Discover a France vacation travel and tourism haven
Atout France: Describe your favourite landscape in Centre – Val de Loire?
Vanessa Treney: My favourite landscape in the region has to be the “royal river”, the Loire, and the Loire Valley. For that matter, an area covering 280km in the Loire Valley has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage since 2000. The Loire Valley is the cradle of French culture, but also a natural, multi-faceted area in its own right. Its green and sandy islands can be seen all along the river, and the local scenery, shapes and light change with the passing of the seasons. The plant and animal life is fascinating, with tropical plants, migratory birds, fish or even beavers which can be spotted at nightfall. The Loire and its natural and cultural heritage guarantee an exceptional adventure, to be enjoyed on the water, in the air or on the ground (especially by bike along La Loire à Vélo!) Enjoying a fine Loire wine at dinner on a traditional boat at sunset is an absolute must…
ATF: If you only had 24 hours in Centre – Val de Loire, where would you stop to eat and drink?
VT: What a difficult choice! The region is famous for its gastronomy and wines, so it is difficult to choose!In Tours, I’d start with a trip to the covered market to see the whole range of the local gastronomy before tasting Martin Bleu’s selection of fish from the Loire or eating on a terrace at Place Plumereau. In Blois, I would take a luxury Hauts de Loire cooking course with the chef Rémy Giraud in Onzain or dine at the restaurant ASSA, run by a French-Japanese couple. In Orléans, I would brunch at the new hotel boutique facing the Loire at the Empreinte Hotel, which hosts a guest chef from the region every Sunday!
For good wine, I’d go to Chinon or Bougueil for red, and take a walk through the vines with Myriam to discover Vouvray. For white, I’d venture slightly further along in order to taste a Sancerre. Finally, I’d also recommend stopping off at one of the local cheese farms to taste the famous goat’s cheeses (there are 5 AOP cheeses in the Centre-Val de Loire region), perhaps in Chavignol (to pair with Sancerre!), La Cabinette in Onzain or Le Vazereau to try a Sainte-Maure de Touraine.
ATF: What is your favourite season in Centre – Val de Loire and why?
VT: Perhaps the end of summer because of the magnificent colours of the Loire Valley and its vineyards. For bike rides, it’s really pleasant from April to October. Otherwise, I really like the gardens in June, particularly the roses. Lastly, the whole of December is perfect for festive visits during “Christmas in the Châteaux”. The atmosphere and decoration of the Loire châteaux is magical, at Chenonceau, Meung-sur-Loire, Cheverny, Amboise and many others!
For more information, please contact
Loire Valley tourist board
Vanessa Treney/Press officer
Tel: + 33 2 38 79 95 19
Facebook: Loire Chateaux