In the Center-Val-de-Loire region, the Loir-et-Cher is a vast green plain crossed by the Loire, the Cher and the Loir. On the borders of Perche, Beauce, Sologne and Touraine, this magnificent territory is a haven of peace, home to some of the most famous royal castles, as well as one of the most beautiful zoos in the world.
The Kings of France were not mistaken in setting up their majestic châteaux on the banks of the Loire, in the heart of a welcoming plain. The Loir-et-Cher is a magnificent department, rich in an exceptional natural, historical and cultural heritage. Between nature, history and culture, the place is ideal for family vacations. The variety of discoveries will make a stay in Loir-et-Cher, an unforgettable memory.
A preserved nature
In the Loir-et-Cher, nature holds a place of honor. Between forests, meadows, pruning, valleys, watercourses, wetlands, embankments and lawns, the landscapes are of extraordinary diversity. Biodiversity is wonderfully preserved there. 27 sensitive natural areas have also been labeled. The three paths, the Butte de Blumonts, the Ile de la Folie, the Roquezon spur or the old bocage du Perche offer a multitude of walks in the heart of nature. The basement of Loir-et-Cher is also extraordinary. The “Valley of the Kings” is also the largest cave dwelling place in the history of France.
Built in the heart of the largest enclosed forest area in Europe, the castle of Chambord is the largest of the Loire Valley castles. Built at the request of François Ier between 1519 and 1547, Chambord embodies a utopia. It is indeed much more than a residential palace or a hunting estate. The king, inspired by the genius of Leonardo da Vinci, wanted to build an ideal place, both modern and harmonious. Nowadays the site is classified as world heritage of humanity. And now, the Place Saint-Louis, the Grande Promenade, the terraces, the royal residence, the kitchens, the vineyards, the stables, the vegetable gardens and the French gardens, are all treasures to discover with the family.
Further west, the Royal Castle of Blois has a rich history that began in the XNUMXth century. It is a unique example of the evolution of French architecture over four centuries. Residence of the Count of Blois in the Middle Ages, it became the property of the Duke of Orleans in the 7th century. A new Renaissance style wing was then built there. Francis I then added another in the 10th century. Over the centuries, this castle has witnessed the fate of XNUMX kings and XNUMX queens of France.
Beauval zoo is the fourth most beautiful zoo in the world. It hosts more than 35 animals, in the heart of 000 hectares, in the heart of Loir-et-Cher. In this magnificent animal park, 40 territories offer visitors a real world tour. 800 species from all continents live within this sumptuous zoo. Among them, the giant pandas recently made headlines by giving birth to baby Yuan Meng. And since 2020, a unique equatorial experience has been offered to young and old alike. The equatorial dome is a paradise welcoming a wide variety of animals. They thus live in an environment close to their natural environment. Anacondas, ibis, giant otters and even Komodo dragons await you in Beauval.
Six AOC wines are produced in Loir-et-Cher. The appellations of controlled origin Cheverny, Côteaux du Vendômois, Cour-Cheverny, Touraine, Touraine-Mesland and Valençay make the place famous. Many castles and cellars open their doors to visitors. They allow you to live magnificent oenological discoveries, in sumptuous settings. Since 1886, the Caves Monmousseau have gradually become an essential site for wine tourism in the Loire Valley. During an underground visit, the selection, assembly and vinification of these fine and elegant wines will no longer hold any secrets for you. And for an atypical and underground visit, do not miss either TrogloDegusto, winner of the Top Tourism 2017.