4 Reasons to Love the Loire
The Loire Valley is a laid-back region of France, so the trails you walk on will be peaceful and you will feel a real sense of "getting off the beaten path". Whether you are walking on a riverside trail, forest path or a quiet country road, you are sure to enjoy listening to birdsong with time to simply relax and enjoy these lovely landscapes.
France in general, but also the Loire Valley region produces some of the world's best wines. This area is particularly renowned for its crisp and dry whites. This is all thanks to the Romans since grapes have been cultivated here for over two thousand years. From Chinon to Chenin Blanc and Sancerre to Sauvignon Blanc these wines are definitely sought after. (My favourite wine of all time is Sancerre, which I indulge myself with on special occasions!). Do not miss the chance for a wine-tasting in one of the local "caves" along the way.
The Chateaux of the Loire often have beautiful gardens attached to them and in this region of France there is an enchanting array of flowers in every colour and hue, such as dahlias, tulips and begonias. Most famous of all though is the rose. They flower from May to July and you may be able to find a floral tour if you are travelling in these months. There are dozens of varieties on view. Napoleon's wife, Josephine fell in love with roses and they have fascinating names such as, Jude the Obscure, the Pilgrim and the Queen of Sweden.
The longest river in France, the Loire is just over 1,000km. Its source is located on Mont Gerbier de Jonc in the Southern part of the Cevennes, Massif Central. It flows north and west into the the Atlantic just south of Brittany. It's a major cultural landscape and its valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Romans had major settlements here, followed by France's royalty in the medieval ages. It provides a diverse range of wildlife and fauna and has the ideal climate and environment to produce world-class wines. Fifty seven species of freshwater fish are found in this river and 65% of France's nesting bird population. Wow what a river!