Mar 7, 2024
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Loire Valley Castles Road Trip, Discover the Royal Splendor of France

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The Loire Valley Castles offer a stunning road trip filled with history and grandeur. Journey through the heart of France on the Loire Valley Castles Route, a road trip filled with fairytale chateaux and Renaissance elegance. Explore grand masterpieces like Chambord and Chenonceau, stroll immaculate gardens at Villandry, and uncover the legacy of Leonardo da Vinci in Amboise. Delight in the region’s charm, from picturesque towns to renowned vineyards. This is one of the best road trips you can go on in France.

  • Duration: 2-3 days
  • Distance: 150-200 km (95-125 miles)
  • Best time to go: Late spring (May-June) and early fall (September)


The core castles of the region are concentrated in a zone, making exploration convenient. However, specific routes and your chosen chateau stops will determine the total distance. A core loop visiting the most famous castles might cover roughly 150-200 km (95-125 miles).

What to See: Top Castles and places to visit

  • Orleans: Begin your journey in the city of Orleans, which offers a convenient starting point for exploring the Loire Valley.
  • Château de Chambord: our first stop should be the majestic Château de Chambord, one of the most iconic castles in the Loire Valley. The largest and most extravagant castle in the Loire Valley, this Renaissance masterpiece boasts intricate architecture, vast hunting grounds, and a double-helix staircase.
  • Château de Chenonceau: Next, head to the Château de Chenonceau, often called the “Ladies’ Castle” due to its fascinating history involving influential women throughout the centuries. The castle spans the River Cher and features beautiful gardens.
  • Château de Cheverny: Continue your journey to the Château de Cheverny, renowned for its elegant interiors and well-preserved furnishings. It’s also famous for its kennels, where you can witness the daily feeding of over 100 hunting hounds.
  • Château de Blois: Visit the Château de Blois, a stunning castle with a mix of architectural styles spanning the Gothic, Renaissance, and Classical periods. Explore its rich history and impressive collection of artwork.
  • Chateau de Amboise: Explore the Château d’Amboise, which overlooks the Loire River. This castle boasts breathtaking views and was once a residence of French kings.
  • Chateau de Villandry: Conclude your journey at the Château de Villandry, famous for its meticulously manicured Renaissance gardens. Take a leisurely stroll through the ornate gardens, divided into different themes such as the water garden, ornamental flower garden, and vegetable garden

Beyond the Biggest Names: Numerous smaller chateaux dot the region, each with its unique charm like Cheverny, Azay-le-Rideau, and Clos Lucé, the final home of Leonardo da Vinci. Remember to pace yourself and allow time for spontaneous discoveries along the way. The Loire Valley is not just about castles; it’s also about the beautiful countryside, vineyards, and charming villages. Consider indulging in the local cuisine and wines, as the region is famous for its culinary delights. Keep in mind that this extended itinerary may require additional travel time, and it’s essential to plan your route based on your preferences and available time. Whether you choose to follow the main route or explore additional castles, the Loire Valley promises a magical journey through history and stunning landscapes.

Europe · France

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