France, Indre-et-Loire (37), le château de Chenonceau
ESY-000971266 - © - Richard Semik
Château de Chambord
Cheverny Chateau panoramic
Saumur Castle - Loire Valley (France)
Chateau d`Amboise France in the Loire Valley.
In the footsteps of the kings of France
Get ready to take the extraordinary route of the Châteaux and follow the course of the Loire from Saumur to Orléans. Between these two historic cities, the banks of the Loire are studded with imposing monuments, built or modelled tastefully by kings or important French families. Between gardens, the banks of the Loire and châteaux, discover the natural and cultural splendour of the Loire Valley over the course of a week packed with history.
Book your accommodation now for each stage of your trip, and head off on the route of kings!
MyTripTailor information: the programme we are recommending is a busy one You can change individual days to suit your tastes, but you should not plan to visit more than one château per day if you want to get the most out of your trip.
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Spend the morning in Saumur and visit the château overlooking the vineyards. Follow the Loire to the château of Montsoreau, built in the Loire riverbed itself in a charming village of slate and tufa. You will then pass the château of Rigny-Ussé, the legendary château of Sleeping Beauty, before reaching the château of Langeais a little further on. This imposing fortress, one side of which is nestled in among the houses of the town, and from its courtyard side comes across as a pleasant place to stay. Spend the night in Langeais or Azay-le-Rideau.
Spend the morning visiting the château of Azay-le-RIdeau, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture located in a natural setting landscaped during the 19th Century. Then head for Villandry and its spectacular gardens, for a lovely walk that you can round off with a visit to the château. Go to Tours
Continue your visit to Tours, its cathedral dedicated to St. Gatinen, its 13th Century château, its historic centre and its square in the morning. Then spend the afternoon visiting the château of Amboise, whose architecture and refined furnishings are a testament to how fond François 1, prince of the arts, was of it. The king was a great friend of Leonardo da Vinci and invited him to stay in Amboise, in the Clos Lucé, where the genius scientist was to spend his final days. This residence can also be visited. Spend the night in Amboise.
Continue along the route of the great Renaissance château this morning and travel to the château of Chenonceau, linking the two banks of the River Cher, which it straddles elegantly. You will find certain historical elements in common with the château of Amboise, meet some major historical figures and learn about the influence of women in the management of this “ladies’ château”. Continue your path along the Loire until you get to Blois. The château of Blois, which began life as a mediaeval fortress, also incorporated Renaissance architecture over the different periods of history that are reflected in its walls. If there is a son et lumière show in the evening when you are passing through Blois that tells the story of the 7 kings and 10 queens that lived in the château, it is well worth a watch.
Cheverny will be famous to any Tintin reader: the château was used as a model for the design of Marlinspike Hall. Visit it in the morning, and stop by the kennels to see the hunting dogs do what they do best in the vast surrounding forests Then leave for Chambord, the pearl of the Loire châteaux. Built by François I first and foremost to allow him to indulge in his passion for hunting, its majestic architecture ennobles its sumptuous natural setting. Admire the spiral staircases in particular, a technical feat rarely achieved at the time. Spend the night in Chambord.
For your last day, stroll along the banks of the Loire and then head to Orléans. Visit the old centre of the city of Jeanne d’Arc, its cathedral and its Floral Park. Admire the Hôtel Groslot townhouse and take a moment to sit outside at a café before heading for home.
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