Indre-et-Loire is a French department in the Center region. This department is mainly known for its many castles and castles. You will find some of them in the list below. If you cycle through the region here, you will imagine yourself in times gone by. The capital of this region is the city of Tours and the Loire runs like a lifeline through this region. The region is also known for its excellent wines and special goat cheeses. It is not for nothing that this department is so popular among Dutch tourists who come to France for the pure France feeling. Indre-et-Loire offers all the ingredients for ‘living like a God in France’.
Top 10 Things to Do in Indre-et-Loire
According to Topschoolsintheusa, Chinon is a medieval town in the southwest of the Indre-et-loire department. The entire old center of the village is still entirely in medieval style, with the castle of Chinon to top it all off. Chinon belonged to the French royal domains from the 12th to 16th centuries. During this period even Jeanne D’arc paid a visit to the village. In memory of this, numerous plaques and a statue can be found in the town center and in the castle of Chinon. A weekly market is held here on Thursdays, mainly large and fruit are sold here. There are also some market stalls with local cheeses and sausages.
#2. Goat cheese
To be precise, the Sainte-Maure de Touraine AOC. This goat cheese is unique for this region and has had the AOC quality mark for several years now. The green-blue mold crust and the stick in the cheese are the most striking external features of this cheese. The cheese is made from raw goat’s milk and then dusted with burnt ash. It tastes best with dark nut bread and a glass of red wine from the region. Of course, several goat cheeses are produced in the region, but this is the most notable.
#3. Castle of Amboise
The castle of Amboise was one of the most beautiful castles in France and was perhaps the most beautiful castle of the Indre-et-loire. The first parts of the Castle were built as early as the eleventh century AD and it was built and renovated until the mid-16th century. During the French Revolution, large parts of the castle were destroyed. Despite several attempts to restore the castle to its former glory, today only a small part of the original castle can be admired.
The region is known for its wines named after the ancient Touraine region. White wine is mainly produced here, but also red, white and sparkling wine to a lesser extent. There are a total of six Appellations in the area, of which the AOC Touraine is the largest. Unlike most areas, the AOC Chinon is best known for its red wines. The white wine here is mainly made from the Chenin Blanc, which contains slightly more acids and can therefore lie a little longer than the average white wine.
#5. Cathedral of Tours
The Cathédrale Saint-Gatien as it is actually called is one of the most beautiful buildings in Tours. The construction of the Catholic cathedral started in the 12th century and was not completed until the middle of the 16th century. Due to this extremely long construction period, the cathedral has become a potpourri of various architectural styles. The best thing about the cathedral are the stained glass windows. Especially the windows in the nave and the rose window at the front are of particularly high quality. The towers of the Cathédrale Saint-Gatien are 87 meters high.
#6. Cycling in the Indre-et-Loire
The best way to discover the region is by bike. There are several routes to drive here and especially along the Loire there are some beautiful routes to cycle. The roads are generally quite good. On the more remote paths, the quality of the cycle path can sometimes deteriorate dramatically, requiring maneuvering between the potholes in the road surface. The areas along the river are relatively flat, but as soon as you go a few kilometers from here it suddenly becomes quite steep. The less experienced cyclist will certainly have to get off the bike for a while. Further from the Loire it is still hilly but not so steep anymore.
Tours is the largest city of the Indre-et-Loire and therefore also has a major regional function. In the city town you will find countless beautiful buildings such as the Saint-Gatien cathedral and the Abbey Church of St. Julien. Besides the ordinary shopping streets, Tours is known for its many markets. More than 30 are held throughout the city during the week. These markets vary from the ordinary fruit and vegetable market to antique and flea markets.On this site:
top 10 sights of Tours
#8. Château de Chenonceau
The Château de Chenonceau is located by the village of Chenonceaux and is over the River Cher. This last fact is one of the most special elements of the castle. Chenonceau dates back to the 15th century and has undergone some changes over the years. By acting smartly and quickly by the then owner, the castle was spared during the French Revolution. In the 18th century, some great writers such as Voltaire and Roussaeu stayed in the castle. Today, the castle and its beautiful gardens can be visited and followed an audio tour.
Loches is a village in the south of the Indre-et-loire on the river Indre. The center of this medieval village can still be admired almost in its entirety in its former glory. The Castle of Loches and the old city gate Porte Royale are among the most special places in the village.
#10. Villandry Castle Villandry
Castle is best known for its impressive gardens. Built in the 16th century on the foundations of an older castle, Villandry is the last Renaissance chateau built in the Loire Valley. The current owner has restored the castle to its original state and created beautiful gardens. The gardens were laid out in the French style of the 14th century and can be visited today.