Loire Valley, land of history...
You can't be seriously coming to Touraine without visiting its Castles ! Be them Medieval, Renaissance, Royal, or Bourgeois, the area is blanketed by over two hundreds of them. As usual we have a favorite list but we also highly recommend a visit to Loire Châteaux and Monuments Tracker.
|Azay le Rideau||A small and lovely Castle set on an island ! Do not miss the visit of the roof frame.|
|Abbaye de Fontevreaud||In turns Abbaye then prison before going back to it's former role Fontevreaud saw the last moments of Alienor d'Aquitaine, Queen of France and mother of Richard the Lion hearted.|
|Le Clos Lucé||House of Leonard da Vinci when he was invited in France the house is well decorated and has it's gardens sprinkled with Leonard's inventions. An educative way to keep the kids interested. A stone throw away is the Amboise Castle.|
|Chambord||A visit to Touraine would not be complete without visiting the Royal Castle of Chambord even if the main interest is the outside.|
|Chenonceau||Chenonceau, well known for its arches over the Cher river has been protected by its women along the century. The visit of the castle itself competes with the gardens.|
|Vilandry||For once the point is not in the Castle but in the gardens. Those are planted with vegetables depending on the season.|
|Forteresse de Chinon||A Medieval fortress where Joan of Arc met Charles the 7th. After 6 long years of renovation the Castle is finally back to it's "original beauty".|