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THE LOIRE VALLEY TRAVEL GUIDE




Mention the Loire Valley and you conjure up visions of fairytale castles set against a backdrop of green fields and rows of poplars, hillside vineyards and the swift-flowing Loire. The river, France's longest, gives the region its name; the Loire's waters nourish this land, the “garden of France,” a gentle, rolling landscape that seems to breathe peace and prosperity. The magnificent châteaux that suddenly appear on the horizon take one's breath away: these manmade wonders are surely as dramatic as any natural landscape could be. Built of “pierre de Loire”, the porous local limestone, each of the region's 300-odd châteaux played a role in French history, serving first as fortresses, later as elegant residences for aristocrats and royalty, and then as barracks or even quarries after the Revolution. Now the major châteaux have been restored and transformed into museums, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year from all over the world. Read on...

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Les Hautes Roches



(Updated: 01/07/13 CT)

Located in world-renowned wine regions from Napa to Bordeaux to South Africa, these historic roads offer both great wine and beautiful scenery.
Beyond the crowds on the Adriatic Sea, the clamor of Rome and the charmed Toscana lies an Italy yet undiscovered by many American travelers.