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Loire Valley: Christmas at the Châteaux

Why not treat yourself to a stay in the Loire Valley during the holiday season? Enjoy a Christmas 100% ‘Made in France’  with its festive music and garlands of lights, bustling markets and tantalizing aromas of gingerbread and roasting chestnuts wafting through the air. And there’s that big plus: like every year, the region’s châteaux will be giving you a royal welcome by offering you a gateway and privileged access to some the best shows in town. Mosey on down the banks of Loire and you’ll find fun, excitement and a brimful of cheer at every bend of the river. So don’t wait, go for it and book your trip now. We guarantee you won’t regret it!
Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année 2017!  

Christmas Magic at Blois, Cheverny, Chambord and Chaumont-sur-Loire
There’ll be lots going on at the Château Royal de Blois over the holidays, as befits a château that served as home to 7 kings and 10 queens of France! Among the options: tour the château by torchlight and discover its spooky secret haunts, stop at its festive Marché de Noël and shop for great gifts by local artisans, or visit the lovely little chapel to enjoy the Christmas lights and music. 

The Château de Cheverny will be ablaze in decorations from mid-Nov. to mid-Jan. The château is heated so you’ll be snug as a bug in the rug as you wander through its many magnificent rooms, each wondrously adorned, and stop to marvel at the ‘piece de resistance’, a gigantic Christmas wreath. If you’re brave, venture outdoors to the kennels and watch the wild melee as the château’s 100 hunting hounds get fed their Christmas dinners. For a royal treat, stay at the Suites de Cheverny which are part of the Domaine and see what it’s like to live like a king! 

Over 40 majestic fir trees dressed their best Christmas finery will be lighting up the alleys of the Domaine National de Chambord in a display that Francis I would have been proud to see at his favourite Renaissance château. The fabulous parade of Christmas trees and garlands continues indoors, so don’t miss out on that, or at nightfall, the illuminations on the château’s remarkable multi-turreted facade.
And be sure to put the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire on your to-do list, as it too will be hallmarking the season with a special holiday show. While you’re at it, be sure to visit its famous ‘jardins d’hiver’ or winter gardens, which in themselves are well worth the detour.


Christmas in Touraine: 5 Chateaux and A Gift for Everyone!
From the beginning of December to the start of the New Year, five of the most impressive Loire Valley châteaux will be greeting the holiday season with a series of unique special tours and events. It’s a great way to combine the discovery of an exceptional cultural heritage with the magic of Christmas, so come one and all and bring your children and/or grandchildren along to join in the fun and surprises.

Each of the châteaux will be commemorating a different theme, so each visit will be a new adventure. The Château d’Amboise will be highlighting holiday traditions across the ages, while the Château de Chenonceau will be spotlighting its awesome Christmas decorations. At the Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, chocolate will be the guest of honor, and at the Royal Fortress of Chinon, Christmas trees the star attraction. And for a dazzling show of lights, be sure to check out the Château de Langeais.



Tours, the capital of the Loire Valley châteaux, will be putting on a great performance as well: the town will enchant you with its Christmas markets and decorations, merry-go-rounds and even a Ferris wheel for an exhilarating spin over the Loire river. 

Go on a shopping spree for some fabulous gifts: fine wine, of course, which you can buy at Caves du Père Auguste, the Château de la Grille or at Bourillon Dorleans, delicious chocolates from the Maison Bigot, a treasure from one of Tours’ many art galleries, wickerwork from Vilaines-les-Rochers, a Corolle doll from Langeais, local delicacies like the famous ‘poires tapées’ (woodfire dried pears) and honey, or for the one you left back home a T-shirt marked ‘I Loches You’!  

Tempting, isn’t it? But with all that on your agenda, you’ll need a place to stay. For wide choice of accommodation, go to: http://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk/plan-your-holidays/loire-valley-accommodation



Come Celebrate Christmas at the Château de Beaugency
The Château de Beaugency, located between Blois and Orleans, has recently re–opened its doors to visitors after having been closed for 11 years, so now’s the perfect time to come join in the special Christmas festivities planned to commemorate the occasion. The tastefully restored 15th century grand townhouse, once a royal residence, rates high on the leading online travel sites. Says one visitor: ‘This still-relatively unknown château is an absolute must-see. Use the cleverly-devised touch-screen tablet for an amazing tour in augmented reality.’

Beaugency itself is a beautiful little town, listed as one of ‘France’s Loveliest Detours’. Its 26-arch bridge, which straddles the Loire and was of strategic importance during the Hundred Year’s War still stands today, providing a splendid view of the medieval heart of the town with its winding streets, half-timbered houses and clusters of charming little squares. 

For a quick restorative break after your holiday visit to the château, here are two suggestions: ‘Cesar & Firmin’, a cosy little restaurant-tearoom which specializes in gourmet snacks made with local organic products, or  ‘Made in Loire’, a small wine-bar-delicatessen with great local wines and lots to nibble on! 

There are numerous châteaux in the countryside around Orléans, many of which will be donning their Christmas best to greet their guests over the holiday season. And since they are relatively close to each other, several hotels in the region are proposing enticing 2 day, one night packages so you can visit several in one go. 

For more information, contact +33/ (0) 238 620 488 or www.loiret-booking.com


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