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09 March 2012

Postcards from the Loire Valley in France

The Loire Valley in France is home to elegant chateaux, sprawling fertile farmland and some of the most scenic landscapes in all of France. All photography is property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.  

Renowned for its 1,000+ medieval and Renaissance chateaux, abundant vineyards and sublime landscapes, the Loire Valley beckons to all who plan to spend their holiday in France! At the heart of all of this visual splendor lies the River Loire that stretches 600 miles or so from the south of France north through Orleans and then west where it empties into the Atlantic. Along its meandering course, you’ll discover hilltops punctuated by magnificent fairy tale castles that open a portal into the past—from Amboise where the remains of Leonardo Da Vince are believed to rest, to Chinon where Joan of Arc met with Charles the VII, and finally to Chambord—the largest of ALL the chateaux and believe it or not, a hunting lodge for Francis I. The Loire Valley in France is steeped in history and awaiting your discovery.


I think perhaps you may have seen this one before ; ). It's one of my all-time fave shots taken of the gift shop at Chateau de Chenonceau. All photography is property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Chateau de Cheverny is still occupied today by the descendants of its original owners.
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On the grounds of Chateau de Cheverny.
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Undoubtedly one of my favorite memories of my first European holiday was this full-day immersion into the Loire Valley chateaux. We departed from Paris on a 12-hour journey that started in Chateau de Chenonceau, moved north to Cheverny and finishing the day at Chateau de Chambord. Looking back now, my only regret is the fact that I didn’t drive myself through this region and although the motor coach was quite convenient especially when our 7:00 a.m. departure time interrupted my slumber, I would have liked to revel in each and every vista that we passed along the way—taking my time to frame the landscape on my digital canvas and capture the magnificence of the land spread out before me. However, our stops did provide an enriching experience with time to spare allowing for a thorough immersion into each of the chateau we visited.

Behold—I bring you the glory of the Loire Valley and its colossal palaces that have stood on its banks for centuries! I hope you enjoy the visual romance and splendor of the Loire!

More of the surrounding gardens at Chateau de Chenonceau.
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A little church just outside the archway leading into Chateau de Cheverny.
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The portal to Chateau de Cheverny.
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Just outside the Chateau de Cheverny is this charming little pub where we had lunch during our tour of the Loire Valley. All photography is property of EuroTravelogue™. Unauthorized use is prohibited. 

Welcome to the charming village of Cheverny!
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Side view of Chateau de Chenonceau.
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Chateau de Chenonceau seen from a different point of view.
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Catherine de Medici Gardens at Chateau de Chenonceau.
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The magnificent and colossal Chateau de Chambord.
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Sublime architectural details of Chateau de Chambord inspire painters and photographers alike.
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Another striking view of the architectural splendor of the rooftop of Chateau de Chambord.
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Just one of the many ornate cupolas at Chateau de Chambord.
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Related Articles:

If you enjoyed this visual tour through the Loire Valley, continue your journey with these related articles.

If you go:

To find out more about tours to the Loire Valley in France, visit Paris Vision Tours or ParisTrip.com for a variety of options. Full-day tours last 12-13 hours but are well worth every minute of your time and price!  Alternatively, there are half-day options as well but don't expect to see that much. And if you're brave at heart, I recommend renting a car and driving through the valley yourself. The choices are many but I urge you to plan for a full-day experience no matter how you travel through the region. Make the most of your journey through the Loire Valley on your next visit.

Au Revoir!

26 comments:

  1. Oh, these pictures are so crisp and gorgeous! I feel like I'm there right now and I want to be there right now!

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  2. Hi Marlys!! Thank you so much for your kind words my friend! I loved this area so much and thankful we had mostly beautiful weather the entire day!! Thx for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  3. Wow. You've just inspired another trip. Really enjoyed this piece.

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  4. Hi there Jeff and thanks for your kind words! I tell you if you have the opportunity to go to the Loire, jump at it!! Seize the day!! You'll have the time of your life. Thx so much for stopping by to share your kind words!

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  5. Although Chambord is the biggest, Chenonceau was my favorite. The armored mill and a sordid story of king's mistresses. It also was the first one I saw when I was in the area a few years ago.

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  6. Hi there Andrew...you know, I think I have to agree with you on that one. Although I was looking forward to Chenonceau the least of all the Chateaux because I am so familiar with its story and architecture, the actual visit changed my perspective tremendously!! It now has a special place in my heart. Thanks so much for stopping by and for sharing your experiences!!

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  7. Lovely stuff. That chateuax looks so inviting!

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  8. Thank you so much Jools for your kind words. I agree, some of these are quite inviting not to mention breathtaking! Some of the interiors are even more incredible.

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  9. Hello,
    Your photos are always fantastic, these are no exception and really make me want to pick up and head to France right now! I will however have to wait until July, the Loire Valley hasn't made our shortlist so far because it will be something of a whirlwind trip but really after seeing such stunning photography how could you miss this amazing region especially those chateaux!
    Thanks :)

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  10. Hi Jarratt and thank you for your compliments! They go a long way with me, I assure you! The Loire is easy to do in a day...especially on a tour. However, I still believe the region deserves at least a week to explore all 1,000 of the chateaux! ; ) Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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  11. I've always wanted to bike the Loire Valley, stopping along the way for wine tasting. One day.
    Your photos are lovely - especially love the Medici Gardens one.

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  12. Hi there Leigh and thanks so much for stopping by!! The Loire is magnificent as you can see and you should definitely plan to visit one day. I have other articles on the site that go into more detail about the Chateaux if you're interested. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts!!

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  13. I love the (relatively) little cottages. What a fairy tale destination!

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  14. Hi there Leslie...totally agree with you on the fairy tale imagery of the "cottages." LOL. I would love to have a few of them. Thanks you so much for stopping by and sharing your comments!

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  15. I love all of these! The gardens of Catherine de Medici instantly made me feel calm. I would love to visit the Loire one of these days but will do as you wish and spend more time in the lovely valley :)

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  16. Hi Debbie...I just loved the entire experience of Chenonceau!! It surprised me in many ways!! Thx for stopping by to share your thoughts!

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  17. I haven't seen these pics before, SO BEAUTIFUL! I was overjoyed at five years old to find out that the castles in my fairytales really existed - many of them inspired by those in the Loire Valley. Lovely, lovely post, Jeff, really transported me back to the happiness of my childhood fairy tales. Thanks for this post. GREAT photography!

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    1. Hi there Lesley and thank you once again for stopping by to share your fond memories!! I have to say the Loire Valley is truly a region that everyone should see at least once in their life...it's magical.

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  18. What a beautiful photo tour, Jeff. I've never visited the Loire and its Chateaux. Some day...

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    1. Hi there my dear Simon and thanks so much for stopping by to share your thoughts! Perhaps I will take you on a tour of the Loire myself...me and you...motoring thru France....wouldn't that be grand??!!

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  19. Gorgeous, as always, Jeff! Last year, my husband and I spent a week in the western Loire valley. Equally as stunning but much quieter than the eastern end of the valley. We're contemplating following the pattern of the French people on our next visit to rent an RV and toddle from village to village. Meanwhile, thanks for letting us return vicariously through your beautiful photos.

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    1. Hi there Rhonda! Your slow journey through the Loire sounds wonderful my friend and such an inspiring way to see the magnificent Loire Valley! Revel in the moments along the way and savor them one by one!! Can't wait to hear about your updates!

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  20. Thanks Jeff, this post was another fantastic resource for me before I made a weekend trip to the Loire Valley and had to come up with a shortlist :)
    Though of the chateaux I went to I think Villandry was my favourite - the gardens were the best kept I think I've ever seen anywhere. Have you been there?

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    1. Hi again Troy and thanks so much for your kind words!! Alas, I have never seen Villandry but thanks to your glowing recommendation, it is now on my bucket list!! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your experiences and tips with me and my readers!! I love comments like this because it's a win-win for all!!

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  21. Above all, in modern European architecture I miss the grace and harmony of arches. And there are so many arches in your photos!

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    1. Hi Tim! I agree and I miss the elaborate carvings, sculptures and attention to detail so resplendent in days gone by. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!