Attractions

Top Choice Chateau in Touraine

Château de Chenonceau

Spanning the languid Cher River atop a graceful arched bridge, Chenonceau is one of France's most elegant châteaux. It's hard not to be moved and exhilarated by the glorious setting, the formal gardens, the magic of…
Top Choice Chateau in Blésois

Château de Chambord

One of the crowning achievements of French Renaissance architecture, the Château de Chambord – with 426 rooms, 282 fireplaces and 77 staircases – is the largest, grandest and most visited château in the Loire Valley…
Top Choice Chateau in Touraine

Château de Villandry

Villandry's six glorious landscaped gardens à la française are some of France's finest, with more than 6 hectares of cascading flowers, ornamental vines, manicured lime trees, razor-sharp box hedges and tinkling fou…
Top Choice Chateau in Blois

Château Royal de Blois

Seven French kings lived in Blois' royal château, whose four grand wings were built during four distinct periods in French architecture: Gothic (13th century), Flamboyant Gothic (1498–1501), early Renaissance (1515–…
Top Choice Museum in Tours

Musée du Compagnonnage

This extraordinary museum – an absolute gem! – spotlights France's renowned compagnonnages, guild organisations of skilled craftspeople who have created everything from medieval cathedrals to the Statue of Liberty. …
Top Choice Historic Site in Fontevraud-l'Abbaye

Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud

The highlight of this 12th-century abbey complex is the vast but movingly simple church, notable for its soaring pillars, Romanesque domes and polychrome gisants (funerary effigies) of four illustrious Plantagenets:…
Top Choice Chateau in Touraine

Château d’Azay-le-Rideau

Romantic, moat-ringed Azay-le-Rideau is celebrated for its elegant turrets, perfectly proportioned windows, delicate stonework and steep slate roofs. Built in the early 1500s on a natural island in the middle of the…
Top Choice Farm in Saumur

École Nationale d’Équitation

One of the world's premier equestrian academies, the prestigious French National Riding School is home to the Cadre Noir, an elite group of riding instructors that's also an equestrian display team. Superb tours tak…
Top Choice Chateau in Langeais

Château de Langeais

The most medieval of the Loire châteaux, Langeais – built in the 1460s – looks much as it did at the tail end of the Middle Ages, with crenellated ramparts and massive towers dominating the surrounding village; orig…
Top Choice Chateau in Amboise

Château Gaillard

The most exciting Loire château to open to visitors in years, Gaillard is the earliest expression of the Italian Renaissance in France. Begun in 1496, the château was inspired by the refined living that Charles VIII…