The 10 must-see places of the Loire Valley
The château de Chenonceau which is located at the heart of the Loire Valley is one of the most beautiful representations of Renaissance architecture. Chenonceaux is perfectly located between the most important sites the Loire Valley.
Let’s visit the 10 essential châteaux situated between the River Loire and River Cher that hosted some of the best-known French Kings.
Château Royal d’Amboise
Before becoming a royal château for Charles VIII and then François I, Amboise was a medieval town, this is why this place is so original and charming. In the château you’ll find Gothic and Renaissance furniture, it will help you be in the Kings’ shoes and imagine how life in Court was. Amboise also welcomed several European artists like Leonardo da Vinci who organised large parties and ceremonies to entertain the King and his Court in the beautiful terraced gardens above the River Loire.
⇒ 14 km away from Chenonceaux
If you’re dreaming of walking in Leonardo da Vinci’s shoes, this is the place to be! The Italian genius had been invited in Amboise by François I spent the last years of his life inventing and painting things in the Clos Lucé for the King. Come and admire his models and works!
⇒ 14 km away from Chenonceaux
Château de Chambord
Chambord was actually built to be François I’s second home, in the beautiful forests of Sologne. Admire the magnificent spiral staircase that was imagined by Leonardo da Vinci and wander in the French gardens around the château or in the forest, you’ll be amazed by the architecture and the diversity of nature in Chambord.
⇒ 57 km away from Chenonceaux
Château de Blois
If you are eager to learn about the secrets of the French Court and about the life of 7 kings and 10 queens, the château de Blois is the right place for you! Come and explore this architectural treasure in the heart of the city: it is composed of several architectural styles that depict the evolution of the château along the centuries. The walls, ceilings and furniture are the witnesses of many legends and stories, go back in time in Blois!
⇒ 46 km away from Chenonceaux
Foulques Nerra built a fortress when he came to Loches. Like the château we can find in Langeais, it is composed of a medieval fortress and a château in gothic architecture. The fortress was turned into a prison for a while under the reign of Louis XI. The château was one of the favourite places of the Valois, Joan of Arc, Agnès Sorel or Anne de Bretagne: they stayed there at some point in their life. There is a panoramic view of the town at the top of the fortress too.
⇒ 27 km away from Chenonceaux
Château de Langeais
One of the oldest fortresses built by Foulques Nerra, the château de Langeais was first occupied by the count of Anjou and then the count of Blois. Louis XI transformed it into a pleasant château by adding gardens on one side.
⇒ 59 km away from Chenonceaux
Château d’Azay Le Rideau
A château on an island or on water, what a strange idea! Azay-le-Rideau was built under the reign of François I, it mixes Italian architecture and French traditions, and we can admire the reflection of the château on the water. You can then have a walk in the gardens to observe nature. The park and the rooftop were renovated in the last couple years.
⇒ 53 km away from Chenonceaux
Fortress de Chinon
This beautiful fortress offers a stunning view above the River Vienne, it is part of the châteaux of the Loire Valley. Come and trace back the history of this fortress which hosted Richard Lionheart, King of England and Joan of Arc. Enjoy an entertaining visit with your children!
⇒ 73 km away from Chenonceaux
Fortress de Montbazon
Foulques III Nerra built this fortress. Nowadays, you can discover it and various medieval crafts. You’ll be able to participate in workshops such as sculpture, weaving, calligraphy or archery.
⇒ 36 km away from Chenonceaux
Château et jardins de Villandry
This is the reference in terms of French gardens. François I wanted to outcompete Italy and its architecture, that’s why we have so many beautiful châteaux in the Loire Valley. Villandry is one of the latest châteaux built during the Renaissance period, it is well-known for its splendid gardens.
⇒ 52 km away from Chenonceaux