The Loir-et-Cher is a popular cycling and walking destination in France and is located in the Center region of France. The Loire Valley that runs through the region is here in its entirety on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Some of the most beautiful castles in France can be found in the Loir-et-Cher. You will find some of these castles in the list below. Besides the castles, the many beautiful castle gardens are one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Loir-et-Cher. Those who don’t feel like spending whole days visiting castles can enjoy themselves in the many beautiful French villages in the Loir-et-Cher department or enjoy the beautiful nature during long walking or cycling trips.
Top 10 things to do in Loir-et-Cher
#1. Chambord. Castle
According to Bridgat, the Château de Chambord is the largest castle in the Loire area and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the castle there are more than 400 different rooms in total there are more than 3000 towers on the roof of the castle. The most beautiful part of the Castle is in the heart of it. Here is a circular double spiral staircase, which is believed to have been designed by Leonardo Da Vinci. The castle has long been part of the French royal domains, nowadays it is French state property. During the Second World War, some great art treasures such as the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo were kept here.
This region mainly produces dry white wines and sweet white wines. To a lesser extent, red, rosé and sparkling wines are also produced here.. The wine region is known as Touraine. There are a total of six Appellations in the area, of which the AOC Touraine is the largest. The white wine here is mainly made from Chenin Blanc and Cabernet Franc.
Blois is the capital and the largest city of the department of Loir-et-Cher. The city is located on the right bank of the Loire and retains much of its medieval character. The old town of Blois is a series of narrow alleys that sometimes go up or down steeply and at other times are connected by steps and each other. Saint-Louis Cathedral and Blois Castle are among the most important buildings of the city. The city is connected to the other side of the Loire by the Pont J. Gabriel.
#4. Castle of Beauregard
The Castle of Beauregard is located near the village of Cellettes just far from the capital of this department Blois. Beauregard has been exceptionally well preserved over the centuries and can now be visited daily all year round. The most striking can be found here in the castle. The gallery des portraits in which more than 300 paintings show the history of France from the 14th to the 17th century. The gardens of this castle are listed as a historical monument.
The city of Vendôme is a beautiful old town in the Loir-et-Cher with its own TGV station. Over the years, the city has made its name as an art and culture city. In the city itself are many beautiful buildings such as the Abbey of the Trinity and the Romanesque bell tower. Above the town is the castle with its castle park that is about 6 hectares in size. The Ronsard Park on the Loire is a nice place in the city to relax.
#6. Cycling in the Loir-et-Cher
The best way to discover Loir-et-Cher is by bike. There are several good cycle paths along the Loire and Cher that take you along the highlights of this department. At the local tourist office there are several routes available to explore the region. The area in the vicinity of the rivers is quite flat, but if you go a few kilometers from here, you have a few short steep climbs ahead of you. The area behind this is a bit more sloping.
Montrichard is located in the far west of the Loir-et-Cher on the River Cher. The sight of this small village is dominated by the large fortress tower that stands in the central part of the old town. In the summer months, old times are revived here when the battles are reenacted in the squares. These performances are probably the biggest tourist attraction of the village, next to the castle of Montrichard. Montrichard is connected to the other side of Cher by an imposing stone bridge.
#8. Château de Chaumont-sur-loire
The Château de Chaumont-sur-loire is located near the town of Chaumont-sur-loire on top of the hill. The oldest parts of the castle date from the early Middle Ages. Like many castles in this region, parts were added and architectural changes made until the 19th century. The Château de Chaumont-sur-loire is one of the most beautiful in the Loire Valley and has therefore been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List together with the estate.
#9. Zoopark de Beauval
The zoo of Beauval is considered one of the most beautiful in France. The zoo is a mix of new and old enclosures. In the new enclosures, several species of animals are kept together that also live together. The zoo’s extensive breeding program is helping other zoos across Europe. Lions, Bengal tigers, snow leopards, jaguars and pumas can be found here. The park is open all year round from 9 a.m.
The famous Tarte-Tatin originated here in the region. It was the sisters Stéphanie and Caroline Tatin who first baked this cake. These ladies had a hotel in the town of Lamotte-Beuvron. The first Tarte-Tatin was an apple pie upside down, nowadays a Tarte-Tatin can consist of anything and even savory Tatins are baked. The principle is quite simple, your grease a closed baking bottom is good and put the ingredients of your choice in it and place on top of the dough bottom. Put it in the oven, wait a while and enjoy.