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Motorhoming in Indre et Loire

Indre et Loire is on the western side of the region of Centre and is one of the six departments that make up the region.  This department is especially of interest for those who wish to sample the delights of the French châteaux and their gardens while doing some motorhome travel in France.  The Indre et Loire is rich in nature, architecture and gastronomy and is a land well known to historical figures such as Catherine of Medici and Leonardo de Vinci.

Visit the town of Tours which is known as the ‘capital of the garden of France’.  Birthplace of the French Renaissance, Tour was also the home over a period of several centuries to French royalty and members of the courts of Charles VII, Louis XI and Francois I.  It had a glorious past and has conserved masterpieces of the period such as Saint Gatien’s cathedral, built over two centuries from 1235, the Château of Tour and the majestic Wilson Bridge.  In the towns old quarters, the Plumereau square is bordered by magnificent 15th century villas. 

Amongst the 14 châteaux that you can visit if you’re hiring a motorhome in France or hiring a motorhome in England, is the Château de Chenonceau which is situated on the banks of the River Cher.  Built at the beginning of the 16th century on the site of a medieval fortress, the château has conserved its medieval round tower and has a Renaissance gate house.  The Château also spans the river and has a magnificent gallery of arches measuring 60 metres which bridge the river and on which the Château is built.  Used as a military hospital during the war, the Château de Chenonceau marked the boundary between occupied and unoccupied territory.  Don’t miss a tour of the beautiful French gardens which have survived each stage of the history of the Château.

The Château de Villandry is also celebrated throughout the world for its splendid French gardens which are certainly the most beautiful in the Loire Valley.  The flower gardens, the vegetable garden and numerous water features are a marvellous sight and these 7 hectares on three levels are a delight for the eyes, ears and nose.  The Renaissance château is also worth a visit.  Rebuilt in the 16th century, it has preserved its square medieval tower.

The vineyards of Touraine spread over the departments of Indre et Loire and Loir et Cher and are full of various different types of grapes producing wines such as the Bourgueil, the Chinon and the Vouvray.  The soil of Indre et Loire is particularly suited to the vines and together with the perfect climate, the wine making of the region has contributed to a certain ‘savoir-faire’ and way of life common to the department.  Saint Maure de Touraine is the local speciality goat’s cheese which has its origins as far back as the 8th century and the invasion of the Arabs and is excellent tasted alongside one of the departments light and fruity red wines.  Give the ‘Rillons’ or ‘Rillettes’ de Touraine a try as well.  Pieces of pork soaked in Vouvray or conserved in their own fat, there are various recipes but the essential thing is just to taste.

Stop off in the Aires de Service in Indre et Loire while on your travels before going motorhoming in Indre, motorhoming in Loir et Cher, or motorhoming in Vienne.