Friday 27 May 2011

The Amazing Aigronne

At Loire Valley Time Travel we are always looking for new and interesting places which are off the beaten track - and we think this half-day tour is the perfect example.

The Aigronne River is only about 29km (18 miles) long, yet in that short distance it manages to pass sites ranging from the neolithic (a prehistoric burial mound) to modern history (the site of a World War 2 battle), taking in medieval grottos and a the point where the demarcation line cut France in two in 1940 along the way.

Medieval grotto, cut into the cliff edge of the Aigronne
The half day (3 hour) trip along the Aigronne in a classic car is ideal for anyone staing in the le Grand Pressigny or Preuilly sur Claise area and is offered at the bargain price of €120 for up to three people. If you would like to explore this fascinating river, email us.

Saturday 14 May 2011

Gorgeous Gardens

In the Loire Valley, often referred to as the Garden of France, we are fortunate to have many lovely gardens open to visitors.

One of the most famous is Villandry, a recreation of a medieval parterre garden. These gardens, designed to be both strolled through and looked down upon from the terrace, are filled in with a different arrangement of vegetables every year. The range of colours and intricate patterns that can be achieved with vegetable plantings have to be seen to be believed! This garden truly deserves its international reputation.

Nearby is la Chatonniere, a new garden made with traditional values. It is less restrained by a sense of wanting to recreate what was once there, and more able to create gardens which reflect the personal taste of the owner. The garden has roses in every possible setting and in the summer is a feast for the eye and the nose.

If you love gardens as much as we do, email us to book your day at Villandry and la Chatonniere.

Sunday 1 May 2011

The Perfect Anniversary Present

Over the May Day holiday weekend we had the pleasure of showing Jason and Katerina some of the best the Loire Valley has to offer.

Katerina booked a day trip with us as a surprise 10th wedding anniversary present for Jason. She particularly wanted to see Azay-le-Rideau and go to a winery, so we worked with that to create a wonderful day for them both.

After picking them up at their hotel in central Tours, we started the day by visiting Chenonceau. On a warm holiday weekend it was inevitably busy, but although this is the most popular chateau by far, it is rare to feel really crowded.

A busy day at Chenonceau, but Jason and Katerina were still
able to step out onto the balcony without being part of the crowd.
Once we had enjoyed a delicious lunch provided by Laurence at Le Detour we followed the river Indre through pretty villages and past lovely old mills, through the forest and lush green crops, to spend a relaxed hour or so at Azay-le-Rideau while Katerina took some classic photos and bought some fun gifts for their small daughters at home. Then it was on to Chateau de l'Aulee for a tour of the winery and a tasting before heading back to Tours.

Jason had a great day, appreciating the opportunity to see a couple of outstandingly beautiful Renaissance chateaux without feeling rushed, and experience the friendly atmosphere and superb food in a small family run restaurant off the beaten track. We were able to suggest a few things they could enjoy independently for the rest of their stay and we feel sure they will go back home with many happy memories of their time in the Loire.

If you have a special date you want to celebrate, email us and let us create the perfect anniversary present for you.