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A Luxury Cave Dwelling

The soft stone of the Loire valley - tuffeau - has been quarried for many centuries to create buildings that shine white in the daylight and shimmer in the moonlight. The excavations left behind often became homes for poor local workers, but many became grand residencies, even housing Queen Marguerite d'Anjou, England's queen during the Wars of the Roses. One maze of caves, that hid the monks of Marmoutier Abbey in times of trouble, is now France's top luxury troglodyte hotel. But why not dig down? Near Saumur lie whole abandoned villages underground, overlooked only by the goats and sheep that now graze nearby.

 Visit Amboise as part of our Along the Leisurely Loire cycling holiday