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Winter Wonderlands at Chambord, Blois, Chaumont-sur-Loire and Cheverny

The twinkling lights of a hundred gigantic Christmas trees will salute you as you walk up the alleys leading to the Château de Chambord in a fitting welcome to Francis I’s renowned Renaissance château and very favourite holiday haunt. Once indoors, you’ll be treated to a spectacle that would have dazzled even the king himself: in addition to the gloriously festive decorations, there’ll be an exciting new take on the worldwide classic, ‘The Beauty and the Beast’, a one-hour show featuring sumptuous 16th century costumes especially designed for the occasion. Let yourself fall under the spell of the choir singing, the fireside fairy tales, and the rousing fencing matches recalling bygone times, or at night, the fabulous illuminations on the château’s extraordinary multi-turreted façade. 

The Château Royal de Blois, perched majestically above the Loire and home to 7 kings and 10 queens of France, will be celebrating Christmas in the regal fashion that befits it. There’s plenty to see and do on the agenda: take a guided tour of the château and find all about how the royals used to live, visit it by torchlight to discover its eerie secret haunts, or stop at its festive Marché de Noël and shop for gifts made by local artisans. To finish off, wander down through cobblestoned streets of the old town, and take in sights, sounds and magic of a city that truly loves its Christmas! 

Visitors will be enchanted by the Christmas lights and colours at the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire, both inside the château’s stately suite of rooms, and out, when, at nightfall, its façades will be lit up in a spectacular display of showmanship. You can also stop and enjoy the panoply of contemporary art exhibitions on display both in the château itself and in the magnificent setting of its historic park. And while you’re at it, don’t bypass Chaumont’s famous ‘jardins d’hiver’ or winter gardens, which in themselves are well worth the detour. The château’s greenhouses, kitchen garden, stables and farm courtyard have been transformed into a multi-hued paradise of greenery and are a remarkable sight to behold, especially in the heart of winter.  

The Château de Cheverny will be gaily attired in Christmas colours during the holiday season. The château is home to the Marquise and Marquis de Vibraye, whose family has lived there for over six centuries, and each of its many magnificent, exquisitely furnished and well-heated rooms, will be wondrously adorned. If you’re brave, venture outdoors to the kennels and watch the wild melee as the château’s 100 hunting hounds are served their Christmas dinners! 

For more information about Christmas at Chambord and Christmas at Cheverny.
Take a look at this marvellous video  – pictures always speak more than words – and you’ll see that all these châteaux deserve a star on your holiday season to-do list!