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Loire Valley, Full Day, Guided Tour, visit paris and france, french castles

Chambord Castle

Château de Chambord is a great example of the splendor of French Renaissance architecture. This massive and popular castle was built starting in 1519 by François I, the French king at that time.

WHAT TO SEE?

Paris Day Trips

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You can see the former king’s, François I’s, apartments both in 17th and 18th century style. The chapel in the western wing of the castle, albeit simple in many ways, bears the marks of three different periods of construction. It took, after all, more than 30 years to complete this castle.

The vaulted ceilings bear the letter F and the symbol of François I. You can also explore the courtyard and the famed double-helix staircase. This staircase was based on sketches done by Leonardo da Vinci. It is very interesting because it was designed so that two people can ascend in sight of one another but without ever meeting.

The terraces of this castle offer magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding Chambord Park. This park was a royal hunting forest and remains the largest enclosed forest in Europe.

HOW TO EXPERIENCE

Chambord Staircase

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Start your visit off by walking through the courtyard and apartments. Absolutely do not miss the view from the terraces or the staircase architectural marvel.

The castle also offers ways to improve your experience at the chateau. You can purchase a guidebook, audio guide, a tour with a digital tablet, or a guided tour. We highly recommend the tour with digital tablet.

Then, if you please, you can visit the forest. The chateau offers 4X4 park visits or you can choose to walk along the canal. You may also rent bikes.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Hours: 9am-5pm (Certain months open till 6pm see website for details).
  • Price: 11€
  • Access: By car, or by train + shuttle/taxi (Frankly this castle is not easy to access without a car, we highly recommend taking our tour instead).

 

Villandry Castle

Azay-Le-Rideau Castle

Clos Lucé Castle

 

Amboise

City of Amboise

This peaceful town is a great place to explore as you wander amongst the boutique-filled streets or along the Loire River. Home to two famous castles: Amboise Castle and Clos Lucé Castle. The former which was home to Mary Stewart, Queen of Scots, and where Leonardo da Vinci is buried. The latter which was where da Vinci spent his last days.

Amboise

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WHAT TO SEE?

Don’t miss the Clos Lucé Castle where you can discover so much about Leonardo da Vinci and his work as a painter, engineer, and architect. Also don’t miss the Amboise Castle where da Vinci is buried.

On Friday and Sundays there is a fabulous farmers’ market, one of the biggest in the valley. Great place to find some fresh fruits, veggies, and treats.

Explore the town too of course. Walk near the Loire River, wander the streets and stop in the cute boutique shops. Try some good French food and wine at one of the restaurants.

HOW TO EXPERIENCE?

Amboise

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Take you time to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of this old, medieval town. Wander at will throughout the streets of Amboise. Enjoy the more calm, slower-paced style of this smaller town.

Also you should try and visit one or both of the castles if possible. They are, after all, so close-by. Become more well-versed in the history and learn about how the Italian Renaissance was brought to the Loire Valley.

You mustn’t miss trying some Loire Valley wine with your meal. This region is known for their fruity and diverse wines.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

  • Hours: N/A. If interested in the castles see their websites.
  • Price: Free to visit the town
  • Access: Train from Paris Montparnasse or Paris Austerlitz to Amboise

 

Additional sightseeings in the Loire Valley

Chenonceau Castle

Clos Lucé Castle

Chenonceau Castle