The Loire Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site is known as the Playground of the Kings. It is dotted with France most beautiful castles. The lure of history and culture makes it an unavoidable destination. The town of Blois (1h20 trip from Paris) is your starting point.
Blois > Chambord > Cheverny
Take the shuttle from Blois to reach the Château of Chambord, the largest and the most prestigious of the French Renaissance castles. Afterwards the shuttle will take you to Château of Cheverny, the most magnificently furnished of the Loire castles. Head back to Blois to visit the Royal Château, which was previously the residence of seven kings and ten queens of France.
Blois > Onzain > Amboise
In Onzain (0h08 trip from Blois), discover the International Garden Festival of the Domain of Chaumont-sur-Loire. Then go to Royal Château of Amboise (0h10 trip), before following the footsteps of Leonardo da Vinci at the Château of Clos Lucé.
Tours > Chenonceau > Langeais Azay-le-Rideau > Chinon
From Tours, take the train to the Château of Chenonceau (0h24 trip), an exceptional site on the banks of the Cher River. Afterwards, go to the Château of Langeais (0h20 trip from Tours) to see its feudal and Renaissance-inspired facades. Next, discover the Château of Azay-le-Rideau (0h40 trip, via Tours), an authentic masterpiece of the Renaissance. End your day in Chinon (0h20 trip), where the Royal Fortress has been the place of a historical meeting between Joan of Arc and the Dauphin in 1429.
Discovering a culture, history or heritage is of no value unless they are shared. Keep your eyes wide open and you’ll be seduced in no time ! The Château Royal d’Amboise and Château de Chenonceau offer a perfect balance between World Heritage sites and exceptional monuments.
Château Royal d’Amboise
At the dawn of the Renaissance period, the powerful medieval fortress of Amboise gave way to a royal residence, known as the Royal Château of Amboise, during the reigns of Kings Charles VIII and François I.
A visit of the royal lodgings, the imposing towers and the beautiful panoramic gardens overlooking the Loire River, will bring to light the royal grandeur of the Kings of France. While a number of noblemen and artists stayed at the Royal Château of Amboise, it is Leonardo da Vinci’s passage which is the most captivating. Don’t miss the castle’s chapel where he is buried.
Château de Chenonceau
A perfect harmony, unique architecture and a worldwide fame… The Château de Chenonceau, an iconic monument of the Renaissance, is exceptional for its rich history. Chenonceau castle is sumptuously furnished and full of masterpieces, having been built and protected by illustrious women - the Queen Catherine de Medici built the two-level gallery over the bridge of Diane de Poitiers… a vision of her native Ponte Vecchio. The gardens of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici, as well as the maze and garden flowers are remarkable. Today it is the most visited of the private French castles, and the only one to offer guided tours with videos on iPod, in 11 languages.
Chateau du Clos Luce
Leonardo da Vinci’s residence
The Château du Clos Lucé is famously known for being the last dwelling of Leonardo da Vinci. At the invitation of King François I, the famous artist came to live at the Château du Clos Lucé bringing with him his notebooks, sketches and three of his major paintings : Saint Anne, the Virgin and Child, Saint John the Baptist and the famous Mona Lisa. The Master stayed there for the last three years of his life, devoting himself to perfecting his inventions, designing the double-helix open staircase in the nearby Château de Chambord and drawing plans for a model castle for François I. Discover models made from his original drawings, and have a stroll in the garden which is a real open-air museum.