The Loire Valley is a popular destination with British travellers for many reasons. There, the River Loire snakes its way slowly through verdant countryside dotted with chateaux built in the Middle Ages, initially to ward off attackers and then as fabulously opulent stately homes, scene of many elaborate parties that often ruined the owners, forcing them to sell to the next set of nouveau riche.
The Loire is also well known for its wines and several vineyards and wineries dot its length, irrigated by the copious flow of the river. Many choose to tour the valley by car, staying at hotels in the main towns. The road network of the Loire Valley is comprehensive and you can enjoy the speed of the autoroutes or the beauty of the minor roads that criss-cross the region.
Getting in to the Loire Valley by car:
From the direction of Rennes, the N137 will take you south to Nantes
at the western end of the Loire Valley without paying any tolls at all. If approaching the Loire Valley from Le Mans you can take the A11 to Angers or the A28 to Tours
Loire Valley Toll charges:
Getting Around the Loire Valley
- Le Mans to Angers on the A11 will cost you around €6.70
- If travelling from Paris to Angers on the A11 you’ll pay €26.70
- From Le Mans to Tours on the A28, the toll charge is €6.90
- From the direction of Poitiers, the A10 takes you into Nantes and will cost €10.30
- If starting at La Rochelle, the A83 takes you north to Nantes for €5.90
The A11 which joins onto the A85 then the A10 loosely follows the River Loire along much of its length and links the main cities of Nantes, Angers, Saumur, Tours, Blois and Orleans. To the north of the region, the A81 and A11 parallel it for much of the route.
A much better alternative for touring the Loire Valley is to take the D952 which closely hugs the north bank of the river along much of its length or the D751 which does the same on the south bank. These roads also link the major cities but do so in beautiful countryside, often with the river alongside your car.
If you want to fly into the Loire Valley and hire a car there then the best option is to choose Tours Val de Loire Airport
at the eastern end of the Loire Valley and use the A85 to get to your destination.
Toll Roads in France by Region;
Further Reading on Driving in France;