Loire Valley: The Famous Châteaux

The reason for visiting this area is undoubtedly to visit the many fine châteaux of the area which are world-famous. It is pointless simply listing them as the Michelin Green Guide, amongst others, tells everything you would want to know and such a guide is an essential part of your equipment.

However, experts have selected six châteaux as those you shouldn't miss:

Chateau d'Azay le Rideau
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Graceful turreted 16th century castle built on a lake.
Chateau de Chambord
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The grandest of all with over 350 chimneys.
Chateau de Chaumont
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Drawbridged and turreted, well furnished in 16th century style.
Chateau de Chenonceau
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Famous long gallery straddles the river. Formal park. Boats for hire.
Chateau de Cheverny
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Still privately owned and lived in. 17th century
Chateau de Langeais
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Well preserved fortress with magnificent 15th century tapestries.

Perhaps it is just as much fun making your own list of discoveries as almost all the French nobility built themselves a château in this area during the 17th century as did the Royal family themselves.

At Chinon, Joan of Arc recognised the Dauphin. At Fontevrault Abbey lie the tombs of Henry II of England, his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine and their son Richard the Lionheart. At Chenonceau, Catherine de Medici entertained Mary Stuart.

The houses and public buildings of this area are mostly built in a soft yellow stone with slate roofs which give the towns and villages their particular charm and character.

Distances from our house

Amboise 40 minutes http://www.chateau-amboise.com/en/index.php
Bloise 40 mninutes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chateau_de_Blois
Chaumont 40 minutes http://www.domaine-chaumont.fr/index-en.php
Cheverny 50 minutes http://www.chateau-cheverny.com/uk_accueil.php
Chambord 60 minutes http://www.chambord.org/Chambord-en-idm-1-n-Accueil.html
Chenonceau 60 minutes http://www.chenonceau.com/index.php?lang=en
Villandry 60 minutes http://www.chateauvillandry.fr/en/
Azay le Rideau 90 minutes http://www.monuments-nationaux.fr/en/monuments/monument-s-map/
Loches 90 minutes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chateau_de_Loches
Chinon 120 minutes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chateau_de_Chinon
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