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Loire Valley Castles: what to visit and see?

How to visit the Loire Valley Castles in 1, 2, or 3 days? Which route to choose? Which are the castles of the Loire to visit absolutely? There are several hundred castles, so it is impossible to see every Loire Valley castle in a few days. Here, let’s discover an itinerary for visiting the most exciting castles without rushing.

  1. Visiting the Loire Valley Castles from Paris in 1 day ✨
  2. What to visit to make the most of it? ?
  3. Itinerary to visit the Loire Valley Castles in 2 days ?
  4. Program to visit the Loire Valley Castles in 3 days ?
  5. Where to stay to visit the Loire Valley Castles? ?
chambord castle from Paris

1. Visiting the Loire Valley Castles from Paris in 1 day

The easiest way to visit the Loire Valley Castles from Paris is to take a guided tour, including transport. Find below some examples.

2. What to visit?

With 2 to 3 days to visit the Loire Valley castles, you can take your time to enjoy every visit.

2.1 Which are the Loire Valley castles to visit absolutely?

  • Chambord, the largest and most impressive
  • Chenonceau, the most charming
  • Clos LucĂ© Castle, the castle of Leonardo da Vinci
  • Cheverny, the most distinguished
chambord royal

1.2 Which towns to visit around the Loire Valley Castles?

  • Blois
  • Tours
  • If you have more than 2-3 days, you can also visit Orleans.

Where to stay? With 2 or 3 days to visit the Loire Valley Castles, you can stay in Blois, Tours, Amboise, or even a bed and breakfast in the countryside.

Good to know! Doing more than two castles a day is rushing and pretty tiring, but it is doable. The distances between two castles are quite large. In every castle, you will find plenty of charming activities, starting with the classic carriage ride in the garden. In the end, if you make 2 castles a day and a city to discover, that’s already a lot.

blois loire france

3. Visiting the Loire Valley Castles in 2 days

To save time and optimize the journeys, you can organize the visit of 2 trios:

  • Chambord-Cheverny-Blois
  • Chenonceau – Amboise – Tours – Villandry

The castles of Chambord and Cheverny are near Blois, while the castles of Amboise and Chenonceau are near Tours.

Little advice. If you arrive in Chambord in the morning, you can visit Cheverny in the afternoon. On the other hand, if you come to Chambord at midday and see that time passes quickly, it is better to skip Cheverny and go directly to Blois. Why? You will thoroughly enjoy the places and engrave memories.

3.1 Visit Chambord, the most impressive and best-known castle

It is the most impressive castle of the Loire! Plan at least two hours to visit.

Entrance tickets. In summer, there may be a queue to enter the castle. It is possible to take skip-the-line tickets (buy skip-the-line tickets here). You can print this coupon or display it on your phone. The voucher gives direct access to the counters, saving time. On the official Chambord website, you can also find a special offer that includes activities and admission for the castle (bicycle, boat)

Learn more in our post: Tips for visiting Chambord.

visiting loire valley castle chambord

3.2 Visiting Cheverny, the most distinguished castle

Cheverny seems quite simple from the outside, but the castle’s interior is remarkable! Compared to the Chambord, the interiors are more affluent. It is a more “human-sized” castle. The Château de Cheverny is also known for the famous comics “The Adventures of Tintin”: there is a permanent exhibition on Tintin.

Find timetables and prices on the official website of the Cheverny Castle.

Good to know! You can enjoy homemade ice cream in the orangery café. It is nicely decorated and pleasant to have tea or a coffee.

cheverny castle loire valley

3.3 Visiting Blois: a perfect place for spending the evening and the night

If you visit the Châteaux de la Loire in 2 days, Blois is the perfect solution. Smaller than Tours, but well located for discovering the castles. In addition, the city of Blois also has its own castle. You’ll make one stone two blows!

What to do in Blois? In Blois, you can visit the Maison de la Magie, a museum about magic. Seeing the Maison de la Magie is refreshing if you need a break from castles. The museum is interactive and includes a magic show. The entrance is close to Blois Castle.

Restaurants in Blois. Le Castelet is a traditional cuisine restaurant (book by clicking on their website). For the splendid setting and gourmet cuisine, but also with much higher prices: L’oratoire.

visiting blois city france

3.4 Visiting Chenonceau, the most charming of the Loire Valley Castles

For many, this castle is the favorite, a must-see: its architecture, its gardens, and its interiors! It’s unique. We wrote a dedicated blog post on this magnificent castle (visiting time, price, parking): Guide for visiting Chenonceau.

chenonceau castle tips visiting from paris

3.5 Amboise and Clos Lucé Castle

The town of Amboise has its own castle. It is impressive! But if you are short on time or like to spend time in castles, it is better to visit another one: the Château du Clos Lucé.

Leonardo DaVinci. In the Clos LucĂ© Castle, we learn more about Leonardo da Vinci. It was his house! You can also discover the exhibition of models of the machines designed by Leonardo da Vinci. It’s a slightly different visit. You can take skip-the-line tickets in advance or buy them on-site.

amboise castle loire valley

4. Program to visit the Loire Valley Castle in 3 days

If you wish to discover the Châteaux of the Loire in 3 days, you can add to the itinerary above the visit of Tours (night in Tours) and the visit of the Château de Villandry.

4.1 Tours, perfect for spending the second night

If you visit the Loire Valley Castles in 3 days, it is interesting to discover another city: the city of Tours. It is a perfect place to spend the evening and sleep, only 30 minutes from Amboise and 40 minutes from Château de Chenonceau. Moreover, the old Tours district is worth visiting: Saint-Gatien Cathedral, Place Plumereau. Half-timbered houses, medieval atmosphere.

4.2 Villandry Castle

25 minutes by car from the city center of Tours, you can visit the Château de Villandry. The Gardens of this castle are surprising and are worth a visit. They are open all year round. However, the castle is not always open. More info on tickets.

villandry castle france

5. Where to stay for visiting the Loire Valley Castles?

Staying in Blois and/or Tours is more convenient than in Amboise. Why? These are bigger cities. So there are more choices for accommodation, more places to go out for dinner in the evening. It’s also more vibrant.

If you visit the Loire Valley Castles in 2 days, Blois is the perfect solution. It is a smaller city than Tours, but the historic center is very nice.

5.1 Where to stay in Blois?

  • The Forge of the Roy. Ideally located. Rooms with a “royal” decor, like in a castle. Reasonable rates: less than 100 euros for a double room with breakfast.
  • With the classical hotel chain, there are two “Ibis” in Blois. One is in the center and rather well located, Ibis Blois Center Château, and the second, Ibis budget, is further away.

5.2 Where to stay in Tours?

  • Surprisingly, hotel rates in Tours are lower than in Blois.
  • For example, a double room at Best Western Central Hotel is less than 80 euros.

If you visit the Loire Valley Castles in 1, 2, or 3 days, you will be close to Beauval Zoo. Beauval Zoo is the 4th largest zoo in the world. It takes a good day to visit Beauval Zoo. So why not add it to your itinerary?

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Louis and Emilie

We once heard visitors in Paris saying that the French are not the most welcoming people. It made us sad. That's why we started this blog! So you can get the best information for your travel to France! Of course, we love Paris. We have lived in multiple areas, from Canal St Martin to right next to the Eiffel Tower. We also explore regions of France whenever we can. Our favorites for a weekend away from Paris are Etretat and Mont Saint Michel. The beautiful French Riviera is a marvelous place to explore for a week.

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