Things to do in
Centre-Val de Loire

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Our most recommended things to do in Centre-Val de Loire

Chenonceau Castle Admission ticket

1. Chenonceau Castle Admission ticket

Enjoy access to Chenonceau site and its wonderful gardens. This unusual castle was built on a bridge across the Cher River. To learn more about castle history, audio guides are available in 16 languages. The castle is located near the small village of Chenonceaux in the Indre-et-Loire department. Chenonceau castle, also known as the Chateau des Dames, is famous for the great heroines who lived there, such as Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medicis, and for the beauty of its Renaissance gardens. Chenonceau castle was also used as a military hospital during the First World War. Discover the rich history of this incredible fortress.

Loire Valley: Château Royal d'Amboise Entrance Ticket

2. Loire Valley: Château Royal d'Amboise Entrance Ticket

Ditch the hassle of long lines and start exploring the Château Royal d’Amboise. A place of residence for French royalty from the 15th to 19th centuries, the castle has hosted a long list of famous renaissance figures — most notably, Leonardo da Vinci, whose tomb stands in one of the Château’s chapels.  Experience a classic expression of French luxury as you wander the balconies, terraced gardens, and broad roofs, all providing a panoramic view of the famous Loire River. Explore the grounds and buildings further with the Histopad, a tablet-based experience that grants visitors a look back in time to the château in its heyday. The HistoPad technology offers a spectacular way to enrich your discovery of the royal château of Amboise. It includes 3D recreations of the Loggia, the interior decoration, and recreations of scenes from life at court. 2020 exhibitions • “Travel like the kings.” In 2020, the magic of travel and roaming will be celebrated at the royal château of Amboise. In particular, with the exhibition: “On the route of the traveling princes”, on display throughout the entire season.

Clos Lucé Castle Ticket: Da Vinci Home & Science Museum

3. Clos Lucé Castle Ticket: Da Vinci Home & Science Museum

Learn about the history of Leonardo da Vinci and his masterpieces (including the Mona Lisa) during his time in France at the Château du Clos Lucé. Invited by King Francis 1st of France, Leonardo da Vinci left Italy and took up residence at the Château du Clos Luce in the autumn of 1516. Appointed "first painter, engineer and architect to the King", Da Vinci served the monarch with his talents, working tirelessly on numerous projects and imagining plans for the "ideal château". With this admission ticket, you will receive access to both the castle and park. The visit will begin in the bedroom of Leonardo da Vinci, the site where Leonardo died in 1519 at the age of 67. From the window, you can see the Saint Hubert Chapel at the Royal Castle of Amboise, which is the burial place of Da Vinci. Whilst in the Leonardo da Vinci Park, you will learn about the artistic creations and major inventions of the artist. You will enter the imaginary world of Da Vinci, seeing the world as he did in these unique grounds.

Amboise: Caves Ambacia Visit and Wine Tasting

4. Amboise: Caves Ambacia Visit and Wine Tasting

Discover the original wines and matured vintages on offer at the house Duhard, founded in 1874. Visit their 16th-century troglodyte caves facing the Loire near the historical center of Amboise and enjoy a wine tour experience in 2 parts. First, awaken and stimulate your 5 senses and learn more about wine on the Sensorial tour. Then, travel through 150 years of wine history on the Vintages Odyssey tour of  Les Caves Ambacia (formerly Les Caves Duhard) wine collection. Follow your tour with a tasting of 3 wines with a sommelier, with an optional food and wine pairing also available. After, enjoy the delicatessen boutique and purchase wines with shipping available worldwide. Tours in English take place at 12 PM, 2 PM, and 4 PM. Tours in French take place at 11 AM, 3 PM, and 5 PM.

From Amboise: Chambord and Chenonceau Tour with Lunch

5. From Amboise: Chambord and Chenonceau Tour with Lunch

Travel back to the days of the French Renaissance on a full-day tour of the châteaux of the Loire Valley. Enjoy a relaxing lunch in a family-owned, and still occupied, chateau. Meet your guide in Amboise and travel to Chateau Chenonceau. Stroll through the manicured gardens named after Catherine de Médicis and Diane de Poitiers, the chateau's former residents. Appreciate the refined architecture and feminine influence in each room and see precious antiques and flower arrangements. For lunch, enjoy a meal served at an off-the-beaten-path location, hosted by the French Countess who lives there. Taste local food in one of the smallest of all the Loire Valley castles. Then, continue to Chateau Chambord. Discover a glorious work of art and architecture as your guide selects the most emblematic rooms to visit. Hear memorable anecdotes as they point out hidden details. Get breathtaking views of the castle during a coffee break in Chambord Park before returning to Amboise in the evening.

From Tours: Chambord, Chenonceau & Lunch at Family Chateau

6. From Tours: Chambord, Chenonceau & Lunch at Family Chateau

Travel back to the days of the French Renaissance on a full-day tour of the châteaux of the Loire Valley, and enjoy an optional lunch in a privately-owned— and still occupied — castle. Meet your guide at the Tourist Office in Tours at 9:00 AM and drive by minivan to Chambord. Discover glorious works of art and architecture as your guide selects the most emblematic rooms to visit. Hear memorable anecdotes as they point out hidden details. Get breathtaking views of the castle during a coffee break in Chambord Park. Lunch will be served at an off-the-beaten-path location, hosted by the French Countess who lives there permanently. Taste local food in the smallest of all the Loire Valley castles. Continue to Chenonceau, passing the must-see castles of the French “Valley of the Kings,” including Chaumont, Amboise and Clos Lucé. Upon arrival at the Château de Chenonceau (the most visited historical monument in France), admire the unusual castle built on a bridge across the Cher River. Stroll through the manicured gardens named after the "Catherine de Médicis" and "Diane de Poitiers," the famous ladies who lived there. Take time to appreciate the refined architecture and feminine influence of each room and see beautiful antiques and lovely arrangements of fresh flowers. Then your guide will offer you an aperitif of local produce in a secret corner of the park. Enjoy the most striking view of Château de Chenonceau, before returning to Tours at 7:00 PM.

From Tours & Amboise: Day Trip to Chambord & Chenonceau

7. From Tours & Amboise: Day Trip to Chambord & Chenonceau

Benefit from pick-up by air-conditioned, 8-seater van and head to the picturesque Château de Chenonceau with magnificent Renaissance gardens. Then, go to Amboise for a wine tour with tastings. Visit Les Caves Ambacia for a wine experience and sample some of the wines of the Loire Valley at a tasting with a sommelier. Lunch at leisure in Amboise. Continue to Chambord for a guided tour of the chateau. Admire the fine details of the largest chateau in the Loire Valley, including a double helix staircase by Da Vinci. Get dropped off in Tours at 5.30 PM or Amboise at 6:00 PM. Admire the fine details of the largest chateau in the Loire Valley, including a double helix staircase by Da Vinci. Get dropped off in Tours at 6 PM or Amboise at 6:45 PM.

Paris: Loire Valley Chambord Castle, Wine Tasting & Lunch

8. Paris: Loire Valley Chambord Castle, Wine Tasting & Lunch

Want to discover magnificent Renaissance Castles and taste delicious wines from the Loire Valley? At the end of this 11-hour wine & culture day tour, you will have fallen in love not only with Chambord's impressive architecture, but also with the diversity of Loire Valley wines. After an early morning hotel pick-up in Paris, travel in a comfortable minivan approx. 2h south of the city in direction of Chambord Castle. On your way, enjoy flaky croissants while your guide tells you about the winemaking region of Loire and its heritage.  In the morning, visit the Château of Chambord with an audioguided tour. Come away knowing the secrets behind this splendid Castle constructed by King Francis I of France in the early 16th century. Back in the minivan, pass through the vineyards of Touraine, Vouvray, and Montlouis-sur-Loire. Admire the colorful landscapes of Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Franc grapes.  Sit at a winegrower’s table in a Vouvray winery. Meet the winemaker and enjoy a delicious meal with traditional food and a wine tasting. After lunch, discover another family-run winery and taste sparkling white wines, dry and sweet white wines, and red and rosé wines (the type of wine depends on the winery visited). Here, you’ll get to taste authentic Loire Valley wines largely unavailable in the rest of the world. You’ll be dropped off back in a well connected area of central Paris in the evening.

From Le Mans: Loire Valley Cycling Tour

9. From Le Mans: Loire Valley Cycling Tour

Take a cycling day trip from Le Mans and discover the wonders of the Loire’s cultural heritage. Start by traveling to Muides-sur-Loire from Le Mans with your guide. Then, start cycling and make your way to the local forest of Boulogne, where the famous castle of Chambord is based. After a picnic in a picturesque spot, you will head to the castle of Cheverny and its beautiful gardens. Take a short break before continuing your bike tour. Then, cross the scenic vineyards famous for their fruity red wines of Cheverny AOC, made from gamay and pinot noir grapes. Learn about how white wines are made with sauvignon and chardonnay. Pedal towards the finish line at the castle of Chaumont-sur-Loire, which marks the grand finale of a memorable day out.

Morning Tour to Villandry & Chateau de l'Islette

10. Morning Tour to Villandry & Chateau de l'Islette

Meet your guide in front of the Tourist Office in Tours and travel by minivan to the Loire Valley. You will start your day at Chateau de Villandry, a Renaissance jewel ranking high in French heritage. Time-travel to life in France back in the 16th century. Your tour-leader will guide you through all the rooms of the chateau, with plenty of funny anecdotes. After that, discover Villandry's beautiful gardens as your local expert shares all his knowledge of and shows you hidden corners from where you will get the best views of the château. Then, get back in the minibus for a short drive to the next stop: Chateau de l'Islette. This family-owned chateau is still inhabited today. Get ready for a very unusual visit, as your guide will take you to the most intimate rooms like the parent's bedroom, the kids’ corner, the family kitchen and even the bathroom! You may even get the chance to meet the owners who will share with their daily life in this house!  A unique souvenir! After the visit, share a lovely aperitif with your group, near the river in the park of the chateau. Enjoy a glass of local wine paired with a local delicacy. An experience you will never forget. Arrive back in Tours around 1:30 PM.

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What people are saying about Centre-Val de Loire

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 1,222 reviews

After visiting a few different Chateau I cannot say that this one was beaten by any of them, the grand stature and audacious way that this was built, in its day to have crocodiles in the moat, you can easily imagine the history of this place it gets 10/10 from us

Absolutely brilliant day from start to finish. I often find guided tours hard work but this was fascinating, entertaining and perfectly pitched. The lunch was delicious and locations wonderful. Can't recommend it enough!

Very knowledgeable tour guide. Amazing atmosphere. Perfect activity to do on a cold rainy/snowy day on our France road trip.

The visit was excellent and good value for money too. No doubt, GetYour Guide provides very good services.

So wonderful to see and read about all the history of the castle. It was beautiful and well preserved.