Every month we’re looking into an exciting place that’s ideal for a motorcycle road trip. France is a beautiful country and one of its most picturesque areas is the Loire Valley. France’s longest river runs through miles of gorgeous countryside. There are over a thousand grand chateaus dotted around and the valley has been called ‘The Garden of France.’ Here are some of the best places to visit while you’re in the area.
A great city to start your journey off in is Nantes. The birthplace of Jules Verne, Nantes is packed with history and culture. There are several cultural venues to check out, from the Verne Museum, to the Le Zenith Nantes Metropole arena. Nantes also has strong ties to the film and art industry, being the birthplace of French new wave and surrealism. All of these factors make the city one of the most thrilling places in France.
Chateau de Chenonceau
This sprawling structure is perhaps the most famous chateau in the Loire region. With a mixture of Gothic and early Renaissance architecture, the building is a sight to behold. The chateau is best known as the residence of Queen Catherine de Medici, who acquired it in 1559. She added various features, such as new gardens and a grand gallery.
Today, the Chateau de Chenonceau welcomes tens of thousands of visitors every year. Imagine riding up on your motorbike and seeing the chateau in all its glory.
The city of Blois features a few different landmarks to check out, including Chateau de Blois and The House of Magic. The 16th century chateau dominates the city and overlooks the valley. It offers an insight into the violent history of Blois, with it chronicling the stories of the six French kings who occupied it. The House of Magic is a museum that features a collection of magic tomes and performing art aides.
This former monastery is located south of the city of Bourges in a village called Maisonnais. It’s a hidden gem that can be found in the middle of the Loire Valley countryside. The gardens are stunning and were planted by two architects who were inspired by the tapestries of the Middle Ages. There’s a maze to explore and an orchard filled with fruit trees to admire.
Orleans is a hub of French history, especially when it comes to Joan of Arc. She liberated the city from an English siege and there are various statues in her honour, as well as a festival that celebrates her life. Orleans is worth visiting for the culture and there is plenty to see and do while you’re there.