Loire Valley Châteaux
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Loire Valley Châteaux Nature & Adventure

Château of Azay-le-Rideau Skip-the-Line Ticket

1. Château of Azay-le-Rideau Skip-the-Line Ticket

The Château of Azay-le-Rideau was built in the heart of Loire Valley during the reign of François I, and offers all the charm of the Renaissance. It is a 16th-century architectural masterpiece, rising up from an island formed by the Indre River, and is situated within a romantic 19th-century park. The château boasts a colorful history. In 1510, Gilles Berthelot acquired the seigneurie and fortress of Azay, rebuilding it in the sumptuous Italian style that was popular at the time. After Berthelot's relative Semblança, who had been aiding Berthelot in building his wealth in the region, was accused of embezzlement and executed, Berthelot fled. The château was then given by François I to his companion-in-arms, Antoine Rafin, and his descendants, who lived there until the 18th century, after which it fell into the possession of the Marquis Charles de Biencourt, responsible for the château's beautiful gardens. After benefiting from an exceptional restoration program, this jewel of the Loire Valley will be revealing its finery in the summer of 2017. The château also offers a new experience: new highlighted collections, a dream-like tour path, mobile tour guide applications, the romantic park and so on. Not to be missed: the living room and dining room of the Marquis of Biencourt (19th century décors), the atmospheric staging of the kitchen, the new interpretation area. The sight is protected by UNESCO, and features gothic motifs, a royal apartment used by Louis XIII in 1619, stunning Renaissance ornamentation and façades that overlook the lakes, with apartments embellished with overhanging corner turrets. Visit before September 19, 2021 and see the temporary exhibition DE CHANTILLY À AZAY-LE-RIDEAU. LE RETOUR DES PORTRAITS DE LA RENAISSANCE. This exhibition includes 36 portraits painted between the rule of Charles VII and Louis XIV, and includes a portarit of Catherine de Médicis and her children.

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Small-Group Loire Valley Castles Full-Day Tour from Paris

2. Small-Group Loire Valley Castles Full-Day Tour from Paris

Discover some of the finest castles of the Loire Valley on a small group, full-day tour from Paris. Transfer by air-conditioned minibus to the castles of Chenonceau, Chambord, and Amboise. Walk in the flower gardens of the Château de Chenonceau, and gaze at the delicate arches that cross the Cher River. Learn the extraordinary history of the building, which was run by women for much of its time in existence. Continue to Chambord to investigate the largest castle of the Loire Valley. Marvel at the extravagant architecture and double spiraled staircase of the royal Château de Chambord. See the hundreds of columns and spires that adorn its roof. End the day at the former home of King Francois I, and see the tomb of Leonardo Da Vinci at Amboise village and the Château d’Amboise. Confiscated by the monarchy in the 15th century, it was a favorite royal residence and extensively rebuilt.

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From Paris: Full-Day Loire Valley Chateaux Tour

3. From Paris: Full-Day Loire Valley Chateaux Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Parisian life and enter into the Garden of France. Stroll the walkways of the French monarchs, hear tales of royal love affairs and kidnappings, and behold the beauty of the Loire Valley's exquisite Chateaux.  First stop of the day is Château de Chambord; the perfect example of French Renaissance architecture, this remarkable structure was built by King François I between 1519-1547 and is the largest château in the Loire Valley. Who designed this masterpiece is still in dispute, and with contenders including Leonardo da Vinci, its sights are sure not to disappoint. Next up is the charming Château de Chenonceau, a true fairy tale castle set picturesquely on the Cher River, its history and character has been shaped by the women who've inhabited it. The site of the first ever French fireworks display, Chenonceau is really one to fall in love with. You can stay at each château for around an hour to explore inside, and see the gardens at your own pace. At the end of the day, you will leave Chenonceau at 6:15 PM to arrive back in Paris at around 8:00 PM.

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Angers: Château d'Angers Fast Track Ticket

4. Angers: Château d'Angers Fast Track Ticket

With fast-track access, get right into this medieval castle and see the world's biggest and oldest collection of medieval tapestries. Get amazing city views from over the castle walls too! With 17 stunning and looming towers, the Château d'Angers was founded in the 9th century by the Counts of Anjou and expanded in the 13th century. Step back in time to the refined court life in France. Wander through the magnificent traditional gardens and out to the castle moats, walk along the wall for panoramic city views. Don't miss your chance to see the world-famous Apocalypse Tapestry. Woven in 1375 of 14th-century life in France, is one of the world's best tapestries. Spanning 103m in length and housed in its own impressive room, it's the largest woven work in medieval history.

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From Paris: Loire Valley Castles Full-Day Tour

5. From Paris: Loire Valley Castles Full-Day Tour

Wander through the Loire Valley's gorgeous castles and gardens. Travel along the King's Road to visit the Chambord, Amboise & Chenonceau Chateaux with our friendly driver-guide. Dine at "Au Gateau Breton," a charming 200-year old inn, for lunch. Discover the famous castles and gardens of the Renaissance with an all day tour of the beautiful Loire Valley. Let our friendly driver-guide pick you up from your Paris hotel. Visit the cradle of the Renaissance, Chateau Amboise, one of the first truly royal residences of its kind. Follow in the footsteps of the great kings of France as you view a magnificent example of Gothic and Renaissance architecture. Next, stop at Chateau de Chenonceau. Admire the wealth of beauty both inside and out, which makes Chenonceau the most popular chateau in France. Learn about its tumultuous history as the castle passed from Lady to Lady. Then, you will have free time to enjoy lunch (not included), followed by a french wine tasting. After a full day wandering the castles and gardens of the Renaissance era, return to Paris aboard our deluxe minibus. Last stop will be at the royal Chateau de Chambord, one of the most recognizable chateaux in the world. Legend has it that Leonardo da Vinci, then living at the Clos Luce in Amboise, made several plans and models used for its construction. While visiting Chambord, take pleasure in one of Europe's finest parks, covering over 13,000 acres, and is Europe's largest wooded park.

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Private Day Tour to Loire Valley Castles & Wines from Paris

6. Private Day Tour to Loire Valley Castles & Wines from Paris

Do you want to see splendid Renaissance castles and taste delicious Loire Valley wines? At the end of this private 11-hour wine and culture day tour, you will have fallen in love with Chambord's impressive architecture and with the diversity of Loire Valley wines. After an early morning hotel pick-up in Paris, you will travel with your knowledgeable guide about two hours south of the city towards Chambord Castle. En route, bite into flaky croissants and pastries while hearing about the history of the region and its heritage of wine-making. Arrive at Chambord Castle in the morning for an audio-guided tour. Come away knowing the secrets behind this magnificent Château, constructed by King Francis I of France 500 years ago. Back in your air-conditioned 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. Settle in at a family-run Vouvray wine estate, where you’ll meet the winemaker and enjoy a delicious meal of traditional food, paired with a wine tasting. After lunch, discover a boutique but world-famous winery and taste sparkling white wines, dry and sweet white wines, red and rosé wines (depending on availability). Taste authentic Loire Valley wines largely unavailable in the rest of the world. You will be dropped off back at your hotel in the evening.

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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.

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From Paris: Small-Group Tour of Loire Castles

8. From Paris: Small-Group Tour of Loire Castles

On this full day tour you’ll discover the beautiful French castles of the Renaissance era. You’ll start with a visit to Clos Lucé Castle in Amboise, where Leonardo da Vinci was invited by François I to live and work. During the visit, you’ll have a chance to see all of the artist’s amazing inventions. After enjoying lunch together you’ll drive to Chenonceaux to visit Chenonceau Castle, built on the River Cher. It is also called the "Chateau of the 6 women." Women, including Catherine de Medici, played an important part in the history of the castle, and you’ll learn all about their interesting lives on the tour. After being taken through the castle and its gardens you’ll continue to Chambord Castle, famous for its double helix staircase. Here you’ll have a chance to explore the royal apartments of François I and Louis XIV. At the end of the day you’ll be dropped off at your hotel in Paris.

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From Tours/Amboise: Day Trip to Chambord, Blois & Cheverny

9. From Tours/Amboise: Day Trip to Chambord, Blois & Cheverny

Depart Tours or Amboise to journey into the Loire Valley and discover some of its famous châteaux. Stop at the Château de Blois, notable for its unique mix of Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance and Classical architecture. The former home of kings Louis XII and François I, its history is steeped in tragedy and is notable as the place where Joan of Arc went to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before departing with her army to drive the English from Orléans. Pause for a wine tasting and sample some of the organic wines of Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny. The Cheverny appellation produces elegant reds from the pinot noir and gamay grapes, as well as fruity whites from the chardonnay and sauvignon grapes. Sample a stunning organic white wine made from the romorantin grape, imported into the Loire Valley by King François I. Take a guided tour of the Château de Cheverny, owned by the same family since the days of Louis XIII. See some of the most beautiful furniture in the Loire Valley, and learn the château's rich history, such as its connection to Tintin comic books and the impressive hunts on horseback that used to take place with a pack of 100 dogs. You may even get to see the spectacular daily event of “the dogs’ soup!” Move on to the Château de Chambord, one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world for its distinctive French Renaissance architecture. Discover the vast national game reserve of the largest château in the Loire Valley, and learn the monument's fascinating history, including the unverified tale of Leonardo da Vinci's involvement in its construction. Return to your original departure town, with drop off in Tours at 18:00 or Amboise at 18:45.

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Paris: Loire Valley Chambord Castle, Wine Tasting & Lunch

10. 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.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Loire Valley Châteaux

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What people are saying about Loire Valley Châteaux

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 22 reviews

I had a great experience. The tour guide was great and told us many interesting and fun facts about the Châteaus and we still had time to explore for ourselves. And the drive wasn't to bad either. We first stopped at a bakery for coffee and croissants and then drove about 2 hours to Chateau Chambord where we arrived at 9. Then we drove about 30 min to Chateau Amboise where we first had lunch. After the visit of the château (and the really nice gardens) we had a wine tasting. Then we drove another 20 min to Chateau Chenonceau.(which has the best garden/Parc) then we drove back to Paris for 2.5 hours. And arrived there at 20:15.

My family had a great time with Yohan. We had a lot of fun seeing the Chenin countryside on e-bikes. We had a lovely picnic lunch and then visited a few vineyards. Yohan has great knowledge of the region and wine. I’m glad we went on this tour.

Our driver was terrific, and the audio guide was informative. We were there in February, so the crowds were small which was great.

Rami was a great guide, very creative in negotiating the inherent complexities of travel reopening, and a great resource.

A great trip! A great plan. 3 castles, lunch time and wine tasting. This trip could not have been better organized.