Loire Valley, France Culture & history

Our most recommended Loire Valley, France Culture & history

Chenonceau Castle Admission ticket

1. Chenonceau Castle Admission ticket

Enjoy access to Chenonceau site and its wonderful gardens. This unusual castle was built on a bridge across the Cher River. To learn more about castle history, audio guides are available in 16 languages. The castle is located near the small village of Chenonceaux in the Indre-et-Loire department. Chenonceau castle, also known as the Chateau des Dames, is famous for the great heroines who lived there, such as Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medicis, and for the beauty of its Renaissance gardens. Chenonceau castle was also used as a military hospital during the First World War. Discover the rich history of this incredible fortress.

Amboise: Clos Lucé Castle, Da Vinci Park and Museum Ticket

2. Amboise: Clos Lucé Castle, Da Vinci Park and Museum Ticket

Learn about the history of Leonardo da Vinci and his masterpieces (including the Mona Lisa) during his time in France at the Château du Clos Lucé. Invited by King Francis 1st of France, Leonardo da Vinci left Italy and took up residence at the Château du Clos Luce in the autumn of 1516. Appointed "first painter, engineer and architect to the King", Da Vinci served the monarch with his talents, working tirelessly on numerous projects and imagining plans for the "ideal château". With this admission ticket, you will receive access to both the castle and park. The visit will begin in the bedroom of Leonardo da Vinci, the site where Leonardo died in 1519 at the age of 67. From the window, you can see the Saint Hubert Chapel at the Royal Castle of Amboise, which is the burial place of Da Vinci. Whilst in the Leonardo da Vinci Park, you will learn about the artistic creations and major inventions of the artist. You will enter the imaginary world of Da Vinci, seeing the world as he did in these unique grounds.

From Paris: Full-Day Loire Valley Chateaux Tour

3. From Paris: Full-Day Loire Valley Chateaux Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Parisian life and enter into the Garden of France. Stroll the walkways of the French monarchs, hear tales of royal love affairs and kidnappings, and behold the beauty of the Loire Valley's exquisite Chateaux.  The first stop of the day is Château de Chambord; the perfect example of French Renaissance architecture, this remarkable structure was built by King François I between 1519-1547 and is the largest château in the Loire Valley. Who designed this masterpiece is still in dispute, and with contenders including Leonardo da Vinci, its sights are sure not to disappoint. Next up is the charming Château de Chenonceau, a true fairy tale castle set picturesquely on the Cher River, its history and character has been shaped by the women who've inhabited it. The site of the first-ever French fireworks display, Chenonceau is really one to fall in love with. The last stop will be at Château de Cheverny, a 17th-century beauty furnished in great taste and with marvelous gardens. Enjoy free time for lunch (not included) during the day either at Chenonceau or Chambord. You’ll be back in Paris in the evening.

Paris: Loire Castles Day Trip by Coach With Wine Tasting

4. Paris: Loire Castles Day Trip by Coach With Wine Tasting

Discover iconic castles on this bus day trip from Paris to the Loire Valley and explore Château de Chambord on a self-guided tour. Have free time in the charming town of Bloise and have the chance to visit Blois Castle on your own. Visit Château de Chenonceau for a self guided tour and wine tasting experience. From Paris, head to Château de Chambord. Disney fans will find this castle’s turrets familiar; it was the inspiration for the castle in "Beauty and the Beast." Though originally conceived as a royal hunting lodge, it was built to a scale that must be seen to be believed. Learn all about the castle’s captivating history from your guide before entering the castle. You can then visit the inside at your own pace on a self-guided visit. Climb a staircase supposedly designed by Da Vinci, enjoy spectacular turret-framed rooftop views, and glimpse wild deer around the grounds. Having worked up an appetite, get back on the bus and continue on to the next stop: the quaint town of Blois. Take some free time to enjoy lunch (at your own expense) in one of the restaurants located around the beautiful and vibrant Square Louis XII. Alternatively, grab a bite and visit the royal Blois Castle on your own, notable for its unique mix of medieval Gothic and neoclassical Renaissance architecture. Last but not least is the elegant Château de Chenonceau. The chapel, bedrooms, and magnificent vaulted kitchens are still furnished and decorated from times gone by, showing off the castle’s many sweeping stone carvings. Don’t miss the impressive main hall, which spans the river Cher, or the gardens cultivated by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici — 2 of the famous owners that earned Chenonceau the nickname "the Ladies’ Château." After a your visit, continue exploring or indulge in a wine tasting in the castle’s vaulted wine cellar. Your tour leader will entertain you between stops with insights and stories about the countryside and the nobility who once reigned over the region. Three uniquely beautiful French castles and a wine tasting, all amid the stunning scenery of the Loire Valley — this memorable day trip from Paris will delight all the senses.

Blois: Chateau de Blois Entry Ticket

5. Blois: Chateau de Blois Entry Ticket

Learn the secrets of the French court by taking a visit to one of the most intriguing emblems of French architecture. A favorite residence of 7 French kings and 10 French queens, the castle occupies a central place in the country's history. Throughout the centuries, dramas, plots, and power games have played out in the Royal Chateau.  With this entry ticket, visit 4 wings, go back in time to 4 different eras, and witness 4 architectural styles.  From the courtyard, a unique and majestic view opens up for you. In turn, your eyes will rest upon the 4 Medieval, Gothic, Renaissance, and Classical facades. These wings constitute a unique example of French architecture. The Chateau itself is a concentration of French history’s great architectural periods. In 1854, it was classified as a historic monument. Magnificently restored in the 19th century by Felix Duban, the Royal Chateau is beautifully furnished, decorated, and filled with color. From the tiled floors to the wood panels it is a feast for the eyes. Once inside, enter the Blois Fine Arts Museum, classed as a Museum of France. Perouse a wealth of more than 35,000 works with masterpieces by Ingres, Rubens, and Boucher. Take in an incredible view of the Loire river and the beautiful old town. The Royal Chateau offers a wide choice of original and stunning events throughout the year. From major exhibitions and classical fencing displays in summer, evening events lit by electric torches in the winter to behind-the-doors tours and Renaissance balls.  After your visit, take a few steps and see the shops, bars, and restaurants that liven up Blois in summer and winter. Stroll through the streets, alleys, and remarkable gardens.

Paris: Loire Valley Chambord Castle, Wine Tasting & Lunch

6. Paris: Loire Valley Chambord Castle, Wine Tasting & Lunch

Admire magnificent Renaissance Castles and taste delicious Loire Valley wines on this full-day tour. Fall in love with the Chambord's impressive architecture and with the diversity of Loire Valley wines on this tour in an airconditioned van from Paris.  Be picked up early in the morning in Paris and travel in a comfortable van. On the way, enjoy flaky croissants while your guide tells you about the winemaking region of Loire and its heritage. Stop at the Château of Chambord and explore twith an audio-guided tour. Uncover the secrets of this splendid castle that was constructed by King Francis I of France in the early 16th century. Drive through the lush, rolling vineyards of Touraine, Vouvray, and Montlouis-Sur-Loire. Take in the colorful landscapes where Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Franc grapes ripen in the sun.  Savor a traditional gourmet lunch at a winery or a gourmet restaurant. Delight your senses with a Loire wine tasting hosted by your tour guide. After lunch, discover a family-run winery and taste a range or red and white wines.  Experience authentic Loire Valley wines that are largely unavailable in the rest of the world. Be dropped off in a well connected area of central Paris in the evening.

Angers: Château d'Angers Fast Track Ticket

7. Angers: Château d'Angers Fast Track Ticket

With fast-track access, get right into this medieval castle and see the world's biggest and oldest collection of medieval tapestries. Get amazing city views from over the castle walls too! With 17 stunning and looming towers, the Château d'Angers was founded in the 9th century by the Counts of Anjou and expanded in the 13th century. Step back in time to the refined court life in France. Wander through the magnificent traditional gardens and out to the castle moats, walk along the wall for panoramic city views. Don't miss your chance to see the world-famous Apocalypse Tapestry. Woven in 1375 of 14th-century life in France, is one of the world's best tapestries. Spanning 103m in length and housed in its own impressive room, it's the largest woven work in medieval history.

From Paris: Small-Group Loire Valley Castles Full-Day Tour

8. From Paris: Small-Group Loire Valley Castles Full-Day Tour

Discover some of the finest castles of the Loire Valley on a guided day trip from Paris. Transfer by air-conditioned minibus to the castles of Chenonceau, Chambord, and Amboise. Walk in the flower gardens of the Château de Chenonceau, and gaze at the delicate arches that cross the Cher River. Learn the extraordinary history of the building, which was run by women for much of its time in existence. Continue to Chambord to investigate the largest castle in the Loire Valley. Marvel at the extravagant architecture and double spiraled staircase of the royal Château de Chambord. See the hundreds of columns and spires that adorn its roof. End the day at the former home of King Francois I, and see the tomb of Leonardo Da Vinci at Amboise village and the Château d’Amboise. Confiscated by the monarchy in the 15th century, it was a favorite royal residence and was extensively rebuilt.

Château of Azay-le-Rideau Skip-the-Line Ticket

9. Château of Azay-le-Rideau Skip-the-Line Ticket

The Château of Azay-le-Rideau was built in the heart of Loire Valley during the reign of François I, and offers all the charm of the Renaissance. It is a 16th-century architectural masterpiece, rising up from an island formed by the Indre River, and is situated within a romantic 19th-century park. The château boasts a colorful history. In 1510, Gilles Berthelot acquired the seigneurie and fortress of Azay, rebuilding it in the sumptuous Italian style that was popular at the time. After Berthelot's relative Semblança, who had been aiding Berthelot in building his wealth in the region, was accused of embezzlement and executed, Berthelot fled. The château was then given by François I to his companion-in-arms, Antoine Rafin, and his descendants, who lived there until the 18th century, after which it fell into the possession of the Marquis Charles de Biencourt, responsible for the château's beautiful gardens. Having undergone an extensive restoration program, the château also offers a new experience: new highlighted collections, a dream-like tour path, mobile tour guide applications, the romantic park and so on. Not to be missed: the living room and dining room of the Marquis of Biencourt (19th century décors), the atmospheric staging of the kitchen, the new interpretation area. The sight is protected by UNESCO, and features gothic motifs, a royal apartment used by Louis XIII in 1619, stunning Renaissance ornamentation and façades that overlook the lakes, with apartments embellished with overhanging corner turrets.

From Tours & Amboise: Day Trip to Chambord & Chenonceau

10. From Tours & Amboise: Day Trip to Chambord & Chenonceau

Benefit from pick-up by air-conditioned, 8-seater van and head to the picturesque Château de Chenonceau with magnificent Renaissance gardens. Then, go to Amboise for a wine tour with tastings. Visit Les Caves Ambacia for a wine experience and sample some of the wines of the Loire Valley at a tasting with a sommelier. Lunch at leisure in Amboise. Continue to Chambord for a guided tour of the chateau. Admire the fine details of the largest chateau in the Loire Valley, including a double helix staircase by Da Vinci. Get dropped off in Tours at 5.30 PM or Amboise at 6:00 PM. Admire the fine details of the largest chateau in the Loire Valley, including a double helix staircase by Da Vinci. Get dropped off in Tours at 6 PM or Amboise at 6:45 PM.

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
  • Day trips
  • Private tours
  • Multi-day trips
27 activities found
Sort by:
Page 1 of 2

Frequently asked questions about Loire Valley, France

What top attractions are a must-see in Loire Valley, France?

The must-see attractions in Loire Valley, France are:

What are the best deals and discounts on activities and attractions in Loire Valley, France?

Other Sightseeing Options in Loire Valley, France

Want to discover all there is to do in Loire Valley, France? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Loire Valley, France

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 135 reviews

Bastien was our guide and was great. Very informative as he received his Masters degree studying wine as that is his passion. Lunch was fantastic with Sophie as our host at the wineyard. Long day but after drinking lots of vine and having such nice travel partners in the van, we had a nice ride home. Definitely a must!

Incredible experience! the places overflown in France are magnificent! At times, we take control of our flying machine to pilot ourselves, it's super fun and we're full of sensations! I highly recommend.

The guides were brilliant, I love getting information on tours and they packed it with history whilst keeping the stories very engaging. The castles were so gorgeous, a must in Paris.

Wonderful trip, well organized and very interesting. Excellent tour guide (Leona) and driver (Ibrahim). Highly recommended

Very well organized guide booklet that led one through the castle and gardens. Fantastic!