France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Loire Châteaux Groups, France
The Loire Valley is big, so if you want to visit several châteaux, here are some suggestions on how to group them geographically.

Flowers, Chenoneau, France




You'd rather spend more time seeing châteaux and less time traveling to them, so here are some suggestions for getting quality and diversity in a relatively small area. (Here's a map.)

Each of these groupings would require several days, but they allow you to visit efficiently and see some of the best in one area.

Amboise, Clos Lucé, Chaumont, Chenonceau

The Château d'Amboise sits high on a bluff, overlooking the Loire and the charming town of Amboise. Its ramparts offer splendid views. In the same town, Clos Lucé is not known particularly as a château but is famous as the final home of Leonardo da Vinci. In addition to visiting the château and seeing models of many of his inventions, Clos Lucé includes a beautiful park. Chaumont also commands a dramatic location overlooking the Loire and has lovely gardens. And Chenonceau is one of the most famous and most visited of all the châteaux, with its graceful loge that spans the Cher River.

Blois, Cheverny, Chambord

Blois is one of the city centers of the Loire, and has a lovely royal chateau as well as numerous other sites to explore. Cheverny is known for its architecture, and also is home to close to 100 hunting hounds. Chambord is the largest of the châteaux of the Loire, and is famous for its spectacular double-helix staircase and wonderful roof. (And you might have noticed that a photo of Chambord is the logo for You might also include a visit to lesser-known Beauregard, particularly if you like historic portraits.

Azay-le-Rideau, L'Islette, Chinon, Langeais, Ussé, Villandry

These are all west/southwest of Tours. Azay-le-Rideau is an elegant Renaissance château right on the water, with beautiful furnishings. L'Islette is its smaller "sibling," just a few kilometers away. Chinon is largely exterior buildings in a beautiful open setting. Langeais 's château is often described as a feudal fortress. The small town of Langeais is charming as well. Ussé's reputation is based on its beauty, and because it is said to have been the model for Sleeping Beauty's castle. And Villandry is known for its spectacular gardens.

Châteaux of the Loire

Châteaux Map

How to Visit Châteaux

Sound and Light Shows

Tourist Information

Loire Valley Transport

Loire Valley

France homepage




Facade des Loges, Blois Château, France

Above, Façade des Loges, Château de Blois, France.

Below, Château de Cheverny, Loire Valley, France.

Château Cheverny, Loire, France

Fireplace, Château de Chaumont, France

Above, Fireplace, Château de Chaumont , France.

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