The castles of the Loire: Chambord, Chenonceau and Blois

A visit of the main castles of the Loire: Chambord, Chenonceau, Amboise and Blois. A circuit for a weekend.

The "Châteaux of the Loire Valley" is a common name to point out castles which are located along the Loire Valley, there are more than fifty castles to visit. Here we focus on four castles among the best known: Chambord, Chenonceau, Blois and Amboise. The car is of course mandatory because some castles are not accessible by public transport and the distances between the castles are important. The minimum time to visit these castles is a weekend. Three days would be more accurate. You have to pay an entrance fee for all the castles (10 euros per castle for a simple visit).

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Difficulty: difficulty
Duration: 10 h.

Chambord

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Chambord
Grandiose. Chambord is the castle of superlatives and the largest of the castles of the Loire: 440 rooms, 84 stairs, 365 fireplaces, more large enclosed forest park in Europe... The castle was built during the reign of François Ier.

Façade of the château de Chambord

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Façade of the château de Chambord
Inside the castke you can see the famous staircase with the double helix. You have to watch people go down and up to understand the mechanism of the staircase. The castle is huge but it is almost empty, there is not a lot of furniture. The interior is disappointing compared to the outside.

The Park of the château of Chambord

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The Park of the château of Chambord
The castle was built by François Ier but he stayed only a few weeks for hunting. He never saw it completed. It came with all his furniture, and moved again. Then the castle was occupied very occasionally because it was considered too big.

Guided visit of Chambord

Parking in Chambord

The castle is one of the most visited castles in France so everything is very well organised for tourists.

The castle of Chenonceau

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The castle of Chenonceau
Wonderful castle with these five arches spanning the Cher River. It should be noted that the castle is part of the Loire castles, but it is not located on the Loire river but on the Cher river!

The Cher and Chenonceau

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The Cher and Chenonceau
The Castle consists in two parts. The main building (the part of the Castle at the entrance) is interesting with rooms and kitchen very well restored, the other part of the castle which spans the river is less interesting.

The gardens of Chenonceau

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The gardens of Chenonceau
'The park of the castle is very well maintained and which is worth a visit. Take the time to stroll and discover the maze, Diane''s Garden, the fountains... '

The Gallery of Chenonceau

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The Gallery of Chenonceau
The visit of the interior of the castle remains a bit disappointing. In the picture you can see the gallery that served as a ballroom, it is this room which spans the river. In fact, the visit is limited to a round-trip walk in this great Hall. Disappointing.

The castle of Amboise

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The castle of Amboise
The castle is located above the Loire. The castle can be visited in two hours. A little longer if you choose a guided tour.

The chapel of the castle of Amboise

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The chapel of the castle of Amboise
'In this Chapel you''ll find the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci. He came to France at the invitation of the King François Ier. This one was very interested in the Italian artists, he had the opportunity to discover their works during his trips to Italy.'

The gardens of the Château of Amboise

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The gardens of the Château of Amboise
The gardens are made up by different terraces. Very nice.

The castle of Blois

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The castle of Blois
Perhaps the most interesting of the castles of the Loire. The castle is remarkable by its architecture and the events that took place: the assassination of the Duke of Guise sponsored by King Henri III during the wars of religion.

Ceiling of the castle of Blois

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Ceiling of the castle of Blois
The Castle has long left abandoned but it was beautifully restored from 1845. The restorers were inspired by some paintings representing the castle to restore the interior of the Castle. A must see.
Start of the walk (Google Maps)

Other walks

From Grez to Larchant

From Grez to Larchant

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At 134.33 Km