Our time in France’s Loire Valley was a bright, shining highlight from our trip to France. One of my requirements for the trip was to stay in a castle, and Val de Loire is where one goes to do just that. In addition to the beautiful and historic chateaux (there are hundreds in the region, though not all open to the public), the food, wine, enchanting countryside, and slower pace of life make this a romantic destination – ideal for an anniversary or honeymoon. Since we were celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary, we found it to be a perfect romantic getaway. Save or pin this Loire Valley travel guide post for when you plan your trip to the Loire, as I’ve got all your essential trip recommendations below, including where to stay (chateaux to stay in Loire Valley), where to eat (the best Loire Valley restaurants), and what to do in this region of France for planning your Loire Valley itinerary. For more from our anniversary trip to France, see our scenic chateaux drive route from Paris to the Loire Valley here, a travel style post on what to wear for a vacation in Paris here, and our recommendations for planning a romantic vacation in Paris.
How to Get to the Loire Valley from Paris
We found the best option for getting to the Loire Valley from Paris was to rent a car and drive. It was a quick (about 2 hours from Paris to Amboise) and easy drive, with well-maintained roads. If you’d like to take the scenic route, which doesn’t add that much more time, here’s my scenic chateaux driving route from Paris to Amboise. You can also take the train, but driving allowed us to be flexible on arrival time, and it was also immensely helpful to have a vehicle to explore once we are there. Unless you have group tours arranged, you won’t be able to easily get from your lodging to the different chateaux otherwise.
Where to Stay in France’s Loire Valley
Château de Perreux (36 Rue de Pocé, 37530 Nazelles-Négron, France). If you are visiting the chateau country, you must stay in a chateau! If you’re looking for chateaux to stay in Loire Valley, I recommend the 300-year-old Château de Perreux, a genuine castle-turned-boutique hotel in Nazelles-Négron, not far from Amboise. It was the perfect choice for us to get an authentic experience with modern amenities at a great price. The grounds were beautiful and romantic (as you can see in my photos below), the service was friendly, and the food was delicious. We could have hung around the castle and grounds all day and been completely happy during our time in the Loire.
Loire Valley restaurants – Where to Eat in the Loire Valley
Hotel Restaurant Bellevue (Lounge B). I highly recommend the escargot and foie gras. They also have delicious house wine.
Brasserie Hippeau. Their Menu du Jour options were amazing.
L’Escale. Not far from Chateau de Perreux in quiet Nazelles-Negron, this restaurant has great prices for their wine and Menu du Jour.
Chateau de Perreux. You can make reservations for dinners at Chateau de Perrreux, where you are served outside during the lovely, temperate summer.
Chaussard Laurent (or Alimentation Cafe / Bar L’Entre Deux). This small shop and bar is within walking distance of Chateau de Perreux, and was a great place to hang out, or purchase a bottle to go. We loved drinking vouvray, the local sparking wine varietal.
Things to Do in the Loire Valley (Loire Valley attractions)
Visit or drive by chateaux. You’d be missing out if you traveled to the Loire Valley and didn’t explore it’s historic chateaux. Check out my itinerary and Loire Valley chateaux driving route.
Château du Clos Lucé. If you are anywhere near Amboise on your travels to the Loire Valley, a visit to Clos Lucé, famous for being the residence of Leonardo da Vinci until his death, is a must.
Amboise. The town of Amboise has a lot to offer, and is enjoyable to walk around shop, eat, and explore.
Caves. I had no idea before our visit how many caves and caverns there are to explore in this region.
Wineries. The region is home to many vineyards to visit and sample. Click here to learn more about the wine region and vineyards to visit.
Posts Related to this Loire Valley itinerary:
- Everything you need to plan a romantic vacation in Paris that will stay with you for a lifetime
- Visiting Paris with family (tried-and-true Paris with kids itinerary)
- Travel Style: What to Wear for a Vacation in Paris, France
- Scenic Loire Valley Chateaux Driving Route from Paris to Amboise
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