The reputation of Touraine, and the famous Loire Valley in which it lies, is above all due to its castles, a number of which are architectural jewels of international renown. The most romantic is certainly Chenonceau Castle, equally famous for the splendour of its interiors, its famous gallery over the Cher and its remarkable gardens. Visitors can also marvel at impressive buildings such as the Royal Château of Amboise, with its rich past and superb view of the Loire Valley, or Chinon Castle on its rocky spur, towering majestically over the old town and the river. The Château of Clos Lucé introduces visitors to the life and work of the Renaissance genius, Leonardo da Vinci. A stroll in the pleasant park dotted with scale models of the master's inventions, a real open-air museum, is a treat for visitors. The Priory of St. Cosmas, meanwhile, pays homage to Ronsard, who spent the last years of his life there. The long list of ancient buildings and prestigious places continues, including Azay-le-Rideau Castle, Ussé Castle, Rivau Castle and Langeais Castle, where Anne of Brittany wed King Charles VIII, not forgetting the sumptuous gardens of Villandry Castle.
The towns and villages also have their fair share of attractions. Tours, once the capital of the Kingdom of France, draws visitors to admire the precious architectural traces of its past, especially in its old town. The royal town of Loches and the charming, characterful villages of Montrésor, Candes-Saint-Martin and Crissay-sur-Manse are also worth a visit.
Lovers of rural tourism can follow the many trails in the Loire-Anjou-Touraine Regional Nature Park, for idyllic strolls among the vines, forests, valleys and hedged farmland.