Miles Russell, 15, shoots 2-over 74 in PGA TOUR debut at Rocket Mortgage Classic

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Miles Russell set two goals for his PGA TOUR debut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic this week: Have fun and learn something.

Russell was not satisfied with the end result of his first round, a 2-over 74, but he’s well on his way to meeting both goals.

“Today was a great day," Russell said. "I mean, for it to be the first, definitely wasn't quite what I was hoping for, but we live, we learn, we move on. Looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully tomorrow's going to be better.”

The 15-year-old showed glimpses of the promise that has other TOUR pros raving about his potential. Standing just 5-foot-7 and weighing 120 pounds, Russell striped his tee shot 305 yards on his opening hole, the 10th. He stuffed a wedge to 20 inches on the third hole — Russell’s 12th hole of the day — and converted the short putt for his first PGA TOUR birdie.

Miles Russell throws a dart with wedge and taps in birdie at Rocket Mortgage

The round also included plenty of learning opportunities. Russell bogeyed the 10th after his long drive, misfiring with the approach shot. Russell flared a wedge into the left bunker, short-siding himself to the tucked left pin. He played his bunker shot to 18 feet and missed the par putt. Russell made 10 consecutive pars from there, a mix of impressive up-and-downs and narrowly missed birdie putts.

Russell’s biggest blunder came on par-4 sixth, the hardest hole on the course. Russell drove his ball into the trees on the right. He attempted to hit the hero shot, working the ball left-to-right and low under the trees, but could not get it out of the rough. His second attempt landed on the green but ran into the back rough, and Russell failed to get up and down from there, leading to a double-bogey.

It would’ve been understandable for Russell to sulk into the clubhouse from there, but the teenager bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 seventh, nearly hitting the green with his second shot and converting a routine up-and-down for another birdie. Russell almost added another birdie at 17 but missed a 10-foot putt and settled for par. That positive momentum was stifled with a three-putt bogey on the par-3 ninth, Russell’s last hole of the day.

“I learned a lot,” Russell said. “Especially when you don't play your best, but then watch Pierceson (Coody) and Rico (Hoey), I mean, they grind it out and they shot a couple under. It's like that could have very easily been what I did, just didn't quite make enough putts and made a few unforced errors.”

What's in Miles Russell's bag?

He has peers to look to as validation, as well. Russell is the latest in a run of phenoms on the PGA TOUR this year. Kris Kim and Blades Brown , both 16, made the cut at THE CJ CUP Byron Nelson and Myrtle Beach Classic, respectively.

Russell isn’t even the only young, talented phenom in the field. Amateurs Jackson Koivun, Luke Clanton and Ben James all received sponsor exemptions into the event. Koivun, the 19-year-old incoming Auburn sophomore and No. 2 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, shot even par. James, No. 3 in the WAGR, shot 2-under. Clanton, who helped Florida State reach the finals of the NCAA Championships and is fourth in the WAGR, shot 3-under.

Additionally, recently-turned-pro Neal Shipley shot 5-under 67. Shipley finished as the low amateur at the Masters and U.S. Open . He carded a top 10 in his professional debut last week on PGA TOUR Americas.

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We’ve seen Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift spend a bunch of time together in recent months … and then the Kansas City Chiefs tight end was at all three Eras Tour London shows and he even did a cameo on stage in one of them.

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Maybe it’s possible that he stayed in Europe to be there, but no word at the moment on what he’s up to. So, we’ll see!

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Journey To France

10 Best Things To Do In Tours, France

By: Author Christine Rogador

Posted on Published: August 14, 2021  - Last updated: February 20, 2023

Are you looking for the best things to do in Tours, France ?

The birthplace of Honoré de Balzac , one of France’s greatest authors , the city of Tours is the gateway to the Loire Valley . It was also once the base of the French government.

Planked by the rivers Cher and Loire, Tours is the largest city in the French region of Centre-Val de Loire. It offers sights and activities you cannot (and should not) say no to.

Things you'll find in this article

1. Be awed by Loire Valley’s famous chateaux in Tours

2. understand why tours is known as “le jardin de la france” , 3. visit cathédrale saint gatien de tours, 4. enjoy the medieval and local atmosphere at place plumereau, tours, 5. visit the past at the musée du compagnonnage, 6. pay homage to st. martin at the basilique saint martin, 7. stroll across pont wilson (wilson bridge), 8. meet the giant cedar tree at the musée des beaux-arts de tours, 9. buy flowers at marché aux fleurs (flower market), travel tips and resources.

THINGS TO DO IN TOURS FRANCE

Here are the best things to do and see in Tours, France

Chateau de Tours

If you’re visiting Tours, you simply can’t not be awed by the famous Loire Valley chateaux found in this city – Château de Tours, Château de La Branchoire, Château de Beaulieu, and Château de la Crouzillière, to name a few. 

These beautiful old chateaux should get you started. 

jardin des Prebendes

Dubbed the “Garden of France,” Tours is home to numerous parks located within the city. 

The Botanical Garden, which dates to the mid-19th century, is a nice place to visit especially if you have children. There are also some animals in the gardens which make it more interesting.

Jardins des Prébendes d’Oé, with its lake, big sequoia trees, a number of quiet spots to sit and rest, and a nice little café by the main gates, is a delightful park hidden away in the city. It’s worth finding it.

Parc Honoré de Balzac, named after the famous French author – Tours’ very own – is on a man-made island. It has a play area, an animal park, and a river if you want to practice canoeing. 

These are but a few of numerous parks and gardens that make Tours quite the “Garden of France.”

Cathedrale St-Gatien deTours

A must-visit when in Tours, Cathédrale Saint Gatien de Tours, also known as Tours Cathedral, is a magnificent building that’s beautiful inside and out. 

Hands down the best church in Tours, it was constructed in stages from 1170 to 1547, between the Gothic and Renaissance styles. It’s definitely one of the best you’ll ever see.

The garden next door also provides the perfect view of the church towers.

Place Plumereau

Place Plumereau is the heart of Old Tours. 

Situated in the center of the old quarters of the city, Place Plumereau’s main feature is the 15th-century half-timbered houses that make it such a perfect place to enjoy the medieval and local atmosphere.

The square is brimming with restaurants and cafés so you can admire the beautiful Romanesque and Renaissance façades while you sip your latte.

Musée du Compagnonnage is a small museum that showcases intricate crafts and exhibits so you can have a glimpse into how the trades developed in France. 

This is a must-see museum if you want to visit the past and pay tribute to forgotten craftsman and artisans who made masterpieces with their brains and bare hands. 

The trades museum is right at the end of the main shopping street so it’s very accessible.

Basilique Saint-Martin

A lovely church built over the tomb of St. Martin of Tours, Basilique Saint Martin has a very long history. 

The site itself dates back to the 5th century, when the first church was built. It was completely destroyed during the French Revolution in 1793. The present church was constructed between 1886 and 1924 in a neo-Byzantine style.

It is an interesting place to visit, a definite stop whether you’re a Catholic or not. A visit to the crypt downstairs is unmissable. Go see for yourself!

Wilson Bridge

Pont Wilson was built between 1765 and 1778, making it the oldest bridge in Tours. This historical monument is named in honor of Woodrow Wilson, 28th president of the United States and an ally of France during the First World War.

Pont Wilson was destroyed by a terrible flood but has been restored to its original state since. You can tell from the high water marks just how severe the floods were in the past centuries.

A stroll across this famous bridge provides some excellent views of the city skyline on either sides, as well as the charming riverside cafés. 

Garden at Musee des Beaux Arts in Tours France

… and while you’re there, go and check out the museum’s impressive collection of eclectic art! 

Also, say hi to the stuffed elephant in front of the museum.

The Museum of Fine Arts in Tours houses over 12,000 works – however, only a thousand are on public show. Still a good number, though.

The giant cedar of Lebanon, the stuffed elephant, and those fine artworks inside are all masterpieces surely not to be missed when in Tours.

If you’re like me who neither has the time nor the inclination to go on a trip to the local market, well, this is your chance for a market experience while on a holiday!

There is a large flower market in the streets of Tours twice a week – Wednesdays and Saturdays. 

A market that smells heavenly; what more can you ask for? Here they sell not just flowers but craft items as well, so you can also get some souvenirs while you shop for tulips and sunflowers.

And of course, photos are compulsory with all the colorful blooms around.

10. Sample the world-famous Loire Valley wines in Tours

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If you love fine wine , Tours is your piece of heaven on earth. The number of AOCs (“appellation d’origine contrôlée”/”controlled designation of origin”) in and around Tours is simply insane! 

The Loire Valley wine region is known for producing dry, white wines, as well as tannin-rich red wines.

So a trip to the Loire Valley without tasting its wines is committing a sin and definitely unheard of. So oenophile or not, go have a sip or two (or twenty-two) of Chenin Blanc!

Travel Insurance: I never leave home without travel insurance. My personal opinion is if you can afford to travel, you can afford to buy a travel insurance. All things can happen while on the road and you can never be too sure. And it's something that you'll be glad to have when you need it. For my preferred travel insurance, I use Safety Wing .

What To Wear: If you want some ideas on what to pack for France, check out this packing list guide for France .

Where To Stay: I personally use Booking.com for all my accommodations. Check out for their latest deals here .

Reading Resources: Check out our best reading resources here .

Christine Rogador in the Louvre

Hi, I’m Christine – a full-time traveler and career woman. Although I’m from the Philippines, my location independent career took me to over 40 countries and lived in 4 continents in the last 10 years, including France. A self-proclaimed Francophile, I love everything France.

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Pilgrim Deaths in Mecca Put Spotlight on Underbelly of Hajj Industry

More than 1,300 people died, and a Saudi official said most of them were not registered for the pilgrimage. That left them with little protection from the heat.

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By Emad Mekay and Vivian Nereim

Emad Mekay reported from Cairo and Vivian Nereim from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

More than 1,300 people died making the Islamic pilgrimage of hajj in Saudi Arabia this month, the vast majority of whom the Saudi government said did not have permits. Many walked for miles in scorching heat after paying thousands of dollars to illicit or fraudulent tour operators.

While pilgrims with permits are transported around the holy city of Mecca in air-conditioned buses and rest in air-conditioned tents, unregistered ones are often exposed to the elements. In recent days, as temperatures surpassed 120 degrees, some pilgrims described watching people faint and passing bodies in the street.

On Sunday, in an interview on state television, the Saudi health minister, Fahd al-Jalajel, said that 83 percent of the 1,301 reported deaths involved pilgrims who lacked permits.

“The rise in temperatures during the hajj season represented a big challenge this year,” he said. “Unfortunately — and this is painful for all of us — those who didn’t have hajj permits walked long distances under the sun.”

Mr. al-Jalajel’s remarks came after days of silence from the Saudi government over the fatalities during the hajj, an arduous and deeply spiritual ritual that Muslims are encouraged to perform once in their lifetimes if they are physically and financially able.

With nearly two million participating each year, it is not unusual for pilgrims to die from heat stress, illness or chronic disease. It is unclear if the number of deaths this year was higher than usual, because Saudi Arabia does not regularly report those statistics. Last year, 774 pilgrims died from Indonesia alone, and in 1985, more than 1,700 people died around the holy sites, most of them from heat stress, a study at the time found.

An aerial view of a vast complex of tents.

But because so many of those who died had no permits, this year’s toll exposed an underbelly of tour operators and smugglers around the world who profit off Muslims desperate to make the journey.

The deaths also laid bare what appeared to be a wide-scale failure of Saudi immigration and security procedures aimed at preventing unregistered pilgrims from reaching the holy sites, including a security cordon around Mecca that locks down weeks before hajj.

Despite those efforts, an estimated 400,000 undocumented people tried to perform the pilgrimage this year, a senior Saudi official told Agence France-Presse, speaking on the condition of anonymity. The hajj has also been the scene of several catastrophes over the years, including a stampede in 2015 that killed more than 2,200 people .

Saudi officials did not respond to requests for comment.

In interviews with The New York Times, however, hajj tour operators, pilgrims and relatives of the dead described easily exploited loopholes that allow people to travel to the kingdom with a tourist or visitor visa ahead of hajj, usually assisted by tour operators in their home countries. Once they arrive, they find a network of illegal brokers and smugglers who offer their services and sometimes abandon them to fend for themselves, they said.

The number of unregistered pilgrims appears to have been driven up this year by rising economic desperation in countries like Egypt and Jordan. An official hajj package can cost more than $5,000 or $10,000, depending on a pilgrim’s country of origin — beyond the means of many hoping to make the trip.

Marwa, a 32-year-old Egyptian woman whose parents performed hajj without an official permit this year, said that they had paid around $2,000 for their journey, facilitated by an agent in Egypt and a broker in Saudi Arabia. They felt that they had to go soon because, as Egypt’s currency loses value , their savings shrink every year, she said. Marwa asked to be identified only by her first name to avoid legal repercussions.

Several countries with large numbers of deceased pilgrims have moved quickly to contain the fallout.

On Friday, the president of Tunisia, which counted more than 50 pilgrims among the dead, fired the country’s religious affairs minister. In Jordan, which recorded the deaths of at least 99 pilgrims, the public prosecutor opened an investigation into illegal hajj routes. And in Egypt, the authorities said that they would revoke the licenses of 16 companies that issued visas to pilgrims without providing adequate services.

“There’s so much greed around this business,” said Iman Ahmed, a co-owner of El-Iman Tours in Cairo.

Ms. Ahmed said that she refused to send unregistered pilgrims on hajj packages but that other Egyptian tour operators and Saudi brokers made big money doing so.

One unregistered pilgrim who died was Safaa al-Tawab, a grandmother from the Egyptian city of Luxor, according to her brother, Ahmed al-Tawab. Ms. al-Tawab, 55, had not been able to obtain a hajj permit but found an Egyptian tour company to take her for around $3,000, he said.

Ms. al-Tawab did not realize that she was violating the rules when she traveled to Saudi Arabia, her brother said, and after she arrived, she told relatives that she had been put in inadequate housing and prevented from going outside. While the tour operator had promised air-conditioned buses to take the pilgrims around Mecca, she instead found herself walking for miles in the heat, Mr. al-Tawab said.

Before the hajj, the Saudi authorities posted billboards and sent a barrage of text messages reminding people that it is illegal to perform the pilgrimage without a permit; violators face fines, deportation and bans on re-entering the kingdom.

Entry to Mecca was barred weeks before hajj for visitors without permits. Yet many pilgrims were able to evade the restrictions, arriving in Mecca early and hiding out, or paying smugglers to ferry them into the city.

One Jordanian pilgrim, who asked to be identified only as Um Abdulrahman, a nickname, because she feared repercussions, said that she encountered several smugglers to help her move around Mecca, including one who charged around $200 to drive her into the city over a rocky mountain route. But she ended up walking for hours in the sun without access to water or bathrooms, she said.

At one point, the police briefly detained her group, wrote down their names and left them in the middle of nowhere, she said. Um Abdulrahman, 49, said she knew her journey was illegal, but that she had not fully grasped the risks.

Even for the young and fit, the hajj is a physically challenging event, and many pilgrims are elderly or ailing by the time they can make the journey. Some believe that the hajj might be their final rite, and that dying in Mecca will confer great blessings.

The Saudi government deploys measures to reduce the effects of extreme heat, including spraying pilgrims with mists of water. One recent study estimated that the incidence of heat stroke at hajj had actually declined — although the researchers warned that could shift as worsening heat caused by climate change outpaces measures to mitigate it.

Abdulhalim Dahir, 31, a Kenyan pilgrim who made the hajj with his brother and father using official permits, said that his journey was smooth, with air-conditioned tents, air-conditioned buses and easy access to water.

“It was an amazing experience — once in a lifetime,” he said.

But even some who were in Mecca legally complained about inadequate facilities for the heat.

Makhdoom Ali, 36, a Pakistani computer engineer who traveled there with his 65-year-old mother, said he had seen several pilgrims collapse from heat exhaustion with no immediate assistance available.

“Many lives could have been saved with better government arrangements,” Mr. Ali said.

Mr. al-Jalajel, the health minister, said that one quarter of the health services provided during hajj were rendered to undocumented pilgrims. “We look at them as a pilgrim, regardless of their permit, race or nationality,” he said.

Among the dead were at least two Americans.

Isatu Wurie, 65, and Alieu Wurie, 71 — Maryland residents — had saved for years to make the pilgrimage, paying $23,000 to a local tour operator, said their daughter, Saida Wurie.

But after they arrived in Mecca, the operator told them to stay in their hotel until permits were issued for them, they told their daughter. Her parents were frustrated because they had believed they were going “by the book,” Ms. Wurie said.

They were still able to perform some of the initial rituals of hajj, and they were “so excited to see the Kaaba,” she said — the cubic structure that Muslims believe was the first house of worship.

The last message she received from her mother said that a bus to take them to one of the sites had not arrived, and that they had been walking for two hours instead.

Despite her frustration at the tour operator, as well as the difficulty of locating their bodies — buried in Mecca — Ms. Wurie believes her parents were filled with joy in their final days.

“They died doing exactly what they wanted to do,” she said. “They’ve always wanted to make it to hajj.”

Hager ElHakeem, Rana F. Sweis , Zia ur-Rehman , Saif Hasnat , Mujib Mashal , Safak Timur , Aida Alami and Muktita Suhartono contributed reporting.

Vivian Nereim is the lead reporter for The Times covering the countries of the Arabian Peninsula. She is based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. More about Vivian Nereim

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(L-R) Taylor Swift, Adam Clayton, Bono, The Edge and Larry Mullen Jr.

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The Fortnight singer took to social media to share an image signed by Bono , The Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr.

“Already feeling that Irish hospitality,” Swift shared on her Instagram Stories alongside a photo of the flowers she received from the band. “U2, thanks for always being the classiest & coolest.”

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Home » Travel Guides » France » 15 Best Things to Do in Tours (France)

15 Best Things to Do in Tours (France)

It’s no mystery that Tours is a favourite base for people discovering the Loire Valley’s exalted châteaux.

Villandry, Chenonceau and Amboise are moments by car, and with the help of the Loire à Vélo network you can visit them on two wheels with ease.

But you may find that if you delve a little more into Tours’ history and attractions, it could be difficult to leave the city at all.

In the centre are timber houses and renaissance mansions on car-free streets, and museums that draw you into the city’s medieval past.

There are vineyards welcoming inquisitive oenophiles in the countryside and both the waters and banks of the Loire invite you to go wherever your sense of curiosity leads.

Lets explore the best things to do in Tours :

1. Tours Cathedral

Tours Cathedral

Even by the glacial speed of construction in the middle ages, Tours Cathedral took a long time to be completed.

Building began in 1170 and wouldn’t be finished until 1547, but this means we’re met with a perfect summary of the evolution of gothic art.

The ensemble of original 13th-century stained glass windows in the ambulatory chapels and above the choir is one of the finest in France, and seems to generate its own light.

The cathedral has information panels giving you the meaning behind each image.

The marble renaissance tombs of King Charles VIII and Anne of Brittany’s children are also moving, as both died in infancy.

2. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours

The riches from Cardinal Richelieu’s 17th-century campaign against the Huguenots and the art seized from abbeys during the Revolution all ended up at Tours’ stellar museum of fine art.

Because of their religious source there’s a good body of Italian gothic primitives from the 14th and 15th centuries, while the two renaissance paintings by Andrea Mentegna are regarded as masterpieces.

You’ve got over a thousand artworks to get through, with sculpture by Rodin, Flemish and Dutch painting by Rembrandt and Rubens, and Impressionism by Monet and Degas.

3. Tours Botanical Garden

Tours Botanical Garden

The city’s municipal garden has a bit of a troublesome setting, between the Loire and Cher, which made it susceptible to flooding in the past, with two devastating inundations in the mid-19th century that filled the greenhouses with two metres of water.

Even after being hit by bombs in the Second World War there isn’t the slightest hint of a troubled past at these serene gardens.

On your walk you may notice some trees you haven’t seen before, like the Chinese empress tree, ginkgo biloba and the endangered dawn redwood.

The animal park is from 1863 and has farm animals for kids to bond with, as well as more exotic species like wallabies.

4. Le Vieux Tours

Place de Plumereau

Like all the best historic city centres the historic buildings on the pedestrian streets around Place Plumereau aren’t sterile museum pieces but vibrant cornerstones of local life, used as shops, restaurants and bars.

Place de Plumereau is at the nerve centre of one of the largest conservation areas in Europe, with renaissance mansions boasting sculpted reliefs or cantilevered timber houses, going strong for hundreds of years.

If you’re OK with everybody knowing you’re a tourist, jump aboard the little train that departs every hour from Place Plumereau in summer.

5. Musée du Compagnonnage

Abbey of Saint-Julien

In the 16th-century Dormitory at the former Abbey of Saint-Julien is a museum devoted to a French workers’ movement that dates back to medieval times.

Roughly, the Compagnons du Tour de France is like a guild of journeymen that preserves historic trades and educates young people about them as part of an apprenticeship.

To complete the apprenticeship and become a “companion” a craftsman had to create a masterpiece for whatever discipline he worked in.

And these dumbfounding creations are presented at the museum, in all kinds of different disciplines, like metalwork, tailoring, shoemaking and woodcarving.

6. Hôtel Goüin

Hôtel Goüin

What may be the most beautiful of Tours’ many old building has just come through a long restoration and is open to the public once more.

Hôtel Goüin is an early-renaissance palace on Rue du Commerce, with a balustraded porch and the sort of loggia in which you might expect to see Juliet calling for Romeo.

During the restoration they unearthed fragments of an older building from the 1100s, with four arches and a well, which are on show.

You might just want to stop for a photo of that magnificent facade, but there’s an archaeological museum inside with artefacts from Roman times up to the 1800s.

7. Halles de Tours

Halles de Tours

Billed as the “Belly of Tours” (ventre de Tours), the city’s indoor market may not be France’s largest, but it’s a gastronome’s idea of heaven.

You may even want to bring your camera or have your phone at the ready, because the cheese, charcuterie, seafood and in-season fruit and vegetable counters are presented with real flair.

If you’re stuck for gift ideas then markets like this tick the box as they’re stocked with all the best from the region.

At Tours that entails wine from the Loire Valley and luxury chocolate.

The city is one of France’s chocolate capitals, and every years holds the Salon du Chocolat de Tours at the Centre de Congrès Vinci.

Come for lunch too: The oyster bar shucks your oyster as you go.

8. Jardin des Prébendes d’Oé

Jardin des Prébendes d'Oé

During the French Second Empire from the mid-1800s English-style parks like this one popped up in provincial cities across France.

This was a spot for urban families to take promenades, kids to play and for the city to put on outdoor concerts at the park’s gazebo.

There’s less of the formality of French parterres, as paths weave through tulip flowerbeds and  copses of lime, plane, cedar, chestnut and lofty redwood trees.

So if you could do with a moment of repose take a wander by the pond and pause for a tea or coffee at the kiosk.

On warmer days you could load up on cheese and charcuterie at the market and have the perfect French picnic.

9. Église Saint-Julien de Tours

Église Saint-Julien de Tours

The predecessors of this  12th-century abbey were wrecked by the Normans in the 9th century and then in a war between the feudal houses of Blois and Anjou in the 10th century.

But miraculously the building that followed has survived everything from the French Revolution to the Second World War.

It was part of a long-gone abbey, and the garden next to the church is where the cloister used to be, while the Musée de Compagnonnage occupies the old dormitory.

10. “Toue” River Cruises

Toue River cruises

Commercial craft floated along the Loire and Cher since antiquity, hauling people, wine, silk, lumber, salt and all sorts of other cargo up and down these rivers.

Because the waterways can get very shallow they used flat-bottomed sailboats called “toues”, and you can too! Toues can carry between 12 and 30 passengers for hour-long trips, or even romantic dinner cruises in the evening.

Their skippers know these waters and banks like the backs of their hands: And with the deck as your balcony, they’ll shed light on the Tours’ river trade, its many colourful characters and perils.

11. Loire à Vélo

Loire à Vélo

If you had to picture some quintessentially French holiday activities, a bike ride next to the Loire with a backdrop of gentle vine-striped hills and châteaux must be one of the first that comes to mind.

About 150km of the of the Loire à Vélo cycle trail’s totalling 800km are in the Touraine region.

The route is clearly-marked, easy -going because it never leaves the riverside and convenient as there are dozens of hire stations along the way.

You could give yourself set destinations like Amboise or Villandry, which are both reachable in about an hour.

Or make more of an adventure of it by going further afield and spending the night at the inns on the route that are happy to accommodate cyclists.

12. Guinguette sur Loire

Guinguette sur Loire

On the left bank of the Loire, just by Pont Wilson, is where Tours’ “Guinguette” takes place from May to September.

It isn’t officially summer in Tours until this outdoor café by the river is bustling every evening with locals and tourists at the bar terrace, taking part in dance lessons, enjoying concerts or watching movies at the outdoor cinema.

Tours is a student city so the atmosphere is always warm and energetic.

The location is wonderful, under willow trees and string lights, with the river rolling past.

And every year there Guinguette has something new on the schedule.

13. Wine and Gastronmic Visits

Touraine Sauvignon

If you’re a wine-lover you’ve come to the right place.

There’s an absurd amount of AOCs nearby: A dozen within an hour, and five bordering the city.

The diversity will make your head spin more than the wine itself, with the reds of Touraine-Chenonceau, the whites of Touraine Sauvignon and rosés made in Touraine noble joué.

When it comes to precious foodstuffs there’s a saffron market in Preuilly-sur-Claise and a seasonal truffle market at Marigny-Marmande.

The local cheese, Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine is known to all for its cylindrical shape and the straw that pierces it through the centre.

To know more, pay a visit to the dairy at Les Passerelles or the child-friendly goat farm, Cabri au Lait, which makes Sainte-Maure but also has a petting zoo for the little guys and girls.

14. Château de Villandry

Château de Villandry

It would be criminal to visit Tours and not call in at one of the abundant château in the region.

Tours is touted as a gateway for these sensational pieces of French royal or noble heritage.

You can reach Villandry in 20 minutes, and it’s one of the finest.

The gardens are the showstopper at this château.

They were restored at the turn of the century by the Spanish doctor Joachim Carvallo.

He conceived several terraces of renaissance gardens, all with precisely trimmed boxwood hedges in joyous geometric configurations.

There’s a water garden, labyrinth, sun garden, ornamental garden with high hedges, but the most astounding is the formal medieval kitchen garden, all in neat plots.

15. Château d’Amboise

Château d'Amboise

The home of Francis I and most of the French royalty in the 16th century is a 20-minute car or train ride to the east.

The château had its heyday in the renaissance period after Charles VIII turned it from a fortress into the Loire valley’s first Italian-style palace in the late-1400s.

In 1516 Francis I invited Leonardo da Vinci to live and work in Amboise, and the polymath’s home at Clos Lucé was actually connected to the Château d’Amboise by underground passageways that you can discover today by prior arrangement.

Da Vinci died here in 1519 and is buried at the Chapel of Saint-Hubert at the Château.

The gardens are embellished with spherical topiaries and the views from this spur above the Loire are divine.

15 Best Things to Do in Tours (France):

  • Tours Cathedral
  • Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours
  • Tours Botanical Garden
  • Le Vieux Tours
  • Musée du Compagnonnage
  • Hôtel Goüin
  • Halles de Tours
  • Jardin des Prébendes d'Oé
  • Église Saint-Julien de Tours
  • "Toue" River Cruises
  • Loire à Vélo
  • Guinguette sur Loire
  • Wine and Gastronmic Visits
  • Château de Villandry
  • Château d'Amboise

Considering a guided tour in 2024? Here are the biggest trends to know before you book

What’s on the horizon for guided tours in 2024? A lot, it turns out. Travel as a whole has been on the upswing for a few years now, but this year looks to be one of the busiest and most exciting yet for guided tours. 

I’ve asked tour companies and the USTOA (United States Tour Operators Association) for their predictions, trends, and advice for the year ahead. Here are the biggest tour industry trends to consider as you plan your 2024 travels.

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1. More solo travelers are joining tours than ever before

Solo travelers, you’re in good company. Tour companies are reporting a significant increase in solo travelers on tours. In fact, Road Scholar recently did a deep dive into the solo travel trend , and according to the report, up to 30% of its tour participants are solo travelers. Among those solo travelers, 85% are women. EF Go Ahead Tours has seen a similar rise, with 83% more solo travelers at the end of 2023 compared to the year before.

SOLO TRAVEL TOGETHER: 10 best tour companies for solo travel

It turns out that solo travelers often have spouses or partners at home but still yearn to see the world even if their significant other doesn’t. Solo tour travelers report loving the independence, how easy it is to make friends on tours, and the chance to spend time the way they want to.

2. The desire for sustainable travel is growing, too

The USTOA has been tracking the number of tour companies with formal documented sustainability strategies, and says that there’s been “substantial growth” in the number of companies that have developed plans this year. 

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I’ve also noticed a heartening shift toward tour companies thinking about their role in sustainability as I’ve been updating our tour company reviews for 2024. Pretty much across the board, tour operators are dialing up their efforts to support cultural and environmental preservation efforts. 

This takes many forms: reducing or eliminating single-use plastics, supporting local economies through artisanal goods and tourism, offsetting carbon emissions, working with wildlife protection projects, and more.

3. The shoulder season travel trend is real

Whether you’re an independent traveler or going on a tour, there are a lot of benefits to traveling outside of peak seasons. In 2023, EF Go Ahead Tours saw a rise in the number of travelers on shoulder-season departure dates (October through April in Europe, for instance), and the company expects that trend to keep growing in 2024. 

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During its Black Friday sale, it reported that April was the top booking month for tours. Backroads has also seen a shift to more people booking earlier in spring and later in fall to avoid the crowds, heat, and higher summer prices. The trend is so pronounced that the tour company has added more departure dates to the 2024 shoulder season.

4. People are booking earlier than ever

When I spoke with a representative from Backroads near the end of 2023, the company reported that nearly 40% of its 2024 spots were already booked. Curious to see if other tour operators are seeing similar trends, I asked around. Road Scholar said that for 2024, it’s seeing a continuation of the early booking trend compared to pre-COVID, with an average booking time of 238 days before the start of a tour. And Avalon Waterways reports it’s seeing its highest early bookings in history for 2024, with several cruises already nearing capacity or sold out for the year.

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5. More trends to watch in 2024

Here are a few more trends that have come up frequently in my research about what to expect on tours the year: 

  • Destinations: Far-flung destinations are looking increasingly popular. Across the board, bookings are up for 2024 tours to far-away spots including Thailand, Japan, and Norway.
  • Experiences: Immersive experiences like gastronomy tours , hut-to-hut hiking , and pilgrimage routes such as Spain and Portugal’s Camino de Santiago have renewed appeal as travelers look for unique vacations.
  • Private tours: This is an interesting one because after a big surge in 2021 in tour companies offering private tours , a few tour companies have retired the private tour option. However, in 2024, some tour operators are doubling down on private tour offerings, saying that more and more people are drawn to the relative affordability of being able to create their own tour group.

Considering a guided tour in 2024? Here are the biggest trends to know about before you book originally appeared on TourScoop.com .

More from TourScoop:

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  • 8 best senior travel tour companies in 2024
  • 10 best tour companies for family tours in 2024

The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY. FamilyVacationist.com and TourScoop.com are owned and operated by Vacationist Media LLC. Using the FamilyVacationist travel recommendation methodology , we review and select family vacation ideas , family vacation spots , all-inclusive family resorts , and classic family vacations for all ages. TourScoop covers guided group tours and tour operators , tour operator reviews , tour itinerary reviews and travel gear recommendations .

  • SI SWIMSUIT

2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic Final Payouts, Prize Money, Winnings From PGA Tour Event in Detroit

Jeff ritter | 6 hours ago.

Rickie Fowler is the defending champion this week at the Rocket Mortgage Classic.

The PGA Tour swings through Detroit this week for its annual Rocket Mortgage Classic. It's offering a $9.2 million purse with $1.656 million to the winner. Detroit Golf Club, which was established in 1899, is hosting the event for the sixth time.

After a three-week run of two signature events sandwiched around the U.S. Open, the field in Detroit is relatively thin, but the purse is still a $400,000 bump from the 2023 edition. Three players in the current top 30 in the Official World Golf Ranking headline this year's field: No. 16 Tom Kim, No. 23 Cameron Young and No. 29 Akshay Bhatia. Rickie Fowler, currently 50th in the OWGR, is in the field and the defending champion.

Here are the final payouts for the 2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic

2024 Rocket Mortgage Classic Final Payouts

1 - $1,656,000

2 - $1,002,800

3 - $634,800

4 - $450,800

5 - $377,200

6 - $333,500

7 - $310,500

8 - $287,500

9 - $269,100

10-  $250,700

11 -$232,300

12 - $213,900

13 - $195,500

14 - $177,100

15 - $167,900

16 - $158,700

17 - $149,500

18 - $140,300

19 - $131,100

20 - $121,900

21 - $112,700

22 - $103,500

23 - $96,140

24 - $88,780

25 - $81,420

26 - $74,060

27 - $71,300

28 - $68,540

29 - $65,780

30 - $63,020

31 - $60,260

32 - $57,500

33 - $54,740

34 - $52,440

35 - $50,140

36 - $47,840

37 - $45,540

38 - $43,700

39 - $41,860

40 - $40,020

41 - $38,180

42 - $36,340

43 - $34,500

44 - $32,660

45 - $30,820

46 - $28,980

47 - $27,140

48 - $25,668

49 - $24,380

50 - $23,644

51 - $23,092

52 - $22,540

53 - $22,172

54 - $21,804

55 - $21,620

56 - $21,436

57 - $21,252

58 - $21,068

59 - $20,884

60 - $20,700

61 - $20,516

62 - $20,332

63 - $20,148

64 - $19,964

65 - $19,780

Jeff Ritter

JEFF RITTER

Jeff Ritter is the Managing Director of SI Golf. He spent more than a decade at Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine, and in 2020 joined Morning Read to help spark its growth and eventual acquisition by Sports Illustrated in 2022. He's a member of the Golf Writers' Association of America (GWAA) and has covered more than 25 major championships. He helped launch SI Golf Plus Digital, Golf Magazine’s first original, weekly e-magazine, and served as its top editor. He also launched Golf's “Films” division, the magazine’s first long-form video storytelling franchise, and his debut documentary received an Edward R. Murrow Award for sports reporting. His writing has earned first-place awards from the Society of American Travel Writers, the MIN Magazine Awards, and the Golf Writers Association of America, among others. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and a master’s from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. A native Michigander, he remains a diehard Wolverine fan and will defend Jim Harbaugh until the bitter end.

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Most Amazing Family Vacation Ever! The 7-day private tour of the Southwest National Parks (hotel version) Hard to put into words but this was the perfect way for our family to experience the dramatic sites and cultural experiences of the southwest National Parks! We had the most amazing tour guide (Thanks Marie!) and the agenda was the right balance of keeping us engaged while covering so much ground. Each National Park had its own unique and wonderful qualities and this 7-day tour gave us just enough time to soak up the natural beauty. Also, there are hikes and tours for all ages (we let the boys take on the more difficult hikes while Mom and Dad took the more accessible routes. The pick up and drop off in Las Vegas was very convenient and allowed us just enough time to enjoy a few nights in Las Vegas. Would HIGHLY recommend!
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solosophie

A Guide to the Best Things to do in Tours, Loire Valley

Last Updated on 13th March 2023 by Sophie Nadeau

This post may contain affiliate links. Please check out my  privacy policy  and  disclosure  for more information.

Nestled in the heart of the Loire valley, a region of France well known for its many historic châteaux, the town of Tours has kept many vestiges of its medieval past. Here’s a guide to the best things to do in Tours , as well as what to know before you go.

things to do in tours france

What is Tours known for?

Tours cathedral, château de tours, musée des beaux arts de tours, relax in the park prébendes d’oé garden, enjoy the cherry blossom, harry potter store (les trois sorciers), musée du compagnonnage, walk along the river loire , take a boat ride , flood level, get a drink at place plumereau , charlemagne tower , clock tower, basilica , christmas market, take a day trip to amboise, take a day trip to the loire valley château, boll n roll, where to stay in tours.

Tours is a city located in the Loire Valley region of central France, known for its rich history, architecture, and cultural attractions. Among them are the Château de Tours and the Cathedral of Saint Gatien.

The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours is another notable attraction, featuring a collection of over 12,000 works of art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

The city also boasts the picturesque Place Plumereau, a popular spot for dining and socialising surrounded by medieval half-timbered buildings, and Les Halles de Tours, a bustling indoor market.

Tours is also known as the gateway to the Loire Valley, home to numerous historic châteaux, including Château de Chenonceau, Château de Chambord , and Château de Villandry, making it a popular destination for history, culture, and food enthusiasts. For more inspiration, check out our suggested Loire Valley itinerary .

a guide to the best things to do in tours france

Things to do in Tours

Truth be told, one of the best things to do in Tours is to stroll around the old town, which is characterised by its little lanes and timber-framed architecture.

Old Tours makes up the streets surrounding Place Plumereau. Largely pedestrianised, the little cobbled lanes are perfect for snapping stunning medieval-esque photos.

old tours france

Widely regarded to be one of the most beautiful cathedrals in France , Tours Cathedral is officially known as Cathédrale Saint-Gatien and was constructed between the 12th and 16th-centuries.

Today, highlights of the Gothic ecclesiastical building include original 13th-century stained glass windows and several ornate stone-carved tombs of the children of Anne of Brittany.

tours cathedral

As is the case with many medieval towns, Tours boasts its own Château with roots dating back to the Middle Ages. The Château de Tours was constructed in the 11th-century and was once home to the  Lords of France. Today, the castle can be visited for a small fee.

chateau de tours

Those who wish to enjoy some of the finest paintings held in the Loire Valley need to look no further than the Museum of Fine Arts. Highlights of the art museum, which is set against the backdrop of the bishop’s former palace, include fine Italian paintings and two paintings by Andrea Mantegna.

One of the most beautiful places to visit in Tours is the park of Prébendes d’Oé, which is a beautiful green space that is centred around a central lake teeming with ducks. When the weather is warm, it’s a great spot to people watch and sit on a bench in the sunshine.

If you happen to be visiting Tours in the summertime, then one of the best places to soak up some summer sunshine is at Guinguette Tours (official name Guinguette de Tours sur Loire), which is an open-air terrace along the banks of the River Loire from the late Spring to early Autumn.

guinguette tours

It may surprise many, but Tours is actually a fantastic place to enjoy gorgeous cherry blossoms during the springtime. The best places to enjoy cherry blossom in Tours is along rue Constantine, on the adjacent rue du commerce, and around the train station.

Please note that the pink cherry blossom around the train station is slightly later blooming than that in the centre of town, which tends to bloom in the last couple of weeks of March. If you visit during the last week of March then you will be sure to see at least a few trees in bloom!

tours cherry blossom

One of the more unusual shopping experiences to have in Tours is to head to the wizarding store along  Rue du Commerce. Head in at any given moment and you’ll soon find a wide selection of magical collectibles and clothing inspired by the Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter store (Les Trois sorciers)

Set against the backdrop of a former abbey dedicated to Saint-Julien, yet another museum in Tours which is worth checking out is the Musée du Compagnonnage, which is all about trade-guild history.

One of the most famous rivers in France is the Loire, and this is what gives the area its name. As well as being the 171st longest river in the world, the Loire is the longest river in France and the 3rd longest in Europe.

walk along the river in tours

One of the most gentle and relaxing ways to get a different view of the Loire Valley is by taking a boat ride along the River Loire. One agency that proposes tours down the river in a flat-bottomed wooden river boat is the Boutavant Association. Find more details here.

If you’re looking for a unique hidden gem of Tours that’s a little off the beaten path, then you can head to the flood level marker that lies along the banks of the River Loire. The marker details all recent flooding levels, as well as more historic ones.

flood level marker

The very beating heart of Tours is Place Plumereau, which is a big open square with sprawling cafés, restaurants, and eateries. While the brasseries on the square are not of the best quality, it’s one of the best spots in the city to grab a drink and people watch when the sun is shining.

Get a drink at Place Plumereau 

One of the more historic buildings you’ll see when wandering around town is the Charlemagne Tower. This is known as the tower of Charles the Great in English and is now all that remains of the original Basilica of St. Martin of Tours. Local legend suggests that it was in this basilica or close by that Charlemagne interred his wife.

Charlemagne Tower 

Known as the Tour de l’Horloge in French, the clock tower is situated in the vieux-ville portion of Tours and dates back to the 11th-century, though much of what you see today was added in the 16th-century.

clock tower tours

Tours Cathedral is not the only important ecclesiastical building in Tours. There is also the Basilica of Saint Martin (known as the Basilique Saint Martin in French) which was constructed to replace an earlier one of which the Charlemagne Tower is the only remaining remnant. Today, a visit to the interior of Basilica is free and open every day of the week.

Basilique Saint-Martin de Tours

Visitors who frequent the ancient settlement during the winter will soon discover the Tours Christmas Market, which takes place on an annual basis. For more inspiration, be sure to check out our Tours Christmas Market guide .

Tours Christmas Market in the daytime

Tours is the gateway city to the Loire Valley, making it a great place to base yourself from which to explore the wider region. One of the most delightful towns near Tours is Amboise, which is where there’s a wonderful château and medieval town.

Enjoy the view from Île d’or 

Of course, history buffs will be well aware that the Loire Valley is best-known for its amazing Châteaux. Some of the most famous Châteaux in the region are Château de Chambord and Château de Chenonceau.

The easiest way to get to the Loire Valley Châteaux is by car as many of the castles are not served by public transport. Alternatively, if you want all of the transportation details taken care of for you, then you can book a guided tour like this one.

Visiting Château de Chambord; Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci: Chateau de Chambord is the largest castle in the Loire Valley. 16th-century French Renaissance/ Gothic/ Medieval architecture.

Where to eat 

In the French countryside outside of Paris, it can be hard to find vegetarian options and any vegan offerings are even harder to find still. One particular favourite of mine when it comes to somewhat healthy fast food in Tours is Boll n Roll, where there are several meat-free options on the menu.

Thanks to its fairly large size and popularity, there are a number of different places to stay in Tours to suit almost any budget and taste. Here are some of the best places to stay in Tours based on web-reviews and location:

Budget: One of the most affordable and yet cosy places to stay in Tours is The People. This chic hostel offers private rooms as well as mixed-gender and female-only dorms. There’s a bar onsite with a terrace. Check prices and availability here.

Mid-range: Those in search of an affordable luxury option when it comes to staying in Tours can check out this cosy little hotel. Amenities include air conditioned rooms, free Wi-Fi, and a fairly central location. Check prices and availability here.

Luxury: For the ultimate luxury experience during your time in Tours, consider booking yourself a stay at this four-star hotel. Highlights include a pool and spa, as well as a fitness centre. Check prices and availability here.

Enjoyed reading about the best things to do in Tours? Pin this article now, read it again later:

tours loire valley france/ Guide to the Best Things to do in Tours france travel guide to europe

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!

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Meaning of tour in English

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  • break-journey
  • circumnavigation

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

  • She spent three months touring her empire .
  • The prime minister toured the flooded regions .
  • I spent a month touring round Europe .
  • around Robin Hood's barn idiom
  • baggage drop
  • communication
  • first class
  • peripatetically
  • public transportation
  • super-commuting

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Tour | intermediate english, tour | business english, examples of tour, collocations with tour.

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IN TOURS PORTUGAL   is a Destination Management Company  (DMC) for Portugal, Madeira and Azores. We are renowned for creating, for more than two decades, original, unique and fascinating programmes with guaranteed success.

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Born from its founder’s inspiration whose roots came from his family traditions in hotel business, our company’s reputation was built on the passion for designing unique and innovative programs and for offering a distinguished organization, always aiming to find the best solution for our clients.

As a result of our wide experience in welcoming thousands of travellers coming from all over the world, we have all the skills to make your trip to Portugal a perfect destination, which will delight your clients.

For Tour Operators, Travel Agencies or Incentives Houses, we are the right incoming travel agency in Portugal to design and operate programs that will surprise your customers, in a country that has been very popular for its cultural diversity, gastronomy, rich cultural heritage, authentic hospitality and mild climate.

We have an exceptional multi-lingual team that will provide you with a completely customized service for all kinds of trips – from cultural tours to sun and seaside stay packages, simple weekends in Lisbon or Porto, Douro cruises full of glamour or exceptional theme trips.

With a specialized department dedicated to incentives and seminars, we guarantee exclusive and original solutions and a highly professional support that will exceed your expectations. For school trips to Portugal, our wide expertise and constant research will bring you the right solution to impress the most demanding student group.

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