PLACES TO VISIT

A trip to the Loire valley

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As I mentioned before, we met up with Esther and her family in the Loire valley for a little family get together this summer. As you can imagine, we had a fabulous time – what can go wrong with France, friends, summer, countryside and being surrounded by vineyards and chateaux?

The Loire valley is an area I’ve never truly explored before, even though it is only about a 2-hour drive from Paris. The main attractions are the amazing chateaux, most of them built around the time of Louis XIV, who did have quite a high opinion of himself and liked to demand grand chateaux to stay in. Now there are about 90 of them all along the Loire that are open to visitors.

We rented two little cabins on a campsite next to each other. They were nothing fancy, but exactly what we needed as the kids roamed freely all over the campsite and made friends wherever they went.  We were based in the lovely medieval town of Saumur, where we got to visit the caves of the Veuve Amiot, vineyards, one of many caves built into the rocks in Saumur, and the horses of the Cadre Noir. We visited the underground network caves of the castle of Brézé, the castle of Ussé (which is rumored to be the castle Sleeping Beauty was based on). My personal highlight were the beautiful gardens of Villandry.

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It was such a great little holiday and I wanted to note down some of the things I recommend when you are visiting France:

Tourism Offices: Most little towns have one, and every time I visit a new place, my first stop is always the tourism office – the internet just cannot replace them. The staff is normally super knowledgable and will be able to recommend a ton of things, also events happening in the area that you would not normally know about. They are also very used to English speaking visitors. 😉

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Night Markets: Night/evening markets are popping up all over the place in France (you can find out where they are happening at the tourism office). Local food sellers come and sell their products. The local town then sets up barbecues so that you can have your food cooked on the spot. There is normally a band, trestle tables and old ladies preparing fries. It is always easy going and fun and no one cares if kids are running around.

Chateaux: the Loire Valley is full of them, but pretty much anywhere you go in France you will find a few local chateaux stepped in history. They are a great place to escape the midday heat and I do not know a single child who does not like to run around a castle and hear about kings and queens and knights and ladies.

– Emilie


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Comments (3)

August 24, 2015

This holiday sounds so fabulous! We are always on the look out for kid-friendly European vacation destinations — thanks for all the recommendations!


September 8, 2015

The Loire Valley has to be our favorite destination in all of Europe this far…hubby & I have ‘joked’ about retiring there…you never know!


May 26, 2016

[…] have explored the Dordogne in a camper van and stayed on a campsite in the Loire Valley with Esther and her family. I do think our favourite location is on the Atlantic coast around […]


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