Category Archives: France

A View Over Paris: From The Eiffel Tower

Climbing the Eiffel Tower is on most travellers’ bucket lists. With visitors being able to climb the tower since it was constructed for the Universal Exhibition in 1889, it is as much an essential part of visiting Paris now as it was back then.

The Eiffel Tower from the Champs-de-Mars
The Eiffel Tower from the Champs-de-Mars

There are many options for going up the tower. You can climb the stairs up to the first and second levels, or save yourself the sweat and hop into an elevator for a less energy-expending climb.

Whichever way you choose to climb the Eiffel Tower, however high you want to go, the view from all levels of the Eiffel Tower is fantastic.

Views from the first level of the Eiffel Tower

First, catch your breath!

Whether you arrived via the elevator or you climbed the 345 stairs, your first glimpse of the views from the Eiffel Tower will leave you a little breathless.

Champs-de-Mars from the first level
Looking down at the Champs-de-Mars from the first level of the Eiffel Tower

On the first floor, you’ll find the 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant as well as an exhibition about the Eiffel Tower, but what you’ll really want to do is look over the Champs-de-Mars and the Trocadéro and take in the views. They’re beautiful.

Got your breath back? Fantastic, because there’s another flight of stairs waiting for you to continue your climb!

The Eiffel Tower
Looking up at the queue on the second floor waiting to take the elevator to the third floor

Views from the second level of the Eiffel Tower

Champs-de-Mars from the second level
Looking down at the Champs-de-Mars from the second level of the Eiffel Tower

The views from the second level of the tower are just as good as the first (Just compare the last few photos!). 58 metres higher than the first level, you may end up with more photos on the second level, especially if you’re intending to catch the elevator up to the third level. The queue for the elevator can be quite long, and being in the queue forces you to move slowly around the second level, giving you the benefit of being able to enjoy the views for longer, and notice things that might otherwise have passed by in a blur.

The Seine
The Seine from the second level of the Eiffel Tower

Views from the third level of the Eiffel Tower

You’ve made it! See all of Paris before you, and take a rest. You’ve earned it!

Champs-de-Mars from the third level
Looking down at the Champs-de-Mars from the third level of the Eiffel Tower

While you could argue that the view on the third level is similar to the other two, on this level, you can show how far you’ve come by pointing your camera downwards. You’re now 276 metres above the ground. Luckily, there’s an elevator waiting to rush you all the way back to ground level!

Looking down from the top of the Eiffel Tower
My favourite photo of the Eiffel Tower: looking straight down from the third level

Do you have a favourite view of Paris? Share it in the comments!

What you need to know:

  • Be prepared to queue. The queue to climb the stairs up the Eiffel Tower is usually shorter than the queue to take the lifts.
  • Details about climbing the Eiffel Tower can be found on on the Eiffel Tower website

A View Over Paris: From the Arc de Triomphe

The first time I went to Paris, I didn’t even think of climbing the Arc de Triomphe. Standing back at a safe distance where I could take a photo of it from across the roundabout was fine with me.

La Défense
The Arc de Triomphe

On my second visit, armed with a Paris Museum card and running out of attractions that were still open, I headed for the Arc de Triomphe, and made the climb up the spiral staircase to the top.

La Défense
Looking towards La Défense

It’s worth visiting the Arc de Triomphe just to spend some time watching the eight lanes of traffic. With everyone on the roundabout stopping to give way to cars yet to come on, it’s a wonder that through all of the chaos no one seems to crash.

Luckily, you don’t have to weave through the cars to start the climb to the top of the Arc – there’s a pedestrian walkway near the Avenue de la Grande Armee that goes underneath the road (take it – it’s a lot safer option!).

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe
View of the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

With an almost 360 degree view from the top of the arc, you can see all sides of Paris, from the CBD, the hill of Montmartre, the Eiffel Tower, and how Parisians try to get a little bit of greenery into their lives.

Green space in Paris
Green space in Paris
Eiffel Tower
Looking towards the Eiffel Tower
The Sacre Coeur
The Sacre Coeur
View from the Arc de Triomphe
Roads leading from the Arc de Triomphe
Vines from the Arc de Triomphe
Some views of Paris you can only find from the Arc de Triomphe: vines hanging from a building

If you’re there around 6:30PM, there is a daily service where the memorial flame is lit near the tomb of the unknown soldier, as a remembrance for all French soldiers who have fallen in battle.

Memorial flame
Daily lighting of the Memorial flame

So for the chance to be in the middle of one of the world’s busiest roundabouts, climb the Arc de Triomphe and enjoy the view.

The Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe

Getting Lost in the Louvre

The main pyramid in front of the Louvre
The main pyramid in front of the Louvre

You would think that on my third visit to the Louvre in as many years, I would know my way around, right?

Wrong!

While the aim of this visit was to see the apartments of Napoleon III, I ended up walking around the same halls and corridors and seeing the same exhibitions that I had on my previous visits, and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t find a way to escape them.

Being drawn to the Denon Wing

Perhaps the Louvre has a special funneling system that makes sure all of its visitors end up heading for the Denon wing, or perhaps the Denon wing simply has a more prominent entrance than the Richelieu and Sully wings. Whatever the reason is, I always find myself walking straight over to the Denon wing’s security line when in the Hall Napoléon.

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The Greco-Roman sculptures are among the first items that I seek out. From the masterpieces of the Venus de Milo, Psyche and Cupid, and the Winged Victory proudly standing at the top of the flight of stairs, to the lesser known but just as inspiring works, I find myself wondering about the reasons why the sculptor chose the particular design, and whether they modelled it after a real person or from their imagination. It’s easy to tell which are my favourites – it seems I’ve taken photos of the same statues each time I’ve visited (at least my taste in sculpture is consistent)!

The Venus de Milo
The Venus de Milo
Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss
Antonio Canova’s sculpture Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss
Suppliante Barberini
Io ou Callisto, Suppliante Barberini – one of the sculptures in the Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities section of the Louvre is one of the sculptures I seem to photograph on every visit
The Ingres Minerva
Athena, known as the Ingres Minerva, part of the Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities section of the Louvre

The Galerie Daru, a hallway lined with Roman sculptures, always takes my breath away when I first see it. Ancient gods and goddesses, emperors, warriors, and muses look out unblinkingly as visitors make their way from the sculpture exhibit, past the Winged Victory of Samothrace and upstairs to the rooms of French and Italian Renaissance art.

The Galerie Daru
The Galerie Daru: beautiful at first sight, but when you can’t find your way out of the Louvre it loses its appeal!
The Winged Victory of Samothrace
The Winged Victory of Samothrace

Here you’ll find one of the most crowded areas in the Louvre. Jostling for space in a crowd forty people deep, cameras held over their heads, everyone is here for one reason: to get a picture of a rather small painting by Leonardo da Vinci – the Mona Lisa.

The crowd in front of the Mona Lisa
The People vs the Mona Lisa: unbelievable how big the crowd is all trying to photograph the Mona Lisa

I’ve accepted that I’m not going to be able to take a decent photo of the Mona Lisa. My camera work is not good at the best of times, and here you’re not only battling against the other hundred people trying to take their own photos, but you’re trying to shoot through the protective perspex covering of the painting, which reflects not only the museum’s lights but the red lights from the cameras (and when I think about it, do I really need my own photo of the Mona Lisa when there are plenty of art books, prints and Internet images that are of far better quality?).

Though you might not get enough time to stand in front of the painting and fully appreciate it, it’s still quite special to see.

The Mona Lisa
Not a great shot of da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, but the best I could manage given the circumstances!

In the hall behind the Mona Lisa were more paintings that I recognised, mostly from my high school French history textbooks. It’s a surreal feeling to look at these paintings in person, to see Eugène Delacroix’s Lady Liberty leading the French, Napoleon struggling against the cold on his campaign to expand his empire, and the coronation of him and his Empress, Josephine.

Liberty Leading The People
Liberty Leading the People, one of the French paintings in the Louvre by Eugène Delacroix
Bonaparte Crossing the Alps
Bonaparte Crossing the Alps, by Paul Delaroche

Here is where I always get stuck. The Denon wing does not have a second floor, so I usually turn back and go down past the Winged Victory, through the Greek and Roman statues, back out to the Hall Napoléon, and up the spiral staircase to the exit, always thinking is that all there is to the Louvre?

There’s more to the Louvre than the Denon Wing!

I didn’t realise this until my parents told me about how they had visited Napoleon III’s Apartments in the Louvre. How had I missed out on those? And why hadn’t I found them in my previous wanderings around the Louvre?

One of the painted ceilings of the Louvre
One of the painted ceilings of the Louvre

Why did the Louvre feel like a labyrinth when it was clearly segmented into three U-shaped levels? I’m blaming it on being a natural blonde, but somehow my habit of heading straight to the Denon wing had made me forget that there were two other wings in the Louvre. I realised this after studying the map for a while, and asking myself why it was that no matter how many stairs I climbed up and down, I never got away from the Mona Lisa and those omnipresent Roman statues.

Feeling sheepish, I walked back out into the Hall Napoléon, and searched for the entrances to the Sully and Richelieu wings, to find out what surprises they had in store for me.

Finding traces of the original Louvre in the Sully wing

The Louvre fortress
The foundations of the Louvre fortress, originally constructed in the twelfth century

The Louvre was originally built in 1190 as a fortress during the rule of Philippe Auguste, to protect the city against the Normans. The fortress stood until the 16th century, when François I began transforming it into the palace you see today.

The medieval fortress's walls
It was impressive how well preserved the fortress walls were given their age

You can view the medieval foundations of the fortress on the lower ground floor of the Sully wing which were uncovered during the 1980s. As I walked around the walls, moat and remnants of the towers, I found it surreal to think of how old and yet well preserved the fortifications were.

Medieval Louvre fortress
More foundations of the old Louvre fortress

… and Napoleon III’s apartments in Richelieu

The Cour Marly
The Cour Marly, gateway to the Napoleon III apartments

Heading in to the Richelieu wing, I felt like I’m finally seeing a different side to the Louvre. I found myself in the Cour Marly, its glass roof reminiscent of the lattice pattern on the Louvre’s pyramids. The sculptures in this room were originally commissioned by Louis XIV for the Château de Marly and seem brighter and more impressive than the sculptures I left behind in the Galerie Daru.

The staircase leading from Cour Marly to Napoleon III's apartments
The staircase leading from Cour Marly to Napoleon III’s apartments

From the Cour Marly, I climbed the stairs up to the first level of the Richelieu wing, and found my target. I felt like I was no longer in the world’s most famous art gallery. Here was the Louvre’s palatial side.

The Grand Dining Room
The Grand Dining Room, part of the Napoleon III apartments in the Louvre
The Grand Salon
The Grand Salon, part of Napoleon III’s apartments
The throne room in Napoleon III's apartments
The throne room in Napoleon III’s apartments

As I moved through each room, I couldn’t help wondering if when the French kings used the Louvre as their winter palace, whether every room on every floor in every wing of the Louvre was so richly decorated. If I thought the painted ceilings throughout the rest of the Louvre were stunning, they were even more magnificent in the apartments. The chandeliers in the Grand Salon were so large they almost dominated the room. It’s sad to think that the royalty who once lived here probably didn’t have the same feeling of awe at their surroundings as the people who visit the Louvre today experience.

The Louvre from the gardens
The Louvre from the gardens

I left satisfied that I learned a little bit more about the Musée du Louvre. The next time I visit, I’ll know my way around, and will make sure to explore other exhibits in the Richelieu and Sully wings!

What was your experience of the Louvre? Share it in the comments!

What you need to know:

  • Long line to get in to the pyramids? That’s not the only way in to the Louvre. Try one of the other entrances, such as that of 99 rue de Rivoli (Carrousel du Louvre) which will take you straight in to the Louvre via the inverted pyramid.
  • The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, but keep an eye out for longer opening hours on Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • Visit the official site of the Louvre for more information.

A View Over Paris: From The Towers of Notre-Dame

Staring up at the tower of Notre-Dame de Paris, you think of the bell ringer. The hunchback. Quasimodo.

Notre-Dame de Paris
Notre-Dame de Paris

Victor Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris and its protagonist Quasimodo, the “Hunchback of Notre-Dame” helped to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining significant medieval buildings and in 1845 brought about a restoration effort by Viollet-le-Duc to revive the neglected cathedral. Ever since, climbing the towers of Notre-Dame has been a must-do for visitors to Paris.

The Chimera Gallery
Chimeras in the Chimera Gallery – including one that appears to be not fully formed

As you climb the narrow steps up to the top of the tower, look around at the windows and the stairs and feel the cold tower wall. When Victor Hugo came here and explored the towers, he came across the Greek word ANAKH, which means ‘fate’. It was one of the sources of inspiration for his novel, and if you pay attention perhaps you can find your own story inspiration carved into the stone.

The Chimera Gallery
The stryga, one of the chimeras, looks out over the Eiffel Tower from the Chimera Gallery

After you reach the top of the first staircase, you find yourself in the Chimera Gallery. Here, you can see why Disney chose to use the chimeras as Quasimodo’s companions in their 1996 animated film The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. They all seem to have their own unique characters as they stare out past the cathedral and over the city of Paris. Each is carved in such detail, it’s like they were meant to be on display for people to climb the towers to see them.

The Chimera Gallery
A wyvern looks down from the Chimera Gallery

As you move slowly along the Chimera Gallery, they’re everywhere. It’s a testament to the skill of the stonemasons, who must have spent months and years following Viollet-le-Duc’s designs. You could become so absorbed in picking out the different animals that you could forget to look at the view!

View of the Panthéon
Looking from Notre Dame out over the hill of Sainte-Geneviève and the Panthéon

After you’ve taken in the Chimera Gallery (and ducked in to the South Tower’s belfry – mind your step! – to see Emmanuel, the cathedral’s largest bell weighing in at over 13 tonnes!), you have another staircase to ascend, which takes you to the very top of the South Tower for a 360 degree view of Paris.

The Place du Parvis-Notre-Dame
Looking out over the Place du Parvis-Notre-Dame

The view of Paris changes depending on where you are. From the Towers of Notre-Dame, higgledy-piggledy rooftops hide streets and almost take over the Seine. Only the spires of churches, domes of palaces and the very tops of towers can be seen.

Don’t forget to look down over the cathedral itself and admire the architecture of the catchments that carry rain water to spout from the mouths of the gargoyles, to the flying buttresses that support the cathedral walls.

Looking down over the cathedral
Looking down over the cathedral’s flying buttresses and gargoyles that spout water when it rains

Whether or not you find story inspiration and go on to write a bestseller like Victor Hugo, take the time to climb the Towers of Notre-Dame and you will find one of the best views over Paris.

Do you have a favourite view of Paris? Share it in the comments!

What you need to know:

A View Over Paris: From Montparnasse Tower

The French writer Guy de Maupassant reputedly said that the best view of Paris was from the Eiffel Tower, because he could look out over Paris and not have to see the tower itself. Many people hold the same view of Montparnasse Tower (Tour Montparnasse) – the sleek black skyscraper, that looks out of place amongst the older buildings of Paris.

Montparnasse Tower
Montparnasse Tower: a skyscraper consisting of mostly offices. The 56th floor and the terrace are open to visitors.

While I do feel sorry that the tower gets such a bad rap, the truth is that these people are right: the views from the topmost floors of the tower are amazing, and you could spend hours here picking out the landmarks.

Les Invalides from Montparnasse Tower
Les Invalides as seen from Montparnasse Tower

Make sure you get out on the terrace for the best view

Montparnasse Tower is essentially an office building, with the 56th floor turned in to a panoramic viewing area for tourists. From here you can see iconic buildings such as Notre-Dame de Paris, Les Invalides, the Louvre, the Sacré Cœur, the twist of railway lines beyond the Gare Montparnasse and, of course, a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower. There are also interactive panels, a photo exhibition, a gift shop and a café.

While the view from the 56th floor is great, if you want to take photos you have to deal with potential glare and windows smudged with fingerprints. If you turn right as you walk in, you will find a staircase that will take you up on to the terrace and allow you to look over Paris without trying to shoot around bars and through windows.

Eiffel Tower at twilight
Go to Montparnasse Tower just before sunset to see the sky change from daylight to twilight

Time your visit for sunset

My tip for visiting Montparnasse Tower? Go an hour before sunset. That way, you can enjoy the view in daylight, then watch as twilight settles over the city and the yellow glow of the streetlights appear, and then once the sky has darkened you can catch the ultimate view of the Eiffel Tower as it sparkles in the night.

The Eiffel Tower sparkles
Montparnasse Tower provides the ultimate view of the Eiffel Tower

Plan to spend at least an hour taking in the views here and to fully enjoy the experience!

Do you have a favourite view of Paris? Share it in the comments!

What you need to know:

  • Montparnasse Tower is located across the road from the Gare Montparnasse and can be reached by Metro at stop Montparnasse Bienvenüe
  • Further details can be found at the Montparnasse Tower website

A View Over Paris: From Montmartre

As I found a spot among the people in front of the Sacré-Cœur already admiring the view, umbrellas in one hand and cameras in the other,  I looked out over Paris and felt a bit underwhelmed.

The view over Montmartre
The view over Montmartre

Perhaps it was the mist and fog, or that I wasn’t as high up as I thought I’d be, or that the buildings below were all jumbled up without any landmarks or tall buildings to draw my eye,  but I didn’t feel that the view from the top of Montmartre was as good as the monuments I had climbed.

What do you think?

The view over Montmartre
The view over Paris from the top of Montmartre, hidden by fog and mist!

Do you have a favourite view of Paris? Share it in the comments!

Sound and Light Show at Château de Blois

Sometimes it’s the things you stumble upon while travelling that make for the most memorable experiences. The Sound and Light Show at the Château de Blois was one of them.

Even though our accommodation was in Blois, we were using the town as a base to visit the châteaux of Chambord and Chenonceau and had no plans to visit the Château de Blois. However, while enjoying a not-so-French meal of pizza at the Restaurant Le Duc de Guise, there was a flyer on the table advertising the Son et Lumière de Château de Blois – a sound and light show at the castle. Initially we wrote it off – having spent the day on a six hour train from Munich to Paris, and then another hour getting to the Loire Valley, we were looking forward to sleep. However, the show was only presented in English for one night during our stay in Blois, and it looked awesome.

Sound and Light Show at Château de Blois

Under the arches at the Château de Blois
Sheltering from the rain while waiting for the Sound and Light Show to start

Just after 10pm we clustered in the courtyard of the Royal Castle of Blois and waited for the show to begin. And then it began to rain.

Luckily for us, just as the show started, the rain stopped – just as well, because the experience would not have been the same if we had to watch it huddled under the arches.

The château tells its story

The Sound and Light show is told from the point of view of the castle itself. The ‘castle’ recounts the intrigues, dramas, mysteries, and tragedies that have taken place over its existence.

The Sound and Light Show at Château de Blois
The Sound and Light Show at the Château de Blois uses projected images to recount the château’s history

 The show is an immersive experience: it is easy to forget that you are watching static images as the stories are played out using projections displayed on three walls of the courtyard with an accompanying soundtrack.

 Over the forty-five minutes the voice-over recounts many stories, though the two that interested me most were to do with Joan of Arc and Catherine de Medici.

Joan of Arc rests at Blois before breaking the siege at Orlèans

Joan of Arc rides into battle
Joan of Arc rides in to battle
I was aware of the story of Joan of Arc, but I didn’t know that she had a connection with the town of Blois: after being presented with her armour in Tours, she based herself in Blois to plan military operations. Before continuing on to fight the English and break their siege of nearby Orlèans, she had her standard blessed at the Eglise Saint-Sauveur.

Catherine de Medici guards her sons’ kingships

Catherine de Medici
The intimidating image of Catherine de Medici

 Catherine de Medici was not only Queen of France from 1547 – 1559, but also saw three of her sons – Francois II, Charles XI, and Henri III – become Kings of France and held a lot of influence over their rule. The Sound of Light show highlights Blois during the French Wars of Religion which plagued the reigns of Catherine’s sons and caused her youngest son, Henry III, to have his enemy, the Duc de Guise, murdered at Château de Blois.

Not interested in castles and history?

Even if you’re not interested in castles and history, this magnificent production might just change your mind! As the projections change the appearance of the Château de Blois it makes me want to go behind the scenes to learn more about how they put together Sound and Light Show.

The Sound and Light Show at Château de Blois
The projected images change the appearance of the Château de Blois
The Sound and Light Show at the Château de Blois
The outline of the Château de Blois shows how diverse the projections are

 All in all, the lack of sleep was more than worth it – the Sound and Light Show gave me a chance to learn more about the Château de Blois when I wouldn’t have otherwise had the time.

Have you ever been to a sound and light show? Were you impressed? Share your thoughts in the comments!

What you need to know:

Why I Enjoyed Staying In Blois While Visiting The Loire Valley

The Francois I Wing of the Château de Blois
The Francois I Wing of the Château de Blois

When planning to visit France, I knew I wanted to visit the Loire Valley. The only problem was where should I stay?

After striking places off of the list, mostly due to bad train connections, I had narrowed the choice down to two locations: the popular Tours, which seemed to be the hub of the Loire Valley, or the town of Blois.

I settled on Blois mainly because of price, and ended up feeling like I’d made the right decision.

Blois is close to Chambord and Chenonceau

Since my main purpose in visiting the Loire Valley was to see the chateaux of Chambord and Chenonceau, I needed to compare transport options and whether it was easier to get to them from Tours or from Blois.

Blois is much closer to Chambord than Tours. I found it difficult to work out how to get from Tours to Chambord without going on a coach tour, while there is a bus service that leaves from Blois train station and takes you to straight to the gates of Chateau de Chambord (see the office of tourism for a bus timetable as it varies throughout the year). A return trip only cost two Euros.

Catching the train from Blois to the town of Chenonceaux meant changing trains in Tours (and a brief panic attack when I realised that I had gotten off one stop too early at the Tours train station instead of St Pierre des Corps. Luckily, the train to Chenonceaux ended up coming back through both, so I ended up on the right train anyway!). The journey from Blois to Tours and back again added an extra hour to the travelling time, but that ended up being more than cancelled out by the time I saved catching the bus to Chambord.

I bought the bus ticket to Chambord from the bus driver, and the train ticket to Chenonceaux from the helpful staff at the train station, which was far less crowded than the Tours train station (where I queued for help when I was worried I had missed my connection to Chenonceaux).

Blois has its own castle

The Château de Blois
The Château de Blois

While Tours does have the Château Tours, which houses an art gallery, it does not have the history of the Château Royal de Blois.

Statue of King Louis XII
Statue of King Louis XII above the entrance to the Château de Blois

One of the main residences of the Valois royal family during their time spent in the Loire Valley, the Château de Blois has seen seven kings and ten queens live within its walls. It is open during the day, or you can catch the stunning Sound at Light show at night.

Blois has a small town feel to it

When I did visit Tours, it felt more like a small city, full of cars, double-lane roads, hotels and people. The old town of Blois, however, felt quainter and quieter.

The Cathedral of Saint Louis, towering over the rooftops of Blois
The Cathedral of Saint Louis, towering over the rooftops of Blois

While my days were spent away from the town, exploring Chambord and Chenonceau, there was still plenty to do when I returned to Blois. There were walking trails throughout the old town, where you followed brass circles laid in to the ground on a treasure hunt to learn more about the history of Blois.

Blois walking trail
Following the walking trails around Blois is like a treasure hunt – I learned that Joan of Arc visited Blois and used it as a base for the battle of Orléans

There were a lot of restaurants (the two that I ate at were very good!). Most people were friendly and patient when I tried out my broken French on them, and I felt safe walking back to the hotel after a late night at The Sound at Light Show.

but you’d better watch out for the dragons…

The Maison de la Magie
The Maison de la Magie, opposite the Château de Blois

The courtyard at the front of the Château de Blois is normally a peaceful square, bordered by the château, the gardens, the office of tourism, a cluster of restaurants, and Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin’s House of Magic (Maison de la Magie).

Unless you’re there when the dragons come out.

I was sitting in the gardens killing time while waiting for my bus to Chambord, when I heard a low growl mixed with a beeping sound. Whirling around, I found that the pretty Maison de Magie now had five dragon heads sticking out from it! Later I would learn that this was a homage to Jean Eugene Robert-Houdin and combined his love of magic, timepieces and animatronics.

The strange dragons of the Maison de la Magie
The strange dragons of the Maison de la Magie

Ultimately I was happy with my decision to stay in Blois and would definitely recommend it as an option as a base for visiting the Loire Valley.

Where would you stay when visiting the Loire Valley?

What you need to know: