itinéraire à la découverte des châteaux de la loire

Discovering the Loire Valley Châteaux

In the natureHistory and heritage

Chambord, Blois, Chenonceau, known the world over.

 

The Loire Valley has been listed since 2000 as a UNESCO World Heritage site. A Mecca for art and history, the splendour of the valley is mainly based on its châteaux, veritable jewels rise on the banks of the River Loire.

These châteaux were initially austere keeps, before becoming a terrain for unprecedented experimentation by the Renaissance artists called upon by kings and patrons to display their power. Esprit de France proposes this royal itinerary into the heart of this French cradle of the arts.


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  • 6 days
    6 nights
  • Stages: 
    22
    549 km
  • From
    869€
    (double
    occupancy)
  • Spring Summer Autumn

Step by step

  • D1

    De Chambord au Château de Reignac

    Km to Km

    The first day opens with a visit to the Château de Chambord, the largest château of the Loire valley, with its 440 rooms, 85 staircases, and its 365 fireplaces. Its jewel is the double staircase, designed so that  two people ascending or descending can always see one another but never meet except at the top or bottom. At the end of the visit, take the opportunity to visit the terraces, which offer the best view of the beautiful, ​​5500 hectare estate. Then head to the Château de Blois, to contemplate the Renaissance façade, which through the diversity of architectural styles, tells the story of the kings and queens who stayed here. The terraced gardens offer stunning views of the town. If you have time, finish the day by visiting the Château de Chaumont, which was the property of Catherine de Medici in particular, and which hosts works by contemporary artists and photographers.

     

    1st night at the Château de Reignac, where we suggest you spend 2 nights.

  • D2

    Day around the Château de Reignac

    Km to Km

    The second day starts with exploring the Château d'Amboise, a place where great European artists were invited by the kings of France, including Leonardo da Vinci, who is interred in the chapel of the château. Then head to the Château de Chenonceau, one of the masterpieces of the French Renaissance. This château was given by Henry II to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. Upon the death of Henry II, Catherine de Medici forced Diane de Poitiers to trade her Chenonceau in exchange for Chaumont-sur-Loire. Admire the beautiful gallery overlooking the River Cher, the royal chambers, and also the Cabinet Vert, once the office of Catherine de Medici. If you have time, finish the day with the royal city of Loches. Here, you'll discover one of the most beautiful walled cities in France , with its 36 metre tall keep.

     

    2nd night at the Château de Reignac again.

  • D3

    From the Château de Reignac to the Château de Marcay

    Km to Km

    The third day starts with a visit to the Château de Luynes, just 15 km from Tours, and which offers stunning views of the Loire Valley. Finish the visit by wandering the gardens, in the château's moat. Then head to the Château de Villandry, whose main attraction is in its sumptuous gardens, faithfully recreated in the 16th century style. Flowers, vegetables, and herbs are arranged in intricate geometric designs. The château, meanwhile, was restored and furnished in the Renaissance style by a Spanish doctor, Joachim Carvallo, in the early 20th century. Then head for Azay le Rideau, one of the most beautiful châteaus of the Loire, which Balzac likened to a "facetted diamond set in the Indre," with its delicate turrets and purely decorative fortifications.

     

    3rd night at the Château de Marçay.

  • D4

    From the Château de Marcay to the Château Gizeux

    Km to Km

    For the fourth day, go to the beautifully restored Abbaye de Fontevraud, which provides an unrivalled picture of monastic life in the 13th century. Visitors can walk freely around the buildings, in the medieval gardens, the orangery, and the old stables. Remember to also visit the Romanesque kitchens, most fascinating with their six hearths. Then head to the Château des Réaux listed as an historical monument since 1930, and whose quiet you'll enjoy, in the heart of the wooded garden. There is a contemporary art gallery to visit throughout the year. Finish the day with the discovery of the Château d'Ussé, the château of Sleeping Beauty, remarkable for its period furnishings and collection of costumes displayed inside.

     

    4th night at the Château de Gizeux.

  • D5

    From the Château de Gizeux to the Château de Chambiers

    Km to Km

    Start the day with the visit to the Château de Montgeoffroy, former residence of Marshal Contades, lord under the Old Regime. The furniture and paintings are fully preserved. To discover: the château's kitchen and its 200  copper pots and pans! Then head to Lude, a former fortress transformed into an elegant Renaissance house. The surrounding gardens are worth the trip. End the day by checking out the Château de Bazouges, which has become a charming aristocratic residence with its 17th century furniture and Louis XVI style lounges. Outside, you will enjoy the Italian gardens.

     

    5th night at the Château de Chambiers.

  • D6

    From the Château de Chambiers to the Château des Briottières

    Km to Km

    The final day begins by exploring Angers, dominated by the impressive walls and seventeen towers of its formidable 13th century château. The château is the setting for a precious treasure: the famous Apocalypse Tapestry. Measuring 6m high and 140m long, its eighty-four scenes trace the text of the Apocalypse of Saint John. Then head to the Château de Serrant which is one of the most interesting sets of France furnished with a huge library that is full of treasures including the first editions of La Fontaine's Fables or the Encyclopaedia of Diderot. Finish the day with a visit to the Château du Plessis Bourré. This remarkable château has been the filming location for many films, like Donkey Skin, On Guard, and the Princess of Montpensier.

     

    6th night at the Château des Briottières.

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