The Loire Valley is not just a very picturesque and historic region in France – it is also home to three magnificent castles. If you are planning an amazing vacation in this French region, make sure to include these chateaus, which offer tours to the public. And if you have the budget, why not stay a night in one of these real castles? By staying overnight, you can fully explore the castle’s interior and get to know its glorious past.
Chateau de Chenonceau
Chateau Chenonceau was once a royal residence and was built in 1513, and commissioned by Katherine Briconnet. Over the years, the castle was administered by women, who showered it with their love and attention.
Today, the castle maintains its exquisite design along with its lavish furniture and intricate decorations. Inside Chenonceau, you will find an impressive museum that showcases a collection of paintings, made by prominent painters called Old Masters. Examples of the master painters include Le Tintoret, Murillo, Le Correge and Nicolas Poussin. The castle also houses a very rare selection of 16th century Flanders Tapestries.
Some of the most interesting parts of the castle include the living room of Louis XIV, the grand gallery, the Green Cabinet of Catherine de Medici and the room of Five Queens. The Orangerie is the castle’s gourmet restaurant, which is located near the Green Garden. There is also a self-service restaurant in the former Royal stables and a tea room. On top of touring the castle during the day, there is also a night walk tour around Chenonceau, available in between the months of July and August.
Chateau de Cheverny
Cheverny castle has been in the possession of the same family for over six centuries. Situated at the center of the Loire region, it is a very stately-looking estate that has been opened to the public since 1922. Because of its rich decoration and several exquisite pieces of furniture, Chateau de Cheverny is considered to be the best furnished of all the castles in Loire Valley.
Aside from the marvelous interior of the castle, Cheverny also features a botanical park. You can tour this marvelous park by foot or by renting a boat or an electric car. The park is teeming with a wide range of flora and fauna especially during the period of April through November. The other interesting sections of Chateau de Cheverny worth exploring include the kitchen garden filled with about of one thousand flowers, and the Apprentices Garden, which exhibits a more contemporary design.
Chateau de Chaumont
Covering an area of 30 hectares, the Chaumont estate welcomes more than 400,000 visitors every year. Built during the 15th century, the impressive chateau features Gothic architecture, with a touch of Renaissance influence. Aside from this beautiful castle, the estate is also comprised of grand stables and a gorgeous landscaped park.
These days, Chaumont is the proud host of the International Garden Festival, which is held every late April to mid-October. It has also become the home of the Centre d’Arts el de Nature, which gives contemporary artists a venue to showcase their latest works. Thus, a visit to Chateau de Chaumont is all about appreciating the old and relishing the new.
Your visit to the Loire Valley is not really complete without a visit to the old castles that give a wonderful historical perspective for you to enjoy.