Exploring Tours, the Loire Valley Capital

Posted on 30. Apr, 2012 by in Destinations, Europe Travel, France

Tours was only supposed to be a dinner and a nap, initially. A brief stopover on my way to explore more gorgeous Loire Valley Castles. But as I made my way into the city after visiting Azay-le-Rideau, I quickly realized that despite putting all my resources in planning a realistic and interesting roadtrip focused on the castles, I had to spend a few extra hours in Tours. I simply could not walk away without seeing more of this gorgeous place!

Place Plumereau

You see, Tours is filled with history and impressive architecture. Starting with the most beautiful square in town, Place Plumereau, where you will find a great many things, including questionable entertainers and a half-dozen terraces in the sun, all owned by jolly elderly Frenchmen who are always happy to meet foreigners and improve their rusty English. Notice the background buildings in the above picture?

Rue du Grand Marché

Rue du Grand Marché - Place Plumereau

All this is on the most picturesque street in Tours - rue du Grand Marché. Timber-framed buildings, intricate details, typical restaurants, and oh, the house where Da Vinci used to live. See what I meant when I mentioned history? There’s 500 years of it right there.

A few corner up North, you’ll find yourself in the oldest part of town. Rue Briçonnet is renowed for its ornate facades and doors, and is well worth the stroll if you ask me. Plus, when you get at the end of the street, you get to the relaxing riverbank of the River Loire, accompanied by the soothing sounds of the current.

Rue Briçonnet

Rue Briçonnet

Other places of interest to plan when exploring Tours? The city hall, the castle (although nothing like the rest of the Loire Valley - don’t get your hopes up), St-Gatien Cathedral and St-Martin Basilica, rue Colbert for varied restaurants, amongst other things. And perhaps the super fun Saturday market!

St Martin Basilica

Have you ever planned on exploring Tours? Did you only stop overnight or did you spend some time in the city?

email

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Responses to “Exploring Tours, the Loire Valley Capital”

  1. Ele

    30. Apr, 2012

    Tours can be a hub city for visiting the castles in the region. I know there are some tour companies that take people on day trips.

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      14. May, 2012

      There are tour companies, and my mother in law went on such a tour. But it’s extremely rushed (4 castles in a day!), in true “organized tour” fashion. I prefer to see them at my own rhythm.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Andrea

    02. May, 2012

    Love the black and white photos with the splash of colour in the flower shot! So pretty

    Reply to this comment
  3. Alexa Meisler

    02. May, 2012

    Amazing shots! Though a dinner and a nap is always a great choice, I’m glad you ventured out and shared with us your discoveries.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Laurence

    03. May, 2012

    As with so many French towns, I’ve not yet been! But now I’m living in France, I hope to rectify that soon :)

    Reply to this comment
    • Marie

      14. May, 2012

      So many places to discover :) I can give you a few hints if you want!

      Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply