This is the best time to visit the beautiful Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which covers a 170 mile middle part of the Loire. Known as the Garden of France, this lush region enchants visitors with whimsical castles, exquisite gardens and traditional French wine.

The Loire Valley has a way of captivating visitors in such a way that one visit is not enough to admire its beauty. However, different seasons determine how enjoyable the vacation will be. Some times may have unbearable weather to walk around, while other times the destination may be less crowded and offer lower prices. Here is a breakdown.


When to visit the Loire Valley

The Loire Valley always has something to offer all year round. While there are fantastic times when tourists are bound to enjoy their stay, when to visit and where to go is entirely up to the preference of the traveler. Here’s what to expect from this part of France when planning a visit.

Related: Top 10 historic places to visit in France

April to May: The period is suitable for tourists who like to visit destinations where places are less crowded. The days are longer, which means that outdoor activities are a priority. Flowers are starting to bloom, giving the Loire Valley Botanical Gardens a more breathtaking look. The morning may start out on a foggy note, but it quickly clears up as the day progresses.

June to September: Summer is one of the best times for tourists in the Loire Valley. For sports enthusiasts, bike rides like the Tour de France take place during this period. July and August top the list for travelers looking for the warmest months in the Loire Valley. Maybe not as hot as the south of France, but the heat is much more comfortable for outdoor activities. Another advantage of visiting the Loire Valley in summer is that most events, shows and tourist destinations tend to extend visiting hours into the evening.

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October to November: Tourism in the Loire Valley is relatively slow in October due to the weather. Humidity and wind make outdoor activities like swimming and kayaking nearly impossible, but hotels can be cheaper on the brighter side.

December to March: Loire Valley The weather is too cold in December and January to be pleasant for travelers who like warm weather. The tourists who If you still insist on outdoor fun, you can take country walks along the Rabelais path before warming up afterwards in front of a crackling log fire. While most tourist attractions in the Loire Valley are open all year round, others may be closed for renovation.

Why is the Loire Valley famous?

The Loire Valley beckons visitors into a fairy tale scene dominated by stunning castles, vibrant culture and friendly locals. This is why the Loire Valley is such a fascinating place.

Sound and light

Probably one of the most spectacular and highly anticipated shows in France, Son et Lumière raises the bar for creativity, culture and entertainment. The genre of the show involves stunning lights projected onto the city’s architecture at night, accompanied by an excellent selection of music.

The first Sound and Light took place in 1952 and has grown in complexity and popularity ever since. The event focuses on the relationship between light and human emotion, providing an unforgettable experience for all ticket holders.

During the festival, tourists learn about the history of the building hosting the event, told through a voice cast. Castles, cathedrals and ancient buildings are the best places to witness this event which takes place in the streets of the Loire Valley. The show takes place every summer or early fall and lasts for four days.

  • Time: 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Ticket price: Free

The castles of the Loire

In spring, the gardens are in bloom, making it the best time to visit the Châteaux de la Loire. Château de Chenonceau stands out from all other châteaux and is labeled “Le Château des Dames” because of its long history of female owners. The grand castle has spectacular architecture, extensive gardens and spectacular water features. The arched bridge of Chenonceau Castle is the biggest tourist attraction around the castle, which is also a photography hotspot throughout the region.

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Outside, the castle is adorned with extravagant bouquets of flowers renowned for their beauty. On a sunny day, tourists can skip the indoor tour and opt to lounge in the outdoor grassy courts punctuated with fruits and vegetables. Rumor has it that Coco Chanel was a fan of the magnificent chateau and its surroundings, and perhaps that’s why the Chanel brand often chooses the chateau as its favorite location to hold events.

  • Location: Chenonceaux
  • Opening hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (spring)
  • Ticket price: $15 per adult

Wine tasting

The Loire Valley is home to vineyards that produce world-class wines, thanks to the region’s rich soils. Wine tasting has been a culture in the Loire Valley since the first century, and patrons can tickle their taste buds as they sample an endless selection of wines. Popular wine tasting spots include Chateau Nitray, Couly-Dutheil winery, and Chateau La Cassemichere, to name a few.

Tourists can also join wine tours which offer the chance to visit vineyards and observe the winemaking process serving them a slice of history.

  • Recommendation: Caves Touristiques is an excellent tourist network of wine cellars that travelers can integrate into their quest to learn more about wine in the country.

April and May are the best times to visit the beautiful Loire Valley, followed by summer. Late spring (May) ensures that most tourist attraction sites will be open while simultaneously having uncrowded spots. Due to the favorable location of the Loire Valley, one can choose to stay in the Loire Valley and enjoy day trips to Paris, which is only two hours away.

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