Guide to Buying Your Dream Home in the Loire

Guide to Buying Your Dream Home in the Loire

With easy access, delicious local cuisine, plenty of wine and more than enough attractions on the doorstep, it’s easy to see why more and more people are opting to buy a holiday home in the Loire Valley – or even move to this beautiful region permanently.

Pays de la Loire is famous the world over for its wines. Visit restaurants in any city of the world and you’ll likely find at least one product of this beautiful area of France on the wine list.

Yet it’s only when you come to the Loire yourself that you begin to understand the beauty and history of this special part of France. Named after the river running through its heart, its history is also linked to that famous feature.

Indeed, the central part of the River Loire is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, citing the beautiful landscape and charming towns and cities among the elements that make the area unique. The landscape is also characterised by stunning chateaux, with long and fascinating histories linking to the development of France through the centuries.

Wine from Pays de la Loire
On arrival in the region, you’ll soon realise that much of the countryside is taken up with vineyards. The roads are lined with grapevines growing towards the sun, trained in long rows to make the most of the space.

You’ll also spot regular ‘domaines’ – wine-making houses using grapes from the surrounding fields. The area is famed for its troglodyte caves, built into the limestone hills and cliffs to keep the wine cool. Many local homes also have their own caves to accommodate the many bottles of wine produced nearby.

At the other end of the scale, there are huge wine estates with extensive underground caves, many offering tours and tastings, with plenty of cases to take home. Try the Ackerman caves on the outskirts of Saumur – a fascinating tour which finishes off with a tasting of some of their most popular, award-winning bottles.

Of course, with an abundance of wine around the area, there’s plenty to choose from in the supermarkets too. Most shops stock a selection of local produce, and the bottles are outstanding value, so make sure you stock up before you head back home.

Chateaux in Pays de la Loire
The River Loire cuts smoothly between the hills of the surrounding countryside, and many of the towns which have sprung up over the centuries boast beautiful castles at their highest vantage points. The architecture of the area is stunning, with creamy-white stone walls topped by soft grey roofs, and plenty of feature turrets and towers.

Among the famous chateaux is Chambord, which sits in the UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most recognisable castles in the world. It’s open to visitors, with English guided tours running daily throughout the summer. It also has extensive landscaped gardens to explore, along with horse-and-carriage rides, boat trips on the river, and bird of prey shows.

Further west, you’ll find the stunning chateau at Saumur, with breath-taking views across the town and down the Loire Valley. It’s certainly worth taking the time to walk up the back streets from river level to the castle, exploring the local shops and cafés as you go. Take a guided tour of the castle and enjoy hearing about its links to many of France’s lords and ladies.

Finally, continue west to visit Angers, one of the leading cities of the Loire Valley. Its bustling streets give way to an imposing 13th century fortress with 17 towers, covering almost half a kilometre. With regular events and exhibitions, there’s always something new to explore at Chateau d’Angers,while the gardens are a true delight throughout the year.

Holiday homes for sale in the Loire Valley
When it comes to having your own piece of the Loire Valley, there are numerous options available, from quaint gites to ancient maisons or even mansions. You can even buy your own chateau and really wow your guests.

Why not invest in a pretty three-bedroom cottage on the edge of a village just outside La Chartre sur Loir? It’s filled with character, including a beautiful open fire for those cooler winter evenings, and has a mature garden for the long, hot days of summer.