Tours - The Garden of France
Location: City on the Loire River an Hour from Paris
Located on the Loire River between the Atlantic Coast and Orleans is Tours, the capital of the Indre-et-Loire department in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France. There is an airport in town that flies to select European cities. There is also regular railway service from Paris, including an easy route from Charles de Gaulle airport. To arrive by car, take the A10, A85, or A28. The city has buses in town, although it is small enough to walk or cycle everywhere.
Culture: Visit the Impressive Gothic Cathedral and Roman Ruins
The Tours Cathedral, which is dedicated to Stain Gatien, was first built in 1170 to replace a previous cathedral which burned down in 1166. Only the lowermost stages of the western towers are examples of 12th century architecture. The rest of the cathedral is also an impressive example of historical architecture, as it was built in the 15th century in flamboyant Gothic style. There are also several Roman ruins to visit in the city, especially the Jardin de St Pierre le Puellier. The Place Plumereau features several restored half-timbered townhouses, as well as cafes and restaurants.
Activities: Relax in one of the Many Gardens and Parks
There are several parks and gardens in town in which to relax, stroll, and enjoy nature. The Jardin des Prebendes has a lake with two wooden bridges. If you choose to visit this park, be sure to enter through the amazing gates on Rue de Roger Salengro. If you want to do some shopping, visit one of the 30 markets in town to find authentic French goods. If you visit during the summer, be sure to engage in the diverse activities of the Tours sur Loire, which has an outdoor cinema, games, dancing, concerts, and even a Ferris wheel.