For Literary Fans: An Ode to Balzac: 4 kilometers (3 miles) east of Azay-le-Rideau (take D17), you can visit Saché, the hometown of Honoré de Balzac. Here he wrote The Lily of the Valley and declared that his affection for the Touraine was like "the love of the artist for his art." Of interest to fans is the Musée Balzac, in the 19th-century Château de Saché, Saché 37190 (tel. 02-47-26-86-50; The small château contains the writer's bedrooms, preserved as they were when he lived here. A collection of Balzac's notes, first editions, etchings, letters, and cartoons are on display, as is a copy of Rodin's sculpture of the writer. The castle and museum are open daily April 1 to 30 June 30, 10am to 6pm; July 1 to August 31, 10am to 7pm; Sept 1 to Sept. 30, 10am to 6pm; Oct 1 to March 31, 10am to 12:30pm and 2pm to 5pm (closed Tuesdays). Admission is 6€ for adults, 5€ for seniors and students, 5€ for children 7 to 18, and free for children 6 and under.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.