The Loire Valley

We’ve compiled the best of the best in The Loire Valley - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Château d'Ussé

    The most beautiful castle in France is first glimpsed as you approach the Château d'Ussé, and an astonishing array of blue-slate roofs, dormer windows, delicate...Read More

  • 2. Château de Candé

    When King Edward VIII of England abdicated his throne in 1937 to marry the American divorcée Wallace Simpson, the couple chose to escape the international...Read More

  • 3. Château de Chambord

    As you travel the gigantic, tree-shaded roadways that converge on Chambord, you first spot the château's incredible towers—19th-century novelist Henry James said they were "more...Read More

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  • 4. Château de Chaumont

    Although a favorite of Loire connoisseurs, the 16th-century Château de Chaumont is often overlooked by visitors who are content to ride the conveyor belt of...Read More

  • 5. Château de Chenonceau

    Set in the village of Chenonceaux on the River Cher, this was the fabled retreat for the dames de Chenonceau, Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de'...Read More

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  • 6. Château de Saché

    In the center of town, the Château de Saché houses the Musée Balzac. If you've never read any of Balzac's "Comédies Humaine," you might find...Read More

  • 7. Château de Villandry

    Green thumbs get weak in the knees at the mere mention of the Château de Villandry, a grand estate near the Cher River, thanks to...Read More

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  • 8. Cité Royale

    A "Cité Royale," Loche came to be adorned with a bevy of gorgeously picturesque medieval and Renaissance-era structures—none more imposing than its famous Citadelle,...Read More

  • 9. Château d'Amboise

    The Château d'Amboise became a royal palace in the 15th and 16th centuries. Charles VII stayed here, as did the unfortunate Charles VIII, best remembered...Read More

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  • 10. Château d'Angers

    The banded black-and-white Château d'Angers, built by St-Louis (1228–38), glowers over the town from behind turreted moats, now laid out as gardens and overrun with...Read More

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  • 11. Château d'Azay-le-Rideau

    The 16th-century Château d'Azay-le-Rideau was created as a literal fairy-tale castle. When it was constructed, the nouveau-riche treasurer Gilles Berthelot decided he wanted to add...Read More

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  • 12. Château de Beauregard

    After touring Château de Cheverny, relax at this graceful family-owned Renaissance castle, where you can visit the impressive interiors and get a primer in French...Read More

  • 13. Château de Blois

    The massive Château de Blois spans several architectural periods and is among the valley's finest. Your ticket entitles you to a guided tour—given in English...Read More

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  • 14. Château de Cheverny

    Perhaps best remembered as Capitaine Haddock's mansion in the Tintin comic books, the Château de Cheverny is also iconic for its restrained 17th-century elegance. One...Read More

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  • 15. Château de Langeais

    Built in the 1460s, bearing a massive portcullis and gate, and never altered, the Château de Langeais has an interior noted for its superb collection...Read More

  • 16. Château de Meung

    From the middle of the 12th century until late in the 18th, this château served mainly as the country seat of the bishops of Orléans,...Read More

  • 17. Château de Saumur

    If you arrive in the evening, the sight of the floodlighted 14th-century Château de Saumur will take your breath away. Look familiar? You've probably seen...Read More

  • 18. Forteresse de Chinon

    This vast fortress dates to the time of Henry II of England, who died within its 400-yard long walls in 1189; another historic event occurred...Read More

  • 19. La Bussière

    The immense charm of this chateau lies in its unusually harmonious layering of the centuries, from the 12th-century fortress to the elegant Renaissance chateau with...Read More

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