Loire Valley Castles

Visit some of our favourite Loire Valley castles...

Chateau du Lude, a beautiful chateau and garden in the Loire valley

The Chateau du Lude is a beautiful Renaissance chateau in the Loire Valley. It is situated to the north of the Loire valley, north-west of Tours and north-east of Angers. The Chateau du Lude is still lived in by the family who have owned it for the last 260 years.

Read more: Chateau du Lude, a beautiful chateau and garden in the Loire valley

Loire Valley castles and chateaux

Photo of Chateau de Amboise

Explore the Loire Valley Castles

The Loire Valley in France is home to some of the finest castles and chateaux in the World and all conveniently spaced along the Loire valley making it easy to spend a few days or more visiting a selection of them.

To help you plan your visit select a guide from the list of chateaux shown below.

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Chateau Chaumont and the Chaumont International Garden Festival

The present Chateau de Chaumont is built on two former strongholds, and the total reconstruction of the old fortress occurred around 1466, by command of Bishop Pierre d'Amboise (1408-1473).

The Castle, at Chaumont clearly follows a medieval plan, with its corner towers and drawbridge. It has thick walls that were topped by cannons. It is very beautiful and its charm is increased by the park and gardens surrounding the castle.

The interior of the chateau contains some furnished rooms but the Chateau de Chaumont is mostly visited for its International Garden Festival.

Read more: Chateau Chaumont and the Chaumont International Garden Festival

Chateau de Langeais tourism and visitor guide

The current Chateau de Langeais was built under the Kingdom of Louis XI, who commissioned Jean Brullé, his finance minister, with the building of the castle.

The impressive work was completed in just a few years, creating a building that is stylistically unified. The visit to the castle is of great interest because it retains its  15th and 16th century tapestries and furniture. Both the interior and exterior are constructed of materials (stone and chestnut wood) that have well withstood the ravages of time.

Read more: Chateau de Langeais tourism and visitor guide

Chateau de Chinon; a medieval fortress in the Loire Valley

The Chateau de Chinon, not surprisingly, situated in the town of Chinon, in the Loire Valley, is made up of three separate fortresses, of which two have fallen almost completely in ruins. In fact, two fortresses, the ‘Chateau de Milieu’ and the Castle of Coudray have been partly restored.

Read more: Chateau de Chinon; a medieval fortress in the Loire Valley

Chateau Chambord: a magnificent chateau in the Loire Valley

The Chateau de Chambord is located ten miles east of Blois, and four kilometres from the Loire, in countryside surrounded by woods. The Counts of Blois had originally built a palace to be used for hunting - until 1518 it belonged to the Counts of Blois, at which time Francis I decided to demolish it and build a luxurious mansion. Francis I, who delighted in this very practical exercise, could not have picked a better place to construct a castle.

Read more: Chateau Chambord: a magnificent chateau in the Loire Valley

Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, France; tourism and visitor guide

Vaux-le-Vicomte chateau is situated 50 kilometres south-east of Paris - hence it is not really a Loire Valley castle - we have included it for completeness as it is an important regional castle.

It is also one of the most impressive castles in the region (indeed, in the whole of France).

Read more: Chateau de Vaux-le-Vicomte, France; tourism and visitor guide

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau: a beautiful Renaissance chateau

The Azay-le-Rideau chateau, to the south-east of Tours in the heart of the Loire Valley, is a very pretty castle standing in the calm waters of the Indre river and surrounded by parkland and open woodland. Balzac romantically described it as 'a facetted diamond set in the Indre'.

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Chateau de Valencay, France tourism and visitor guide

The Chateau de Valencay is located a little to the south of the 'main' Loire valley, between Loches and Bourges. It is in the commune of the same name and in the Indre department of France, and is certainly one of the most attractive Renaissance castles to be found in the region.

Read more: Chateau de Valencay, France tourism and visitor guide

Chateau d'Ussé, France tourism and visitor guide

The Chateau d'Ussé is a pretty castle situated west of Azay-le-Rideau close to the River Loire over which it has very attractive views. The Chinon Forest adds further to the scenic setting.

Like many of the castles of the Loire, the Chateau d'Ussé was built on the site of an earlier castle - there had already been a castle in the location since the 11th century at the time the current version was constructed in the 15th century.

Read more: Chateau d'Ussé, France tourism and visitor guide

Chateau Amboise, a charming chateau and garden in the Loire valley

The Chateau d'Amboise was one of our favourite chateaux of our recent Loire Valley trip. The chateau is beautiful; historically it has been very important and its interiors reflect this; it has stylish gardens and it is the burial site of Leonardo da Vinci!

Read more: Chateau Amboise, a charming chateau and garden in the Loire valley