Region: Center Loire Valley East / Filter: attraction


Angers was the former capital of the Dukes of Anjou and is now a city full of factories with an old town and its 13th-century fortress at its heart. During the 16th century many of the 17 massive towers were dismantled, on royal command, to the level of the wall-walk. The castle has s... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Chartres Cathedral towers high above the town and stands proud on the horizon. Light from three 13th-century stained-glass windows dapple the inside of the church with color. It’s a magnificent edifice and the old city surrounding the cathedral has been lovingly restored. It’s del... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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The chateau d'Amboise is very striking and crowns the town that settles along the river bank. A tour of this large property will fill you with tales of grandeur, intrigue, and gruesome history. Francis I loved to party, reveling in grand balls, masquerades, festivals, and tournaments.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Ussé overlooks the River Indre and is everything you expect a château to be, with turrets, towers, chimneys, dormers, and enchantment. The house is completely furnished in period style, illustrating the way things were in the 16th and 17th centuries, complete with wax figurines dres... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Blois sits on the north bank of the River Loire. The Chamber of the States General and part of a tower are all that remain of the 13th-century fortification that occupied this site. Much of the magnificent edifice you see today is due to Francis I’s trying to keep his brother Gaston... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Standing on a grassy expanse amidst vast acres of forest, Chambord is enormous. Francis I built Chambord as a hunting lodge, but he believed that bigger was better so the vast edifice has 440 rooms and 80 staircases. Francis spent only 40 days at his huge home, which now has far less ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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The Chateau de Chaumont has great appeal when viewed from the banks on the opposite river's edge. It is dramatic as it sits proud above the riverside town. Catherine de Medici was reputedly living here when her husband Henry II was killed and she became regent. She supposedly bought t... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Cheverny is a château built in 1634 for the Hurault family. It is smaller than Blois and Chambord and more interesting to tour because it still has its 17th-century decorations and furnishings. The Hurault family has carefully preserved their inheritance with its exquisite painted wo... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Chinon is a huge crumbling fortress set high above the River Vienne, with a medieval town and tree-lined boulevard at its feet. Henry II of England died here, his son Richard the Lionheart owned it, King John lost it to the French, and Joan of Arc came here to plead with Charles VII f... more

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Southeast of Montbazon is the town of Loches, found in the hills along the banks of the Indre, and referred to as the “City of Kings.” The ancient castle is the “Acropolis of the Loire;” the buildings around it form what is called Haute Ville. It was a favorite retreat of King... more

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The castle of Montsoreau is set on the banks above the confluence of Vienna and the Loire. Located halfway between Saumur and Chinon, this majestic property reopened to the public in 2001 after an investment of over one million dollars and two years of commitment and work. As one tour... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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The Chateau de Villandry is known for its formal, geometric French gardens—even the paths are raked into designs. While you can tour the house, the real reason for visiting Villandry is to spend time in the gardens wandering along the little paths between the neatly clipped box hedg... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Begin your adventures in the Loire Valley by a visit to Langeais, one of the region’s smaller châteaux. Remarkably, it has not been altered since it was built between 1465 and 1471 for Louis XI as a defense against Bretons. It is beautifully furnished and wax figurines commemorate ... more

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Francois 1st loved to party and hosted many grand balls, masquerades, festivals and tournaments at the Chateaux d'Amboise. Leonardo da Vinci was often a guest and fell in the love with the region. The artist spent his last years at the neighboring manor Clos Lucé. You can see his bed... more

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The last stretch along the Loire takes you to the lovely old town of Beaugency with its historic church, Nôtre Dame. A magnificent bridge with 22 arches spans the river. The French blew it apart in 1940 to delay the Germans, but it has been completely restored (the central arches are... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended