WHAT TO SEE

Only the best make the list.

Chateaux

Parc du Chateau de Lathan

Right on your doorstep, very cheap to get in and a lovely way to spend a few hours wandering around the grounds. The kids will love the underground grotto, which brings you up in different parts of the garden.

Chateau de Gizeux

Ten minutes from the gîte - head to Parcay-les-Pins and then on to Gizeaux. Once a 16th-century art school and they are busy restoring the frescos painted onto the walls by the students. A Chateau that is off the beaten track, but one of the most endearing.

Chateau de Langeais

A medieval fortress guarding the Loire - so battlements, drawbridge, turrets and the oldest castle keep in France. Children will enjoy the treehouse in the grounds. Nice Cpreperie just around the corner and a lovely chocolate & coffee shop opposite.

Chateau de Breze

Southwest of Saumur, the Chateau is famous because all of the really interesting stuff is underground, with a complex of underground caverns and rooms where the present occupants’ ancestors first lived - before they built the Chateau on top.

Villandry

The last of the Renaissance Chateau built in the Loire Valley and now home to world-famous gardens, so quite a busy place in peak season. If gardening is your thing - this is a must.

Azay le Rideau

Famous for its idyllic position on a lake and probably one of the most recognizable. The Chateau is one of the best examples of French Renaissance architecture.

Chateau d'Ussé

The inspiration for the author of Sleeping Beauty - dreamy turrets and terraced gardens, with a distant view of the River Loire.

Chateau de Chenonceau

Probably the most magnificent, with an arched gallery built across the River Cher and the busiest. So arrive early and then picnic in the grounds before the busses start arriving later in the day!

Chateau d'Angers

If you’ve decided to spend a day in Angers then the Chateau is worth visiting. It’s a medieval fortress overlooking the Maine river and surrounded by winding old streets. Inside is the tapestry of the Apocalypse a large medieval set of tapestries and the oldest medieval tapestry to have survived intact.

Château-Chinon

A castle overlooking medieval Chinon, with connections to the English Kings (Henry II & Richard the Lionheart) and where Joan of Arc met the French king before taking the war to the English. So lots of Joan of Arc references around the Chateau and the town below!

Chateau du Rivau

Just north of Chinon is Chateau du Rivau which is great, especially if you have younger children. The Chateau is a small fairytale castle and the beautiful grounds continue the theme with giant objects, climbing frames, sculptures and quirky things for the kids to discover. One of the few Chateau that has a restaurant inside the grounds.