Page 0013

13

A

SIDE FROM PARIS,

the Loire Valley is

one of the most

popular tourist destinations in France,

steeped in history and associated with the finer aspects of

life,

from elegant châteaux to the

hunting lodges of French Kings,

and the prestigious fashion

houses of Guerlain and Vuitton.

The lush green hills and verdant forests

of the 'Garden of

France' is also the most diverse

wine region, offering world-famous names, from

its crisp, dry

whites to sparkling, sweet moelleux, and red

wines. Sancerre,

Touraine, Vouvray, Muscadet,

Pouilly Fumé and Saumur -

these are just a handful of the

finest names.

There's much to commemorate

in 2019 too - Leonardo

da Vinci died there 500 years

ago and played his part in the

rich Renaissance history of the

area. Whilst he resided for three

years at Amboise, he is said to

have designed the amazing

double-helix staircase at nearby

Château Chambord - whose turrets

and towers inspired a Disney

film, Beauty and the Beast.

These days Mick Jagger owns a

home near Amboise, along with

many wealthy Parisians, and an

increasing number of Middle

Eastern buyers.

If a château is not what you

are looking for, there are plenty

of charming houses available

along the 280km long valley

that includes 42 UNESCO protected châteaux and spans two

more rivers, the Cher and the

Vienne. As the popular French

idiom suggests, 'south of the

Loire, the weather gets warmer' so

the area has the edge

over its northern neighbours of

Normandy and Picardy.

Yet part of the appeal is also

the ease of access of this area,

which is an hour from Paris by

TGV to Tours, or 2½ hours' drive;

and only 3 hours or so from the

coastline of the Vendée. Flights

from the UK go into Tours, Angers

or Poitiers.

"As well as being a popular

area for properties that generate an income,

its' good climate

also appeals widely to people

relocating," says agent Nicola

Bobeldijk. "We have Australian,

Dutch and Belgian buyers as

well as British and French.

So where to go? Two touristic towns

on the River Cher

ABOVE

The Château at

Chambord.

BELOW

Amboise.

FACING PAGE

Chinon.

LEGGETT IMMOBILIER - LOCAL KNOWLEDGE YOU CAN TRUST

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