Centre Region Description
Although Centre is the name used administratively, the region is commonly called Central Loire, Val de Loire, Loire Valley or simply, 'the Heart of France'. France's longest river (1,020km / 628 miles), the Loire flows from its source in the mountains south of Saint-Etienne to the Atlantic and defines the region's identity. It has always been very wealthy thanks to the fertility of the land. The river is considered to be the dividing line between the cold north and warmer south and the region itself is temperate despite how north it is.
A Land With Many Assets
The Loire valley is a land of impressive chateaux, hunting lodges and cathedrals and is often visited by those with an interest in Medieval and Renaissance architecture. It is also a perfect place to walk and to cycle; the flat countryside by the river is ideal for those on bikes and to simply spend lazy days picnicking by the water's edge. There are plenty of lakes and smaller rivers and the fertile landscape is covered with lush woodland, orchards, and fields of maize and sunflowers.
A Popular Area
With its impressive architectural heritage and lovely outdoor scenery it is very popular with second home owners and tourists. It is also popular with more and more permanent newcomers looking for a good quality of life. Although the countryside is very peaceful, there are many large communes such as the lovely towns of Chartres, Chateauroux, Blois and Montargis, and you are never far from good facilities including excellent hospitals, schools and universities. The northernmost areas are also very close to Paris, so it is ideal for those working for foreign companies based in the capital who also wish a rural home-life. Paris is easily accessible through motorways and the region is only an hour or two's commute from the city centre.
A Prosperous Economy
Centre is an ideal place for those starting up a business, it has the close proximity to Paris yet significantly lower production and labour costs. A regional focus on education has resulted in a very well-educated and well-trained labour force. Many pharmaceutical companies have invested here in recent years and local authorities support investment in small and medium-sized companies. Agriculture is important to the economy and other than the wine grapes, the main crops are red onions, sunflowers, cucumbers, leeks and almost half France's beetroots.
Centre Region Population
- Population: 2,440,329
- Pop.density (people per km2): 62