Here are 5 Loire châteaux to visit near Orléans. Whether you love gardens, architecture or history, you’re bound to find something to please you.

The Château of Meung-sur-Loire

You’ll barely have time to realise that you’ve left Orléans when you arrive in Meung-sur-Loire. While its narrow streets, covered market halls and Sunday morning market are well worth a visit, it is above all the château that will impress you.

By virtue of its size and architecture, it is one of the oldest châteaux in the Loiret and one of the best Loire châteaux to visit near Orléans. It has an intriguing medieval façade, which can be seen from the town centre. All you want to do is push open the door and enter the property. And then, surprise! Inside, a completely different style of façade awaits, with a classical style, showing that the château was not only a defensive château, but also a place of residence. Until the French Revolution, the Château of Meung-sur-Loire was the residence of the Bishops of Orléans.

Inside, the tour takes you from the splendid attic to the mysterious underground spaces, via the living areas and bathrooms. Located in the drawbridge tower, the Brilhac room brings together a host of unusual everyday objects used over the centuries. Over 100 objects from both civilian and military life are presented! What about the underground spaces? They are really something! These were real torture chambers for all the prisoners held in them, including the famous poet François Villon.

But now let’s have some fun! This won’t be a traditional historical tour, no. The tour is interspersed with fun activities for young and old alike. First, there’s Walter the Robot, a little rascal who has scattered anachronistic objects all over the place, for you to discover during the visit. But what is a hoover doing there?

You will also find “Boitàkoi”, little boxes containing unusual objects from everyday life back in the day, it’s up to you to figure out what they were used for. You’re in for a surprise!

Throughout the season, the château of Meung-sur-Loire offers a wide range of activities encouraging you (and your children) to discover its history!

The Château of La Ferté-Saint-Aubin

On the road to Chambord, less than a 30-minute drive away, you will find yet another Loire château to visit near Orléans! And when it comes to entertainment, this one really shines!

The Château of La Ferté-Saint-Aubin is a private 17th-century château, acquired by the Guyot family in 1987. Today, the eldest son, Lancelot, is in charge of the site’s cultural programme and entertainment.

In addition to the classic tour that takes you through the different rooms of the château and its outbuildings, the site offers no less than three escape games for fun with the whole family (children aged 7 and over) or with friends! In the grounds of the château, investigate by following the Parcours des Poisons trail, a mega treasure hunt full of puzzles and obstacles. In July, the now famous Cocorico Electro brings together fans of electronic music and a host of DJs.

On summer afternoons and Sunday afternoons, the kitchens at the Château of La Ferté Saint-Aubin are enveloped in the sweet smell of honey madeleines, prepared on site by cooks in costume! Once you’ve had your fill, explore the park and play a life-size game of snakes and ladders or giant chess!

The Château of Chamerolles

Open your nostrils and head north to the Château of Chamerolles for an olfactory visit of a Loire château near Orléans! While its architecture and history are fascinating, the theme of perfumes is what makes this château so special.

The château of Chamerolles was built in the 16th century in a Renaissance style, despite its medieval appearance with four corner towers. It was designed as a residence and was occupied and ransacked during the Second World War, then abandoned before being taken over by the Loiret Departmental Council in 1987. Major renovation work was undertaken to open it to the public five years later. A successful venture!

Given its proximity to Cosmetic Valley, the theme for visits came naturally: the history of hygiene and perfumes. The tour takes in the toiletry habits of our ancestors, as well as a collection of unique objects, bottles and a curious perfume organ.

From perfume, the roses are only one step away! The gardens at the Château of Chamerolles are located on the Route de la Rose. They are home to an impressive collection of fragrant roses, old roses chosen by André Eve when he replanted the gardens in 1992, as well as rambling and climbing roses. From April to October, it’s a feast for the eyes and nose at the Château of Chamerolles!

As for entertainment, costumed tours, exhibitions, workshops and shows all feature on the lively calendar of the Château of Chamerolles!

The Château of La Bussière

This is a family château, with immense grounds and a lake that is perfect for boating – a picture postcard Loire château to visit near Orléans! Since 2012, the Château of La Bussière has been carefully maintained by its owners, Laure and Bertrand Bommelaer. And for the record, it was in this very château that little Laure took her first steps!

Nicknamed the “fishermen’s château” since it opened in the 1960s, the site has a lot to offer with its immense wooded grounds and natural vegetable garden the size of two football pitches! With your children, set off in search of the dozen or so huts scattered around the park to solve the various puzzles and find out “who stole the keys to the château?” Then take a break in the vegetable garden and pick a few of the berries, strawberries and raspberries, on offer. Still not tired? Then it’s time for a boat trip on the château lake! And if it rains, discover the escape game for groups of 3 to 7 people.

The Château of La Bussière is a complete family experience in a verdant paradise, less than one hour from Orléans!

And for those who want to prolong their experience, we’ve been told that guest rooms are about to open… Who hasn’t dreamt of sleeping in a château?

The Château of Sully-sur-Loire

Here’s another Loire château to visit near Orléans! A medieval château, which, due to its location upstream, is the first pearl in the necklace of the Loire châteaux. A medieval fortress full of little gems for all lovers of history and architecture: the drawbridge, the chemin de ronde, the dykes, the keep, and the works on display inside, such as the Psyche tapestry. The icing on the Château… of Sully-sur-Loire is the impressive 600-year-old wooden beams!

If you want to learn about history while having fun, the Château of Sully-sur-Loire organises entertainment all year round based on the events that have marked the life of the site: historical tours, children’s workshops, exhibitions, concerts and shows, not to forget the escape game where your mission is to save Maximilien de Béthune. Can you do it? Are you into technology? Download the Géomotifs application now, go to the château and look for the 15 architectural details scattered around the different buildings. You will learn all about the various facts and anecdotes linked to its history and one of its owners, the Duke of Sully.

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