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Must-see Loire chateaux (east)

Omaha, NE
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403 posts
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Must-see Loire chateaux (east)

Hello,

We're spending two days in the Loire valley and are wondering what chateaux to make sure to see.

We're staying at Minimes in Amboise, so we'll see the chateau there, and we're also quite close to the Four Cs: Chaumont, Chambord, Cheverny, and Chenonceau.

I think we'd like to actually *visit* one or two castles, but we'd like to *see* as many as we can. (We're driving from Paris, if that makes a difference.)

Any recommendations for or against any of these or other castles?

Thanks a lot!

Paris, France
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for Paris, Loire Valley
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1. Re: Must-see Loire chateaux (east)

Much of the stone from Château Amboise was sold some time ago so while it is interesting to visit, it is not known as a “must see” location. Worth a visit while in Amboise however is Le Clos Lucé, final home (now museum) of Leonardo Da Vinci, (he is buried in a small church at the chateau). May I suggest Blois, Cheverny, Chenonceaux, and Chambord? Chaumont if you can. Ussé, Azay-le-Rideau, and the city of Tours are also wonderful but with limited time you may find your overall experience much richer if you visit fewer locations spending more time at each one. Hopefully, you will be able to familiarize yourself as much as possible with the history and architectural significance of each chosen location beforehand; there is so much to see.

You may find that trying to drive to all of the principle châteaux in several days may lead to sensory overload and a lot of time in the car.

One final note, as Chambord is so much larger than the other châteaux, I always recommend that it be visited lastly, reserving it as a sort of visual climax to your trip. Those seen after seem almost anticlimactic.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Must-see Loire chateaux (east)

I'm not really a garden-type person, but really enjoyed the gardens at Villandry and got some great shots.

Kentucky
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3. Re: Must-see Loire chateaux (east)

When you say 'see' do you mean do a drive-by?

I wouldn't try to visit more than four chateaux in two days..The ones you name are all interesting and worth your time...

I'd concentrate on Amboise/Close Luce day of arrival if that is day one as they are close to your lodging...Second day, I'd go all the way to Chenonceau which would be the farhest away... enjoy that charming place...perhaps picnic on the grounds or eat in the resto/cafeteria there...then in PM head toward Cheverny and/or Chambord...Chambord is not my favorite chateau in the Loire but it is quite huge and interesting with its double helix stairway and rash of turrets on its rooftop...It will take at least two hours to cover properly as will Chenonceau..Both these chateaux are very popular and you will see a lot of other tourists...

One thing you might consider is taking an early TGV to Amboise if possible and then renting a car near the train station when needed for the driving portion of your trip....more expensive but less tiring and gives you more time for exploration of the Loire..

There are other chateaux I can recommend as well in the Loire altho they'll probably just confuse you...They are all farther away from Amboise and with only two days, maybe you'd best save them for another trip...Azay-le-Rideau, Villandry, Chinon, Saumur, and Angers...Bon Voyage...

france
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4. Re: Must-see Loire chateaux (east)

hello,

I think that the chateaux you mention are good, especailly Chambord which is very interesting. I also suggest you to visit the Clos Lucé (Leonard de Vinci house where he had many inventions). you can also visit the town of Tours which is fabulous!!!! I love this town!!! you can also visit the parc des minis chateaux in Amboise. I 'm sure that you will spend a good trip in the Loire Valley!!!!

france
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49 posts
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5. Re: Must-see Loire chateaux (east)

I just want to mention that I saw on the web site of plusdetouraine.com; the Touraine proposes a big operation of hotels and maisons d'hôtes (B&B) whith 50% of reduction. You can choose the town that you want to go and spend nights because you have many possibilities (from 2 stars to 4 stars,with restaurants or not,...). You can stay next to a chateau,...

This operation is for the 2 next weeks!

Vancouver
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6. Re: Must-see Loire chateaux (east)

Chenonceau was my favourite of the castles that I visited in the Loire Valley. Chambord is also incredible - I wouldn't miss those two if I were you!

I'm so jealous, I want to go back to France!

Enjoy your vacation

Northants, UK
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308 posts
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7. Re: Must-see Loire chateaux (east)

To me, the two most 'wow' Chateaux were Chenanceaux and Azay Le Rideau (my personal favourite).

Jane

x

Uttoxeter UK
7 posts
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8. Re: Must-see Loire chateaux (east)

If you are staying in Amboise i suggest first visit the "Mini Chateaux" (its sign-posted) they have build 40 of the chateaux and you can admire them all then choose which ones you think would be worth seeing.

Each person has their own opinion as I have visited a few others to find them not quite as good as we thought.

We have done this several times and not been disappointed with the real ones.