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Where to stay in the Loire Valley,France?

Should you choose a hotel, a chateau, bed & breakfast or a gite?




Good question - and one that is often asked in the many forums that now dominate search results on the internet. Not surprisingly it is a difficult one to answer as it depends largely on what you want to do and see on your visit to a region that offers so much in the way of options - we think in many ways it sums up diversity that is 'France' - even though we don't have the mountains or beaches (although one site's photograph on their page on the Loire Valley might claim otherwise) - well, we do actually have beaches - but they are just not by the sea.


So, you are coming because you want to visit the glorious chateaux of the region - most visitors do - such as the beautiful Chateau de Chenonceau or the wonderful gardens at Villandry.


We would suggest that you plump for the department of Indre-et-Loire or to use its former name Touraine (this is how the local tourist industry still market the area) where seven of the major Loire Valley Chateaux (as per the UNESCO listing) are located plus many other interesting options.

Map source: https://www.1france.fr/


The thing is, you could actually choose to stay anywhere within this department  (the French name for part of the larger 'Region' - in this case 'Centre' ) as the scale of it is such that 1 hour and 45 mins. would take you north to south and 1 hr 30 mins. east to west at its furthest points. So you will never really be that far from a major tourist attraction.


Tram in front of town hall in Tours

If you want to be in a city with all the distractions that it brings then you have a great example in Tours, a city that has both a very interesting history plus a good modern feel. You can fly here directly from the UK with Ryanair or come via Paris by train.


In Tours you will find a good selection of hotels to suit most pockets. You also have the advantage of being able to use public transport to get you to some of the key sites such as Chenonceau (train) and the surrounding countryside by bus from the central bus depot. There are also a number of tours operated from the very good tourist office in the city.


Amboise from the castle ramparts.


You might want to stay in one of the main 'touristy' towns that unsurprisingly cater well for the visiting tourists such as Amboise which has a varied choice accommodation on offer. It has variety of restaurants and very good weekly markets. It is also a good choice if you are bringing the children as you are close to a number of attractions that may keep the kids amused for a short while.


view of Royale Logis in Loches from public gardens

Or may be you want the experience of a medieval town such as Loches or Chinon where you will have the experience of stepping back in time. When the question of  best town to stay in the Loire Valley came up on  the site that 'advises you on trips', a prolific contributor (almost 1500 posts) suggests "anywhere near the town of Loches", we would agree as its one of our favourite places. Both these towns have plenty of restaurants and some good shopping plus good weekly markets.

We would not rule out fine historic towns and cities like Angers and Saumur in the west or Blois and Orleans in the east but being central in Centre-Val de Loire will give you much more options with regards to things to do and see. 


You may, however, not want to be in a town at all - but just want to get a break from it all and are searching for some peace and tranquillity in the country - you will find hundreds of options within the Loire Valley - every thing from villas with pools to one bedroom bolt-holes - but how do you choose? Guest books can tell you a lot, are the comments up-to-date?. Are the hosts attentive? You want tranquillity but not isolation!


Speaking of isolation, tranquillity can come at a price...no walking to the boulangerie for your fresh bread in the mornings or sampling the local wine when out dining . This is when a vacation rental house in a village can be the better choice as you have the best of both worlds plus get a chance to experience the real  France.


As house rental owners and managers, ourselves, ( we are therefore a little biased, we admit ) in Southern Touraine we find that long-haul visitors sometimes need a little interaction with their hosts and the benefit of their local knowledge plus all the amenities of a 'home-from-home'.


If you are coming to France for a holiday then your choice of somewhere within the Loire Valley will be a good one and you will take back many fond memories...bonnes vacances!


Check out our places to stay page


Or choose one of our 'home from home' accommodation options


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"Author: Jim Craig"