While it seems hard to believe, the Loire is actually home to more than 1,000 glorious châteaux. So while you will no doubt wish to visit some of the most famous such as Chambord and Saunier, the explorers among you will doubtless stumble across many more on your travels. That’s if you can drag yourselves away from the many fine vineyards of course; not to mention the many wonderful views and walks alongside the Loire river that runs through this magnificent area.
Camping Holidays in Loire
Campsites in this part of the world tend to be located close to lakes or rivers and make for very scenic places to visit. They are friendly, many of them family run, and make a perfect place for a half term get away or a longer summer break. You can see some of what’s on offer by clicking on the images below;
You can make use of the great onsite facilities or explore the nearby majestic pine forest and crystal lake, the Les Alicourts complex will have something for everyone and will make for a memorable family holiday in France.
Somewhat of an hidden gem. Everything about Camping De La Grande Tortue is just lovely, the location, the people, the food, the wide range of accommodation and the onsite facilities with something for both kids and adults alike.
A magnificent Loire valley manor house takes centre stage at this action packed family holiday park. With glorious gardens and a great pool complex plus easy travelling distances this is campsite popular with families.
A typical family holiday park with a busy atmosphere situated next to a lovely lake. With great local towns and attractions nearby plus the great onsite facilities the family will never be bored of things to do.
Set in vast open grounds with lots to explore, the campsite includes four fantastic swimming pools and boasts a wide range of sports facilities. With the beautiful Loire Valley as your backdrop this campsite is a charmer.
Getting to Loire
If you’re travelling with a family then the Loire valley is still within comfortable travelling distance of the channel ports due to the fantastic network of motorways.
You’re quite close to Paris which means a rail journey from London on Eurostar and then with TGV trains from Paris to Tours makes the journey very short. Look to see if there are any through trains from London offered as the Eurostar network is expanding all the time. If you don’t fancy the TGV you can also take the slower regional services run by SNCF as a way of starting your slow down holiday.
Air travel is increasingly well served with regular no frills airline flights from London Stanstead or Dublin to the heart of the region in Tours.
Family Holidays in Loire
Slightly further away from the normal Brit stamping grounds of Normandy and Brittany is the Loire Valley. The countryside is green rolling hills, stunning castles and of course the River Loire itself. In fact the whole region is peppered with rivers and lakes. The region has been hosting tourists since the 15th century when wealthy aristocrats built pretty castles as summer hunting lodges. Before that the area was home to some pretty heavy fortification to keep out unwanted visitors..
There are upwards of 1,000 chateaux in the Loire Valley, each with its own tales to tell and they will be an important part of a holiday to this part of France even if you are only passing by.
This part of France is firmly steeped in the culture of wine making. Vineyards are all around and some of the world’s best wines such as Sancerre, Muscadet and Vouvray are made in this region and trips to vineyards and wineries are a good way to learn all about them.
Despite the rural nature there is pleanty to get up to here You’re within travelling distance of the coast in Vendee if you need a seaside fix and there are towns such as Tours, Orleans and Le mans which all have great histories, wonderful architecture and lovely street cafes and restaurants.
The weather here is warm and pleasant throughout the summer with temperatures rangin between 22-25c and an average 8 hours sunshine a day make this area perfect for an outdoors summer holiday.
Things to do in Loire
Chateaux de Chambord
The Chateaux is recognised as the one of the finest renaissance buildings in the world. Built between 1519 and 1685 the building dominates the area and is widely recognised throughout the world. It has been the home to many Kings of France and its architecture is sufficiently grand. With stunning grounds and even its own forest it makes a great place for a day in the fresh air as well as you can cycle or walk in the grounds.
Zoo Parc de Beauval
Many people feel that Zoo Parc de Beauval is the finest zoo in all France. Near the town of St Aigan the park is home to an impressive collection of more than 4,000 wild creatures. Many of the creatures roam free in parkland that has been made to be as close to the African planes as is possible. Elephants, big cats, giraffe and the extraordinary manatees all make this a day to remember.
Canoeing and kayaking
With so many lakes and rivers getting onto the water is very easy. The rivers tend to be slow running, almost lazy, and are perfect for learning some new skills and of course the scenery on the Loire is quite breathtaking.
Tours is the main town in the Loire valley. It is a mixture of well preserved history and bright modern living. The Place Plumerau has carefully restored half-timbered townhouses and the area is packed with cafe’s, bars and restaurants. Rue Colbert and the Cathedral are also worth visiting.
Written by Dave Jonhson of Family Camping Reviews
Loire Photos & Videos
Images and videos coming soon.