The Centre region of France
The region of Centre in France is made up of four former older provinces. These are Orleanais, Toulraine, Berry and part of Perche. The name has come under a lot of criticism as the government simply gave the name to the region based on its location on the map. Because so many historical provinces were going into the region, there really was not a more suitable historical name that fit the bill and so it became Centre. Despite this however, it is not exactly in the centre of the country but somewhat to the north of centre.
The main feature of the region is the Loire Valley and it has even proposed to change its name to Val de Loire which means the Vale of the Loire. While many people are in favour of such a change, and it is said that the change is needed to give the region some character, it has not yet officially been done. You do however frequently see the region described as Centre – Val de Loire.
The Loire Valley consists of beautiful verdant fields of rich farmland, which has a mild climate, a relaxed lifestyle and great wine. The Loire also has many tributaries. It is in this valley that the famous chateaux of the Loire Valley is found and this chateaux is probably the regions best and most famous tourist attraction.
The capital city of Centre is Orleans which is also popular with tourists. It is a great place to drink the wine of the region and really experience the relaxed and gentle pace of life in the Loire Valley.
As far as land area goes, the region is 39,151 kilometres squared and has a population of about two and a half million. This means that it is ranked ninth for population out of all of the French regions.
If you are considering visiting Centre, then there are many guidebooks available specifically on the region and they may be found under the title of the Loire Valley as well as under Centre.
Because of the mild climate, it is really a very good region to visit at any time of year, however, it is especially popular in the spring and summer when the full beauty of the valley can be experienced. You may also wish to try for a swim in the Loire if you are brave enough and the weather is on your side.