Stretching along the river of the same name, the Loire is a green and charming department that houses villages of character, castles and museums. The Loire also offers us typical flavours, both salty and sweet, which can be served with a wide range of local wines and excellent mineral waters. The winning quartet of the tourist jewels of this territory is, in order, the zoological area of Saint-Martin-la-Plaine, the castle of Bouthéon, followed by the Saint-Étienne Mine Museum and the Chalmazel winter sports resort. This territory stretches from north to south in four distinct regions: Roannais with its rich heritage, Forez with its mountain and ponds, Saint-Étienne, capital of design and its region which shelters the Badoit springs, and the Pilat regional natural park with its greenery, its panoramas and its vineyards. We can add the hills of Lyonnais to the south-east, with a mild climate. It is thus a great diversity of landscapes, from the north of Roannais which evokes Burgundy, to the south-east of the department, on the banks of the Rhône, with an already slightly Provençal climate, passing through the mountains or along the Loire. So many landscapes and ecosystems for one department! And to enjoy it, depending on the season, come with your hiking boots, your downhill or cross-country skis, or even by bike to pedal on the viaRhôna

The must-see places in Loire

When to go to Loire?

This department offers so many different regions and climates that you can find something to suit you all year round. Summer is the peak tourist season with good weather, village festivals and the possibility of hiking to escape the heat wave. Spring suits the landscape, but autumn also brings fire to the forests. If the Saint-Martin-la-Plaine zoo, the Château de Bouthéon and the Musée de la Mine de Saint-Étienne are open to the public all year round, for the Chalmazel ski resort, of course, it is winter

Horse racing enthusiasts can plan their visit for the end of the Feurs horse racing season at the end of October with the famous "Chantilly du Forez" race, nicknamed after the ancestral Feurs racecourse. Others will prefer to enjoy the Christmas village, in the old centre of Feurs. As for the Saint-Étienne International Design Biennale, it takes place in odd years, during one month in April/May.

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When to travel?

This department offers so many different regions and climates that you can find something to suit you all year round....
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Weather forecast

While the climate of the Loire department is of a semi-continental type, the contrasts in altitude, exposure of the s...
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