The area’s main city, Chartres, is famous for its magnificent cathedral, one of the earliest and finest gothic cathedrals in France. The middle of this region is characterised by the low-lying valleys of the river Loire and its tributaries. This area was very popular with the kings of France and their dukes and is rich with magnificent châteaux – notably the most famous of the â€˜Chateaux de la Loireâ€™ such as Chambord, Azay-le-Rideau, Blois or Chenonceaux. Between Orleans, Blois and Vierzon lies a vastÂ area of forest and heath land known as La Sologne, once the favoured hunting grounds of the nobility, and today popular with hunters, nature-lovers and hikers. The Loire valley is also characterised by a number of vineyards, producing mainly white wines, including the sparkling whites of Touraine and Vouvray. Among other famous vineyard areas are Pouilly-Fumé, Â Sancerre and ValenÃ§ay.