Loire valley UNESCO world heritage

www.valdeloire.org

This is the official website for Val de Loire, and it’s dedicated to bringing you tourist and travel information to Loire.  The site features several different types of information, including help on planning a visit to Loire Valley, a blog that gives you an inside look at some areas of Loire, and a calendar of events.

As far as content on the website goes, there’s an important thing to note before you dive right in: the site often changes from English to French.  This can be somewhat annoying, and what’s even worse is that it’s very easy to miss the small “English” language button located in the upper right hand of the site.  If you end up on a French page, just click this to change all content back to English.

There are some beautiful photos you can browse, plus you can visit Val de Loire’s flickr page (a photo sharing site) to see more.  The website also features several different videos.  Some of these include interviews or commentary that is in French, of course, but you can still get an idea of what the area is like.  For example, one of the videos includes some absolutely breathtaking images of Loire castles, chateaux, and other scenery. 



The website does feature information on the culture of Loire, the landscape, tourism, and more.  While a lot of this information is interesting, especially if you’re interested in the history of Loire, there’s not a lot here that’s really useful for anyone wanting to know what to do in Loire valley.  There is good information on the area’s tourism policy that is certainly worth reading, and there are some good links to other sites.  The cultural tours section does have some good content, but it’s fairly limited in that it doesn’t discuss restaurants, hotels, or events.

It’s important to note that there are some things on the site that have no English translation, including some of the blog entries and video reviews.  However, most of the site can be translated into English, and there is some useful information here.  It’s not very in-depth, though, and overall, you’re probably better off browsing another site if you really want to see what Loire has to offer.

Biking the Loire River, France

www.mayq.com/Best_european_trips/Loire/Loire.htm

There are several different types of Loire tours you can take, and many of them focus on bicycling.  France, especially the Loire River valley, is a gorgeous place to bike through.  If you’re interested in this, you can find a lot of information on the MayQ website.  The site hasn’t updated its content since 2003, however, so while much of the information is still relevant, some of it may be a little outdated.

The site starts out with a good amount of information on the Loire River and Loire Valley itself.  It discusses the Loire chateaux and gives information on when to bike through Loire.  While the site itself doesn’t discuss more basic information about bicycling through Europe, it does link to a site that will help first-time bikers learn about touring and transporting their bikes.

You’ll also find some history of the Loire valley and information on many of their attractions, including Loire restaurants and the author’s opinion on which Lore chateaux to visit.  The site includes only a few short sentences about each, however, and does not provide website links, telephone numbers, or other contact information.  While it’s great to get opinions for someone who has been there, more contact information would be nice.



The second part of the site is about organizing your Loire bike tours.  It talks about accommodations, using the trains, renting bikes, and gives some really helpful itinerary suggestions.  If you’ve never biked in the Loire Valley before, these itineraries are going to be very helpful.  They outline where to bike to and from each day and give some suggestions about what to visit and where to stay.

The third section of the site is devoted to a point-to-point itinerary that starts at La Baule and goes to one of several different ending points.  It’s very detailed and provides some very specific directions in some places.  This is really good for anyone who isn’t certain about planning their own trip or wants to follow a recommended path. 

Overall, if you’re looking to take a Loire bike tour, this website has some good information.  If you want more in-depth details about Loire restaurants, Loire Chateaux, or the like, it’s not here.  This site is certainly for bikers only.

Loire Valley Region

www.westernfrancetouristboard.com/loire.html

Finding your way around in an area you are visiting can be a difficult proposition, but this site really helps you to know exactly what you should expect from the Loire Valley region.  One of the best features of the site is the fact that they have worked to make sure that they included important highlights of the area.  Some people may be wondering about the different Loire castles that can be explored and this site helps to show some of the more memorable ones and where they can be found.

Something else that the site does to help make your trip planning a little easier is that it offers a look at the Loire tours that are available in the region.  This is a great help to people who might not be familiar with the area businesses and who are looking to make sure that they tour they run is offered by a reputable company.



There is also a lot of information about the types of food that are offered in the Loire Valley area.  You can find out ahead of time if you about the restaurants that are in the area and if there are some that you would be interested in visiting while you are in the area.  There is also information concerning sports and leisure activities, as well as relevant information about arts and culture in the area so that you can plan trips to museums and festivals that interest you.

If you were wondering about hotels, hostels, and other sleeping accommodations that could be found in Loire the site also has a directory of the different options, and on hotels they also have a star rating so that you can know what you are getting into.  There is also an email list that you can sign up for that will help you to get all of the latest news and deals that are offered in the Loire River area.  This way if you are considering doing something in the area you will have immediate access to relevant information ahead of time so that you can better be prepared when you do decide to go.