Tours Mini Guide
Where’s a Good Place to Stay if I Want to do the Loire Valley?
We’d recommend Tours in the beautiful region of Touraine. If you hire a car there then the whole of the Loire Valley and its chateaux are within easy reach. The city has some really gorgeous parts to it and the locals, whilst proud of their near perfect French, are happy to welcome visitors to their fabulous city. Use our France mini guide
to help plan your trip to Tours and further afield to make the most on your trip to the region.
What’s the Best way of Getting There?
There’s quite a variety. You can take an aeroplane from London
with Ryanair or Porto
, Marseille or Corsica
. Additionally, you can take the train from Paris
or a connection off the high speed train to Lille
or Lyon. Finally, you could get a cross channel ferry from the UK and drive down to Tours. The airport is only three miles from the city centre and easily accessed by bus or taxi.
What’s There to see in Tours?
Begin with the old part of the city where the distinctive Touraine houses make for excellent photographs or paintings from the artists amongst you. The main part is the Place Plumereau which also has wonderful cafes and bars. You can take a guided tour of the old town from there. Many people love to wander through the flower market which is a riot of colour and scent each Tuesday. The river Loire passes through the city and there are several walks along its banks that can take you out into the countryside.
And Outside the City?
The main thing people go to see there are the chateaux of the River Loire and with their stunning, perfect formal gardens and opulent interiors it’s easy to get an idea of what life was like in their heyday.
What can I do in Tours?
The university there offers language courses in French in the city that is supposed to have the perfect French accent. So, whilst there, you could brush up on your ‘Parlez-vous Francais?’. There’s also the extensive network of cycle paths set up as part of the Loire a Velo project making exercise fun, easy and with the reward of spectacular scenery.
What can I spend my Euros on There?
There are a number of excellent shopping malls around the city which sell items you could buy just about anywhere. You should instead head for the produce shops and stock up on wine from the region, truffles, fois-gras and locally produced cheese.
And What Should Tempt my Taste buds?
The locally produced bread, creamy butter and strong soft cheeses make for an excellent lunch on the river, washed down with a bottle of chilled local wine. At night, there are several good restaurants serving delicious haute cuisine but for those with less subtle tastes, the city is also renowned for its kebabs!
Where are the fun Nights out?
Place Plumereau is the best place to start with chic bars and clubs often opening very late and staying open until morning. The club scene is safe and enjoyable there, fuelled by many, many students.
Tours is an atmospheric and exciting city with much to do in it and in the surrounding countryside of Touraine. The prime attraction is Tours Cathedral started in the 12th century and completed in the 16th with massive gothic towers and a breath-taking interior.
In the city you can also visit the site where Joan of Arc had her armour made before going out to defeat the English. Outside the city you have the beautiful River Loire winding its way peacefully through the Touraine countryside and stunning chateaux poised elegantly in the landscape.