Trying to organise a trip to Loire Valley can be so overwhelming! Why on earth would someone decide to build so many beautiful castles in one place?  You visit one and then the next one! And you leave the other one for tomorrow, only to realise that you need 1-2 weeks to see all of them!

\hspace{10mm}

The impressive Château de Chambord

The impressive Château de Chambord

\hspace{10mm}

So, what if you’re one of us, a mortal human being, that only has a few days to spend in the Loire Valley but loves the châteaux? How do you choose which ones are the best to see and which ones to leave out of the list of your 3 day Loire Valley itinerary?

\hspace{10mm}

Worry not! Look no further for the best châteaux to visit! That’s what I’m here for! 😀

\hspace{10mm}

Here’s a sample 2-3 day Loire Valley itinerary that will make your visits to the châteaux easier and more enjoyable!

\hspace{10mm}

Stop #1: Château de Chambord

\hspace{10mm}

The royal Château de Chambord was constructed by King Francis I of France in the 16th century. It’s the largest one in the Loire Valley and was used as the king’s hunting lodge. It’s a typical example of the French Renaissance architecture.

\hspace{10mm}

Me in front of the beautiful Château de Chambord!

Me in front of the beautiful Château de Chambord!

\hspace{10mm}

What I liked about it: 

\hspace{10mm}

  • Its size and its impressive exterior architecture!

\hspace{10mm}

Beautiful from every angle!

Beautiful from every angle!

\hspace{10mm}

  • The hallway full of antlers!\hspace{10mm}
Château de Chambord hallway horns

A bit unusual!

\hspace{10mm}

  • The furniture made of horns!

\hspace{10mm}

Quite an original chair!

Quite an original chair!

\hspace{10mm}

What I did not like so much:

\hspace{10mm}

A lot of its rooms are left with not much furniture. Possibly because they were sold during the French Revolution and because the chateau was abandoned for some time.

\hspace{10mm}

Sad fact about it:

\hspace{10mm}

The fact that it flooded in June 2016 and the area around it was damaged

\hspace{10mm}

Flooded Château de Chambord (Image taken from www.hotrecentnews.com)

Flooded Château de Chambord (Image taken from hotrecentnews.com)

\hspace{10mm}

Stop #2: Château de Cheverny

\hspace{10mm}

The Château de Cheverny is one of the smallest ones to visit, it’s pretty, fully furnished and inside a big park, by a river. Straight out of a fairytale! Or maybe an issue of TinTin!

\hspace{10mm}

Picture perfect Château de Cheverny!

Picture perfect Château de Cheverny!

\hspace{10mm}

What I liked about it: 

\hspace{10mm}

  • The baby room (it’s not a very usual sight when you visit royal residencies)

\hspace{10mm}

How cute is the baby sized screen for changing clothes?

How cute is the baby sized screen for changing clothes?

\hspace{10mm}

  • The wedding dress

\hspace{10mm}

Royal clothing is always impressive!

Royal clothing is always impressive!

\hspace{10mm}

 

  • The wisteria tunnel in the gardens!

\hspace{10mm}

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

\hspace{10mm}

What I did not like so much:

\hspace{10mm}

The temperamental wifi in the car park! 😀

\hspace{10mm}

Fun fact about it:

\hspace{10mm}

During World War II the famous Mona Lisa painting was hidden in the château’s orangerie!

\hspace{10mm}

Mona Lisa inspired pose!

Mona Lisa inspired pose!

\hspace{10mm}

(Read more about how similar masterpieces were hidden during the war here!)

\hspace{10mm}

Stop #3: Château de Chaumont

\hspace{10mm}

The Château de Chaumont was built in the 10th century. It’s famous for its grandiose stables. It’s changed different ownerships through the years, but read a little further below for some gossip!

\hspace{10mm}

Château de Chaumont

Château de Chaumont

\hspace{10mm}

What I liked about it: 

\hspace{10mm}

  • THE CHAPEL!!! It’s the most unusual chapel I’ve seen in my life and I’m sure it’s the same for you, too:

\hspace{10mm}Loire Valley Château de Chaumont chapel

Favourite detail: this cool pink, fluffy, Nokia 3310 spider!

Favourite detail: this cool, fuchsia, fluffy Nokia 3310 spider!

\hspace{10mm}

  • The different layers of tapestry in some of its empty rooms!

\hspace{10mm}

Look at all those different layers of tapestry!

Look at all those different layers of tapestry!

\hspace{10mm}

  • Some of the most unique chairs I’ve ever seen!

\hspace{10mm}Loire Valley Château de Chaumont chair

Armchairs for 2 and 3 people! I loved them!

Armchairs for 2 and 3 people! I loved them!

\hspace{10mm}

  • How discreetly the furniture were seperated/protected from visitors interacting with them while making them included.

\hspace{10mm}

Do you see how you can protect the exhibits without the annoying ropes? The ropes usually make you feel excluded and they're definitely not good at all for photos!

Do you see how you can protect the exhibits (in this photo the bed) without the annoying ropes? The ropes usually make you feel excluded and they’re definitely not good at all for photos!

\hspace{10mm}

What I did not like so much:

\hspace{10mm}

The rooms with the piled up unused furniture and decorations

\hspace{10mm}

One of those empty rooms

One of those empty rooms

\hspace{10mm}

A little gossip about it:

\hspace{10mm}

One of the castle’s owners was Catherine de Medici in 1560.  When her husband, Henry II, died in 1559 she forced his mistress, Diane de Poitiers, to exchange Château de Chaumont for Château de Chenonceau (listed below), which Henry had given to de Poitiers!!

\hspace{10mm}

Stop #4: Château d’Amboise

\hspace{10mm}

The château started being used as a royal residence in the 15th century. Unlike the above châteaux, this one is more italianate in architectural style.

\hspace{10mm}

Château d'Amboise from across the river

Château d’Amboise from across the river

What I liked about it: 

\hspace{10mm}

  • Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb

\hspace{10mm}

Leonardo da Vinci was buried in the chapel of Saint-Hubert

Leonardo da Vinci was buried in the chapel of Saint-Hubert

\hspace{10mm}

  • The bushes in the gardens

\hspace{10mm}

The cute bushes!

The cute bushes!

\hspace{10mm}

  • The views

\hspace{10mm}

The town of Amboise as seen from the castle

The town of Amboise as seen from the castle

\hspace{10mm}

What I did not like so much:

\hspace{10mm}

  • These weird guys!\hspace{10mm}
Loire Valley Château d'Amboise

\hspace{10mm}

IMG_4641_Fotor

There were quite a few of them!

 \hspace{10mm}
  •  The interiors were not as impressive as it was in the other castles

 

Sad fact about it:

\hspace{10mm}

King Charles VIII died at the château in 1498 after hitting his head on a door lintel!

 \hspace{10mm}

Stop #5: Château de Chenonceau

\hspace{10mm}

The current château was built in 16th century on the foundations of an old mill and was later extended to span the river. Architecturally speaking, it’s a mix of a little bit of Gothic, a little bit of Renaissance and a little bit of gorgeousness! I hope my terminology’s not too technical to follow! 😀

It’s the 2nd most visited château in France (after Versailles of course!).

\hspace{10mm}

Château de Chenonceau

Château de Chenonceau

 \hspace{10mm}

What I liked about it: 

\hspace{10mm}

  • The unusually dark bedroom of Louise de Lorraine. I mean I’m not happy about her mourning and state of depression for the loss of her husband. But you don’t get to see royal chambers like these ever!

\hspace{10mm}

The royal bed of Louise de Lorraine

The royal bed of Louise de Lorraine

\hspace{10mm}

  • The gardens and maze

\hspace{10mm}

One of the gardens

One of the gardens

\hspace{10mm}

The Caryatids as seen from inside the maze

The Caryatids as seen from inside the maze

\hspace{10mm}

What I did not like so much:

\hspace{10mm}

There were over the top flower arrangements everywhere in the castle. Even though they gave it life, I found them a bit distracting.

\hspace{10mm}

The kitchen of the castle

The kitchen of the castle and a table full of flowers and pots!

\hspace{10mm}

Interesting facts about it:

\hspace{10mm}

  • In 1560, the first ever fireworks display seen in France took place during the celebrations marking the ascension to the throne of Catherine’s son, Francis II.

\hspace{10mm}

  • During the First World War, Chenonceau castle was used as a hospital.

\hspace{10mm}

So, if you decide to follow this 2-3 day Loire Valley itinerary, here’s a map of the route:

\hspace{10mm}

\hspace{10mm}

Would you add any more châteaux on the list? Are there any minor ones that surpass these ones in beauty and importance? Please, share!