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 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 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 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 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…
Top Choice Fortress in Chinon

Forteresse Royale de Chinon

Surrounded by massive walls, this hilltop castle – offering fabulous views across town, river and countryside – is split into three sections separated by dry moats. The ticket counter and shop are inside the 12th-ce…
Top Choice Chateau in Amboise

Château Royal d’Amboise

Perched atop a rocky escarpment above town, Amboise's castle was a favoured retreat for all of France's Valois and Bourbon kings. Only a few of the château's original structures survive, but you can still visit the …
Top Choice Historic Building in Amboise

Le Clos Lucé

It was at the invitation of François I that Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519), aged 64, took up residence in this grand manor house, built in 1471. An admirer of the Italian Renaissance, the French monarch named Da Vinc…
Top Choice Citadel in Loches

Cité Royale de Loches

Loches’ vast hilltop citadel is the size of a small town – a few lucky people even live here! Inside you can visit the Logis Royal and the Donjon et Cachots – the same ticket is good for both – and a Romanesque chur…