Most of the Loire Castles were built or renovated in the 15th and 16th centuries, during the Renaissance period when many kings of France resided in the Loire Valley. These castles are highly appreciated tourist sites and among the most visited in France. They stand out for their rich history and their unique architecture made of white stone. Located in the Loire Valley, in the Centre Val de Loire and Pays de la Loire regions, these castles have made a major contribution to the classification of the Loire Valley as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If you want to have further more information about the Loire Valley Castles, visit https://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk.
If you want to know how to visit the Loire castles, you will find here a selection of the most beautiful castles of the Loire to visit in 2 days or 3 days. With family or friends, this tour of the Loire Valley castles will also allow you to discover another treasure of the Loire Valley’s heritage: its vineyards.
Located in the commune of Chambord, in the Loir et Cher, Château de Chambord is the most imposing castle in the Loire Valley. Its origin dates back to the 16th century: in 1519, King François I of France asked for its construction with the intention of using it as a hunting lodge. With a total of 426 rooms, the Château also has a very large park with a pleasure garden and a hunting reserve. Already on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Château de Chambord is the only royal estate to remain intact since its creation and will seduce you with its Renaissance-style architecture and history.
Castle of Cheverney
Château de Cheverny is located in Sologne, in the commune of Cheverny, in the Loir et Cher. It was built between 1624 and 1634 by Jacques Bougier, also architect of part of the Château de Blois. The estate has always belonged to the Hurault family of financiers, and is now inhabited by their descendants: the Marquis and the Marquise de Vibraye. Surrounded by gardens covering an area of about 100 hectares, Château de Cheverny was built in a classic style and features beautiful interiors with sumptuous furniture. Hergé, the famous comic book author, took inspiration from this property to create Château de Moulinsart in Tintin.
If you want to get a good overview of the French architectural variety, Château de Blois is the ideal place. Built from the 13th century, it offers a mix of architectural styles: from classical to medieval, from Gothic to Renaissance. Located in the commune of Blois, in the department of Loir et Cher in the Centre Val de Loire region, this property was the residence of the kings of France during the Renaissance. The walls of the castle keep the history of the time, in 1429, for example, Joan of Arc was blessed in the chapel. Today it houses the Museum of Fine Arts of the city of Blois and the Lapidary Museum of the castle.
Located on a promontory in the heart of the city of Amboise in Indre et Loire, Château d’Amboise offers you a magnificent view of the Loire Valley. From its many gardens and terraces, you will have the opportunity to discover different points of view over its surroundings. Before becoming the royal residence of several kings of France during the Renaissance, the estate belonged to the Amboise family. Château d’Amboise was the first to introduce Italian taste to the Loire Valley thanks to François I who brought Leonardo da Vinci from Italy. You can also visit the Clos-Lucé, his last residence, located just next to the castle and the Saint-Hubert chapel, where he was buried, adjoining the castle. Château d’Amboise is classified as a historical monument.
Castle of Chenonceau
Built from the 15th century, Château de Chenonceau is the emblem of the Loire Valley castles, a must see. Located in the commune of Chenonceau in Indre et Loire, this castle is also called “Château des dames” because of the different women who built, lived and restructured it, such as Katherine Briçonnet, Diane de Poitiers or Catherine de Médicis. The Château de Chenonceau is a Renaissance masterpiece and stands out for the whiteness of its façades and its arch entirely surrounded by the Cher river. Classified as a historical monument, the castle also has several gardens and a park. Today, the Château de Chenonceau belongs to the Menier family, and is the most visited historical monument in France.
The last castle in the Loire built during the Renaissance; Villandry is renowned for its six French-style gardens, each framed by terraces. Located in Indre et Loire, about fifteen kilometres from Tours, the castle was built from the 16th century by Jean le Breton and is now a private property.