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Situated on the river Loire's lower reaches between the Atlantic coast and Orlans, Tours is the capital city of the Indre-et-Loire departement in France. Touraine, the region surrounding the city, is renowned for its wines, the Battle of Tours in 732 and for the perfection of its spoken French.
Tours is also called The Garden of France' and is famous for its parks, its mediaeval old city and its 15th century Flamboyante Gothic cathedral. Nowadays, with its widespread rail links to the rest of France, Tours is a starting point for tourists visiting the Loire Valley as well as the chateaux of the kings.
As the city is located on one of the main TGV lines, you can travel down to Bordeaux and the west coast (2 hours, 30 minutes), or via Avignon to the Mediterranean coast and farther on to Spain. It takes less than 1 hour by TGV high speed train from Tours to Paris, and 1 hour, 30 minutes to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
Tours Rail Station is equipt with adequate facilities for passengers such as ATMs, lavatories, newsagents and refreshment stands. A tourist office can be found in front of the station (three minutes' walk). Just outside the town centre lies St Pierre Des Corps Rail Station, where trains go through which do not terminate in Tours.
Both rail stations in Tours provide cheap car hire services, and vehicles can be reserved online beforehand to make hiring a car as convenient as possible.