Explore the chateaux and fortresses of the Val de Loire, a place with a special connection to the kings of France. With its vineyards, its cities full of architectural riches, and little riverside villages, this wonderful region is brimming with treasures. Les Collectionneurs offer a selection of charming establishments where visitors can stay or have a bite to eat.
The Loire Chateaux are important historic monuments which are a major draw for travellers. Each one of them has managed to preserve its own identity, heritage and secrets. At the Château de Brezé, for example, visitors will discover an impressive network of troglodyte caves - the most extensive underground fortress in Europe. The Anjou region boasts some outstanding buildings, like the Abbey of Fontevraud or the medieval Chateau de Langeais, characterised by its drawbridge, machiocolations and sculpted chimneys. At Château Gaillard, botany enthusiasts can discover the first renaissance gardens created in France. The chateau was also the residence of Dom Pacello de Mercogliano, the master gardener of the French kings, who introduced the very first orange trees to France.
These great chateaux are the jumping off point for an immersion in a world of endless riches. Be awe-struck by Leonardo da Vinci's works of art and machines at the Clos Lucé. The Château de Cheverny's architecture inspired Hergé's drawings of Marlinspike, the famous home of Tintin and Captain Haddock. The Château of Ussé inspired Charles Perrault to pen the famous fairytale, Sleeping Beauty.
Travelling downstream from Sully-sur-Loire to the Château d'Angers, passing Chambord, Azay-le-Rideau or Villandry, the Loire Chateaux tell the story of a period of France's history stretching from the end of the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. The Loire Valley, which extends from Anjou to the Orléans region and the Touraine, possesses countless treasures. Each town proudly boasts a royal residence, including Vendôme, Amboise or Blois, whose royal palace is famous for its monumental staircase. Away from the old towns, the chateaux of Chenonceau, whose arcades span the River Cher, or Chambord, with its impressive UNESCO-listed freestone turrets, will tempt you to linger. With their courtyards, pavilions, royal apartments and stunning gardens, each of these monuments merits a detour.
To make the most of your trip, we recommend you choose a place to stay close to the chateaux. A hotel in Tours makes an ideal base to tour the Loire Chateaux. While you're in the area, don't miss the less famous chateau of Azay-le-Rideau. On the historic Valley of the Plantagenet Kings route, the medieval fortified Château de Saumur, whose foundations date back to the 10th century, is also worth a look. Strung all along the Loire are charming hotels for a stopover after a hot-air balloon ride or a visit to the royal fortress of Chinon or the walled city of Loches and its 36-metre high keep where Joan of Arc stayed.
Les Collectionneurs have selected a range of hotels with spacious and comfortable rooms, fully equipped. Not only does each establishment offer all modern comforts with beautiful bed linen, a luxury bathroom, flat-screen TV, wifi, and parking, they also embody the spirit of the local area. Situated in a Renaissance manor and girdled by a French garden, or in a renovated 18th-century former posthouse, these guesthouses bring the Loire Valley's rich history to life.
If the Kings of France set their sights on a region so remote from the capital, it was at least in part because of its pleasant climate. In summer, it's a pure pleasure to enjoy a buffet or Continental breakfast on a terrace with a view over the park. With their salons and bedrooms filled with designer furniture, these residences give off a rare atmosphere of refinement and comfort. The relaxation spaces with their steam room, sauna or heated outdoor pool, are an invitation to immerse yourself in serenity.
Renowned restaurateurs have established their presence in Touraine and Anjou, whose gastronomy is inseparable from its wine culture. The Loire Valley has a concentration of great vineyards such as Vouvray, which produces a sparkling white, Coteaux-du-Layon, which is well known for its sweet whites, as well as Bourgueil, Pouilly-Fumé or Saumur-Champigny.
The establishments selected by les Collectionneurs embody local chefs' passion and commitment to the authenticity and love for their regional cuisine. To make the most of this gourmet interlude, guests can simply prolong the experience by booking a night in one of Centre-Val de Loire's hotels.
To allow the restaurateurs and hoteliers of our community to once again share special moments with you, and welcome you under the best possible conditions in their establishments, specific COVID-19 health measures have been adopted along with additional measures to best adapt these policies to their unique type of operations. For details of the health policies implemented, please contact the particular establishment directly.
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