There is far more to the Val de Loire than castles. In fact it is difficult to list all the possible activities on just one page. Here are just a few other suggestions of what you can do while you are here.
Vineyards & wine tasting
The Loire Valley is France’s third largest wine growing region. The Loire Valley Wine Route is the longest in France – 800 km wind through the Loire Valley vineyards – making this a prime wine-tourism destination.
There are plenty of well-placed signposts to guide visitors and the route includes some unique cultural heritage sites along the Royal River, including the famous Chateaux and a vast range of diverse landscapes.
For an interative map showing some of the routes click on this link : www.vinsvaldeloire.fr
Alternatively, the “Loire à vélo” offers over 800 km of track along the Loire river (210 km in Touraine). The trails take you past castles, through beautiful landscapes, vineyards and charming villages. For more information : www.cycling-loire.com
Closer to us, the “Indre à Vélo” is a nice alternative. This easy itinerary, passes through typical villages, bucolic landscapes and several tourist sites, including a link to the Château de Chenonceau. For more information : www.touraineloirevalley.com
Along the same lines as the cycling trails over 50 different walking trails exist in and around Loches. We have full brochures of all the trails that you can consult while you are here. Whether you would like an afternoon stroll through the forest, along a river or a longer 20km walk through the countryside there are trails suited for everybody.
Fancy some company along the way? Why not walk with a donkey? Cathia organises short walks (2 hours) or longer walks (full day) with her donkeys along paths that have been tried and tested. The donkeys can walk up to 5km/h. The walks leave from the village of Chambourg just 5km from our house. It’s a great experience for children and adults alike. We will be happy to contact Cathia and help organise your walk.
In the air…
If you fancy seeing the castles from the sky choose between a hot air balloon, a helicopter or a ULM. Each one offers a different experience. Several companies operate in the area and we will be happy to advise you on which ones to contact to reserve your flight.
or on water…
With 3 rivers (the Indre, the Loire and the Cher) all passing through the area several water activities are possible : Canoeing, boat rides, fishing, swimming, etc… The nautical base of Chemillé sur Indrois is only 20 minutes away and has a beach where it is nice to swim and cool off in the summer months.
Mini-Castles park : on the outskirts of Amboise this is a great place for children and adults alike. Discover 41 of the most beautiful Chateaux of the Loire reproduced identically on a scale of 1/25th. Children can dress us as princesses and knights. Allow 2 hours to visit the park. The park is 30 minutes from our house. Mini-Castles web page
Family Park : an outdoor amusement park for the whole family. With more than 38 attractions there is something for everyone including inflatables for very young children. Allow at least half a day there. The park is 20 minutes from our house. Family park web page
La Récréation : an ecological leisure park with attractions made from recycled materials (water slide, cable dumps in bathtubs, zip lines… ) as well as more conventional games and activities (tarzan ropes, pedal cars, climbing wall, water games). Allow a whole day. The park is 30 minutes away. La Récréation web page
Spa & balneotherapy
If you fancy taking an afternoon out to treat yourself then look no further than Loches. Much more than a beauty institute, “Les Bains Douches” offers you time out to eliminate stress, to relax and to take care of your body.
An attentive and professional team are on hand to assist you with exercises, balneotherapy treatments, facials, massages and general bodycare in a calm, intimate setting.