This year, we are adding new fun to our tours, in order for you to better understand the region of the Loire Valley.
If there are 300 chateaus in the area, it is most certainly due to the abundance of the local limestone (called TUFA stone) and the ease of extraction of this stone from the ground, to build these magnificent buildings. The holes which were dug centuries ago have become exquisite places for mushroom growing due to stable temperature throughout the year, dark and damp conditions. That’s why 75% of the French “champignons de Paris” (French button mushrooms) actually come from the Touraine region!
We therefore believe it is essential for anyone willing to understand the region, that he/she discovers the reality from down under, and visit the largest cave of them all: 120 kilometers (70 miles) of underground caves over 7 floors belonging to one single family! Of course, the idea is not to run through the whole distance (there are over 350 miles of caves in total just in that town of Bourré!) but to grasp how they extracted the stone, how hard the labor was, and the whole logistics of it. And to taste some of the best mushrooms you’ve ever had (Shitake, Button mushrooms, “Pieds bleus” (only made here), etc) while pairing with local wines!
Here are some pictures of the caves you will visit. Can you believe that they have managed to create a whole village out of it, directly carved out of the tufa stone? They hired a professional sculptor who took 4 years to reproduce an entire city-centre of a village in the year 1914… the result is mind-blowing.
I hope you are as excited to visit this as I am to show you!