Although December marks the beginning of the winter season in France's gorgeous Loire Valley, it is still a pretty great month to pay a visit to this region. The days may be short and rather cloudy, but the opportunities to go for walks, visit amazing towns and explore the countryside on a bike remain as numerous as they were in summer.
What's The Weather Like In Loire Valley In December
December has the shortest days of any month. 21st December is the shortest day of the whole year with 8.29 hours of daylight. The other days this month aren't a whole lot longer. Combined with a cloud cover percentage that increases from 84% to 88%, the annual maximum, this means that the number of sunshine hours per day is quite limited. And indeed, we see that in December there are only 3 hours of sunshine per dayhe same number is also seen in November and January.
As cloud cover is at its highest, so is the chance of precipitation. Moderate rain is the most likely type of precipitation you will experience in Decembert occurs on 64% of the 15 days with precipitation. Light rain is observed on 16% of those days, drizzle on 11%. Snowfall is very rare, but may occasionally occur, on 3% of the days with precipitation. The total amount of precipitation is 56mm, which is exactly the same as in the previous two months.
December is the second coldest month of the year, after January. The average temperature is 4°C. Nights get cold, with average low temperatures dropping to 1°C. In the afternoon, the mercury reaches an average high of 7°C. These temperatures decrease slightly in the course of the month, toward the annual lowest temperatures, which are recorded at the end of December and the beginning of January.
If you're planning on paying a visit to this beautiful French region, dotted with historic towns and vineyards, make sure to take a close look at our always up-to-date weather forecast.
Loire Valley Hotels In December
Hôtel Le Parc Sologne
When visiting the Loire Valley in December, consider staying at the charming Hôtel Le Parc Sologne. Located in the heart of the Sologne, this three-star historic hotel is ideally located to explore this region of vineyards and castles. In addition to being a downright beautiful building, it also features a peaceful garden, a restaurant, bistro and lounge, free Wi-Fi, room service and a car park.
Hostellerie du Château de l'Isle
Also suggested is the Hostellerie du Château de l'Isle. Situated in the middle of a wooded park of 14 hectares, this charming three-star inn is made up of 12 bedrooms, all featuring different decorations. There's also a boules court, a restaurant, a lounge and free Wi-Fi. Important to note, though, is that this accommodation closes between 20th December and 20th January.
Domaine de Beauvois
Located just to the west of Tours, the fabulous four-star Domaine de Beauvois is a 140-hectare park with accommodations available in a striking manor house dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. The elegance and historic atmosphere of this hotel is breathtaking. Modern facilities are plentiful, too, and include free Wi-Fi, an outdoor pool, a restaurant and bar, an outdoor terrace, a wine cellar and a badminton court.
Bars And Restaurants
Chez Jules is a super-charming restaurant in the heart of Orléans. The chef uses fresh and locally sourced products and produce to prepare the dishes, while the sommelier can help you pick a wine that suits your meal.
Restaurant Auberge A la Tête de Lard
A typical dining venue in the Sologne, characterised by fireplaces and wooden beams, Restaurant Auberge A la Tête de Lard is situated in the tiny village of La FerteI-Imbault. Its menu consists of traditional cuisine and local specialties and features game in season.
For a more upscale restaurant, consider visiting Côté Jardin, located on the Loire River's left bank in Gien. This restaurant only has 6 tables, making it rather exclusive. It also boasts one Michelin star, which only adds to its status as a superb gourmet restaurant. This is an excellent dining venue, but if you want to visit, it is strongly recommended to book a table in advance.
Things To Do In Loire Valley In December
Château de Cheverny
Located in the town of Cheverny, the splendid Château de Cheverny is one of the most stunning in this castle-dotted region. This giant building is open to the public every day of the year. The basic entry tickets allow access into the château and to the gardens. If you pay a bit more, you can also go for boat rides and/or learn about the secrets of Marlinspike Hall. Comic book fans might recognize this château as the model for Hergé's Marlinspike Hall in the Adventures of Tintin books. This historic castle is nothing short of extraordinaryruly one of the greatest in the Loire Valley, which says everything you need to know. When visiting this region in December, absolutely make sure to stop by.
If the weather is too chilly for you to hit the network of hiking and cycling trails, you'll be pleased with the opportunity to visit one of the region's prettiest towns. Amboise is often said to be the most Italian of all towns in the Loire Valley, many of its buildings featuring Italian Renaissance elements and designs. This quaint and laidback town on the banks of the Loire River is home to a few amazing attractions, including the Royal Amboise Castle, the Chanteloup Pagoda and Clos-Lucé, which was the last home of Leonardo da Vinci.