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Châteaux of the Loire

Châteaux of the Loire

The Essential

The châteaux of the Loire look like a vision straight out of a fairy tale, with their gables, dormer windows, chimneys, turrets and pinnacles. Drift down the royal river on a traditional boat (a gabarre or toue) and embark on a journey back in time. These gems of art history keep alive the memory both of the kings, princes and great families who commissioned and lived in them, and of the artists and craftsmen who built and embellished them.
Chambord and its intriguing "magical" staircase, Chenonceau and its gallery straddling the waters, Azay and its delicate reflection, Villandry and its fabulous gardens, and many others, are dotted along the banks of the river. From Orléans to Angers, from Blois to Tours, consider including in your itinerary some of the officially designated Villes d'art et d'histoire nestled at their feet, or the former homes of illustrious artists, such as Rabelais, Leonardo da Vinci and Balzac.
The Loire Valley also boasts miles of cycle paths, huge forests where mushrooms can be picked, and cellars where you can sample the region's famous wines.

Must see

Michelin's recommendations for Châteaux of the Loire
Château de Valençay Château de Valençay
Château de Valençay
Built in the 16C in the Renaissance
2:00
Angers Fortress Angers Fortress
Angers Fortress
Started in 1231 by Blanche de Castille,
2:00
Château de Chenonceau Château de Chenonceau
Château de Chenonceau
Built by Katherine Briçonnet, remodelled
2:00
Royal Abbey of Fontevraud Royal Abbey of Fontevraud
Royal Abbey of Fontevraud
Last resting place of the Plantagenets,
1:00
Château de Chambord Château de Chambord
Château de Chambord
With its 77 staircases, 156m façade, 282
2:00
Château de Cheverny Château de Cheverny
Château de Cheverny
A remarkable example of 17C classicism,
2:00