On holiday in the Loire Valley with children

Family holidays in the Loire Valley

The Loire Valley is one of the most famous regions in France; a lush green landscape with forests and vineyards, historic towns, beautiful castles and rolling rivers. Including of course the famous Loire river of the same name. The Loire Valley has a temperate maritime climate, with more hours of sunshine than elsewhere in the interior of France. All this makes the Loire one of the most popular destinations for a family holiday in France.

With its lush landscape and many vineyards, the Loire is also known as the ‘garden of France’.

Discover the castles in a playful way

The Loire Valley has about 140 (!) castles. Some castles are open to tourists all year round, others only in summer. And some have particularly beautiful castle gardens.

Many of these castles are also super fun for children to visit. Do you know Molensloot Castle? Or actually Chateau Cheverny should we say. The French writer Hergé based Molensloot castle on the 17th-century castle near Cheverny. This majestic castle is indeed immediately reminiscent of the Molenslootkasteel and Captain Haddock, the famous character from the comics with the adventures of Tintin. Characters from the comic, such as the butcher, carpenter and doctor, are also based on inhabitants of this village. In the outbuildings of the castle it is possible secret of Molensloot be unraveled.

les secrets de moulinsart-cheverny

Do you want to discover the wonders of the Loire castles in a new way with the children? In the castles of Chambord, Blois, Loches, Amboise and Chinon you can use a HistoPad, a tablet that offers you and the children a new visitor experience in augmented reality. Follow the digital guide and go on an adventure in one of the castles.

Chambord : visite du château avec l'HistoPad.

Chambord © Léonard de Serres – Domaine National de Chambord

Château royal de Blois : visite de la salle des Etats généraux avec l'Histopad.

Château royal de Blois © R. Marchoux – Histovery

Château d'Amboise : visite de la Salle des Etats avec l'histopad.

Château d’Amboise © Histovery

In the Villesavin . Castle Museum the children discover everything about farm life on the basis of a mini-farm. Older children and teenagers can try one of the many escape games, for example in Ferté Saint-Aubin and La Bussière or in the royal fortress of Chinon. Look here for more information about Chateau de Villesavin.

The most beautiful castle gardens can be found in the castles of Chambord, Villandry and Rivau.

holiday in the Loire Valley Rivau

Château d’Amboise © D. Darrault – ADT Touraine

Gardens at Villandry . Castle

A day without castles?

Fortunately, if your kids really don’t feel like another castle, there are many more fun things to do in the Loire Valley. On the outskirts of Tours on the banks of the Loire, you will find Lulu Parc. A three-hectare park with trampolines, merry-go-rounds, swings, water games, ponies, ball pool, bumper cars, water slides, playground, mini farm and so on.

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lulu parc france

Cool climbing forests in the Loire Valley

Do your children also love to play and climb outside? That is convenient, because the Loire Valley offers many opportunities for (climbing) adventures in the forest.

This is how you will find the recreation park at Orléans Leo Parc Aventure with 140 obstacles and 12 courses. The very little ones follow the special kids track, and for older children there is the red course and for the very brave even the black course. You can also take a ride on one of the cable cars, with a total length of 1100 meters.

Leo-Parc-Aventure in the Loire Valley

You will also find great tree courses at Chinon, in the adventure park Saint-Benoit adventures. Here your children can brave 140 obstacles, a mixture of (38!) ziplines, monkey bridges and Tarzan jumps. And all that up to 20 meters above the ground.

The same in Saumur, in Parc Saumur Forest Aventure, where you will encounter the traditional funiculars, lianas and narrow bridges. The children can also play a game of laser tag or bubble football here.

saumur forest adventures

Horse and birds of prey shows

It Chateau de Chambord is the largest castle in the Loire Valley. For many this is it most beautiful castle in the Loire Valley. The castle was built by King Francis I in the sixteenth century as a hunting lodge. As a result, the forest around the castle was also protected. Today the park around the castle is even the largest enclosed forest area in Europe, the area is the same size as Paris.

Gardens at Chambord . Castle

Gardens at the Château de Chambord © D. Darrault – CRT Centre-Val de Loire

The castle has a staggering 400 rooms and you will also find a special double spiral staircase that was probably made by Leonardo da Vinci. The facade of the castle is also very spectacular. There are hundreds of towers and chimneys on the roof. Horse shows or bird of prey shows are regularly organized on the castle grounds during the summer holidays.

Donkey walks in the Loire region

Want to make a walk a lot more fun for the kids? Then take a donkey with you! In their company, discover the landscape and castles of the Loire in a new way, at their own pace. A rhythm that is not far from ours, because they run about 4 km per hour.

You have the choice to make a trip of a few hours or a whole day. For example, a half day with a picnic or a snack is possible near Cheverny with one of the 14 donkeys of Les ânes de Madame.

les-anes-de-madame Loire Valley

Cycling through the vineyards of the Loire region

There are many cycling routes through the Loire Valley. The Loire a Velo, along the banks of the Loire, is very suitable for families. But it is not the only cycling route! To discover the sights of the region, the cycling routes Châteaux à Vélo, La Veloscenie and L’Indre a Velo recommended.

Along the way you pass various castles, through vineyards and past (goat) cheese farms. A picnic at Lake d’Ouchamps is highly recommended. Fancy a glass of wine after all that cycling? The nearby camping de l’Orangerie de Beauregard offers a wine and cheese tasting at the castle every Friday and is a good base for the cycling route

Cycling along the Loireholiday in the Loire Valley cycling through the vineyards

And for the avid holiday cyclists, La Véloscénie is a must; a beautiful 450 km cycle route from Paris to the magical Mont Saint-Michel. Along the way you will pass numerous beautiful castles and picturesque villages. For more information, go to www.veloscenic.com.

Spending the night with children in the Loire Valley

A great place to spend the night with your children during your holiday in the Loire Valley is Village Huttopia Senonches. The Huttopia holiday park is located in the wooded area around Lake Badouleau. This is France greener than green. Senonches is one of the spacious locations where everyone can enjoy the outdoors to their heart’s content. Think kayaking on the lake, nature quests in the forest or building tree houses. In addition to the heated swimming pool, there is also a ‘forest spa’ with an outdoor Jacuzzi under the stars. Choose one of the many private accommodations from ‘Canvas & Wood’ that suits you best. Also take a look www.enrouelibre-centrevaldeloire.com for nice places to sleep in the Loire Valley.

holiday-with-children-Loire Valley

Are you looking for a special accommodation to make your holiday in the Loire Valley unforgettable? In the Loire Valley you will find a wide range of unusual accommodations: tree houses, gypsy wagons, yurts, tipis, caves, ecolodges, what will it be? Your kids will never want to leave here!

Are you on holiday in the Loire Valley with children?

The Loire region is known for its beautiful castles such as Chambord, Chenonceau and amboise. Thanks to the extensive and well-signposted network of cycling routes, it is a perfect area for cycling. Since 2000, the Val de Loire has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List for its heritage, architecture and nature. In terms of area, the region is the most extensive region of France. Many French kings, artists and famous writers have fallen for this beautiful area along the Loire and have settled here. The nature is really beautiful there. There are 3 natural parks in Val de Loire where rivers flow through green landscapes, marshes and forests of the Sologne and cave dwellings carved into the rock.

In addition to the historical and natural sights, the Loire region is bursting with fun activities with children. From animal parks to climbing forests, from special tours in museums and castles to special tours for children in caves. The region Centre-Val de Loire is a great region for an unforgettable holiday in the Loire Valley with children!

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