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Go Ahead and Spoil Yourself - Rent a Castle in the Majestic Loire Valley in France

Aug 17, 2007
What child reading about fairytale castles in Europe doesn't dream of being a handsome prince or beautiful princess, being waited on hand and foot and living a life of complete romantic luxury. Now you are an adult, you can realise this childhood fantasy by renting a luxury Loire Valley chateau for your next vacation. Here you can totally relax and unwind and feel like royalty.

The Loire Valley is one of France's best kept secrets, located some 200km south of Paris. The Loire River is over 1000 kilometres long and it is the longest last wild river of Europe.

The Loire Valley is actually France's third most popular tourist destination after Paris and the French Riviera. But the Loire Valley is so vast, that families return year after year and never tire of its many attractions. It has something to offer every tourist.

Firstly it is famous for its renaissance chateaux: town chateaux like Chateau Blois and Chateau Amboise, Chateau Usse the original inspiration for Sleeping Beauty, Chateau Cheverney with the best collection of furniture in the Loire Valley and Herge's inspiration for mythical Moulinsart from the Tin Tin cartoon, Chateau Chenonceau spanning across the River Cher mirroring her beauty, Chateau Chambord the largest hunting lodge in the world

Francois I was not content with just Chateau Blois and Chateau Amboise as his residence, he commissioned Chateau du Chambord the largest chateau in the Loire Valley as a mere hunting lodge. It took 20 years to build and then he spent only seven weeks there hunting.

Then there are also Chateau Chaumont with its incredible summer long international contemporary garden festival, and Chateau Villandry with its famous gardens. If you need inspiration for a vegetable garden you must visit Chateau Villandry.

Gardening in the Loire Valley takes on a mystical quality, and even Mick Jagger, gyrating thick lipped lead singer of the Rolling Stones who has his preferred second residence, a 16th chateau he purchased 26 years ago called La Fourchette at Pose-sur-Cisse near Amboise, is a keen gardener. Artistic historian John Richardson says of Mick Jagger and his new walled garden "he became completely part of the garden, knew every single thing about all the plants, the flowers, the way the fruit trees were espaliered".

Fans of Leonard Da Vinci can visit Chateau Clos Luce and admire his bedrooms, kitchen, salons and the chapel and see frescoes painted by his pupils. His paintings and drawings are set out in the park of the castle with giant models of the most incredible machines he invented with voice-overs of Leonardo da Vinci and his disciple Melzi.

There is so much more to the Loire Valley than turrets, towers, topiaries and tapestries. The Touraine region also has the reputation for being the region where the best French is spoken in the world.

The Loire Valley is also a popular destination for followers of the Knights Templar and Holy Grail because of its close association with Leonardo Da Vinci and because it is so seeped in history.

The combination of vineyards and chateaux make the Touraine region of the Loire Valley an incredible destination for any wine lover and his or her family. The Loire Valley really is the most beautiful wine region in the world.

The Loire is France's last great unrecognized wine region. The Val de Loire wine area is located south west of Paris typically a little over 2 hours drive from the Paris peripherique and extending out as far as Nantes. It is a region blessed with rich soil and a gentle climate, allowing for the production of diverse appellations with vast degrees of character.

Some of France's best winemaking occurs in the Loire though few Americans are aware of it. Even many French are unaware of some of the gems now being produced in the Loire Valley. No other wine region in France welcomes visitors with such warmth or simplicity. Sommeliers, wine-shop and wine-bar owners, the wine press from Brussels, London, Paris and Tokyo in the know spend their vacations visiting the Loire Valley.

White wines of the Loire Valley typically improve with being aged from five to fifteen years depending upon the vintage and the AOC. A new bottle of French Loire Valley white wine may be fine, but a properly aged bottle is even better.

Then there is the food. French cuisine is famous and flourishing in the Loire Valley. Little village bistros whip up amazing dishes at incredibly cheap prices. Goat's cheese is a speciality. The local produce is divine. And the glorious local food is best accompanied with a glass or two of Loire Valley wine.

The Loire Valley is especially well-appointed for two wheels because of the gentle gradients and intricate network of back roads that are refreshingly free of motorised traffic. The Loire et Velo track is heaven for cyclists.

The Loire Valley offers everything the travelling golfer requires. If you are a golfer and you bring your clubs you will not be handsomely rewarded.

In France there are 280,000 registered golfers for 340 courses. This translates into lots of available tee times and no crowds on a course. Many golf courses are designed around magnificent chateaux. The finest course in the region, is Les Bordes near Chateau Chambord, consistently ranked in the top five of France's best courses.

This fine relaxed living is one of the reasons why Mick Jagger holidays at his chateau every summer. With his wealth and his connections he could holiday anywhere.

Don't just visit a french castle - rent a castle in France and truly experience the grandeur of living in a castle in France. You will be absolutely amazed.
About the Author
Corina Clemence runs a luxury french chateau in the Loire Valley near Blois, for up to fifteen people perfect for touring vineyards and chateaux and relaxing french holidays. It is also ideal for a french wedding, party or event. Rent the whole castle or rent a suite. Rent a castle in France. Hire castle - hire chateau Rent castle http://www.loirechateau.com Rent chateau France
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