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Chenonceau castle seen from the sky

The Loire valley castles - A French and world heritage !

The term of the Loire valley castles groups under one label a set of French castles located in the Val de Loire. They have the distinction of having been , for the most part built or substantially altered in the French Renaissance (XV - XVI. ) , At a time when the court of the kings of France was installed in this region.

The Loire valley castles are considered the holy of holies of the French spirit, a paradise that sums up the spirit of the French nation to know: belles-lettres, lavish architecture, pleasant wines and fine dining...

The density of historical monuments in fact a privileged discovery area to admire the masterpieces of the Renaissance. Sully-sur-Loire in Angers via Chenonceau, Amboise, Blois, Valençay or the Loire valley each have a rich history necessarily linked to the history of France.

The main Loire valley Castles


The castle of Chambord is the largest castle in the Loire valley. It was built in honor of Francis I and consists of 400 rooms and more than 2,000 works of art. The Chambord estate you can visit symbolizes the passion of the former king for hunting and wild nature.

The castle of Chambord has a unique architecture ! It is built on the model of medieval castles, with a central square building and a tower, with four towers at each corner. Inside the dungeon, there are five levels of living space built on the same model: four square apartments and four apartments in the round towers per level.

The famous double staircase in the center of the building, leads to the first floor (historic apartment), second floor (floor dedicated to the theme of hunting and wildlife art) and the large terrace before being crowned by the lantern tower and the lily, symbol of monarchy in France.

The double staircase is an architectural curiosity that has contributed to the fame of Chambord. The principle is both simple and surprising : two staircases that turn in the same direction but never cross. Thus, it can go up or down floors without seeing people using the other stairs!

Dedicated historical monument in 1840 and ceded to the French State in 1930, you can freely visit exceptional apartments of Francis I, Louis XIV, but also the chapel and terraces.


First Property of the Crown, then royal residence, the castle of Chenonceau is an exceptional castle, its original design, the richness of its collections, its furnishings and decoration, but also for its history since it was inhabited, managed and protected by women, all extraordinary and, most have made history.

Called the " Ladies Castle " is built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, then embellished by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici. The castle of Chenonceau was saved the Revolution by Madame Dupin.

This feminine imprint is present everywhere in the castle which made it a place of peace and preserving the conflicts and wars.

Throughout its history, this emblematic castle has always attracted talent and inspired the greatest artists. So you can admire an exceptional museum collection of paintings by great masters : Murillo, Tintoretto, Nicolas Poussin, Correggio, Rubens, Primaticcio, Van Loo... And a rare selection of Flanders Tapestries of the XVI century.

In addition, the castle of Chenonceau, the flowers layout of each room and furnishings offers you a unique and sumptuous vision.

House of the five queens, Louis XIV room, large gallery over the Cher, amazing kitchens built into the piers of the bridge, Green Cabinet Catherine de Medici... Step by step, Chenonceau transport you through history, with its dreams and its secrets.

Come and discover its vestibule covered with a series of vault typical of the Renaissance warheads, its guardroom where stood the armed men responsible for royal protection, chapel, his famous long gallery of over 60 meters and all the other wonders that inhabit this castle!


In a superb classical architecture, the castle of Cheverny is a unique place to please the young and old at once!

The Domaine de Cheverny is a seigneurial property that belongs to the same family for over six centuries. Cheverny has always been inhabited and each generation is working with passion, maintain and also to embellish.

This is the first castle to be opened to the public in 1922. You can appreciate all the pomp and delights of the Castle Life. Botanical Park in the splendid interior of the Castle, the Kennels Museum 3D "Secrets of Moulinsart " and gardens at Forest Park, the castle invites you to discover a fantastic heritage, authentic and alive.

The castle presents unique pieces of furniture and remarkably preserved interiors. The apartments on the 1st floor demonstrate the art of French living : room birth, the children's room, the private dining room...

But Cheverny conceals many other treasures such as the tapestry of 17th century Gobelins presented in the Salle d'Armes or the dresser of Louis XIV Boulle style.

Discover the refinement of the interior design before visiting the park, the garden apprentices, the vegetable garden, the tulip garden ( in season), the laurel maze, without forgetting its kennels where you can enjoy at any time of the day one hundred Anglo- French tricolor dogs, from a cross between Fox and Hound English French Poitevin.

What is the closest Loire valley castle from Paris?

Visit the closest Loire valley castles from Paris!

Among the best-known Loire valley castles, the castle of Chambord is the closest to Paris at approximately 177 kilometers in the Loir-et-Cher department.
If we include the lesser-known Loire valley castles, it would probably be the castle of Maintenon about 90 kilometers from Paris in the Eure-et-Loir department. However, even though the castle of Maintenon is not always included in the list of classic Loire valley castles, it is still a beautiful destination to visit.

Your Loire valley castles tour with France Tourisme

France Tourisme offers several Loire valley castles tours from Paris. Our regular tours include entrance tickets to the castles of Chenonceau, Cheverny and Chambord as well as a guide. The return trip can be done by coach or minivan for reduced travel time.
If you prefer a Loire valley castle day trip from Paris in 1 day or 2 days, France Tourisme has private tour offers which provide you with a comfortable air-conditioned minivan and an experienced driver-guide who will make the return trip to Paris as well as transfers between castles. Take full advantage of the Loire Valley's most prestigious castles and take part in wine tastings in the cellars of certain castles at your own pace.