Over my spring break, I went on a châteaux tour in the Loire Valley. It was a jam-packed day because my friends and I visited four châteaux in one day: Château de Chenonceau, Château d’Amboise, Château de Cheverny and Château de Chambord. I’m not going to write much about each château, but I did want to share some photos!
Chenonceau is the most famous and visited château in the Loire Valley. Originally an old mill, Chenonceau was home to Catherine de’ Medici’s lavish parties; she even had to expand the castle to handle all the guests.
Originally a fort, Château d’Amboise is actually the burial site for Leonardo Da Vinci. Da Vinci spent the last three years of his life at a different château, Château du Clos Lucé, which was connected to Château d’Amboise.
Château de Cheverny was actually the inspiration for the Marlinspike Hall in The Adventures of Tintin. It is a gorgeous property owned by a marquis. In fact, half of château is actually still a private home for the marquis and his family! The family even maintains a kennel and horse stable for hunting season.
Château de Chambord is the second largest château in France after Versailles, but it was built 100 years before Versailles. At the time, the king only cared about having a massive and impressive property so the châteaux has insanely poor interior planning. Château de Chambord has over 450 rooms and only one kitchen. On the third floor, there are no hallways so you have to walk through the bedrooms to get from one room to the other.
When my friends and I visited, it was a cold, rainy day, but I can imagine the castles being even more beautiful on a clear day. I would recommend Acco-Dispo Tours and our tour guide Pascal. The company is able to get discounted entrance tickets to the châteaux and Pascal was really knowledgable about the region and extremely friendly. They pick you up from in front of the tourism office in Tours, which is located directly across from the Tours Centre train station. It is really easy and convenient to take the train from Paris to Tours, do a day trip and come back to Paris at night. I would definitely recommend visiting the Loire Valley before leaving France!