Golf and Loire Valley Castles - Can a Vacation Get Any Better

By: Corina Clemence


France, the size of Texas, is the largest country in Western Europe. Its cultural and geographical diversity is a tourism magnet that calls to be explored time and time again. The Loire Valley offers such a variety of exceptional sites where reputed golf courses are set beside some forty surreal historical chateaux and historical sites.

The Loire Valley is France's third most popular tourist region after Paris and the Cote d'Azure.

This valley of the Kings route has been plied for centuries along the longest river in France, the Loire River which remains the last of the wild rivers in Europe. The French Kings literally chateau hopped from one royal chateau to another along the banks of the Loire River.

The capetians established their dynasty here over 400 years ago before choosing Paris as their capital. Blois in La Beuce country, was once the favourite residence of French Kings. The city of Tours in the middle of Touraine Region is known to be where French is best spoken and has cuisine of the highest reputation.

Here history combined with cultural and spiritual ways of life have mingled to produce the famous Loire Royal Valley. The Loire is a superb region for a quality golfing vacation - just 3 hours drive from Calais and other northern ports.

Famous the world over, the Loire Valley with its magnificent royal chateaux is the third most visited region in France, just after Paris and the Cote d'Azur. Tours is now only one hour from Paris by high-speed TGV.

Regal chateaux spot the hillsides. The most popular chateau visited by tourists in the Loire Valley is Chateau Chenonceau attracting over 1 million visitors each year. This chateau called the chateau of dames because Diane de Poitiers, Henri II's mistress and his wife Catherine Medici, and two other women were responsible for its design today. If you listen carefully to the guided tour you will learn a lot more interesting and colourful facts about french history than you ever learn from your history teacher at school.

Chateau Chambord is another favourite and is the largest chateau in the region. It stands the equivalent of 18 stories high, it has 440 rooms and a chimney for every day of the year, and a double helix staircase designed by Leonard Da Vinci so the royal court could ascend and descend on foot or on horseback without having to rub shoulders with the hired help.

It is hard to believe but Chateau Chambord was built as a hunting lodge. In its 400 years of history it was only a royal residence for some 20 years. It is definitely worth a visit.

Vineyards roll through copses of trees. Some of the more notable being Vouvray near Tours, another 5 Touraine appellations, Cour-Cheverney, Sancerrea and Pouilly Fume. The Loire Valley white wines are exceptional in that they can be aged for up to 15 years.

Vouvray itself is amazing with some of the sparkling vintages dating back to pre 1945.

French gastronomy is a veritable paradise. One which you should try at least once during your lifetime. Amongst wine cellars, food specialities, son et lumiere (laser fireworks shows) are a selection of reputed golf courses: Les Bordes, Chateau Sept Tours, Ardree & Touraine, Cheverny, Orleans Donnery, Les Aisses, Sully-sur-Loire, Limere, Ganay.

The Les Bordes Resort not far from Chateau Chambord is undoubtedly the most remarkable of all the resorts in terms of exclusivity and quality challenging golf - designed by Robert Von Hagge see Seignosse. Les Bordes is consistently ranked amongst the top 100 courses in Europe and one of France's top 5. Water features on 12 of the 18 holes on this course and it really is a challenge even for low handicappers. Expect to enjoy this stunning course, but scoring well may prove to be more difficult.

The scenery and peaceful here in the Loire Valley make a golfing vacation a truly relaxing experience. You can add to the enjoyment of your holiday exploring the legendary Loire Valley by staying at one or more of the romantic chateaux available.

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Corina Clemence runs Chateau du Guerinet a luxury chateau in the Loire Valley, for 15 people perfect for playing golf at these courses and for touring vineyards, and Loire Valley chateaux. Our chateau has six luxury suties available to rent or alternatively the entire chateau can be hired exclusively for a holiday with family and family. Rent castle France www.loirechateau.com Hire castle France.

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