Centre France Travel Guide


Centre Travel Guide
A Vagabond Life

Centre France Travel Guide - A Vagabond Life

Welcome to the heart of France: the Centre region. Nestled amid the country’s diverse landscapes, Centre is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. Steeped in the legacy of medieval kings and Renaissance artists, this region boasts an array of architectural marvels, from the grandeur of Château de Chambord to the intricate beauty of Chartres Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Beyond its historic landmarks, Centre captivates with its charming villages, rolling vineyards, and verdant valleys. Explore the picturesque landscapes of the Loire Valley, where lush gardens and majestic riverside castles beckon visitors to wander through time.

Indulge in the region’s culinary delights, savoring local specialties like goat cheese from Valençay and the renowned wines of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Whether you’re immersing yourself in history, admiring natural wonders, or indulging in gastronomic pleasures, Centre invites you to experience the essence of France in all its splendor.

Centre France Table of Contents

Centre France Map

Top 5 Things To See & Do In Centre France

Orleans

Orleans

Orleans is the regional capital and an historic city on the banks of the Loire. Orleans is classified as an UNESCO World Heritage site
Tours

Tours

The largest city in the region, Tours boasts an appealing historic centre with old half-timbered houses, St Gatien's Cathedral and the Chateau de Tours.
Chartres

Chartres

Chartres is stunning ancient town with the beautiful UNESCO listed Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres.
Loire Chateaux

Loire Chateaux

There are over 300 beautiful chateaux in the Loire Valley. The most popular are; Chateau Chambord - Chateau Chenonceau - Chateau du Blois - Chateau de Cheverny - Chateau d’Azay-le Rideau
Loire Wine

Wine

Famous for its wines the Loire produces mainly white wines but also some reds. The wine region stretches from Saumur to the vineyards of the Touraine by Le Mans, from Nantes to the Vendee.

Things To See & Do In Centre France

Loire Valley Travel Guides

Orleans

Orleans is the Regional capital and was an important city before the Romans came to the area. It was here that Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) rallied the armies of Charles VII which was a key turning point of the 100 years war. Significant buildings are the Cathederal Ste-Croix, a gothic cathedral, Hotel Groslot now a private museum and the Musee d’Beaux-Arts.

Chartres

Chartres is best known for the Cathedral of Chartres Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres widely considered to be the finest Gothic cathedral in France. It is included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Its construction started in 1205, following the destruction of the old cathedral of Chartres. Construction took 66 years.

Blois

Blois: An ancient historic town that was first mentioned in the 6th century Blois sits on the northern bank of the Loire, with a magnificent Renaissance castle Chateau de Blois.

Tours

Tours is largest city in the region, Tours boasts an appealing historic centre with old half-timbered houses, St Gatien’s cathedral, and Chateau de Tours.

The River Loire

The River Loire is one of Europe’s great rivers. The river, excellent for fishing, is bordered by many attractive small towns, and the flat land is good for cycling. There are also many vineyards in the area of Tours.

Bourges

Bourges was the capital of Aquitaine during Roman times and  is home of the UNESCO listed gothic Cathédrale Saint-Étienne de Bourges and the Jacques Coeur Palace.

Gargilesse

Gargilesse is one of France nominated beautiful villages this pretty village sits near the near the meeting of the Gargilesse stream and the river Creuse.

Chateaux of The Loire Valley

Chateaux of The Loire Valley

There are over 300 Chateaux in the Loire Valley that were built mainly in the 17th and 18th century for French Royalty and Nobility. Unlike the defensive fortified chateaux in other parts of France, the chateaux of the Loire, built in safer times, are fairytale castles of architectural elegance.

Here are some of the highlights;

Chateau Chambord

Chateau Chambord is simply breathtaking and a stunning example of renaissance architecture, construction started 1519 at the order of Francois 1 and was completed 30 years later. Ironically Francois 1 only stayed in the chateau for 42 days during his entire reign finding it too drafty. The chateau features a double helix staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci.

Chateau d’Azay-le Rideau

Chateau d’Azay-le Rideau is on an island in the middle of the Indre River. The chateau features both French and Italian style architecture and was built between 1518 and 1527. Corner turrets, a walking path around the external wall, and the water surrounding the chateau give it a medieval or fairytale castle feeling.

Chateau Chenonceau

Chateau Chenonceau spans the Cher River with graceful arches and is one of the Loire Valleys loviest chateau.  Legend is that the Grand Gallery was used by refugees escaping the Nazi occupation.

Chateau du Blois

Chateau du Blois has three different types of architecture that comprise the castle and the rooms are representative of the time periods so the interior tour can take a while.

Chateau de Cheverny

Chateau de Cheverny is a lovely example of French classical architecture and has survived the passing centuries with little or no alterations while being merticulously maintained. The chateau was the inspiration for Marlinspike Hall in the Tintin comics.

Wine of The Loire Valley

Wine of The Loire Valley

The Loire Valley, famous for its wines, has 87 appellations under the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), Vin Délimité de Qualité Superieure (VDQS) and Vin de pays systems. While the majority of production is white wine from the Chenin blanc, Sauvignon blanc and Melon de Bourgogne grapes, there are some red wines made from Cabernet franc. In addition to still wines, rosé, sparkling and dessert wines are also produced in the area.

The Loire Valley has 185,000 acres / 750 km2 planted under vine and is about two-thirds the size of the Bordeaux wine region. The location and marginal climate of the area impacts the overall quality of a vintage greatly, more so than with other French wine regions.

Cycling the back roads and trails that wander through the vine yards is a popular way to explore the area.

Auvergne-Rhone-Alps

Auvergne-Rhone-Alps Travel Guide.

Centre Val De Loire

Centre-Val-de-Loire Travel Guide.

Haute – de – France

Haute-de-France Travel Guide.

Nouvelle – Aquitaine

Nouvelle – Aquitaine Travel Guide.

Provence-Alps_Cote D'Azur

Provence Travel Guide.

Brittany

Brittany (Bretagne) Travel Guide.

Corsica

Corsica Travel Guide.

Ile – de – France

Ile – de – France Travel Guide.

Occitane

Occitane Travel Guide.

Bourgogne-Franche-Comté

Bourgogne-Franche-Comté Travel Guide.

Grand Est

Grand-Est Travel Guide.

Normandy

Normandy Travel Guide.

Pays-de-la-Loire

Pays-de-la-Loire Travel Guide.

France Travel Stories

Burgundy

Burgundy France

Burgundy Travel StoriesA Trip Into The Heart Of Rural Burgundy Burgundy France – A Trip To Burgundy France Feeling the need to escape the tourist

Read More »

Millau France

Millau France Millau: At last the day arrived for us to head toward Nice and our flight to Thailand and then onto Australia. We were

Read More »