France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   How to Visit Loire Châteaux, France
There are many ways to enjoy the Châteaux of the Loire, and here are some tips to help you plan your visit.




Once you've decided which châteaux to visit, you may wonder what the visit will be like.

Usually you have several options:

Self-Guided Visit

Most châteaux provide a free brochure that walks you through the château and provides basic information about the history and what you are seeing in the various rooms. You could also supplement this with a guidebook or other reference. You visit at your own pace and spend time on the parts that interest you the most.

Audio Tour

Most châteaux also will rent you audio guides, which are available in a variety of languages. These guides will walk you through the château and provide more detailed descriptions than the brochure. Although you again go at your own pace, the guide focuses on certain aspects. Some châteaux also offer special audio guides for children. Most charge about 3 to 5 € for renting audio guides.

Guided Tour

Some châteaux offer guided tours. Although these are often in French, during the summer in particular there will often be tours in English or other languages, usually scheduled at specific times. In some cases these are included with admission, while in others you will pay an extra fee (particularly if the tour is in a language other than French). You'll get a lot of information, but you need to go at the pace of the group.

Special Visits

Some châteaux have special exhibitions, such as photography, from time to time, that are included with your general admission. Other sites may have special offerings that cost extra.

For example, the Château de Chaumont hosts an international garden festival, for which there is an extra charge. The Château d'Amboise offers small group tours of the underground passageways and towers at certain times during the summer season; this is separate from the regular admission.

And many châteaux also do Sound and Light shows (Son et Lumière) on summer evenings, which require a separate ticket.

Discount Tickets

The Tourist Information Office in Amboise sells combination tickets that can save you a little money. Also some Sound and Light Show tickets will include a discount coupon for a visit.

There are many ways to enjoy the châteaux of the Loire Valley. Choose the approach that suits you best and enjoy your visit!

Châteaux of the Loire

Châteaux Groups

Sound and Light

Loire Valley

Excursions from Paris

About Paris

Where to Go in France



Renting audio guide, Chenonceau, France

Above, An elegant place to rent an audio guide, Château de Chenonceau, France.

Below, Exploring the grounds
of the Château d'Amboise.

Château d'Amboise, France

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