Maybe you’ve already been to Versailles or your time in Paris is limited so you have to make choices. Is it worth visiting the Loire Valley from Paris? If you can go down there, I think it would be silly not to for a few reasons.
1. It’s easy to go to the Loire Valley from Paris
A trip to the Loire Valley from Paris is one of the easiest excursions out of the city to organise. The Loire Valley region starts about 200 kilometres away from Paris.
If you want to get to the Loire Valley from Paris as a day trip, I recommend joining a tour*. It’s perfect to maximise your time down there and not get tired during transport.
But if you prefer going by yourself, that’s easy too. You can catch a train from Paris to one of the main cities in the Loire Valley. It takes just over 1 hr to go to Tours, 1.5 hrs to Blois or 1 hrs 40 to Amboise. Then, the SNCF website can help you find routes to go to the castles by train. But you’ll save time and have more option if you hire a car near the station – that’s for sure the most convenient way to explore the region.
You could also hire a car from Paris and drive to the Loire Valley. However, it’s more tiring than the train and you risk getting caught in traffic jams.
2. The Loire Valley has a mix of French experiences
You can tick many boxes on your French trip bucket-list with one trip to the Loire Valley. The place is magical and like nowhere else in the world.
Of course, you have stunning Loire Valley castles that will take you through great stories from the French court and fairy tales. But the Loire Valley also has reputed wineries, stunning small villages, historic towns, and traditional food. If you don’t know where to start, check out this two-day itinerary.
Hence, visiting the Loire Valley from Paris is a great way to see a lot more than the French capital during a short trip to France.
If you’re a nature lover, you may even want to spend some time on the river for bird spotting or boating.
3. The Loire Valley has stunning accommodations
Have you ever dreamt of sleeping in a historic castle? Can you imagine a luxury troglodyte hotel room? If you have time to spend one night in the Loire Valley, you can choose one of these options to remember it forever. It was more affordable than I expected!
Where to sleep in a chateau in the Loire Valley:
There are hundreds of castles in the Loire Valley, so it’s a perfect region to realise your dream of sleeping in a castle. You’ll have plenty of choices.
The stunning Chateau des Arpentis* near Amboise was built in 1400 and has been transformed into a very stylish hotel. The rooms offer views of the beautiful park where deers and horses can be spotted. Click here for more information*
You can also stay at the Chateau-Monastère De La Corroirie*, in a former monastery in the medieval village of Montresor, in the south of the Loire Valley region. It has been restored to provide great comfort but still looks very authentic as they have kept some of the original features of the monastery. Click here for more information*
Halfway between Blois and Amboise, Onzain has a few original accommodation options. Les Douves* will give you the opportunity to stay in a restored castle on an island and share time with a host fond of history and art. Click here for more information*. Nearby, the Domaine des Hauts de Loire* will be too expensive for most travellers, but it looks stunning and has a fantastic reputation. Click here for more information*
Where to sleep in a troglodyte room in the Loire Valley:
You’ll find the best of the troglodyte villages in the west of the Loire Valley region, just after Saumur. The Rocaminori Hotel* and the Demeure de la Vignole* are great options to stay in a troglodyte room.
4. The Loire Valley is on the UNESCO World Heritage List
It’s hard not to want to check out a place that is recognised by UNESCO as important for the heritage of humanity. A part of the Loire Valley was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000 for its “outstanding cultural landscape of great beauty, containing historic towns and villages, great architectural monuments (the châteaux), and cultivated lands formed by many centuries of interaction between their population and the physical environment, primarily the river Loire itself.” There are many other French destinations on the list, but most of them won’t have the variety of experiences that the Loire Valley offers.
Have you been to the Loire Valley from Paris? Was it worth it? Share your experience in the comments below!
Where is the Loire Valley?
The Loire Valley starts about 200km from Paris. The region spans from Blois to Angers. The most famous attractions in the Loire Valley, the two castles Chambord and Chenonceau, are in the east of the Loire Valley, closer to Paris.