Loire Valley Chateaux
Of all the places on Earth to visit for sightseeing and adventure travel, France is perhaps the most popular. The challenging terrain, breathtaking scenery and the country’s rich history create the perfect environment to meet any traveler’s needs. And although there are countless trails and tours to choose from, those that include visits to the Loire Valley Chateaux are by far among the most famous.
The following are five castles that are featured in our Loire Valley Classic 7 Night Tour, and are a must for any visitor’s itinerary.
Chateau de Chambord
One of the most recognized castles in the world, this is also the largest chateau of the Loire Valley. People come from across the globe to witness this massive building’s amazing architecture, which perfectly combines both traditional French and classic Italian style.
Over the past several centuries, this incredible castle has been destroyed and rebuilt several times to arrive at the breathtaking modern-day version that we visit today. It is often referred to as the “Sleeping Beauty” castle because of its picturesque fairy tale appearance. In fact, it is said to have been one of Walt Disney’s inspirations in his creation of several Disney castles.
Chateau de Chaumont
Famous for the summertime garden festival held here, this beautiful castle has been classified as a Monument Historique since 1840 by the French Ministry of Culture. The views from this chateau are nothing short of amazing, mainly due to its prime location, right on the banks of the Loire River. Visitors here enjoy stunning panoramic views from all areas of the castle.
Chateau de Villandry
Known for its incredible sprawling gardens, the Chateau de Villandry is one of the most visited castles in France. Strategically planted and laid out in formal patterns, the famous gardens here include a water garden, ornamental flower gardens, and vegetable gardens. They are certainly a unique sight to see, and something not to be forgotten.
Chateau de Chenonceau
Built along the banks of the Cher River, this amazing superstructure is known for its breathtakingly beautiful architecture, both inside and out. It is home to an enormous library and several large halls big enough to entertain hundreds of visitors, as well as a lovely garden. The Chateau de Chenonceau also has an intriguing history, as it is rumored to have been given as a gift to King Henry’s mistress. This castle is one of our favorites and is included in seven of our Loire Valley tours.