Centre Val de Loire, the Vallée des Rois
Centre Val de Loire is one of 13 regions defined by the territorial reform that took effect on January 1, 2016.
It retained its original geographical boundaries, however, was known as Region Centre until January 17, 2015 because of its geographical position.
It includes 6 departments:
Cher (Bourges – 18), Eure-et-Loir (Chartres – 28), Indre (Châteauroux – 36), Indre-et-Loire (Tours – 37), Loir-et-Cher (Blois – 41) and Loiret (Orléans – 45)
Its prefecture is Orléans.
Centre Val de Loire is the 7th largest French region, the 1st cereals production region of Europe and attracts 4% of the total French population.
It is also the 6th industrial area in France and its local power stations generate 15% of French nuclear energy.
It regroups the three historical provinces of Berry, Orléanais and Touraine.
Finally, it boasts three regional natural parks: Brenne, Loire-Anjou and Perche.
By above all, it includes the Val de Loire, which was listed World Heritage by UNESCO in 2000.
The region stretches along the Loire, the last untamed river of Europe and its lush banks that promote a wide diversity in fauna and flora.
These low lands boasts an exceptional architectural and cultural heritage as they have the highest concentration of chateaux built by our French Renaissance kings and their vassals.
The department of Indre-et-Loire in Touraine is home to the prestigious chateaux of Amboise, Azay-le-Rideau, Chenonceau, Chinon, Clos Luçé , Langeais, Loches and Villandry.
The Loir-et-Cher in Orléanais boasts the equally spectacular chateaux of Blois, Chambord, Chaumont-sur-Loire and Cheverny.
The departments of Cher and Indre in Berry and Loiret and Eure-et-Loir in Orléanais count hundreds of castles and mansions.
Several of these royal ancestral homes had a special place in the history of France, such as Chinon.
This is indeed there that Joan of Arc, the heroin of the Hundred Years War went to pledge allegiance to the king of France, or Le Clos Luçé which was the last home of Leonardo da Vinci.
Centre Val de Loire is not only the land of a thousand castles, it is also a region renowned for its gastronomy.
This includes the renowned goat cheese from Sainte-Marie de Touraine, the rillons and rillettes from Tours and the tapée from Rivarennes, a delicious pudding made from pears.
And of course, let’s not forget the region’s wonderful vineyards, which the Romans planted some 2000 years ago on the sunny slopes, and produce 26 AOC wines (15 AOC in Touraine and 11 in Centre Loire).
Area: 39 151 km2
Population: 2,580 000 (01/01/2014)