With its grand arches that span the River Cher and magnificent Renaissance architecture, Chenonceau appears to float on the surrounding water. This romantic castle was built in the early 16th Century and has nearly always been run by women. There are impressive grounds, as well as a waxworks museum. Boat trips are available in the summer and in July and August, the gardens are lit up from 10pm.
History of Loire
Welcome to the land of make-believe. The enchanting Château d’Ussé is thought to be the inspiration for Charles Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty. This fairy tale castle has towers, turrets, a terraced garden and a magnificent hillside setting. One of the towers contains rich tableaux that illustrates the fairy tale.
The greatest house in the Loire, this extravagant Renaissance chateau was built between 1519 and 1685 (must have been lots of tea breaks). Surrounded by a vast forest, this château could easily be the most extravagant Royal residence ever built. The ornate façade and turrets are spectacularly lit at night.
It was here that the maid of Orléans, Joan of Arc, saved France from the English in 1429. The ancient Vieil Orléans quarter and the Cathédrale Saint-Croix are best-known, but there are many gorgeous Renaissance facades to enjoy here.