Known as the longest river in France, the Loire winds past epic medieval castles, breathtaking French countryside and vast vineyards famous for their sparkling whites and bold reds. Travelers who float down this scenic stretch (which was officially recognized by UNESCO in 2000) will find diverse wildlife, temperate climates and a wide variety of plant and tree species along the idyllic shores.
The river loops through 12 departments of France and streams past quiet towns and lively cities, making it an ideal route for visitors looking to explore the Loire Valley. History lovers architectural buffs will find more than 1,000 chateaux sprinkled along the river’s edge and nature enthusiasts can comb through the Foret d’Orleans, largest forest in France, which sits at the center of the Loire region.
The Loire River starts in Massif Central and empties into the Atlantic Ocean. It flows approximately 634 miles across France.