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Window On France – The Loire Valley

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Discover the Loire Valley with So Chic!

Situated in the central region of France, the Loire Valley falls in the middle course of the Loire River, Europe’s longest river, and spans across the administrative regions of Pays de la Loire and Centre-Val de Loire. Not only does this river flow past castles, beaches, countryside and vineyards, but it also flows past the most iconic towns of the region.

The Loire Valley is known as the Cradle of the French and the Garden of France, owing to the profusion of vineyards, fruit orchards, as well as artichoke and asparagus fields that adorn the banks of the river.

Discover with us the wonders of Loire Valley, where history, culture, and natural beauty converge to offer you an unforgettable experience.

Castles as far as the eyes can see – the history of France

The Loire and its tributaries are home to 22 castles that narrate a substantial part of France’s history. These magnificent castles, which hold treasures and a rich sense of history, were constructed during the Renaissance period, primarily in the 15th and 16th centuries when the court of the French kings resided in the Loire Valley.

This region has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Whether inhabited by monarchs or nobles, these grand castles are truly majestic.

Most notable castles in the region

Loire Valley for the foodies – indulge in the garden of France

LA TARTE TATIN

Originating in the Loire region, the Tarte Tatin was created by Stephanie and Caroline Tatin, two sisters. This dessert is a variation of the classic apple pie, featuring caramelized apples and often topped with pastry dough.

GOAT CHEESE

Discovering the four types of goat cheese from the Loire Valley is a must-try experience, including:

Buche de chèvre: originating from Poitou-Charentes and now produced throughout France, this cheese has a soft white rind and a creamy white interior, making it an ideal addition to salads.

Crottin de Chavignol: produced in the town of Chavignol, this cheese can be sold in varying stages of maturity, from young to mid-maturity to full maturity.

Saint Maure: from Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine this cheese is aged for at least 10 days and features a soft grey rind with a white interior. It is believed to date back to the 8th century Bataille de Poitiers where Ottoman women left behind after the battle taught the locals how to make the cheese using bacterial fermentation and the decomposition of plants in black manure.

Valencay: aged for about three weeks and shaped like a pyramid with the tip cut off, this cheese has an interesting story behind its appearance. According to legend, Napoleon Bonaparte stopped by the town after his defeat in Egypt and was so irritated by the sight of a pyramid that he chopped off the top with a sword.

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