Tourist information on Centre region France
Not to be confused with Pays de la Loire, it is the Centre region of France that is dominated by the legendary chateaux and castles of the Loire Valley with their turrets, grand rooms and gardens and it is the ideal place for a family camping holiday where you can explore the natural splendours and the majestic atmosphere of a fairytale region full of history.
Travelling to the Centre region
To the North of Centre you have Haute Normandie and the capital city of Paris in Ile de France region, to the East is Burgundy, to the South are the Poitou Charentes, Limousin and Auvergne regions and to the West are the Pays de la Loire and Basse Normandie regions, so one of the main plus points, is the fact that it is very easy to get to from whatever direction you are travelling.
If you are staying in Paris, yet you want to experience somewhere different for a day trip, then you can very easily get the TGV high speed train directly to Tours or other trains that will take you to Orleans or Blois, all in under two hours.
Getting to Centre when travelling by car or even towing is also very easy, as there are several motorways that go through this region, although most such as the A10 or the A11 do take you round via Paris, but you can avoid those routes if go in the opposite direction towards Rouen. However, there is also a relatively new motorway, the A28 that is very easy to reach from the ports of Le Havre and Dieppe in Haute Normandie that takes you through Tours as well.
Tourist attractions and places to visit in Centre
This is not the original name for the region as there were many historical provinces and the French government came up with the name Centre which includes the geometric centre of France, however, generally speaking, it is not really the actually centre, even though it was the historical centre of France! Many people have therefore criticised the name because of this, but also because it is so bland, especially when you consider that the Loire Valley area is so famous throughout the world and lots would like it changed to Val de Loire.
Ok, so you have the fabulous chateaux that are based along the tributaries of the River Loire, which is actually the longest river in France at just over 1000km and is often referred to as the last untamed river in Europe, as it can often be unpredictable, but there are stretches of the river that are ideal for boating, canoeing etc where you can get to see the lush countryside and wildlife at a peaceful pace.
And even though Tours is the largest city within the region that has a historical centre with half-timbered houses and a castle, it is not actually the main one, as the capital city of the Centre region is Orleans, which proudly sits on the banks of the river Loire in the direction of Paris.
However, there is much more to this region than just the fabulous chateaux like Chenonceau, Chambord and Amboise as there are numerous architectural wonders and places to visit throughout the area, like cities of Chartres and Bourges with their impressive cathedrals. You also have the wetlands at La Brenne that are renowned for its bird life and the Zoo Parc de Beauval that has the largest wildlife collection in France including koalas, etc.
Eating out and experiencing regional cuisine are one of the things that most people like to do when on a family camping holiday in France and during the hunting season you will often find game meats such as deer, boar, pheasant and quail on the menu. Yet, known as the Garden of the Loire, there are also an abundance of fresh farm type produce that find its way into the French food including fresh fruit and vegetables like artichokes and apples.
Cheese, especially goats cheese is also something that you must experience, as are some of the rich charcuterie products like terrines and the potted minced pork from Tours, but do not forget about the regions desserts including the Tarte Tatin, which is basically an apple tart that is cooked a certain way and upside down!
As many know French wines are also part of culture and a way of life in France and you will not be disappointed with the different varieties of wine that are available within this region, plus there are many vineyards that you can visit for wine tasting tours, so that you can get the perfect bottles to accompany the French food that you may decide to cook yourself.
Also if you are thinking of taking a holiday in the Centre region, instead of staying at one of the hotels or gites available, why not consider a family camping holiday at one of the many French campsites in Centre, that has plenty of activities on site to keep the whole family happy on you holiday.