Deep in the heart of France, the Loire Valley is the epicentre of picturesque feudal palaces. Thanks to the river’s crucial role in transportation before the French Revolution, nobles, royals and aristocrats constructed their extravagant homes along its banks – and luckily for us, many are still there today. Discover the castles: Chambourd, grandiose and elegant, and the largest of them all, with its 440 rooms and 282 fireplaces; Chenonceaux, with its intricate arches overlooking the Cher tributary; and Azay-le-Rideau, a jewel standing tall on an island in the Indre River. Gaze at the wild lands
of Sologne and the greenery of Brenne Regional Natural Park, where you can spot freshwater turtles, purple herons, and black-necked grebes. For more dramatic backdrops, explore the dormant volcanoes and lush slopes of Auvergne, or head to the verdant hillsides of Limousin and catch a glimpse of the region’s famed red cows. To cool off on your Central France & Loire Valley holidays, swap the swimming pool for the natural waters of La Roche-Posay. Stroll through the medieval streets of Chinon or Blois, and explore Bourges Cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Experience central France through your taste buds, savouring the green lentils of Berry, the crottin (goat cheese) in Chavignol, and the sweet tarte Tatin in Lamotte-Beuvron. Choose a charming château hotel on the river’s edge, and at the end of the day, you can sleep like a king yourself.

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