Our ideas for a weekend among the Loire Châteaux
How about organising a weekend visiting the Loire Châteaux? Whatever the season, you will love the relaxed atmosphere along the banks of the Loire. Enjoy a change of scene, while discovering new places!
Your weekend among the Loire Châteaux near BloisDuring your tours, you will cross paths with many Kings and Queens of France who marked the Loire Valley. No fewer than seven Kings and ten Queens of France lived at the Royal Château of Blois. Their symbols decorate the walls, like the porcupine of Louis XII and the ermine of Anne of Brittany and Claude of France. As for François I, the wing that bears his name features a magnificent exterior staircase. From April to November, the night-time sound and light show “The Story of Blois” revisits key moments in the Château’s history, projected onto its beautiful façades.
Meet up with François I again at the Château of Chambord. Jewel of the Renaissance, the château is sure to wow you with its elegant architecture and refined decor, located on a wooded estate of over 5400 hectares! Explore the rooms and climb the famous double-revolution staircase, arriving at the terraces. Stroll through the French gardens and down the rows of the vegetable garden. By foot or bike, take a wander through the park. There are many observatories. If you’re patient and remain quiet, you may be lucky enough to see one of the many deer living in the forest.
Near Chambord, don’t miss the Château of Villesavin. This stunning château was called “the construction hut of Chambord”. The funny nickname came from the fact that it was the residence of Jean Le Breton, the governor for the Château of Chambord’s construction, commissioned by the King.
Book your trip to Château of Villesavin.
A weekend among the Loire Châteaux is also the opportunity to visit the world’s most famous little reporter - Tintin! The Château of Cheverny’s beautiful, classical façade was Hergé’s inspiration for the Château of Moulinsart, home of Captain Haddock. The permanent exhibition will take you on the adventures of Tintin and his friends. You will also marvel at the tour of the interiors of this residence, inhabited by the same family for over six centuries. Lastly, take a walk in the various gardens all around the château, displaying their colours from spring to autumn.
A huge, landscaped park overlooking the Loire, artworks scattered throughout your tour, an internationally-renowned Garden Festival... You’re at the Château of Chaumont-sur-Loire! Cross the drawbridge to visit the château that Catherine de’ Medici exchanged for the Château of Chenonceau following the death of King Henri, in retaliation against his favourite mistress, the beautiful Diane de Poitiers. Outside, you can admire the splendid stables, the most modern in Europe at the time.
There are so many châteaux in this area! Here are a few more that you can add to your list for weekend visits: Château of Fougères-sur-Bièvre, Château of Beauregard, Château of Selles-sur-Cher, Château of Talcy…
A weekend at the Loire Châteaux near ToursEveryone is familiar with its elegant silhouette, with the gallery rising above the Cher river. In every season and under every light, the Château of Chenonceau blows visitors away. Nicknamed the “Château des Dames” (Castle of Ladies), it was built, cherished and protected by women over the centuries. Among them was Diane de Poitiers, who had a bridge built over the river, and Catherine de’ Medici, who would add the famous two-storey gallery. Outside, the gardens provide a gorgeous setting for the château.
In Amboise, there’s not one, not two, but three châteaux waiting to welcome you! The first overlooks the Loire: the Royal Château of Amboise. Charles VIII and François I spent their childhood here, on the banks of the river. The tour will take you from the underground passages to the top of the impressive Tour Cavalière des Minimes, via the royal apartments. Outside, the Saint-Hubert Chapel (currently undergoing works) houses Leonardo da Vinci’s grave. During this time, you can still discover the interior thanks to augmented reality technology.
Though Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb is at the Royal Château of Amboise, his home can be found a few metres away. Château of Le Clos-Lucé was the residence of the Italian master, invited to France by François I. His workshops, models of his inventions (including some giant ones, installed in the park, that can be manoeuvred by visitors), his bedroom, the kitchen where he liked to take his meals... it will all take you into the universe of this visionary genius.
At Royal Domain of Château-Gaillard, oranges are the star of the show. During your tour, while you admire the various varieties of oranges and citrus fruit in this conservatory, you will learn that it was here that the first orange trees of France acclimated. Dom Pacello de Mercoliano, monk, gardener and renowned botanist, was behind the project, on the behalf of King Charles VIII.
Book your trip to Royal Château of Amboise
Book your visit to Château of Le Clos-Lucé - Leonardo da Vinci Park
Book your visit to the Domain of Château-Gaillard
With its impressive battlements and towers overlooking Vienne, the Royal Fortress of Chinon holds over 1000 years of history between its walls. In 1205, after a nine-month siege, the fortress was taken from the English by Philippe Auguste. In 1308, four dignitaries from the Knights Templars, including the Grand Master Jacques de Molay, were imprisoned on the orders of King Philip IV. In the Tour du Coudray, graffiti can be seen attesting to their time there. It was also the site of the first encounter between Charles VII and Jean of Arc during the Hundred Years’ War.
Château of Azay le Rideau is a true jewel of the Indre Valley. Balzac was right when he described it “like a cut diamond with facets, set in the Indre”, as it has every appearance of a piece of jewellery. Elegant façades, refined decor, exquisite turrets... You will fall under the charm of the château, reflected in the calm waters of the river that surrounds it. As for the huge park, as well as the perfect place for a walk, it’s the perfect place to admire the monument from every... facet!
Book your visit to Château of Azay le Rideau
Only a few kilometres from Tours, the Renaissance gardens of Château of Villandry are a treat for the eyes! The nine squares of the vegetable garden, with the colours changing throughout the seasons, and the plantings in the ornamental garden, from the water garden to the sun garden - follow the paths and they will offer you different perspectives on these French gardens, laid out in terraces. Get up high to admire them. In the neighbouring woods, a belvedere offers another angle to contemplate them.
Book your visit to the Château of Villandry
Other stunning discoveries not to be missed during your weekend among the Loire Châteaux: the Château of Le Rivau and its fairytale gardens, the Château of Ussé that inspired Charles Perrault, the “Sleeping Beauty” Château, the Fortress of Montbazon, the Château of Langeais, the Royal City of Loches, the Château of Montpoupon, the Château of Montrésor at the heart of one of the Most Beautiful Villages of France, and more...
Your weekend among the Loire Châteaux near Orléans
During your weekend among the Loire Châteaux, step through the doors of the Château of La Bussière. This elegant château is reflected in the waters of the surrounding pond. Kitchen, salon, dining room, linen cupboard, and more... the tour will take you through ten rooms, decorated with family furniture. Outside, the gardens are surrounded by high walls. Vegetables, medicinal and aromatic plants, flowers and fruit trees are taken care of by the owners and gardeners of the château. If you come in summer, you can even pick delicious strawberries, raspberries, redcurrants and more, to be weighed at the store, where you will find other gourmet products.
Book your visit to the Château of La Bussière
The Château of Sully-sur-Loire was home to one of the most iconic figures in the history of France. Maximilien de Béthune, the Duke of Sully, was the Superintendent of Finances during King Henri IV’s reign. This château with its high medieval silhouette, surrounded by a moat, is now the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Loire Valley. There, you will discover the great hall, the apartments, the King’s chamber and his dressing room... Then, climb to the next floor. There, you will find the guard room and its stunning framework, over six centuries old, as well as the keep and battlement walk.
In the Orléans Forest, on the Route de la Rose, the tour of the Château of Chamerolles combines history, roses and perfume. This château was the 19th-century estate of Bertrand Dulac, built under the direction of his son Lancelot du Lac, thus named in reference to the knight hero from the novel. Today’s tour allows you to discover the monument’s architecture, which includes both medieval elements and typical Renaissance features. The museum exhibition pays tribute to perfume and hygiene practices from the 16th century to today. Outside, the gardens feature square vegetable plots and flower gardens, where roses are in pride of place!
On one side, you will see an austere façade flanked by tall towers, on the other, a softer façade in a delicate shade of red. The Château of Meung-sur-Loire is aptly named the “château with two faces”. Until the Revolution, it was the sumptuous residence of the Bishops of Orléans. There are also plenty of surprises awaiting for you when you tour the inside. From the dark underground rooms, where poet François Villon was imprisoned, to the attic, 25 furnished rooms reveal more than 2000 items - sometimes very unusual ones -from daily life.
Book your visit to the Château of Meung-sur-Loire
At the Château of La Ferté Saint-Aubin, you can visit a private 17th-century residence. Inhabited for over 350 years, explore the various living spaces as you tour the château. Across the three floors, you will go from the billiards room to the dining room, from the bedrooms to the attic full of toys, where porcelain dolls and old-fashioned games are stored. Not to forget the splendid kitchens with gleaming copper pans. In summer, the Château’s cook gets to work behind the ovens to make delicious honey madeleines that you can taste! The park and stables are also full of surprises to discover.
During your weekend among the Loire Châteaux around Orléans, you can also discover the Château of Beaugency - Digital Art Centre, Château of Saint-Brisson-sur-Loire, the Château-Museum of Gien, and more...
Enjoy your weekend among the Loire Châteaux!