Strolling through the streets of old Tours
The best way to visit Tours is by strolling through its many charming little streets where you can marvel at the impressive architecture and monuments and at the same time choose a restaurant for lunch ! The pedestrian streets of the old town of Tours are also lined with bars and cafes where you can stop and rest tired feet or continue to the famous Plumereau square surrounded by its attractive half-timbered houses. By taking the rue de la Scellerie, also known as the « rue des antiquaires » (where you will find many antique shops), you will go past the theater of Tours before reaching the Museum of Fine Arts. Backing onto the majestic Saint-Gatien cathedral, whose construction dates back to the end of the 12th century to the mid-16th century, this former archiepiscopal palace now houses collections of French and foreign paintings from dating from the Middle Ages to the 20th century, including paintings by Rubens, Rembrandt, Delacroix and Degas. Its garden, dominated by a bicentennial Lebanon cedar, is also worth a visit.
Gastronomy in Tours, wines, cheese and so much more !
During your holiday or short stay in Tours, discover the delights of the local gastronomy with many different types of food produced locally such as andouillettes (sausages made with tripe), cured meats, patés and goats cheese. The best place to discover these specialities is the famous « Halles », a huge covered market area where you can find just about every local producer. An added bonus is these local producers are very keen for you to taste their produce so you can flit from stand to stand before making the choice of your purchase for the day ! Then why not picnic on the banks of the Loire near Vouvray or Montlouis where the winegrowers will invite you to a tasting in the cool troglodyte cellars. Typical of the region, these caves where dug out of the hillside to extract the tufa stone and although many are still used as cellars for cheese or wine, certain have been converted into houses ! Lovers of goat cheese, must make a detour to Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine to taste this special little cheese protected by an AOC (controlled appellation) since 1990!
Visit the Loire Valley Chateaux from Tours
While staying in Tours, everyone must visit at least one of the Loire Valley castles to step back into history. Stroll from castles to gardens, from gardens to windmills ... Located in the heart of the Valley of the Kings, Tours is bordered by magnificent castles (Langeais, Azay-le-Rideau, Villandry, Amboise, Le Clos Lucé where Leonardo da Vinci lived built during the Renaissance. All located less than half an hour by car these outstanding buildings open onto magnificent parks and gardens which today host shows, parties, concerts, exhibitions or markets during the spring and summer months !