27 Best-Rated Tourist Attractions in the Loire Valley

by SlowChic February 03, 2018

There is nothing ultimately fulfilling than spending a holiday vacation in Loire Valley. The valley lies in the middle stretch of the famous Loire River in France. The Loire Valley is the most significant area across all France to be part of UNESCO's world heritage list. The valley has a stock of beautiful romantic imaginations, extravagant fortresses from the medieval history age, extraordinary scenery, and fine wine.

If you are on the lookout for the perfect holiday experience, places to go, places to stay, Loire Valley is your ideal destination. The valley will treat you to an experience like no other in learning its history and tasting Loire's excellent wine. Here is a list of the best tourist attractions to visit while in Loire Valley.

Chateau d'Amboise

The Chateau d'Amboise is among the long list of extravagant fortresses in the Loire Valley. The chateau is beautiful and is of historical importance as seen by its interior decoration and design. Its historical heritage explains why king, queens and royal families during the medieval era loved visiting the Loire Valley.

The chateau location is on a bluff above Amboise. For visitors to gain access to the medieval castle, they have to walk up a long ramp. The first thing you see once you enter the castle ground is the Saint Hubert Chapel, built in 1943 using a colourful gothic design. What makes the chapel an interesting site is that it is Leonardo da Vinci's burial place.

The next location you should visit is the Royal Lodge. The guards of the palace used the royal lodge as their home. Other than the castle, the Chateau d'Amboise has breathtaking gardens. The gardens provide the castle with a perfect setting. 

Other rooms you can explore in the chateau include the drummers' room, the stunning council chambers, the Orleans apartment, and King Henry II's chamber. 

Château d'Amboise

Château de Beauregard

The Château de Beauregard is among the few castles around the world built as a Renaissance castle. Its design carries with it a strong influence from the Europeans. The Beauregard location is in the region of the Cellettes, south of the Bous city. The castle is also near other famed Loire chateaux such as the Cheverny. 

The first thing you notice while entering the chateau is large planned grounds, which are breathtaking taking. The properties offer you an opportunity to experience the life of the castle before getting to the castle. 

However, the main attraction of the Château de Beauregard is the Gallery of portraits found in the castle. The portrait gallery consists of 375 paintings of famous people across the world during the 17th century. The museum lies in a 26-metre room with beautiful exterior designs to match the portraits. What makes the portraits interesting is that they are the most prominent collection across all Europe to have survived until this day. Apart from the gallery, visitors can also access the park, which has lovely flowers and reconnect with nature at its best.

Château de Beauregard

Château de Chenonceau

The main difference between Château de Chenonceau and other castles is the fact that women built, designed, and owned the castle. For this compelling truth, the castle acquired a new name, the Ladies Chateau. The chateau is the pride of the Chenonceaux village, located near the Château de Chenonceau.

The castle is magnificent with angular towers and a rectangular body with renaissance designs. Being a ladies chateau, the first thing you should start by viewing is the famous Diane de Catherine and Poitiers de Medici garden. The garden is remarkable, and it has a fantastic selection of flowers ranging from yellow violets, laurels among others.

Inside the castle lies the chamber that served as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the world war one. The ground floor of the palace was the guardroom with outstanding decorations of the Flemish tapestry used during the XVI century. 

While in the Château de Chenonceau, you can also visit the chapel, Diane de Poitiers room to catch a glimpse of Catherine de Medici's portrait, the "green office," and finally the hall of Francis 1.

Château de Chenonceau

Château de Chambord

The Château de Chambord is the most significant castle in the Loire Valley. The fort is located some 10 miles east of the village Bois. According to history, building the castle commenced in the year 1518 with the guidance of the counts of Bois. The sole purpose of the castle was hunting. 

However, Francis 1 decided to change the outlook of the castle into a more luxurious one. The change Francis enacted to the castle made it the most impressive chateau in the Loire Valley. The palace has 400 rooms, over 80 staircases, exceptional towers, and 365 fireplaces. 
What particularly distinguishes the castle is its definition of ultimate class and style. The combination of Italian Renaissance style and French design gives the villa a striking beauty. Once you step inside the confines of the castle, the interior décor in all the rooms is breathtaking. 

What also makes the castle impressive are the spires, pinnacles, and chimneys that rise from many roofs in the castle. The fireplaces and crests have persistence of Gothic style recognisable while taking a walk on the tents of the palace.

Château de Chambord

Château de Cheverny

Despite the influence of Renaissance style during the medieval era, Château de Cheverny is the one castle that appears untouched with its impact. The palace is located between Chambord and Bois, just a few kilometres from the Cheverny village. It is the best-preserved castle in France. 

Its unique decorations in comparison with other castles in Loire Valley are what give the villa a difference. Its main façade is constructed entirely of "Bourre" stone, which hardens over time and becomes exceptionally white. When it comes to decorations, the Château de Cheverny has the most decors than any other castle in Loire Valley.

While visiting the castle Cheverny, you get to experience the best of French décor during the 17th century. The villa also has a garden, which is inclusive of its park. The park has lovely trees and a canal running through the castle. You can also visit the famous Chateau de Cheverny kennels and the Tintin.

The building of the kennels was in 1850 for housing hunting dogs. However, the kennels currently house a hundred or more hounds.

Château de Cheverny

Chateau de l'Islette

Chateau de l'Islette resides on a small island in the Loire Valley. The castle acquired the name l'Islette because of its location. The designing and construction of the castle were done in the year 1526 to 1530. Accessing the castle requires you to cross the river Indre on a footbridge and pass through the castle's perimeter wall.

The first thing to observe once inside is the working mill. The mill was essential to the community in the past since they would mill their corn in exchange for payment. Currently, the mill houses a café and small shop for your relaxation purpose.

While entering the castle, you catch a glimpse of the decorations in various rooms. Each room is exquisite but has currently been adapted to a modern home setting. The outdoors of the castle offers you and your loved ones, tonnes of fun. You can opt to go for a picnic, a boat ride on river Indre, or just relax. The castle also has outstanding costumes your children can use to play, pretend with as the handsome knights and beautiful princesses they are.

Chateau de l'Islette

Château de Montreuil-Bellay

Château de Montreuil-Bellay overlooks the river Thouet. Its location is approximately 10 miles from the south of Saumur. Its construction dates back to the 11th century. The castle has fortified gateways, which leads to the Montreuil-Bellay castle. The villa also contains wine cellars within the confines of its walls.

The one thing you notice once making your way inside the Montreuil-Bellay is its beautiful gardens. The gardens overlook the river and offer a fantastic view. You can also acquire access to some restaurants by the river and the chateau. In the castle, you get to see the inspirations behind the bestseller books by J.R.R.Tolken.

While taking a tour of the Montreuil-Bellay castle, you get to see history unfold. The villa was once a prison for women during the French revolution. Despite its complete renovation, you get to see evidence of such a historical aspect. 

The wine cellars in the castle are useful in the creation of Loire Valley unique wine. For all wine lovers, you cannot leave Château de Montreuil-Bellay without tasting the wine the castle produces.

Château de Montreuil-Bellay

Château de Villandry

Loire Valley is famous across France as the country's garden. Château de Villandry then becomes the garden of Loire valley. The main reason is that Château de Villandry has the most spectacular gardens from all the castle gardens in Loire Valley. 

The Villandry gardens are cut in the shape of a child's maze, which is easy for the children to find their way out. Its garden acts as both a play area and adult relaxation space. Inside the castle, you will find fantastic rooms with exquisite décor. Each room has a distinct look from the other, and it allows you to capture a glimpse of artwork at its best.

Climbing the top of the tower is also an opportunity you cannot afford to miss. The view while at the top of the tower is astounding. You get to see the gardens and their beauty from an aerial view perspective. The Château de Villandry is among the few castles in Loire Valley that offer your child ample space to play and feel free in natural surroundings

The chateau has ample parking space, so you do not have to worry about your vehicle while touring the castle. It also has an efficient and friendly restaurant.

Château de Villandry

Chateau du Rivau

The Chateau du Rivau is a castle that describes how history fuses with harmony. The castle's history dates back to the Beauvau family. However, after joining the royal family, they left to other places. Joan of Arc later took up the castle. There is a room in the palace specially dedicated to her.

The castle creates a blend of historical and fairy tale feels for children and adults. Its great stables are also a remarkable sight. Rivau was popular during the 14th century for the quality of warhorses it bred and trained. It is no wonder there is the presence of a stable in the castle.

However, over the recent years, the castle has slowly transformed into a completely different look. The replanting of the gardens gave the castle a distinguished look. The modification of the decoration in the castle rooms allows one to acquire a taste of what life was like during the medieval era. 

You can also pay a visit to the castle's trophy room in the great hall. The different trophies the family collected helps show the sense of humour the family had and their love for animal trophies as well.

Chateau du Rivau

Chateau du Clos Luce

Chateau du Clos Luce had the initial name Chateau de Clox. The castle is located just a few metres away from Amboise Centre. The fortress was built in the 15th century. The Chateau du Clos Luce allows you to gain access to the fascinating inventions of a great mind and one of the best engineers over the past 600 years, Leonardo de Vinci.

Visiting the Chateau du Clos Luce allows you to see three different aspects of this castle.

The first element is the house. The stone detailing and the attractive brick building make the castle stand out. While inside, you get to see some restored rooms like the council chamber, bedrooms and kitchens. The second aspect of the tour would be the underground rooms. These rooms house the various Leonardo de Vinci inventions. A majority of the inventions you get to see were ideas that were ahead of its century. The third aspect of the castle of your tour in the Chateau du Clos Luce would be the parkland and garden around the palace.

The parkland and garden tour also includes some aspects of Leonardo de Vinci's creations like the footbridge, a small boat among others. The castle offers a real glimpse into the last days of Leonardo de Vinci's life before death.

Chateau du Clos Luce

Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau

Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau lies in the town of Azay-le-Rideau. The castle was built in the 15th century, and among all the castles in Lorie Valley, it portrays the foremost example of the renaissance architecture in French. The villa is set on an island at the centre of river Indre. 
The castle is famous for its interior and exterior design. The villa has a formation of two main outer sections, the wing, and its central body. You get to see the additional turrets placed in the 19th century. The towers help to create an impression of a finished castle.

The interior of the castle has several interesting features to view. The features include drawing rooms, apartments with a touch of renaissance designs. Every room inside the castle displays a Flemish tapestry collection since the 16th and 17th century. 

The outer part of the castle has an English-style park. The park surrounds the villa and helps add to its beauty. While the surrounding lake helps reflect the beauty of the Azay-le-Rideau gem. It seclusion from the busy town Azay-le-Rideau offers the castle a romantic feel that is perfect for a couple that wants their quiet time together.

Chateau of Azay-le-Rideau

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres

The one famous thing across all France apart from wine and history is Cathedrals. The Loire valley also has its very own cathedral known as the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres. Among the historical buildings in Loire Valley, the Cathédrale was one of the many western civilisation architectural crowns.

The Cathédrale is famous for its astonishing glass windows and the sacred holy veil. When visiting the Cathédrale, the first thing you notice is its entrance. Its north, south and west entrances have outstanding triple portals. You also catch a glimpse of the statues carved in the 11th century with a classical influence on its design.

While inside the Cathédrale, you can also see the paintings on the windows, depicting various religious messages. The drawings on each window intended to educate the public. Despite the renovations that took place, the place is still full of historical religious artefacts. Every ancient object allows you to learn about religion in the 11th century.

The Cathédrale also has a 110m crypt. The crypt is a Romanesque structure that was built in 1024. The tomb is the largest heritage building in France. A visit to the Cathédrale will not just astound you but will also educate you. 
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres

Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud

The Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, famous for its soaring structure and being among several large monastery sites across Europe. However, in 1804, Napoleon transformed the structure into a prison later saving the Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud from destruction. After a while, the Royale de Fontevraud became a feared penitentiary centre.

Currently, Royale de Fontevraud is a cultural encounter centre. The venue is famous for the concerts, exhibitions, and symposiums it hosts. The structure of the Abbaye is impressive and built with a blend of architectural styles. Once you begin the tour inside, take some time to admire the carved structures of the Abbaye.

The structures are in the form of plants and animals. You can also look at the four effigy royal tombs present within the Abbaye. The graves have been present since the 12th century. Each monument has a painting of its occupant that tops it.

Other sites you can visit the Royale de Fontevraud include the monumental renaissance staircase, the Saint-Benoit infirmaries, the three dormitories, and the mortuary chapel. Ensure to make the Royale de Fontevraud a must visit while in the Loire valley.

Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud

Jardin Botanique de Tours

For the nature lovers, the Jardin Botanique is one place you cannot afford not to visit while in the Loire Valley. The Jardin Botanique de Tours is an arboretum and botanical garden, which is the municipal town. Entering the Jardin Botanique is free, and it is open daily. This provides ample time to enjoy nature and the beauty of the garden.

Apart from the arboretum and botanical garden, the Jardin Botanique also has a petting zoo, a tropical greenhouse, a children's playground and a herb garden within its compound. The Jardin Botanique is an ideal family vacation ground where your children have ample space to play. They also get to pet animals in the zoo.

Royal Domain of Chateau Gaillard (Amboise)

The one thing that takes centre stage in the Royal Domain of Chateau Gaillard is the growth of citrus fruits, especially oranges. The Royal Domain of Chateau Gaillard was the first place in France to grow oranges. The gardens present in Chateau Gaillard were the first renaissance gardens in France. The most popular gardener in all of Europe made the designs on the patio.

Other than the presence of oranges, the beauty of the Chateau comes from where it lies. The castle lies in the middle of a beautiful valley with the river Amasse close to it. It also details the story of the creation of the absolute earthly paradise by the castle's master artisan.

You also get to experience other aspects of Chateau Gaillard like its unique collection of stain-glass windows, the forest, its seven paths of heaven, and the exhibitions. In the shows, you get to learn of the history of the orange trees along with a look at the photos of the Chateau Gaillard renovation.

Amboise

Amboise is home to some of the most popular sites in Loire valley. Amboise tours surely do not disappoint in giving tourists a holiday experience. Amboise houses three spectacular heritage memorials with renaissance influence, namely the Royal Domain of Chateau Gaillard, the Chateau du Clos Luce, and the royal.

The other famous thing about the Amboise is its Italian flare. The town is easy going and serene, reflecting the real image of the Lorie Valley. The streets are filled with boutiques and escapades, which allow tourists to catch a glimpse of the Loire riverbanks. 
Its marketplace is also an attraction since the townhouses the largest market in the Lorie valley. There are plenty of activities to do once in Amboise. You can tour the Loire River using an excursion boat. There is also cycling, or a visit to the Val de Loire aquarium. If you are on holiday with your loved ones, you can visit the wild parks available in Amboise reserve de Beaumarchais and Mini-Chateaux. 

You can also take a stroll across the bridge and visit the Leonardo de Vinci statue. The statue is a great photo opportunity.

Angers

Angers was a famous city during 1400. It was the centre of intellectual intelligence in the 14th century and is currently a city with lively universities. The city Angers was the old seat of the Plantagenet and Duke dynasty.

The town supports the thriving of café cultures. The presence of students adds life to the city by offering excellent places to eat as well as fun activities to carry out. The town is also famous for its two sets of fantastic tapestry, the medieval chateau, and the Chant du Monde

Here are the top sights you can also visit while in Angers. There is the Chateau d'Angers that offers visitors a look into the dreams and horrors of the medieval era. You can also visit the Musee Jean Lurcat, the Quartier de la Cite, and the Cathédrale St-Maurice among other tourist attraction sites available in Angers. 

It is also an ideal city to experience the highest quality of life France has to offer. Its rich historical conditions will leave you longing to explore and learn more about the city of Angers.

Angers

Azay-le-Rideau

Like a majority of town in the Loire valley, Azay-le-Rideau is also the home of well-known historical monuments. Visiting Azay-le-Rideau assures you of a holiday, experiencing while learning the historical background of the monuments you find in the Azay-le-Rideau.

The first monument known across the Loire valley is the Chateau Azay-le-Rideau. Like mentioned earlier the Chateau Azay-le-Rideau is one of the earliest renaissance castles to be built during the 15th century. The castles foundations rise out of the water giving it an astounding appearance.

The second site you can visit in Azay-le-Rideau is the Church specially dedicated to Saint Symphorion. The church has interesting architectural features that are part of its design. Its curved features are the most outstanding part of the Azay-le-Rideau church.

Finally, while in the Azay-le-Rideau town, you can get a taste of its exquisite wine. The city is home to the best rose and white makers across France.

Azay-le-Rideau

Blois

Several reasons make the Blois town a perfect holiday destination. First, its proximity to France. Secondly, exploring the town's astonishing castles all located along the Loire valley. The city also has old streets that cluster around the castle, Blois. 

The transportation in the town is perfect for people who intend to move about while making visits to famous places in Blois. You can visit other favourite sites within Blois like Maison de la Magie, the old city, foundation du doute among others.

Exploring the Blois city is not only about a historical moment. The town offers visitors an opportunity to experience mouthwatering cuisines from the best hotels in the area. You also get to experience the beauty of ancient designs from the surrounding buildings as well as the Old streets.

The beautiful thing about the town is that you can gain access to it via any means. You can opt to use the train or a car. It is also a fun town for cyclists since the city has main bicycle routes you can use for cycling trips with loved ones. 

Blois

Bourges

The town is flamboyant, highly decorated, and full of historical monuments that would make you want to stay in Bourges longer. It was once the capital of the Aquitaine province during the Roman Empire rule. It still maintains its heritage making your visit one to remember.

The town has plenty to offer to its visitors. Here are some of the places you can explore while in Bourges. The Bourges cathedral, a famous UNESCO heritage site. The temple is extraordinary in many ways. You can also visit the old town and get to see the renowned diamond pattern houses on the streets.

There also is the Musee du Berry, Marais de Bourges, and Palais Jacques-Coeur among others. Each heritage monument allows you to see the rich history present in Bourges. For music lovers, the Bourges occasionally has a music festival for five days during April. You get to listen to the very best of live music.

Whatever you desire when you go for a holiday, you can experience it in Bourges. Get access to the best foods, cultural heritage from the great sites and the very best of live music every April.

Chinon and Château d'Ussé

A combination of Chinon town and the Chateau d'Ussé makes it worthwhile to visit Loire valley. Making your way to the Château d'Ussé, you have to get to Chinon town first. The noticeable thing about the city is its old beautiful buildings and houses. The view of the buildings and homes gives one a burning desire to explore the town a bit more.

The Château d'Ussé also falls among the list of astonishing castles in the Loire valley. The palace has a beautiful garden and breathtaking furnishing in its exterior and interior rooms. The walk up its tower gives you a better view of the castle's outstanding beauty.

The castle is famous for the sleeping beauty tower. The tower has windows, which display the sleeping beauty story. The displays of the sleeping beauty tower are nicely carved telling a detailed account of sleeping beauty. 

The other rooms to visit while in the Château d'Ussé are the carpentry rooms, stables, and the caves. While visiting the Loire valley, ensure to make a stop in Chinon and Château d'Ussé for the ultimate holiday experience.

Château d'Ussé

Le Mans and the Cathédrale Saint-Julien

The Loren valley is one of the cities in France with the presence of historic buildings that help explain the French religiosity. One such Christian heritage is the Le Mans and the Cathédrale Saint-Julien. A Catholic cathedral is located in Le Mans. The Catholic temple is dedicated to the city's first bishop Saint Julian of Le Mans, hence its name Le Mans and the Cathédrale Saint-Julien.

The cathedral is famous for its architectural design, which is a fusion of limestone and glass, and Broussard stone. Its peculiar design of medieval art in religion is the Cathedral's main attraction.

Loches

Loches is among the charming medieval towns to visit while in the Loire valley. The first impression you get while entering the city is a town deeply embedded in history. The residents pride themselves in maintaining their heritage, which explains the beginning of the town's existence.

The streets of Loches are narrow and traffic free, depicting the same way the kings and queens used the roads during the medieval past. However, you can also catch a glimpse of the modern additional building to the old infrastructure in Loches.

For who love markets, you can also visit its famous market and acquire some items you desire to take home with you as a great reminder. When it comes to excellent cuisine, the town has plenty of restaurants that suit your budget. Nevertheless, if you plan to have lunch during the market days, it is advisable to make an earlier booking.

The town of Loches guarantees you a holiday like no other from its historical sites to food you cannot resist.

Loches

Orléans

The famous city on a bank in the Loire Valley gives its guests and residents plenty to marvel. The first is its rich historical origin and the recognition of the town as an art and history centre. Despite its renovations, over the years the Orleans still displays its rich history in some of its buildings.

It also has breathtaking regenerated riverbanks. You also get to listen to live music within the confines of the La Sardine café while enjoying a glass of the best Loire wine. The Orléans also has various fun activities you can do like boating, looking at art exhibitions and attending festivals. The events are safe for children, and it makes the perfect holiday getaway town for you and your family.

Orléans

Saumur

The city is full of breathtaking tuffeau limestone that shows the town's exotic beauty. The city is also known for its elegant wine

The town has wine cellars on its outskirts and serves the best food when it comes to excellent dining options. For food enthusiasts, this is your one-stop destination for the perfect food and wine experience.

Saumur

Tours

Tours is famous as a university town located in between the Loire River and the France Cher. The city is renowned for its significant landmarks all from the old 12th century of the city. Like other towns in the Lorie Valley, its history will give you a deeper insight into the existence of the city.

Tours

Château de Valençay

Last on our destination list is the Château de Valençay. The castle came into existence in 1540 and was built as a show of wealth by its owner. Upon entering the castle, the rich décor shows the amount of wealth that was put into decorating the castle.

While inside, you get the opportunity to visit the cellars present in the castle. The castles style and class are the major highlights of what you should expect while in the castle.

Château de Valençay

The Loire Valley is one of the historical cities in France. Visiting the different sites in the valley offers you a different outlook of France other than it just being the country of love, food, and wine.


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