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.

Loire Valley Online

www.lvo.com

Visiting the Loire Valley section of France does require some research, especially since many people are not familiar with the area.  Loire Valley Online contains a number of different types of information about the area.  It should be noted, however, that the website contains a copyright of 1998-1999.  While this doesn’t necessarily mean that the page was last updated on those dates, it does mean you should collaborate any information from the site with a site that you know is up-to-date just in case the content is old.

The accommodations section of the site is very informative and lists a number of Loire chateaux, Loire castles, and restaurants.  The site breaks these down by cities, so you can see only hotels in Cher or in Indre-et-Loire, for example.  Each entry lists the address, phone number, and webpage of the establishment if one is available.  The site also has comments on some of the hotels and restaurants.  There are even some listings for campgrounds, furnished apartments, and bed and breakfasts.

The site also has a good bit of information on Loire wine and viticulturists.  Just like the setup for accommodations, you’ll find contact information for each winery plus a description of what type of wine is produced there.  To round out a great picnic with your wine, the Loire Valley Specialties section includes listings of many different special meats, fruits, vegetables, desserts, and other foods you can find in the area. 



The website includes several other interesting sections.  They have information about the Gien Faience Factory, an art factory, information on gardens in Loire, and some information on the Acadian line, a museum detailing the history of the Acadians.  Links to emergency services, maps of the area, and a weather report are also very useful. 

New Renaissance Magazine is published by the website, and you’ll find their latest features online.  This includes information on Loire castles, gardens, genealogy, and the art of living, which highlights artwork and other goods.  Again, it’s uncertain how recent this information is.  It does, however, make for fascinating reading.  The site overall is good, but double-check any information that appears to be time-sensitive or outdated.

Loire Valley Castles for rent

www.a-castle-for-rent.com/castles

If you want to know more about the many different Loire castles, then this site may be of interest to you.  It features a number of different castles found in France.  While it’s not completely dedicated to the castles of the Loire Valley, it does include a number of them.  It also has information on castles in Centre, Pays de Loire, Berry, Poitou Charente, Aquitaine, Sologne, Bordeaux, Medoc, and Saint-Emilion.  It’s more of a resource for French castles in general.

Right away, the site lets you narrow down your results to different types of castles, including medieval, Renaissance, classical, or private.  You can also look at information on various abbeys, gardens, and medieval cities.  Each of these pages features images of some of the best castles.  However, there are only one or two castles or areas listed.  The pictures are nice, and the information provided is useful.  Clicking on the various links listed under the “accommodations” title on the page provides more detailed information.  On the Renaissance page, for example, you can find information on cottages for rent, renting a castle for 14, and more.  These pages are very detailed and list specific places to rent, a link to their website, many different images, the rates, arrival times, and much more.  While there’s not a huge number of different accommodations listed, there is a lot of content for the ones that are.



It’s interesting to note that the links under “accommodations” seem to appear on every page.  They’re listed as nearby places to stay, but they seem to be “nearby” every castle, abbey, or garden.  This means there may be more travel time to some of the castles from some of the places to stay.  Overall, there seems to be a lot of duplication in some of the content, and it’s actually a little confusing in places.  The where to stay page looks like it features the same content as the individual pages.  The links section is very extensive, however, and features some excellent information, although it’s not Loire-focused and is instead more helpful for anyone planning a European vacation.