Snapshot: Loire Valley

Snapshot: Loire Valley
  • Just what you need for the best of the Loire Valley
  • Rick's picks for sights, eating, sleeping
  • Great self-guided château tours
  • Tips for connecting each stop by car, bike, or train
  • Easy-to-read maps

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Buy your Snapshot: Loire Valley:

What's Included

Rick Steves Snapshot: Loire Valley contains the complete chapter on this region, excerpted from Rick's full-size France guidebook — and leaves out the chapters on other French destinations. So if all you want is the best of the Loire Valley, this compact Snapshot guide delivers everything you'll need to know — for about half the price and half the bulk.

Inside you'll find in-depth, Rick-tested information on the best sights, hotels, and restaurants for the following towns, plus the best of the region's elegant châteaux:

  • Amboise
    • Including self-guided town walk, Château Royal d'Amboise, Château du Clos-Lucé and Leonardo da Vinci Park, and nearby activities
  • Chenonceaux
    • Including self-guided tour of Château de Chenonceau
  • Blois
    • Including Château Royal de Blois and more sights
  • More châteaux east of Tours
    • Chambord (including self-guided tour)
    • Cheverny
    • Chaumont-sur-Loire (including self-guided tour)
  • Chinon
    • Including self-guided town walk, Forteresse Royale de Chinon, and more sights
  • More châteaux and gardens west of Tours
    • Azay-le-Rideau
    • Langelais
    • Villandry
    • Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud
    • Rivau
    • Ussé
  • And more
    • Easy-to-follow maps
    • Rick's tips for choosing among the many castles
    • Transportation tips for getting around the valley by car, bike, train, minibus excursion, and taxi
    • Background on the region's history, culture, cuisine, and wines
    • Handy French survival phrases
    • Basic tips on managing money, communicating, reserving rooms, handling emergencies, and other helpful hints

Product Details

Author(s): Rick Steves & Steve Smith
Dimensions: 8" x 4 ½" x ¼"
Weight: 5 oz
Pages: 104
Publication date: January 2023 (excerpted from Rick Steves France, 20th edition)

Is This the Right Book for Me?

Should I get this Snapshot guide in addition to Rick's complete France guidebook?

Nope! Our Snapshot guides are simply excerpted chapters from our full-length guidebooks. Snapshot: Loire Valley covers the exact same topics as the Loire chapter of the complete Rick Steves France guidebook — the same hotels, same restaurants, same sightseeing information, same everything. (But the full-length France guidebook, now in its 21st edition, is more up to date than this Snapshot guide, which was excerpted from the France book's 20th edition. Check our France guidebook updates for the most noteworthy changes.

Should I get this Snapshot guide in addition to Rick's Best of France guidebook?

That depends on how deeply you want to dive into the region. Rick Steves Best of France includes condensed coverage of our favorite Loire Valley stops — enough for a quick trip. If you'd like more comprehensive coverage of the region, or any information on Blois, Chinon, Azay-le-Rideau, Langelais, Villandry, Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, Rivau, or Ussé (not included in Best of France), the Snapshot guide is worthwhile.

Updates and Feedback

Latest updates: When we learn of critical changes to the information in our guidebooks on France, we post them. (Of course, it's still smart to reconfirm critical transportation and sightseeing details locally.) Armed with a Rick Steves guidebook and these late-breaking updates, you're set for a great trip!

Submit feedback: Once you've used this book in Europe, we'd love to hear your feedback — good or bad — about our advice on sights, hotels, restaurants, and travel tips. We're also interested in any tips or discoveries you made while in Europe. Your comments help us improve our guidebooks for future travelers.