Top 5 Loire Castle to visit

Loire Valley is one of the most famous spots to visit in France, this is my Top 5 Loire Castle to visit. The castles of Chambord, Chenonceau, Sully-sur-Loire, Angers, and the castle of the Dukes of Brittany in Nantes are just a sample of the 23 castles of the Loire Valley. Each of them reveals fundamental chapters of French history.

The Châteaux of the Loire extend from Sully-sur-Loire, in Nantes, along the entire length of the royal river. Close to major cities such as Orleans, Blois, Tours, Saumur, or Angers, the Loire Valley is dotted with castles that make it unique.

 

Villandry castle
Villandry castle

Top 5 Loire Castle to visit:

  1. Chambord Castle
  2. Chenonceau
  3. Villandry
  4. Cheverny
  5. Ussé

Chambord is the largest and most famous chateau in the Loire. With more than 400 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases, it is a clear example of French Renaissance lavishness. Leonardo Da Vinci, who lived there for three years, was responsible for many aspects of its design.

 

Chambord Castle
Chambord Castle

All non-urban castles are usually accessible by vehicle (including bicycles). There is a large parking lot at the entrance for 6 €/day. The forest park, gardens and castle grounds can be visited for free. To enter you have to pay 14,50€ (adult). It is only closed on January 1, the last Monday in January and December 25. Many people recommend its night show. Buy the ticket here.

Chenonceau

In our opinion, and in the opinion of many people, Chenonceau is the most beautiful castle in the Loire Valley. Its beautiful architecture and its privileged position on the Cher river (a tributary of the Loire) have made it the most visited private castle in France

 

Chenonceau
Chenonceau

Practical information to visit Chenonceau
The castle is open every day of the year. The simple entrance fee of 14,5€ includes the visit inside the castle, gardens and other buildings of the complex. It is not possible to see the exterior without paying the entrance fee. Parking is free. We recommend a walk through the forest, where you can disconnect from the crowds and breathe fresh air. Buy the ticket here.

Villandry

The Château de Villandry, whose current appearance we owe to a Spanish doctor who rescued it from the ruins, is world-famous for its magnificent and extensive gardens. The castle has reduced opening hours or is closed on certain days in January and December, but the gardens are open all year round. The entrance fee can be separated: 7€ (gardens only) or 11€ (gardens + castle). Most people only visit the gardens. Free parking.

 

Top 5 Loire Castle to visit
Azay-le-Rideau Castle

More Loire Castles

Cheverny

The facade of Cheverny is one of the most recognizable of all the castles of the Loire. Especially for lovers of Hergé and his Tintin, as the Belgian cartoonist was inspired by it to create the famous Moulinsart.

Practical information to visit Cheverny
Open every day of the year. The single adult ticket (12€) includes the visit to the castle and surroundings. Without paying the entrance fee, you will not see anything. Free parking. As an extra, you can see a huge pack of hunting dogs, whose lunchtime is a spectacle in itself.

 

Gardens of Loire
Gardens of Loire

Ussé

And from Hergé’s drawings, to Disney’s, since the Château d’Ussé is the one that inspired Perrault when he wrote “Sleeping Beauty” that we would later see in the famous animated film. It is easy to understand why Perrault liked it so much.

Practical information to visit Ussé
Ussé is only open from mid-February to mid-November. Admission for adults: 14€. Free parking nearby. Good photos can be taken from the outside without paying admission. The visit is recommended, especially with children, but you can save money if you are on a tight budget.

 

 

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