Beautiful Destination: Loire Valley, France's Castle Country

Beautiful Destination: Loire Valley, France's Castle Country

Château de Brissac © Eileen Hsieh

I always try to visit somewhere new when I travel, but the one place I cannot get enough of is the Loire Valley in France - a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Gastronomy and stunning scenery aside, what keeps me returning to this region year after year is the beauty and deep history of each and every one of the 300+ châteaux dotted along the Loire. All rightfully deserving one's time and appreciation. 

In this video from a couple years ago, I attempted to explain why I had such a soft spot for the "Garden of France".

 

CNN -- Many Happy Returns: Loire Valley

 

Obviously I have a few favorite châteaux, and like many people, the one I adore the most is Chenonceau. Just look at it, how can you not!

This is my favorite château - Chenonceau. 

Located about two hours outside of Paris, Château de Chenonceau is nestled in the heart of the Loire Valley, a region known as the "Garden of France", with its enchanted land of vineyards, flowers and rolling green hills dotted with more than a thousand châteaux. 

Chenonceau owes a large part of its charm to six women, hence it's also known as "Château de Femmes" or "the castle of six ladies" for the succession of powerful French noblewomen of Chenonceau, who each made an impact on the castle, forming it into the lovely, romantic château we see today.

這是我最愛的法國城堡雪濃梭 (又稱香儂瑟)。

離巴黎約車程兩小時外、雪濃梭位於有「法國花園」之稱的羅亞爾河流域、春秋的氣候最舒爽、但一年四季都是拜訪的好時候、景色風情萬種。這兒也是法國城堡密度最高的地區、人稱「城堡之鄉」。

雪 濃梭是於1513至1521年所建、最特別的還是住在這裡的六個女人。自十六世紀以後,近四百年的歷史皆由她們所寫成,它也是羅亞爾河最受歡迎的城堡之 一。另外、羅亞爾河流域自古即是法國著名的酒鄉,這裡日照充足,水源、土壤又適合葡萄生長,所釀造出來的美酒,許多已是世界名牌,食物也是有名的精緻美 味。


Out of all the quirky places I've stayed in the Loire, here are the ones that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend.

Amboise

Auberge de Launay

www.aubergedelaunay.com

$80-110/night

Breakfast $12/person

Chinon

Hotel Diderot

www.hoteldiderot.com

*Famous for its home-made jam!

$65-135/night

Breakfast $13/person

Fontevraud L’Abbaye

Hotel Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud

www.hotelfp-fontevraud.com

*A UNESCO world heritage site

$105-215/night

Breakfast $20/person

La Croix en Touraine

La Herserie

www.la-herserie.com

$90/night

with breakfast

Saumur

La Grande Maison d’Arthenay

www.lagrandemaison.net

$115-170/night with breakfast

Wine sampling dinner $65-90/person

Touraine

Château of Artigny

www.artigny.com

$150-700/night

Breakfast $32/person

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