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family activities to do in the loire valley


The Loire Valley has
to be one of the most beautiful regions in France, and many people love the
place for the hundreds of chateaux found in the area. These Renaissance or
medieval castles are definitely worth
visiting when staying at our family villas in the Loire Valley, but if you are
planning some fun family activities the kids will enjoy doing too, then we have
put together some of the great activities on offer in the area.

Canoeing and kayaking

The Loire River is the longest in France and is also one of
the best places for exploring the Loire Valley. Try out any water activity,
canoeing and kayaking being the most suitable for families, and enjoy the
sights you can see journeying along the water. One of its tributaries, the Cher
River, also offers water activities. Several companies around the river offer
tours and canoe and kayak hire so you can spend the afternoon relaxing and
seeing the magnificent buildings and rolling hills at a leisurely pace.

Bicycle tour


Another way to enjoy the Loire Valley at a slower pace is on
a bicycle tour. This is a fun activity
which is great to do during the spring and summer months, and will also keep
you doing some exercise on your luxury holiday! There are many bicycle hire
centres in the region, who can provide the whole family group with comfortable
bikes. They are used to dealing with
families with small children too, so trailers or small bikes are available.

Touraine Aquarium


The Grand Aquarium de Touraine is a fascinating tourist
attraction in the Loire Valley. Though it may seem strange to have an aquarium
in the region far from any sea, it is a great place to go with kids. The
majority of fish are fresh water, found in the area, and there are also some
tropical freshwater fish such as piranhas
the rare spatulate fish. There is a shark
tunnel, a touch pond and a reptile house too.

Zoo de Beauval


A great way to entertain the kids is a day at the zoo, the Zoo de Beauval is the best in the
region, and has also been voted one of
the best in the world. Kids will love to see the white tiger, rhinoceros and
the giant pandas, among some other fantastic animals. Animal shows are held
daily at the zoo, so don’t miss out on seeing sea lion performances or bird
displays.

Mini-Chateaux


In addition to the actual chateaux in the Loire Valley,
there is an alternative the kids will love. Head to the Mini-Chateaux, a park where you will see a total of 45 miniature
reproductions of some of the grandest chateaux in the region, including
Chambord and Chenonceau. The park is a great way to introduce your children to
the stunning architecture of the buildings found in France. The Mini-Chateaux
park is right by the Grand Aquarium de Touraine, so you can combine your visit
when in the area.


Caves of Savonnières


The Loire Valley has many cliffs and hills – with chateaux
perched on top – and that means there are caves. While many are not of much
interest, the Caves of Savonnières are particularly fascinating,
especially for children. These caves have interesting physical properties with
amazing stalagmites and stalactites in all shapes and sizes, but also have an
exciting history, as they used to be full of water. Tours of the cave brings
you upon hundreds of limestone and chalk caverns

Troglodyte Village


Near the town of Saumur is a
very unique village called Rochemenier. What
makes it different, is that the houses are dug into the cliffs.
Rochemenier is the most famous Troglodyte village in France and these
structures date as far back as the 13th century. The best thing
about the Troglodyte dwellings is that they stay warm in the winter but keep
cool in the summer. The odd houses and the history behind them will surely be
of interest to everyone visiting. And for those who did not know ‘Troglodyte’
is a cave-dweller!

Cadre Noir Saumur


The little town of Saumur is a lovely place to visit on your
family holiday, and any child with a love
for horses will love this place. For a long time, Saumur has been the home for
the Cadre Noir horsemen, who are considered some of the best in the world. The
tricks and skills taught to the horses will stun you and your children. In
July, the Carousel is an equestrian show put on by Cadre Noir and attracts thousands of people. During
the rest of the year, you can take a guided tour of the stables and see the
horses in training and learn the history of the place.


Image by Daniel Jolivet

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