The Loire Valley

To help plan your stay at Hôtel de Biencourt, we’ve put together this interactive map and selected some of our favourite walks and restaurants in the area.

Interactive Loire Valley map

Our favourite sights and attractions in the local area


Château d'Azay-le-Rideau
Just 100m from Hôtel de Biencourt

Château d'Azay-le-Rideau was built on an island in the middle of the Indre river by King François I.
A subtle blend of French tradition and innovative design from Italy, it’s an icon of the Loire Valley’s sixteenth century buildings.

The landscaped park, designed in the second half of the nineteenth century, is a beautiful natural place to enjoy exploring.


Château de l'Islette
Just 3km from Hôtel de Biencourt

Islette sheltered tortured lovers Rodin and Camille Claudel. It’s also where the famous sculptor created ‘La Petite Châtelaine’, which you can admire here in bronze. Completed around 1530, the château’s great hall and chapel offer a remarkable glimpse into the beautiful design of France’s past. A place full of life, discover how a real twenty-first century château operates, expertly combining history with the modern world. Spend the day renting a boat, enjoying a picnic by the river, dressing up as knights and princesses with the little ones, spending time in the playground, relaxing on a deck chair or simply exploring the gift shop.



The Balzac Museum in Saché
Just 7km from Hôtel de Biencourt

Château de Saché was one of Honoré de Balzac’s - the famous French novelist and playwright - favourite sources of inspiration. From 1825 to 1848, he regularly visited Jean Margonne, the owner of the château at the time. Here, Balzac found the silence and austerity he craved, allowing him to work between twelve and sixteen hours a day in his small, private room they kept aside for him. Le Père Goriot, Louis Lambert, César Birotteau and even Illusions Perdues were all partly written here. Saché certainly served as an inspiration to Balzac, given he set his novel Le Lys dans la Vallée in this idyllic part of the Indre Valley.

Calder’s workshop in Saché
Just 7km from Hôtel de Biencourt

American artist Alexander Calder always displayed a strong affection for France, somewhere he spent half his life, in fact. In his Parisian years (1926 - 1933), he spent time with all the best avant garde artists and moved in surrealist and abstract circles. But in 1953, it was in Saché, the village he discovered thanks to his friend Jean Davidson, that he chose to make his home. Firstly in a house called the François Ier on the banks of the Indre river and then, in 1962, moving to a large workshop he decided to build at Carroi, overlooking the Indre Valley.



Langeais Fortress
Just 10km from Hôtel de Biencourt

Château de Langeais is one of the Loire Valley’s oldest châteaux, serving both as a fortress and a family residence, it has plenty of hidden treasures for you to uncover, including carved furniture, vast wall hangings and artistic objects that give visitors an insight into the lives of all the great lords and ladies of French history. A retelling of the secret marriage of King Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany, which marked the annexation of the duchy to France’s crown, along with the remains of the oldest stone keep found in the heart of the park will take you back to the Middle Ages in style. Entertainment for young and old alike is on offer all year round. 

Château de Villandry and gardens
Just 11km from Hôtel de Biencourt

Villandry was the last of the great châteaux built in the Loire Valley during the Renaissance period.

Six lavish gardens, which are beautiful all year round, await visitors, including the vegetable garden, the ornamental garden, the water garden, the medicinal plant garden, the maze and the garden of sun.

Château de Villandry also offers amazing eighteenth century interiors.



Château d'ussé
Just 14km from Hôtel de Biencourt

Charles Perrault is thought to have written ‘Sleeping Beauty’ right here, a tale that springs to life in spectacular fashion with a guided tour through some of the château’s amazing state rooms. A number of other great characters have left their mark on this place over the years, including Le Nôtre who put his talent to work here. And if you want to admire all the beautiful designs of the amazing gardens, where could be better than Vauban’s inspired terraces. French writer Chateaubriand made his own contribution to the park, bringing Lebanese cedar trees back from the Holy Land while, inside, it was Mansart who designed the spectacular staircase. There are a number of unique and magical places to explore here, like the King’s chamber, which hosted King Louis XIV and, much later, Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia.

Maison Max Ernst and workshops
Just 18km from Hôtel de Biencourt

“Here, it’s pleasant, charming and calming”, wrote Max Ernst to a friend in 1955. It was on that very same date, in Touraine, that artists Max Ernst (1891-1976) and Dorothea Tanning (1910-2012) settled into their new farm at Pin à Huismes, which they poetically named The Lost Pin.
By appointment, you can enjoy a guided tour led by Dominique Marchès, the site’s guardian. A passionate and impassioned man for whom the story of Max Ernst - and art, more generally - holds no secrets.

maison max ernst 


Chinon Fortress
Just 21km from Hôtel de Biencourt

Among the Loire Valley châteaux, the Royal Fortress of Chinon is testimony to the unique and medieval history of the Loire Valley! Bordered by the Vienne river and a number of vineyards, this vital place in France’s history (Joan of Arc met Charles VII here in 1429 before freeing Orléans) can offer a number of different visits, from self-guided tours with an interactive booklet to guided tours, iPad-led explorations and itineraries specially designed for children...
Dedicated entertainment for families is on offer during school holidays.


The Royal Abbey of Fontevraud
Just 30km from Hôtel de Biencourt

The Royal Abbey of Fontevraud is one of the biggest monastic settlements inherited from the Middle Ages. Recognised as an official historic monument since 1840, the site has also been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site, along with the rest of the Loire Valley, since the year 2000. In a lush green valley and just a few kilometres from the Loire itself, Fontevraud is a must-see on any tour of the Loire region. A place that’s truly unique!



The City of Tours
Just 23km from Hôtel de Biencourt

Pretty half-timbered homes at Place Plumereau, cobbled streets, trendy bars and boutiques and a very modern tram... the old town in Tours is beautiful, historic and full of life with great food and drink. In short, it’s packed with charm!


Discover even more


Azay-le-Rideau Tourist Information

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The Loire Valley by Bike

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Regional Tourist Office: Touraine Loire Valley

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Loire Valley latest news

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In Azay-le-Rideau...

L’Aigle d’Or, L’Auberge Pom’Poire, Côté Cour, La Crédence, L’Epicerie de Julie, L'Epine, Les Grottes, Pernel, Le Petit Gousier

We also like...

Les Années 30 or L'Océanic or L'Ardoise in Chinon, L’Auberge du XII ème siècle in Saché, La Clef d'Or or La Cabane à Matelot in Bréhémont, La Maison Tourangelle in Savonnières, Le Bout du Monde in Berthenay