Pays de la Loire Chateaux and Castles

If you ever wanted to live in a castle, the Loire Valley is chateau country and here you will see a Disneyland castle, a castle made just for a women, a castle that Leonardo de Vinci (not Capria) frequented, huge castles like the Chambord which is pictured above, small castles, and castles with beautiful gardens. When you visit them it leads you into a fantasy world. The lush Loire Valley was France's intellectual captial in the 13th century attacting artists, poets and troubadours for the fancy of the royalty. They built their many chateaux along the lovely rivers in Loire and are there for us to see.


Here is a list of castles to see in the French region of Pays de la Loire:

  • Chambord, the largest of all the Loire Valley castles is a magnificent Renaissance edifice, built by François I, it is set in magnificent grounds and hunting preserve which can be toured by horse drawn carriage.
  • Close by, is the beautifully furnished Château of Cheverny which can be admired from the ground or from the air in one of the captive balloons available on site.
  • Amboise, huddles under the shadow of its impressive royal castle, Amboise is a pretty town with white stone houses dating from the 15th century.
  • A few miles away, the Château of Chenonceaux, also called the Ladies Castle, has a famous viewing gallery, built by one of France's great Queens, from which to admire an impressive view of the Cher River. Entering it is like stepping back in time. Originally built as fortresses in the Middle Ages, its castles, hunting lodges and manor houses were gradually converted into lavish pleasure palaces during the Renaissance period.

Some of the best known châteaux are Cheverny, Chaumont and Château de Blois, the latter being regularly lit up like a luminous fantasy during the regular sound and light shows held there. Unlike many parts of France, where such residences are now nothing more than lavish museums, many of the Loire châteaux are still used as family homes. Some double up as Bed and Breakfast accommodation or are let as self-catering holiday homes.


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