Family activities to do in the Loire Valley

07th April, 2017
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.


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