The beautiful Loire Valley sits approximately in the middle portion of the Loire River, in Europe. This places it in the central region of France.
The valley remains famous to have been inhabited since at least the Middle Paleolithic period. It is also popular for its abundance of vineyards, fruit orchards, and vegetable fields which actually line much of the length of the river.
Many often refer to it as the Cradle of the French, and the Garden of France. In 2000, UNESCO added this marvel of geology as a World Heritage Site.
Loire Valley Geography and Climate
The Loire Valley comprises a significant portion of the entire area of the country. Its length measures roughly 170 mi (280 km), and its total area – about 310 sq mi (800 sq km).
The climate stays comparatively mild throughout most of the year. In addition to the agricultural areas, numerous forests remain present.
Indeed, the river flowing through the Loire Valley roughly forms a demarcation line between the northern and southern climates. The temperature in the summer sometimes becomes rather high. However, cool breezes from the Atlantic Ocean often moderate these conditions.
Loire Valley Historical Importance
This valley served as a region of importance even in the days of the Roman Empire. The impact the empire had in the region was enormous. Signs of it are still present today.
The locations of cities and roads are still strongly influenced by their actions. During the Hundred Years’ War, the Loire Valley served as a frontier zone.
Beginning in the 19th century, the region became a focal point of tourism. In fact, it was the importance of the region to tourism that was a driving force behind the preservation of the area.
The valley’s great natural beauty still ranks it in the minds of many as one of the most beautiful valleys on earth.