in time and visualise royal life. The fresh flowers made the castle feel lived in. The chateau is small that you can tour all the rooms in less than an hour.
Wine Tasting at Bouvet-Ladubay
Bouvet-Ladubay is one of the valley’s best producers of sparkling wine. They offer an extensive guided tour of the winery. It has less than 10 mile of wine cellars to explore with wine tasting at the end of the tour. The winery also offers cycling tours for people worried about walking the subterranean miles.
Visit the delightful Art Museumat the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours
Musée des Beaux-Arts is located in the bishop’s former palace in Tours. This delightful art museum contains one of France’s most extensive art collections with artist including Monet and Rubens and more. The sculpture collection features ancient classical Greek and Roman pieces, including the sculptures of historic French monarchs.
Explore the Valley in the Air
Float over the Loire Valley and see the landscapes from a whole new perspective.Riding the hot-air balloon is a unique way to explore the town of Amboise, its magnificent castles and the countryside. Exploring the field, forest and rivers up in a hot-air balloon is a magical adventure that will linger with the kids for a lifetime.
Visit the Natural History Museum in Tours
Natural History Museum in Tours is one of the most child-friendly museums in the region. The kids will surely enjoy seeing the stuffed animal section of the museum on the second floor. Kids will go wild inspecting gorillas, lions and other predators at the museum. There’s also a live animal exhibit which include reptiles and insects as well as other crawling critters. The museum is fun for all ages.
Let the kids explore the PapéaParc
The PapeaParc located in Yvre-l Eveque is a family-friendly theme park that is sure to wipe your boredom away. Families with young kids that need to expend some energy will find lots of things to do here. Take a pedalo ride out on the lake to let the kids meet and greet the farm creatures. There are also stomach-churning rides like the log flume or pirate ship.
Meet animals at La Fleche Zoo
La Fleche Zoo is one of the best in France. It contains 1,200 animals kept in enclosure that replicate their natural habitat. The zoo has an innovative viewing windows at allow kids to take a glance into the animals without disturbing the inhabitant. Feeding session provide opportunity for younger kids to learn about the different species in the zoo.