A Guide to the Loire Valley
How to get to the Loire Valley
How to get to the Loire Valley - a travel guide
How to get to the Loire Valley
Centre-Val de Loire is one of the 18 administrative regions of France. It straddles the middle Loire Valley in the interior of the country. The administrative capital is Orléans, but the largest city is Tours. Like many contemporary regions of France, the region of Centre was created from parts of ancient provinces: the Touraine, Orléanais, Berry, etc. On 17 January 2015, as part of the reorganization of French regions, the region's official name was changed to Centre-Val de Loire.
The region is composed of six departments, the Eure et Loir * (28), the Loiret (45), the Loir et Cher (41), the Cher (18), the Indre et Loire (37) and the Indre (36). Our tours are based within the last four of these departments, particularly in a wide area around the city of Tours in the Indre-et-Loire.
Tours is the starting point for many of our trips. St. Pierre des Corps, the station on its outskirts, is the station for the fast TGV train on its way down to Bordeaux; many clients coming to us from Paris use this station.
The TGV network connects Roissy-Charles de Gaulle airport and Paris with Tours, the Paris-Tours journey taking just one hour. If you are staying in Paris it is quite feasible to come down for the day, starting from Montparnasse train station. We can pick you up here at the start of your trip and drop you off at the end of the day.
Other mainline train services can be used to reach Tours, Amboise and, for those interested in our Sancerre tour, Vierzon, Romorantin and Bourges.
The Centre-Val de Loire region is at the heart of an efficient motorway network and easy to reach from anywhere in France. These and other main roads are part of a larger European system of routes connecting the whole continent.
Principle motorways include the A10 Paris/Tours/Bordeaux, A71 Orléans/Vierzon/Clermont-Ferrand, A85 Anger/Tours/Vierzon, and the A28 Tours/Le Mans/Rouen (Normandy).
If you intend to travel extensively around France you may well choose to hire a car. All the major companies and many minor ones are available (Avis, Europcar, Hertz, Rentacar...), often at stations and airports. Remember this is a left hand drive country and automatic transmission is less common than in the USA. Do read up on and obey the speed limits; the fines from automatic speed cameras will catch up with you later!
Tours-Val de Loire is a regional airport offering 5 weekly flights to and from London-Stanstead: (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday). Operator: Ryanair
Direct flights throughout the year: London-Stansted, Porto and Marrakech ; during summer: Dublin, Marseille, Ajaccio and Figari.
A regular bus transfer service operates between Tours-Val de Loire Airport and the railway station in Tours. The new tram service terminal is also nearby. There are 400 free car parking spaces close to the terminal. Open to passengers and visitors alike, they offer both long and short stay parking. Taxis and car hire available.
The Loire Valley produces wine in a wide range of colours and styles. Our tours give you a unique opportunity to taste these wines, look at the production facilities and often meet the owners. As enthusiasts ourselves, we make a point of seeking out the best.