Loire Valley (Vallee de La Loire in French) was added to the unique UNESCO World Heritage listing in 2000. When delivering its decision, the committee said that the area was an exceptional cultural landscape, of great beauty, comprised of historic cities and villages, great architectural monuments – the Chateaux – and lands that have been cultivated and shaped by centuries of interaction between local populations and their physical environment, in particular, the Loire itself.
With cities such as Orleans, Blois, Tours or Nantes, the Loire Valley offers an incredible quality of architectural heritage. Also known as the Gardens of France, Loire Valley is a great place to enjoy biological diversity, endless well kept forests (such as Forest of Amboise) and last but not least, its world-class wines.
We have graded this walk as “moderate” as the average walking time is 4 hours, without any major ascent or descent.
The Loire Valley is noteworthy for the quality of its architectural heritage,in its world-famous castles, such as the Château of Amboise, Château of Chambord or Château of Chenonceaux (“Château des Dames”), three of the most exceptional castles in France with Versailles but there are also lots of small castles you will see during these walking holidays like Leonardo da Vinci’s last home (Château du Clos Lucé).
The romantic representation of the Valley in the 19th century by writers and painters led to the Loire becoming a magnet for tourists, first from France, then Europe, and then in the 20th century the rest of the world. This interest in the scenic qualities of the Valley and its monuments encouraged efforts to preserve the heritage of the landscape, in the form of its monuments, its towns, its rural structure, it nature and gastronomy.