France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Tours, France Travel Guide
Capital of Indre-et-Loire, this good-sized city can be your base for visiting the châteaux of the Loire Valley and the famous vineyards of the Touraine region.




The city of Tours, France, 240 km (149 miles) southwest of Paris (map), is the largest city in the Loire Valley and indeed in central France (pop.: 300,000).

Tours makes a good base for visiting the Touraine (region of Tours) region with its renowned vineyards and wineries, as well as the châteaux of the Loire Valley. It has plenty of hotels, restaurants, and other services, and is a convenient base if you do not have your own vehicle and are traveling by train or bus.

A Bit of History

The foundation of Tours was in Roman times, as the city of Caesarodunum. A few centuries later, Tours became a pilgrimage center as the devout came to visit the tomb of St Martin.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, Tours was the de-facto capital of France as the kings used it as their base for the endless royal progresses through their possessions. The city got rich on royal bureaucracy and the manufacture of silk.

Hotels in Tours

Restaurants in Tours

What to See & Do

Tourist Information

Transport in Tours

Châteaux of the Loire

The Loire Valley

Loire Valley Transport



rue Bernard Palissy, Tours, France

The towers of the Cathédrale de Tours rise above old houses and the modern convention center.

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