If you come to Tours for visiting the several chateaus of the Loire Valley region and you don't want (or even you want) to go on your own, pass by the tourism office of Tours which is just opposit the main train station along the boulevard heurteloup.
They have all the affordable packages combining 2 to several chateau visits either half day or full day excursions including visits to winery and tips on visiting sites inside Tours for free + a map of the city.
Tours is blessed with some very pleasant parks. In this tip I shall give details on three of them, though there are others.
Right outside the Gare de Tours station, you will find Place de Général Leclerc. A pleasant enough spot, but surrounded by busy roads. Not necessarily the place to sit and relax. For my money, the best place for somewhere to sit, relax, and enjoy the sunshine, is the park (and I could not find a name for it) alongside the Centre de Congrès Vinci and directly across the road from Place de Général Leclerc. That is the park you see in the first photo, and it is a true oasis in the city. To find it easily, with your back to the station and the tourist office on your right, it is just to the left of the large modern building ahead of you (the Centre de Congrès).
If you walk continue along Boulevard Heurteloup to the left of the station from that park, you will come to the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall), with the Place Jean Jaurès across from you. (Photo 2) The main bus terminal is adjacent to it.
At this stage, the pedestrianised Rue Nationale is on your right and will lead you to the old town. Up in that area, along Rue Colbert, I found a pleasant little fountain in what may have been Pl de Coeur Navre. (Photo 3)
The Office de Tourisme is just in front of and to the right of the station, past Place de Général Leclerc, and across Boulevard Heurteloup, at the corner of Rue Bertrand Palissy.
In the mornings the Tourist Office runs a range of guided walking tours of about two hours’ length. I missed the general walk of the city because I wished to do the bus tour of the chateaux at the same time, but it is held in the morning and costs 5.50€ for adults and 4.5€ for children. Most importantly, they have some excellent brochures which will very much assist you in finding your own way and seeing the sights around the town and surrounding districts.
Another nice place to go if you are travelling on the area is the beautiful city of Poitiers,is located in an area called La Vienne,just south of Tours.It has a nice old town and nice places to see.I suggest you to visit here FUTUROSCOPE PARK,is the European Images Theme park .
Very close to the station is the Centre de Congres Vinci. If you can find this modern building, you'd be able to get to the Tourist office which is just across from it. The Tourist Office is very professional & can offer all kinds of suggestions & arrangements. Do visit them before you start on your journeys. I also managed to get stamps & postcards from them.
The main train station. Most will undoubtedly come this way. I took the train from the Parisian airport & reached here & then to Paris from here again. It's a small train station compared to Montparnasse in Paris so one shouldn't have much difficulty navigating his/her way around here.
There are also a few great restaurants near this station. Le Baron is one & the other is L'Odeon.
No, I didn't book a tour to Tours.
I took the TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) instead! & that's French version of bullet train.
After arriving into Paris from Athens via Munich (yeah, I know that's the most stupid idea anyone could come up with, but it's for free ... so some stupidity is warranted ;-)), I was about to take the train as suggested by a VT member to Tours via Paris. Luckily for me, this time my Parisian experience proves to be a great one. A good start at the airport. The TGV station manager told me I could cut short the trip by taking a train directly to Tours from Terminal 2. That's great great news for me. So, off I went! It's a good start... That's very important on a trip!
Saint-Victors church-12 th century and is a historic monument.
The pentagonal keep-which is part of the ancient ramparts(14th century)
The clock tower-which has a belfry and dome shaped tower.
The fountain of the lions
The 15th century hump backed bridge.
And last but not least,The Roc.it is a 20 minute walk to the top.Fllow the path that leads behind the Parish Church.As you walk up higher and higher,you will get a wonderful view of Castallene.The chapel at the top was rebuilt in 1703 and has a large statue.
Aslo Castallene has a few lovely shops and a handful of great restuarants.
In the 5th century,Castellane became the centre of a bishopric.Barbarian invasions in 9th century led to the fortification the the "roc"and the creation by "Petra Castellum".The ramparts were put up in 14th century to stop bandits attacking.In the 16th century,,there were Holy Wars which threatened the town.
The siege of the 31st January 1586.This day was when a lady single handed saved the town.Judith Andrau was visiting her nephew and she broke into enermy territory and she found out in which direction the attack was going to come.
That same night she lay in wait for the attackers when they came to try and blow the gates open and she saw them off by pouring hot tar over them.So now every year since then,January 31st of each year,there is a "fete du Petardier" which thanks her for her bravery.
This song was written for her "A brave Judith,
Armed with her own courage
By her valour defied
The enermy full of rage"
The Verdon river starts at a height of 2150m in the Sestriere Massif near Allos Pass.Down to the valleys,the water it stopped by the hydrolic dams of Castillon and Chaudanne.Then once released again,it rushes into the gorges that has with years eroded Jurassic limestone.
The most breath taking part is between Castellane and Moustiers-Sainte-Marie,where the water has eroded a beautiful huge canyon,which is unique in Europe.
Verdon will take your breath away.It is a deep green colour and nature has given its waters a large quanity of flourine which acts on small algae and creates this unusual colour which increases with depth of the water.This gift of nature gave rise to the name of the river,Verdon,which means "gift of green".
Nothing more romantic than the contrast of rock and abyss,of green waters and crimson shade,than this sky which resembles the Homeric sea and this wind which speaks with the voice of gods lomg dead.
Castellane town is dominated by a huge 184m high limestone rock,on top which stands the Notre-Dame du Roc chapel.Castellane is a popular stop over at the crossroads of the "Route Napolean" and the Upper Verdon valley.There is sporting here and a tourist center with sailing,canoeing and trekking.
Tours is known since times of Juli Caesar. They say that we can watch Roman's ruins in the city though I'm very doubt of its origin...
In this park,you'll discover the new movie technology systems as 3-D,,movies in motions,IMAX,and lots more!.This is the perfect place to spend a day in family.
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