Chateaux in the Loire Valley are a multitude of magnificent and old castles located along the course of the Loire River and its tributaries in Central France.
Once upon a time residence of royals and nobles, they are now a tourist destination where enjoying both architectural beauty and quietness of nature.
Chateaux of the Loire
There are more than three hundred castles in the valley.
Although some of them were built starting from 1000 AD, most of them and most famous ones are example of French Renaissance architecture. Golden age for Chateaux de la Loire spans between XVI and XVIII century.
The castles were built as residence for French royals and nobles during the era in which the Loire Valley was France political centre of power. After royals moved back to Paris, the chateaux slowly saw number of their residents decrease and most of them became summer residences.
Nowadays castles of the Loire Valley are partly inhabited and partly a tourist attraction.
Travel to Loire Valley
Loire Valley is in located on western-central France. It is nicknamed “le Jardin de la France“, the Garden of France, and it is characterised by beautiful landscapes and a mild climate. The Loire river, which flows entirely on French territory and empties in North Atlantic Ocean, forms this gorgeous valley. The Valley has been declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000.
Eastern limit of the World Heritage section of the Valley, around city of Orleans, is only 100 miles from downtown Paris. You can reach Orleans in two hours by car, thanks to French freeways. Valley’s western limit is in Angers area, 180 mi away from Paris.
Loire Valley Chateaux Map
There is plenty of information in the internet about castles in the Loire Valley, accommodation, and tours. Unfortunately many websites are only in French.
The most comprehensive one is Loire Valley Tourism.
Hotels in Loire Valley
Among hundreds of hotels and restaurants available, you may be interested in sleeping and/or having dinner inside a true Loire Valley chateau. This webpage is a good starting point for that. Prices are for sure not cheap, but not even that high so that only rich people could afford a night in one of those castles. Give it a try.
Loire Valley Chateaux Tours
Loire Valley Chateaux Pass
Loire Valley Chateaux Pass is a ticket that will grant you access to ten different chateaux. At publication of this post, it costed $39.69.
Chateaux in the Loire Valley are one of the most shining example of renaissance architecture in France and in Europe. A region where touching the past is made possible. I look forward to drive there with my car, and sit on the top of a hill with the river and a castle in sight.