What to see in Loire, France

What to see in Loire, France

Château Amboise is the first Renaissance architectural monument in the Loire Valley. Rich in names of kings, the history of this structure dates back to the 11th century. Today Amboise is one of the most famous castles.

The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany

While in Nantes, you should visit one of the historic palaces of the Loire, the Château of the Dukes of Brittany. This majestic structure of granite and white sandstone managed to be the residence not only of the Breton nobility, but even the French kings.

Clos Lucé Castle

Compared to the grandiose chateaux of the Loire, the humble Clos Lucay looks like an ugly duckling. It’s not even a real castle: there are no mighty walls, deep moats or narrow loopholes for crossbowmen. And yet every visitor to the far more renowned Château d’Amboise is bound to visit Clos Lucé.


The Château of Chambord is an architectural masterpiece of the Renaissance period and one of the greatest royal residences in the Loire Valley. It was built in the 16th century on the orders of Francis I and it is now proven that Leonardo da Vinci himself had a hand in this grandiose project.

Chartres Cathedral

With its own shade of blue, a mysterious giant labyrinth on the floor, and one of the most revered Christian relics, the shroud of the Virgin Mary, few cathedrals in the world can boast such a collection of unique features.


The home of the chateau is a region that has long been famous for some of the best wines, delicious goat cheese, royal history and the purest French language. Fortunately or unfortunately, none of the bloody crimes skilfully concealed by the thick walls of the royal residences are associated with Chenonceau.

The House of Picassette

Such a story could have happened anywhere and certainly has happened more than once: a man has suddenly taken to decorating his own home with improvised materials. But, having happened in Chartres, this story caused the appearance of a new urban landmark, quite popular among tourists.

Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau

A tour of the French Loire valley of castles would not be complete without a visit to the palace of Azay-le-Rideau. Of the more than forty surviving mansions that once belonged to the royalty of France, the Château of Azay-le-Rideau is considered one of the favorites.

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Château Beauregard

Hooked on the idea of visiting France’s famous Loire Valley, but not sure which castles to include on a royal palace tour? Feel free to put the beautiful Chateau Beauregard on that list! Over its centuries-long history (the manor was built in the 15th century), the castle has changed owners more than once.

Chateau Villandry

In the French Loire valley, famous for its castles, there are dozens of palaces, but one particularly stands out, as evidenced by the unceasing flow of tourists throughout the year. It is the magnificent Chateau de Villandry, located 15 kilometers from the town of Tours.

Losch Castle

If you think the castles of the Loire are similar to one another, Loch will make you change your mind – and it certainly won’t disappoint. Most of the castles between Orleans and Angers underwent a total rebuilding during the Renaissance, turning them into pompous palaces.

Chateau Mentenon

This stunning château, which has been rebuilt into a medieval castle, is about 20 km north of Chartres, in the town of Mentenon. It is best known as the private residence of Madame de Mentenon, Louis XIV’s second famous favorite.

Château Cheverny

If fate takes you to the famous Loire Valley, home to some of the most beautiful chateaux in France to this day, be sure to schedule an excursion to the Château of Cheverny. This palace stands out not only for its architecture, but also for its decoration.

Chinon Castle

Chinon Castle is one of the oldest royal palaces in the Loire Valley of France. If you believe historians, it was built in the 10th century and since then has always been in the center of attention of the court life of France. During its existence Chinon castle more than once changed its owners.

Sights of the Loire Valley

Loire Castles Chambord Chateau Chenonceau Chateau Amboise Chateau Eusse Chateau Villandry Chateau Cheverny Chateau Loche

This site compiles the sights of the Loire Valley – photos, descriptions, and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to what to see in Loire Valley, where to go, and where to find popular and interesting places in Loire Valley.

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Loire Castles

Loire Castles (photo)

The castles of the Loire are one of the main attractions of the Loire Valley. The Loire divides France into south and north. The French kings, who loved the area for its climate and landscape, turned the Loire valley into the

heart of the kingdom in the 15th and 16th centuries. Before becoming the lavish palaces of the French court, the future Renaissance masterpieces were merely defensive in nature.

Each of the 40 castles is important in its own way: the walls of some castles hosted dignitaries, others witnessed the life and death of great men, some witnessed the signing of important documents, the fourth saw nothing, but are just as breathtakingly beautiful.

The most famous castles of the Loire Valley: Fontainebleau, Chaumont-en-Loire, Beauregard, Brassier, Valencieu, Chaverny, Meilland, Uss, Sully, Chenonceau, Monsoreau, Angers, Chinon, Lange, Le Lude, La Fleuve, Chambord, Pons, Azay Le Rideau, Lune, Azay Le Ferron, Loche, Montresor, Blois, La Bretes, Vitre, Le Rocher, Brissac, Montreuil-Belle, Amboise, Ouaron, Chateaubriand, Goulain and Laval

The extraordinary energy of the Middle Ages, the fabulous excursions to the surrounding villages, the delicious French cuisine make the trip to the Loire Chateaux an attraction for tourists and locals alike

Coordinates : 47.89424800,-0.26550300

The Château of Chambord

The Chateau of Chambord in the Loire Valley (photo)

The Château de Chambord is the largest palace complex in the Loire Valley. Its length is 160 meters and height is 56. The structure contains 426 rooms and 90 of them are open to visitors today. The castle is located in a vast park in Paris on an area of 5,440 hectares and is surrounded by a wall length of 32 kilometers.

The idea to build the castle belonged to King Francis the First, and construction began in 1519. In order to make the château special, the king wanted to change the course of the Loire River. Chambord is rightly considered the most famous castle among the great variety of castles in this valley. This structure is striking in its sophistication and splendor. On a tour here you will have to spend more than one hour.

This Renaissance masterpiece, from the gates to the spires, is admirable for its size and grandeur. Before Versailles was built, Chambord was considered the most extravagant and the most beautiful castle in France. The park around the castle is more like a forest. The local nobility still frequently hunts there.

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Coordinates: 47.61608700,1.51726600

What are the sights of the Loire Valley to your liking? There are icons next to the photo, by clicking on which you can rate this or that place.

Chateau de Chenonceau

Chateau de Chenonceau in the Loire Valley (photo)

The beautiful Château de Chenonceau is located on the Cher river. Its history begins in 1243, when the family de Marck settled on these lands. The castle was originally heavily fortified, but de Marck had the nerve to station an English garrison on his estate. Upon learning of this, the French king ordered the demolition of all defensive fortifications.

In 1512, Thomas Boyer, who was a fan of the Renaissance architectural style, took over the castle. By order of Boyer, all the previous buildings were demolished, and a large construction began on their foundations. Coincidentally, Boyer’s wife was in charge of the construction work, while Thomas himself was often away on business and died in Italy. During its history, the Château de Chenonceau belonged to noble ladies and royalty.

Coordinates: 47.32472200,1.07027800

In photo mode, you can browse the sights in the Loire Valley by photo only.

Château d’Amboise

Chateau of Amboise (photo)

The majestic white-stone castle at Amboise was built in the 16th century as a defensive fortress. Its owners – the influential Amboise family – lost their possession after accusations of treason against the king. The castle ended up in the state treasury, which later allowed Charles VIII to make it the royal residence. At the same time the reconstruction of the castle began.

In 1515, at the invitation of the monarch arrives here, painter Leonardo da Vinci. Here he finishes Dzhokonda and in 1519 he dies. His tomb is in the chapel of the castle.

During the French Revolution, most of the castle was destroyed and looted. It is now being restored. The castle is open to the public. Conducted excursions, various activities, including at night. Everyone for a modest fee can feel like a guest of the castle during the Renaissance.

Like most historical sites-museums in France, the castle in Amboise is adapted for people with disabilities. Entrance is free for children up to 7 years old and children from large families.

Coordinates: 47.41279600,0.98651600

Jusse Castle

The Chateau of Husset in the Loire Valley (photo)

The new owners changed the layout and the construction of the château with the payment of 40000 gold ecus to the families of d’Epinet in 1485. They removed the western wing which blocked the view of the Loire, built an Italian drawing room and fitted out a royal chamber. But the château went down in history as a place where none of the French kings stayed, although the royal chambers were ready to receive them at any moment.

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Today, this castle almost entirely preserves the atmosphere of the time in which it was built. Many of the rooms retain artifacts from that period. The royal bedroom is still arranged in the Gothic style of the 13th century, and all the furniture in the castle is a rarity and is of great historical value.

As it should be, there is a small park in front of the castle, which still retains its original layout. The castle has its own small chapel, a garden, and to get to the castle you have to cross a small stone bridge over the river Endre.

Coordinates: 47.24972200,0.29111100

Chateau Villandry

Chateau Villandry (photo)

It was built in the mid 16th century by the order of Jean Le Breton, secretary of Francis I, from Scotland. It is a Renaissance style U-shaped castle surrounded by extensive gardens and a donjon. The interior of the castle was completed in the 18th century. On July 4, 1189, the King of England, Philip-Auguste and Henry II Plantagenet met in this historic building and signed a peace treaty in favor of the French.

Unlike any other castle in France, the elegant Château Villandry represents Renaissance architecture. The beautiful wide windows with pilasters and capitals, the dormer windows with curlicues and tympanas, the slight asymmetry of the facade, and the arcade galleries all evoked the Renaissance period.

In 1754 the building was given to the Marquis de Castellane. The latter wished to transform the castle to suit the modern tastes of the time, which resulted in the installation of arches and balconies, and walls in place of the columns were laid out to make room for the kitchen and additional corridors. In 1906, the new owner of the building restored the Château de Villandry to its original appearance, which has been preserved to this day.

Coordinates: 47.34061800,0.51449100

Château Cheverny

The castle of Cheverny in the Loire Valley (photo)

The Château of Cheverny, in the town of the same name in the Loire et Cher department of France, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The construction of the château was supervised by the famous architect Jacques Bougier between 1624 and 1650. This mediaeval late Renaissance building in white stone with high windows, symmetrical lines and bas-reliefs on the facade is still the private property of the Hurault family, descendants of Philippe Hurault, who commissioned it to be built.

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Since 1914 the Château of Cheverny has been open to the public, but continues to be the residence of the extended family, as evidenced by some contemporary photographs in one of the rooms whose interiors have been preserved since the construction. Everything here is reminiscent of the XVII century – the furniture, portraits of the castle’s owners painted by the best painters of France, elements of the decor of the rooms. The Château of Cheverny now works as a medieval museum. The area is famous for its kennel and its inhabitants do not sit idly by as the owners often organize dog hunts in the nearby woods.

Coordinates: 47.50017000,1.45791700

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Losch Castle

Chateau Loche (photo)

The castle of Loche was built in the early eleventh century by Fulco Nerra. The palace, which is 36 meters high, now reads as one of the most imposing buildings of the Norman period. The castle is an excellent example of military architecture. Previously it was a prison, the most famous prisoner of Ludwig Sforza, Duke of Milan.

The royal apartments of the Château des Loches are a fine example of the French Renaissance. The facade with access to the terrace overlooks the historic town and the Endre Valley. The castle is marked by famous women in French history such as Joan of Arc, Agnès Sorel and Anne of Brittany. Every year, this place attracts many tourists from different parts of the world.

Coordinates : 47.12472200,0.99666700

The most popular attractions in the Loire Valley with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit the famous places of the Loire Valley on our website.

More places of interest in the Loire Valley

Chateau Petit Toir, Loire Valley, France Chateau des Menards, Loire et Cher, France Chateau Mott-Glaine, Azeille Le Rideau, France Chateau Valence, Endre et Loire, France Church of Saint Florentin at Amboise, Amboise, France Chateau Le Lude, Loire Valley, France

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